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Thread: The BEST way to learn FMQ on a DSM

  1. #21
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Knot Merrill, Southern Indiana
    Quote Originally Posted by hopetoquilt View Post
    It is a struggle to move the quilt through. I am great at breaking threads too. I have trouble moving it smoothly through the machine
    If your breaking thread a lot I suspect that you are moving the quilt too fast.

    My guess is that if you are OK with smaller pieces, but not with larger quilts - you are intimidated by the size of the larger quilt so you try to move it faster.

    Concentrate on a smaller area of the larger quilt.
    Puddle (not roll) the quilt in an area around the area you are going to quilt. The puddle should be "loose".
    Look at a 12" square of the quilt and NO MORE. Concentrate on just that 12".
    Don't try to quilt more than 12" without having to stop and rearrange the "puddle".
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.


  2. #22
    Senior Member sewplease's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by Quossum View Post
    But for me, the thing that really made it happen...was DOING it... In short, just keep quilting and you'll get better and better despite yourself'! --Q
    Q - I couldn't agree more! Practicing on small pieces is good, but eventually you just have to GO for it. I'm most comfortable just doing a loop-de-loop design.

    The water effect you did is terrific! Laura

  3. #23
    Super Member patchsamkim's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Fox Valley Wisconsin
    Keep practicing...play some relaxing music while you are..not too slow...not too fast...read Diane Gaudynski's blog...she is an expert quilter. She only uses Neutragena hand lotion while quilting...no gloves. I like using the tips off of rubber gloves just on 2 fingers on each hand...that is what Sue Nickles does...another expert quilter. If you can take a class, or have someone help you that would be good, but otherwise keep practicing and reading about quilting...you will get it!

  4. #24
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    I am not there yet either but I would not have come as far as I have without watching Leah Day. I will never achieve her level of success but my stipple is looking better. I do have the bobbin washer, gloves and mat. I use the bobbin washer for everything not just FMQ. I don't seem to have any thread breaks. I can do without the mat. I do not find it that helpful. The Machinger gloves are really great. I practice on small squares and then cover them up with nice fabric and put binding around them and make nice potholders. I also make a lot of placemats out of charm squares and practice different types of FMQ in each square. I also bind these...this has helped improve my binding technique tremendously. Just keep practicing. I also like straight line and SID quilting on many things. Hang in there.

  5. #25
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Mableton, GA
    All great suggestions. I can do a passable job of FMQ on a dinky mechanical Brother DSM. It takes a lot of practice and when you get "in the groove" you will know it, with machine speed and the speed of your hands moving the quilt. I still don't get there all the time, but I sure do know when I do!

  6. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    North central Missouri
    Patsy Thompson and Leah Day videos online. Both are wonderful instructors.

    I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Phil 4:13

  7. #27
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Blog Entries
    I am also just learning to FMQ. I made each one of my daughters a lap quilt for Christmas didn't get them quilted yet . I am working on the first one and it is far from perfect but I see the improvement with each section I do. The speed and stitch hand coordination is a big thing. I have found that using gloves make a big difference and keeping the quilt even as you quilting also makes a difference. Remember slow and steady wins the race!

  8. #28
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    First I think you need to figure out what works for you as far as supplies. It's a learning process. I have purchased items that make fmq easier (or so they say); some worked and some have not.

    I agree with the previous poster that you need to keep the weight of the quilt off of the area that you are quilting on. You need to break the big quilt down into manageable working areas and just focus on the area. I fmq a king size quilt with my domestic sewing machine; some parts of it was not fun because of the bulk of the quilt. Once I got out from the center, it was fine. I just wanted to challenge myself and be able to say that I did quilt a king size quilt.

    And I have read and agree with that you should practice more on quilt projects that just sandwich pieces. That being said, I always have lots of sandwich pieces to warm up on or try a new idea before I go to my quilt.

    The last piece of advice is to breathe and relax when quilting. People get so tense about the quilting process and the shoulders start to rise. Also, don't forget to take breaks....get up, walk around, stretch.
    Good luck!
    Last edited by 21quilter; 01-01-2013 at 05:31 AM.

  9. #29
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Spanish Fort, AL
    practice! Practice! practice! Speed and movement are the keys. Try practicing on donation quilts if you do those. And I've just found that if I make an extra block of my quilt I can practice and see what might work.

  10. #30
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Southern Ontario, Canada
    Just yesterday I bought myself a gift, it was the "Beyond Basic Machine Quilting" class by Craftsy. Ann Peterson is the instructor for this class. I have 'watched' some of it while I was sewing strips and pressing. She does talk about thread, tension, fmq foot, work surface, how to sandwich, just info to be setup correctly. In this class you do a wall hanging (could be made bigger after into quilt size) and it looks really complicated but Ann really breaks it down into basic steps and she goes right though all the quilting with you, What I like is I can watch this over and over as many times as I need until Im really good at it. It is all done at your own pace. If I have question, I just post it right beside the video and Ann will personally respond with an answer.

    Im really excited to start with class and with Ann's support whenever I need it, I can't go wrong! She also has a class about how to quilt a king size on a dsm, might have to get that one next!

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