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Thread: FMQ....I don't think its for me.

  1. #11
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    No No No! Don't you give up! It took me a couple of days before I grasp the concept now I'm off and quilting. It can be frustrating, but just remember you guide the fabric do not let it guide you. I started off really really slow and watched techniques off youtube before you know it came naturally! Here's a picture of my first FMQ! Good Luck



  2. #12
    Super Member hperttula123's Avatar
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    Take your time and remember that it doesn't just happen overnight. It takes lots of practice. I can run a longarm just fine but when it comes to freemotion on a domestic...it looks horrid. I haven't put the time in to learn it. One day, I will overcome that one. I hope you do too.
    enjoy your life...it's the only one you have!!!
    Heather

  3. #13
    Senior Member faykilgore's Avatar
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    I took the advice of someone on this board & drew my maple leaf design over & over with a pencil on the back of "trash" paper. Then I traced the design over & over on strips of dissolvable stabilizer. I tried pinning, but I ended up thread basting the strips to my quilt borders. Before I actually started on the quilt, I did several practice runs on extra pieces. I save the batting & backing when I trim quilts for this purpose. Finally, I put needle to quilt. A few look a little mutant, but, hey, no two leaves look alike in nature either. I keep playing & working up to more complicated patterns so hang in there.
    Fay

    Wanted: a job that involves raising cats, riding motorcycles and creating quilts!

  4. #14
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    Ugh, I can relate! I practiced, practiced and practiced some more. I took a class. I read other people's suggestions. The idea of manipulating the quilt in a smooth, flowing manner just didn't seem realistic for me. I started paying someone else to do my stippling. Now I have a long arm, and I can stipple pretty well! I think my brain gets the idea of moving the machine (pencil) but not the quilt (paper).

    I hope you eventually get it, but if not, you aren't the only one. Good luck!

  5. #15
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    FMQ is not easy at first.....it took me weeks of practice before I felt comfortable with even stippling/meandering.....I found the transition from drawing by moving the pen, to drawing by moving the fabric under the needle, very difficult....so I drew the lines on the fabric first (washable markers) and following the lines....by the time I could follow the lines pretty good, I felt more comfortable "drawing" with the machine needle.....I would suggest making lots of small practice sandwiches, about 12x12 and draw a pattern on them and practice following the lines (with no thread)....you will get an idea of your skill by looking at the holes you left in the fabric....then work on following the lines with thread and keeping your stitch length even....good tension is a bonus of all things working together and a bit of adjustment.....just remember to practice, practice and then practice some more!

  6. #16
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    just put together small (pot holders, placemats) practice piece & keep practicing...it takes lots of practice- put on some (soothing) music- something you can relax to- and relax, remember it's just practice, it's supposed to be fun. after you find you can make smooth even stitching lines then slowly increase the size of your practice pieces until you are doing bed sized quilts- the more you practice the easier it will become & the better & better it will look. you do have to relax though---drop your shoulders, relax your hands, breath; i've found i quilt differently depending on the music i choose....when it's very intricate, detailed quilting i tend to listen to soothing, meditation type music, when i'm doing big, wide, loopy, meandering, swirly fun designs i have something up-beat & fun playing.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  7. #17
    Senior Member quiltingnd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndiR View Post
    Get yourself a MagnaDoodle (child's drawing toy) or a whiteboard with erasable markers. Choose one design that you would like to be able to quilt, like meandering or loops or leaves - nothing too difficult. Now practice over and over and over on the drawing toy. Chant to yourself to get a rhythm going - 'up and to the right, down and to the left' or 'one, two, three, loop, one, two, three, loop' or whatever will help you keep you from crossing over or getting boxed into a corner. The more you do it, the easier it will get. When you feel more confident here, then move back to your machine and fabric. Your brain will now have this 'road map' saved, so that part of the process will be easier.

    It can be frustrating at first, but one day it will all 'click' and then it's so much fun!!

    Andi
    Thank you!

  8. #18
    Senior Member quiltingnd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzette316 View Post
    A few things that might help you loosen up -- remember to breathe! When we concentrate, we tend to hold our breath and that can make our work less flowing and smooth. I like to put on some music and hum (or sing) along. That keeps me breathing and my quilting smooth and even.

    Use something to give you grip, like Machingers gloves or, if you don't like gloves, a trick I learned years ago from Diane Gaudynski is to use Neutrogena hand cream (the kind in the tube). When you use just a small dab on your fingertips and palms, it makes your hands sticky and you can grip your quilt better. (I have a tube I bought about three years ago and it's still probably half full - you really do only need a small dab and yes, it works great!) I love my Machingers, but I still often use the Neutrogena cream when I just don't want the gloves on.

    And if all else fails, try a half glass of wine before quilting - it can work wonders!
    LOL! I can only imagine that I hold my breath.

    I will try the cream...and maybe the wine too!

  9. #19
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    All above good suggestions. I am surely not an expert, but can do a respectable job on meandering, but, it takes practice, practice and more practice. But, once you find that sweet spot of your sewing speed and hand movements, you will know it. I don't always get there, but, it is a much faster way to quilt and I do enjoy it.

  10. #20
    Super Member JulieR's Avatar
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    Loads of great suggestions here already. I'll add mine: doodle as much as possible on pieces of paper that already have writing on them! The idea here is to get your mind around doodling around things, next to edges, in corners -- and how to get back out again. It will help you conquer the worst part of quilting for me, too, which is knowing what to do next!

    I draw swirls and other motifs all over my meeting notes -- around the letters, around sections, against the edge, using the lines...etc. As a bonus it's mesmerizing for others, and that can be fun to watch.

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