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Thread: Discouraged quilter

  1. #1
    user3587's Avatar
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    I have a 15" Bailey and a Gracie 11 frame. I know I'm just getting started learning but I'm not at all happy so far. We even have the stitch regulator. My thoughts were that it would run like a standard sewing machine you just stood up. The stitchs are not unforim in size, speed up slow down stitchs a million different sizes. Tried following the lines on a square, you would have thought I had been drinking. I'm going back to piecing and try this again later. Should I just do straight lines before I try circles, squares and other designs? Just needed to vent before I throw something that will cost me.

  2. #2
    Super Member
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    Everything I've read about free motion/machine quilting has said to have the machine speed fast and either move the fabric or the machine slower, how slow depends on what stitch length you want on the quilt. I would say that your speed of the machine or the movement of the machine isn't consistent. It does take practice as anyone on board here can tell you. Please don't get discouraged.

  3. #3
    Senior Member LoriJ's Avatar
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    Okie,
    It takes lots and lots of practice! I have a grace frame that I use my Janome 6600. I run my machine at it's fastest speed and then have to really concentrate on not moving it too fast or I end up with jerky, long stitches. One thing you may want to do is get a large sheet from your local thrift store and load it on your frame. Then using a contrasting thread practice, practice, practice. The lady I bought the frame from said she did that and it really helped her.

  4. #4
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I t sounds like your stitch regulator is not engaged. Can you call the place where you bought it and ask them about this? The stitch regulator should keep your stitches even no matter how fast or slow you move your machine.

  5. #5
    marjeet's Avatar
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    Best thing I did when i bought my GracePro frame with a Janome 1600P was to buy the Pajama Quilter video, and follow her suggestion of using a white board and just drawing your designs over and over. It really imprints them on your brain and makes it easier to "go with the flow" with a real machine. My only disappointment was the machine itself, just not enough room to do much with, so I have sold it and am waiting to talk my DH into a Bailey 15". The answer is PRACTICE! I made a quilt sandwich -- plain muslin and some batting, and just doodled all over it. I've heard people do that with colored fabric then serge it into pads for their pets or for the vet or animal shelters, too.

  6. #6
    user3587's Avatar
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    It takes lots and lots of practice! I have a grace frame that I use my Janome 6600. I run my machine at it's fastest speed and then have to really concentrate on not moving it too fast or I end up with jerky, long stitches. One thing you may want to do is get a large sheet from your local thrift store and load it on your frame. Then using a contrasting thread practice, practice, practice. The lady I bought the frame from said she did that and it really helped her.
    This sounds like a great ideal. I would still use 3 layers wouldn't I?

    As for the stitch regulator I have no ideal about it. My DH first did the quilting so I never ran the machine without the regulator. He says it's different. DH has moved on to other projects so I have my hobby to myself (Smiling)

  7. #7

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    I also have a Gracie but mine is a GemQPro and I use a Janome 16 sewing maching. I had a lot of trouble at first but have finally progressed up to the point where I can do meandering. The throat on my machine is not deep enough to do much by the time you reach the bottom of the quilt.

    One thing that has helped tremendously is attaching zippers to the leader and then pinning to the zippers.

    If you contact Sally at the Gracie company she may have some suggestions on the stitch regulator. I had to have mine replaced.

    let me know if this helps.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Shelley's Avatar
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    Don't get frustrated! Are you trying to do straight lines without a ruler? Check out Megan Best's Stitch-in-the-ditch ruler. Start out with the 5" size. I use it for SID, crosshatching, and to steady my foot when doing SID around applique.

    PPP - it means Practice, Practice, Practice. And it will take a lot!

  9. #9
    user3587's Avatar
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    I can at least get from one side to the other, not professionally of course, but I'll get there. I had to put a label on my machine to remind myself to put the presser lever down. (I guess that's what it's called).

    I purchased the pajama video. I thought this might give me somewhere to start.
    Thanks for all of your words of encourgement.

  10. #10
    omak's Avatar
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    Good advice from one and all.
    If the stitching isn't perfect, just remember - - the object is to get the three layers of fiber held together ...
    I have the Pinnacle Grace Frame with a babylock quilt pro ... not much room, but that is beside the point.
    I put the regulator at the 5 and try to maintain moderate speed. My regulator will slow down, if I slow down, but the stitches aren't even if I don't move at a rate the machine thinks is appropriate. It is hard to watch, so maybe someone can watch the light for awhile while you practice ... there is a light that will glow red (or is it green) when you are moving faster than the regulator can keep up with ...
    I have had professional longarm quilters tell me that stitching in the ditch with a longarm is impossible ... either use the rulers, or make wavy lines ...
    best of all, remember ... the first day you started is the hardest it will ever be. Practice will teach you how the machine works. In order to gauge your ability of machine and operator, start choosing processes to work with ... as with the paper and pen practicing ... start making big stipples, or just using your frame as a guide, a straight line. Set your machine speed and then pay attention to how fast or how slow you are going and what the stitches look like ... without a bit of permission to "experiment" with what you own, sometimes, we are intimidated by the machinery ...
    Did you ever practice penmanship in school, especially useful for when you started to write cursive? That is an excellent tool for learning how to machine quilt.
    Most important, keep getting encouragement, and believe that you can do this! THousands have done it ... and, you will soon be confident enough to encourage others.

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