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Thread: Beginning FMQ - from a beginner!

  1. #11
    Super Member paulswalia's Avatar
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    I have also practiced with just paper and no thread in the needle. Drawn a pattern to follow if you want to learn to make flowers or feathers or a stipple or do without a pattern. The paper isn't the same feel as fabric sandwiched, but it shows you the stitches clearly and you can see if they are even and (if applicable) straight.

  2. #12
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    some will tell you to practice drawing a basic design on paper first to train your muscles/mind.....I just don't understand how that works, as drawing with a pencil is moving the pencil over the paper and fmq is moving the fabric under the needle - 2 entirely different things.

    What I have done, is after you become more confident with basic designs, buy the tissue paper they sell by the roll and trace a design that is more complex. You can then pin/stick that tissue paper to your quilt and use it like a template - just sew on the lines. Since my mind isn't very creative, it works great for me. I also bought a book with tons of fmq/handquilting designs. If you are going to do many of the same design, cut the papers, trace one design, then stack them and pin together. Next sew the design - papers only - with no thread. You get practice sewing the design and can then use the other papers with just holes as a template too. The tissue paper pulls off very easy, sometimes aided by a spritz of water. The teeny tiny pieces that are hard to get will dissolve in the wash.

    If you are creative and have good drawing skills you can use a washable marker (always test on a scrap first) and draw your designs directly onto the fabric. The lines will wash out leaving you with just your stitching.

    Have fun with fmq! Don't start fmq on a quilt that you want to keep/show. Make lots of dog/cat beds....they don't care if your stitching is jerky or if your stitches are too long. Try lots of designs - you just don't know which design will be the one to "turn on your light bulb"....LOL

  3. #13
    Super Member grammy Dwynn's Avatar
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    When I do FMQ I use Top Stitch needles. I have never have a broken needle, while FMQ.

    Superior Thread education on needles; http://www.superiorthreads.com/educa...e-right-needle
    "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." -Confucius

    https://picasaweb.google.com/home

  4. #14
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    I'm a FMQ Basic Beginner too ... practicing and doing real things as I go!

    JanTX
    ... re your #5 ... my suggestion is to raise your chair up or lower your machine. You'll find it'll be easier on your shoulders. My comfortable sewing height for regular sewing is at a different level than when FMQing. I've already learned the ergonomics for comfortable FMQing means that I need to raise my chair up to a higher level. All praises to adjustable chairs!

    Some other bits and pieces I've picked up ....

    1. Thread ... when practicing use contrasting thread, so you can get a better look at what you are doing right or wrong. When doing for "real" less contrast is better, as it helps to hide any faux-pas!

    2. It's not a mistake if you do it more than once ... if you're FMQing and not intending to cross over the stitching, and then you do, then correct it by creating a new pattern where you do it again. Loop the loops? Flowers amidst stippling? etc. This was a hint from my LAQ when I was asking for her feedback on some of my practice work.

    3. Press N Seal ... draw your pattern onto it, and press to your quilt, then FMQ along the pattern.

    4. Practice before you start ... when I am ready to do a "keeper", I start with a smaller practice piece that I'll keep for myself. It may be a Mug Rug or a small table topper or pot holder. It helps me get the rhythm and flow and check I have the machine set up right. Can you tell I hate practice sandwiches? and prefer to have something that is practical?

    5. Finer Threads ... help with the disappearing act for boo-boos!!

    6. Adjustable Chair ... see above note to JanTX! It's worth the investment. I use a drafting chair ... it's lowest is the highest of a steno chair, so it gives me more height options.

    7. Have FUN and as they say ... Don't sweat the small stuff!! .... Rome wasn't built in a day, and we're not going to be Master FMQers in an afternoon!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  5. #15
    Senior Member DebbyT's Avatar
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    I took a class recently and what I found most informative was
    1. Needle size and type - Size 12 Topstich, this is for either a quilting machine on a frame or your everyday machine.
    2. Thread size and type - good quality thread. For dense quilting, use thinner thread (100wt) use 40wt for wider quilting.
    3. Mark your design on the quilt using a water soluable marking pen, go slow and be patient.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Noiseynana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvie45 View Post
    A glass or two of wine also helps you relax.
    OMG !!! A glass of wine or two , you'd find me snoring and slobbering on my pillow. hehehe
    Stitching is Meditation in Motion

  7. #17
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    My first tip is to try quilting standing up. I find that I can quilt much longer this way without my shoulders and back stiffening up. I place my sewing machine on my cutting table and find that to be a very good height.

    Second tip is to make an inexpensive styrofoam "surround" for the machine on the cutting table. There are some Youtube videos on how to do this:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g14govA4pIM
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yAS25v3ZTk0

    Third tip is to arrange a table or ironing board to the left of your quilting area to hold part of the quilt. This really helps spread the weight of the quilt.

  8. #18
    Super Member Becky Crafts's Avatar
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    I've done meandering and stippling on various quilts, even tried some templates a couple of times. When I wanted to try some new patterns, I made baby burp cloths for our grandchildren having babies & practiced on them. They are useful & loved despite being practiced on & some were pretty bad!! I tried a star & kept forgetting where I was in the pattern! LOL! I sent them anyway..the kids didn't care! :-) Take the good with the bad & learn to laugh at your mistakes. It's not the end of the world!
    Live Simply, Love Generously, Care Deeply,Speak Kindly, Leave the rest to GOD

  9. #19
    Super Member LeslieFrost's Avatar
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    Such wonderful, practical ideas here! I'm bookmarking this one for sure.
    Reading, cooking, sewing in retirement! Heaven!
    I'm proud to say that I'm a member of the Quilt A Month Club for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative! www.alzquilts.org
    I have a blog on QB now -- please drop in!

  10. #20
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    I am working on a quilt top right now that I plan to be my first quilting experience (I'm specifically making it a small lap size) so I can definately use all the advice posted here.

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