Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Page 1 of 5 1 2 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 46

Thread: Does it really just take practice to LA?

  1. #1
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    3,460
    I'm working on quilting a quilt for my granddaughter and man, it is baaaaaaadddd! I'm just glad it's a kid's quilt though I am really messing up a top that I loved.

    I'm so discouraged right now that I don't want to do any more work on it. I know I can't do that, her b-day is next week. It's just really bad.

    How do I improve? Should I just use patterns instead of free motion?

  2. #2
    skpkatydid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    371
    I don't know. I am very apprehensive about machine quilting. I think I am going to try using patterns before I try free motion. I feel for you.

  3. #3
    Super Member janRN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    western Pa
    Posts
    3,874
    Pam: I've been trying to learn to FMQ for a year now and I'm no better now than I was when I started. Everyone on this board has given great advice and I've tried it all--NOPE!! I've come to the conclusion that I'm missing the FMQ gene. I draw the patterns on my quilt top and just stitch on them (with feed-dogs up) and I'm happy with the way it looks. It does take longer.
    I wish you well and hope FMQ works for you. If not you can always try doing it my way: FMQ for Dummies LOL.

  4. #4
    Senior Member crashnquilt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Lebanon, Missouri
    Posts
    546
    Your title mentions longarm and yes it does take lots of practice before you get good. I've had my LA for 3 years and still say I'm practicing.

    FMQ at best is a constant practice. As time goes by it does become easier but still it takes lots of practice. When I first started I would draw all my quilting lines first and then follow the lines with the machine.

  5. #5
    Super Member MaryStoaks's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    La Quinta, CA
    Posts
    3,897
    I chose a very simple design (loops) and did those until I was confident the results were better. Move on when you get one technique accomplished. I still like to do loops after two years, I like the look.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    78
    yes it really does take practice, but mainly confidence, and relax :) Im not real good at it yet but intend to be lol... Have tried on and off for several years but in the last couple of months it has finally gotten ok. Good enough to give a quilt to someone. Charity quilts are a good way to practice. They are finished and it isnt really a problem if they arent perfect. Keep it up and you will get there.
    lyn

  7. #7
    Marjpf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Greater Los Angeles Area
    Posts
    1,916
    Yes -lots of practice. I've been told it takes at least a year to get the hang of it, and at least three years to get any good! Of course, they didn't mention how many hours a day. I just got a LA and am very much in the learning process. I try to choose threads that will blend as much as possible with the fabric so it's not quite as noticeable.

  8. #8
    Banned
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Orange County, CA
    Posts
    643
    That's why I stick to pantographs -- I just practice the pattern I'm going to do for several hours. By the time I get to doing it on my actual quilt, I've built up muscle memory for that pattern, and it comes out pretty decently. I'll never be a free-motion quilter, and I'm fine with that.

  9. #9
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Albany, Oregon
    Posts
    10,524
    I think probably you're being too hard on yourself. If you show us what you've done we will be oohing and aahing and loving it.

    I also think we all practice longarming in different ways. I have not done any pantographs since I bought my longarm, and I haven't used the ruler or drawn on a design. Everything is freehand. Why? Because I am not ready to follow the lines yet! I know I would be wobbling all over them. At least with freehand no one knows what I was really aiming at. LOL Seriously, I do want to learn to control the ruler and do more controlled designs, but for now I'm having fun with my own wobbly feathers, McTavishing, spirals, etc. One thing in my favor is that I have not previously sent my quilts to professional longarmers, so I'm only comparing my work to my previous work on the sewing machine, and I have to say the longarm work looks better. (I have to say it because otherwise that would be one expensive hunk of metal sitting in my family room.)

  10. #10
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    3,460
    Thank you for the words of experience. I understand muscle memory so I'll get some backings to use for front and back and just keep at it.

    I'll get some nice pantos that I would be happy with doing too.

    Why was I making mistakes?

    hadn't thought it out well enough so I wasn't clear on how to move from section to section

    couldn't see the line I was following from certain angles when the machine blocked my view

    going too fast

    All of those are correctable. One thing that may help is getting some micro-handles. Being so far away from the work and trying to do an echo quilting is like trying to draw while holding the pencil by the eraser.

Page 1 of 5 1 2 ... LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.