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Thread: Feedback on FMQ attempt

  1. #1
    TX_Cutie's Avatar
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    I tried FQM for the first time two nights ago and have been practicing. I've never seen any examples in person, only online, so I'm not sure how my stitches should look on the back.

    Here are some pictures of my work thus far. Any feedback on how it looks or ideas about what I might be doing wrong would be great.

    I'm having trouble getting smooth curves - it looks very choppy.


    Back of quilt
    Name:  Attachment-46663.jpe
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Size:  26.3 KB

    Another shot of the back
    Name:  Attachment-46664.jpe
Views: 21
Size:  25.6 KB

    Top of quilt
    Name:  Attachment-46678.jpe
Views: 18
Size:  27.0 KB

  2. #2
    quiltluvr's Avatar
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    I think you're off to a great start! It takes practice. I took one class before on this just to get an idea of how it's all done. The teacher said that some machines won't sew well in certain directions. All I can add is to just play around to see what's comfortable for you. Keep up the good work!

  3. #3
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I applaud you giving FMQ a try :D :D :D it still intimidates me to no end!!! It looks like you are on the right track!!! You will be creating feathers, and all sorts of fancy designs in no time!!!

    Is your sewing surface smooth and slick? Do you wear gloves to get a good grip on the fabric? These both can cause more jerky movements.
    Practice drawing out smooth circular motions and then try FMquilting them.
    Sometimes practicing cursive writing helps, as that is something very familiar to us, and easy to do while FMQ. You would get a lot of practice with curves. These are all tips that I have picked up here and online :wink:

  4. #4
    Super Member justwannaquilt's Avatar
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    I would say...everything that amma said but I would also add from my exp. speed up the machine a little, and slow down your movement.

    I use a pair of gloves I got last year during winter time for 1.00 they have the little rubber nubbies on them and they grip the fabric. This is what I do when my fabric starts to "stick" to the bed of my machine. I get a paper towel and spray a little bit of PLEDGE multi surfice on it, just a tiny squirt. Then whipe it clean making sure to leave none of the liquid behind, this seams to give my machine that little bit of slickiness it needs so I can move the plastic around without having any trouble!

    good luck and keep practicing!

  5. #5
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    do you have your feed dogs down? are you using a hopping foot? it looks like the machine is trying to control the fabric in some way. the loops on the back are from moving too fast while stitching too slow which is soooo easy to do on curves, for some reason we tend to speed up our hands on a curve.

  6. #6
    Super Member grammy Dwynn's Avatar
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    Practice, relax and breath.

    It does take time to get it right, practice. Try to relax when quilting, don't try to do it after having a disagreement with hubby (ask me how I know). Breath!! believe it or not I had to remind myself to breath, which in turn helps you to relax.

    Is your work surface flat? Meaning machine and table at same level.

    Is your machine height good? Elbows bent at (approx.) 90*

    Look where your going!! You already know where you are!! Like driving a car, you look out further than your bumper ( I hope)

    good luck

  7. #7
    Super Member lfw045's Avatar
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    It appears that the bottom tension may need adjusting......I could be wrong.....

  8. #8
    Super Member joeyoz's Avatar
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    You are doing just fine so far. One thing you might try is slowing down on the curves. I used to do the same thing. that is why you have "eyelashes" on the back. Just take your time.

    I purchased the Quilt Halo and that seemed to help me alot. Now I can relax better when I FMQ. Here are a couple of links for you to look at.
    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sourc...Vex4v9VFuRLr7Q

    http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&sourc...dapR7G082Ha20Q

  9. #9
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    Mine looked like that for a while, but it takes a lot of practice to get them smooth. I have a few points of advice:

    1. As someone already said, Don't forget to breath! You will concentrate better with oxygen in your brain.

    2. Practice on scraps, so if you mess them up, you throw them out and nothing was lost. Make sure you have 3 layers to practice. When you get the tension right, it may vary if you don't use 3 layers.

    3. Do FMQ on your quilt, with floral or printed fabrics. Don't do solids until you are confident of your technique. If you make a mistake the fabric will hide it.

    4. Set the stitch length of your machine to a very low number. If your machine is computarized, try with a 1.0 or 1.5. With a large stitch you are moving your hands while the machine is waiting for when is time to come down again and that is how you get jerky looking stitches.

    5. Set the speed of the machine to as fast as you can handle. Remember that you control the stitches, not the machine.

    6. If you can, lower your feed dogs. It will make the movements smoother. If you can't, cover them with tape, leaving only a small opening for the bobbin thread to come up.

    7. At curves, you will avoid the eye lashes by slowing down.

    8. Play around with the tension until you get the right one. When you do write it down so you don't have to do it again the next time.

    9. Don't look at what you already did while the machine is still running. You have a lot to concentrate on while FMQ. You have to plan the next curve, where to go next, the speed you are moving at, and if you look back, you will get distracted.

    10. The general rule is not to cross lines while stippling, but if you do, who cares! Is your quilt and you do as you please. Concentrate on having fun, and the more "mistakes" you make, the more personalized it is.

    11. On a quilt to be used and washed, some of those imperfections will dissapear after the quilt is washed a few times. The batting flufs, the fabric and threads will shrik a little, and your quilt will look antiqued. One of my first FMQ looked awful at first, but after washed I love it and now is my favorite quilt.

    12. It is easier to do if your machine is sunk in a well (sewing table) or if you have a smooth surface at the same level of the sewing machine's bed. I saw someone one made out of Fedex boxes and it was just perfect.

    Keep on practicing. I can see you will be making perfect stitches in no time.

    Maria

  10. #10
    TX_Cutie's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the great advice and encouragement! :D

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