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Thread: FMQ advice needed for a double 4-patch

  1. #1
    Senior Member sewplease's Avatar
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    FMQ advice needed for a double 4-patch

    I have lots of piecing experience but really want/need to FMQ. I've taken classes, and practiced on small quilt sandwiches but need to jump into the real thing and just do it. I'm worried about ruining a "good" top, so I threw together a twin size double 4-patch for practice. The big patches are 5 inches with 2.5" squares for the smaller 4-patch. All I want to do this time is a simple free motion loop-de-loop design. Now I'm stuck, haha. Where to begin? Do I start in the center? One block at a time or rows across?

    Any advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!! :-)

  2. #2
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    Go to Leah Day's website...she teaches it for free and is GREAT!! I find gloves are the most important thing...and for me using 505 spray.

  3. #3
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    I always prefer to start in the center and work my way out because as you quilt, the stitches will pull the batting and backing taut. If you started on the outside you would have puckers and bubbles in the center of the quilt.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  4. #4
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I like to heavily starch the backing fabric before layering, and also spray starch the top before layering. Starch stabilizes the fabric so there is less chance of distortion while quilting.

    Spray basting holds everything together best for me when I FMQ, plus I don't have to stop to remove pins.

    I like to start at one side and sew my way to the other side; the spray basting seems to hold everything together without slippage, and then I have no thread ends to bury.

    Another thing you can do is draw a curvy line on the quilt top with a blue marker, and use that as the basis for your loop-de-loop FMQ. Here is a link to a thread about doing that:
    Paths to Better Stippling/Meandering

  5. #5
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    Spray basting makes FMQ'ing so much easier! I start in the center and work on the top right quarter and then bottom right, bottom left, top left and back to the center.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  6. #6
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I just do a large stipple, free motion- moving quilt however I want. I always start in the center go up then down and go back and go to one side then to the other side. I then quilt one quarter at a time, always quilting next to quilting. I wear gloves with rubber nubs on them, to help me grip the quilt easier. Bind it, wash and dry and any mistakes are much harder to see.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member sewplease's Avatar
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    Thanks so much ladies! I really appreciate your comments. :-) I've got gloves, etc. but need to get some basting spray. I've been throwing my practice squares in the wash and it is amazing how the shrinkage improves the look, lol. However, I should go back and revisit Leah Day's site. Also, it's interesting how some like meandering more in a row while others like to go more vertical -plus the link with following the "snake" line sounds cool. I plan on sewing up a back this week and trying the quilting this weekend.

  8. #8
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    I start anywhere - I've never had a well pinned backing change in size. I prefer to work block by block. When I tried an allover meander, I kept working myself into a corner and I didn't feel like I knew where I was at. No basting spray for me. I have to avoid chemicals and don't like the sounds of overspray. When I was using the spread out method, I found taping the starched back down well to be important. Now I use the Sharon Schambers method with boards. The only thing I have to remember is not spread the batting too much - just pat it into place. I've never had a tuck with either method, but right now I have a very thick batt on the machine. It seems it will have tucks more easily. We'll see. Gloves, slippery area (plastic from JoAnn's), something to support the quilt's weight, music (Bon Jovi, Rod Stewart or Springsteen for me), shoulders down, take a deep breath and go - oh, think large puzzle pieces. Trace your pattern with the index finger of your writing hand on any surface first. It imprints it on your brain.

  9. #9
    Senior Member sewplease's Avatar
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    Did it take awhile to get used to Sharon Schamber's method? It makes me tired just watching it, lol. :-) I just have to get over this basting phobia. I've never tried the spray but many really seem to like it. I don't have any particular allergies/sensitivities, but I do live in an apartment and would have to do it inside.

  10. #10
    Senior Member sewplease's Avatar
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    Any specific pattern to try for a double four-patch? The week/weekend got away from me and I need to get busy. Still have to piece a backing. :-(

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