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Thread: First shot at FMQ ?'s

  1. #1
    CrystalKicks's Avatar
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    Okay so Ive had it for 4 years and messed here and there but tonight was my first time actually using the fmq feature on my machine, and its not too bad, but I need advice!!

    What can I do to try and even up the stitches...if I go too slow they are very long and too fast they are super short, Im having a hard time evening it up!!
    Help!!

  2. #2
    Banned
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    Photos would help. :D

    Billy

  3. #3
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    Practice!

  4. #4
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    It sounds like coordinating the speed of your machine and the speed in which you move the fabric. Try to keep the speed the same, then when you move the fabric around, change how fast you are moving it around until your stitches come out even. Then try and remember and practice moving your hands that same speed.
    Some have mentioned placing something in the pedal so that they can only press it down the same distance each time. That eliminates one issue, so you can focus on the speed your hands are moving the fabric

  5. #5
    Super Member Eddie's Avatar
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    Amma gave great advice, and I second what she says. Once you get used to the process and the fluid motion of doing it then the stitches seem to even out. It just takes some time to get into that groove of it and know when you should be slowing down or speeding up as you watch your stiches.

  6. #6
    TX_Cutie's Avatar
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    I had the exact same problem when I first tried FMQ. I received wonderful advice on this forum and it helped me lots.

    Above all, practice! I made several quick sandwiches from old scraps and leftover batting - practicing over and over helped me figure out how fast to move the fabric. One suggestion I was given was to make sure that my needle speed was set for as fast as possible (or foot all the way to the floor) and that my stitch length and width was on zero.

    A good pair of quilting gloves are a must.

    I also learned to count slowly to 3 while I was making the curves and turns. Otherwise, my curves all feathered out on the back.

    Post some pictures and you'll be able to get some great feedback.

  7. #7
    moderator
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    Practice, practice and practice some more. I always use some scrap fabric and batting and do a practice run before I do free motion quilting just to find my groove. I don't change anything on my machine as far as stitch length etc, I just drop the feed dogs.

    Did I mention practice? :) It will come in time.

  8. #8
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    fast foot speed, slower hand movement of quilt. you control the stitch length by your movement of the quilt. fast or jerky movements will give those longer thread lengths. slower will give tighter stitches.
    practice on a scrap block before working on your quilt. helps. and you must use a darning foot (one with a spring on the shaft). helps greatly.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Bluphrog's Avatar
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    My problem was coordinating the speed of moving my fabric and the speed of my machine. I just couldn't seem to coordinate my hands and foot (so I know I'll never be a drummer, either). Then I discovered that if I used the speed regulating function on my machine, I could unplug my foot, set my speed where I want it, then push the ON button. That way, all I have to worry about is keeping my fabric moving at a consistent speed. Basically, this is the same concept as having a BSR without the expense. And I do have a Bernina with the BSR, but this is just as easy for me.

  10. #10
    Super Member fireworkslover's Avatar
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    I'll repeat what just about everyone else has said with, practice , practice, practice. I also have drawn on paper with a pencil the pattern I'm planning on stitching over and over and over. Do it until you are totally comfortable with it and you don't have to think of where will I go next. Then when you get to your machine, moving the fabric will seem like second nature. Also sometimes it's easier to go clockwise or counterclockwise - you have to figure out which is easier for you. Do this on a practice sandwich with the same batting you'll be using for your quilt. I also would say to try to relax and not tense up when FMQ, good posture, don't tighten up your shoulders and take a break after 30 min.

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