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Thread: ?? On FMQ practice

  1. #1
    Senior Member Bamagal's Avatar
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    ?? On FMQ practice

    I'm a beginner FMQ. When practicing a pattern do I try to master several at one time or do I pick one such as swirls and perfect it before moving on to the next one. I'm using a sit down mid-arm Babylock Tiara. I don't seem to be making progress ! Thanks for the help!

  2. #2
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    If you go over to Leah Day's site, she has a quilt along with videos that are very helpful. You could pick a design you want to try and watch and try it yourself.

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    Try to have fun..put on some nice music, have a thimble full of some beverage that will relax your shoulders and remember.it takes time (I read some whereabouts 20 hours) to get good at it. Fabric doesn't. have feelings!

  4. #4
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    the best way i have found to practice is first just sandwich some fabric and doodle. Try to find the balance between the speed of your machine and your hand movement. Use a medium speed.
    Then practice the following = loops or e's, then a meandering, then a wave with curves and points and then long wiggly lines. These are the four basic shapes you will find in fmq. Make these motifs about the size of a 25 cent circle or even a 50. circle. Most practice too small so you have to make yourself do larger motifs. Don't try and make "designs" at first. Practice these 4 until you get good curves and lines. I find also that most students when doing the wave and point, make them look like sharks teeth. When you are doing the curves and points work in one ful sweep up to the point and pause just a fraction of time before going on. This will give you a good sharp point otherwise the stitches tend to jump from one side to the other.
    Try to imagine the movements in old fashioned penmanship exercises with ovals, circles, up and down, gack and forth. The most important part is finding the balance between your machine speed and the speed of your hands to get the quality and size of the stitch you want. Then practice, practice and practice........One doesn't learn good fmq overnight or in one 30 minute practice session

  5. #5
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    First ... I'm envious of your machine. I love that machine!!!

    When I started FMQ (on my Janome) I started to do this-and-that at first just to get the feel of moving the fabric and balancing hand speed to machine speed. I wrote my name a few times and practiced simple wavy lines. At first I paid little attention to design - I was aiming for good tension and uniform stitch length. I did this about ... perhaps 20 hours or so. After I 'felt' I had the knack of matching hand speed to machine speed I set to practicing stilpling and concentrated on that for a while until I was comfortable with it and had the muscle memory (probably another 20 hours). After that, I started practicing other quilting designs from Leah Days site (love that site!!).

    I still take out practice sandwiches and practice designs every time I get ready to start a new quilt - even if it's a design I've done before. It not only "reminds" my muscles of the motions I need, but it's also a great opportunity to audition the thread I'm going to use and make sure the tension is right for that thread/batting combination. I always make my sandwiches out of at least one of the fabrics I'm using in the quilt and usually will use the same batting as well.

    This was all on my domestic Janome ... but just recently I had an opportunity to try both the Tiara and the HQ Sweet 16 at the DesMoines quilt show and I was able to sit at each of those machines and crank away at different designs as there was little difference between them and my Janome. The few differences there were (additional space - all of it FLAT and the speed adjust on the Tiara) were bonuses and made no difference in my technique. In fact I was able to bring the speed down to 25% on the Tiara and I was micro-stipling with ease.

    The Tiara or the HQ Sweet 16 are the machines I dream of right now. I have no intention of wasting the amount of space a long arm on a frame requires - so these machines are just perfect for me. I'm throwing hints at my husband for Christmas
    Last edited by DogHouseMom; 11-25-2012 at 08:22 AM.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  6. #6
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    There are some designs that are going to come easier to you than others. I would pick 3 or 4 simple ones: meander, loops, e's and l's, tear drops, etc. Try all those, then concentrate your practice on the one you were most successful with. When you feel you've mastered that one, pick another. This way, you will start with a design that will be easiest for you and you can concentrate on the process. Have fun!
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  7. #7
    Super Member Anael's Avatar
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    Don't try this: Name:  FMQ (576 x 432).jpg
Views: 217
Size:  87.5 KB

    I'm doing a Leah Day design (tree roots) for the first time on a large quilt and it got stuck.......didn't know what happened untill I saw my quilt inspector
    A balanced quilter is one with a project on each finger
    Eat, quilt, sleep, repeat


    Nobody is completely useless, you can always serve as a bad example


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    Obviously you did NOT schedule time off the clock for a nap! Cutie pie!
    If you feel like you're special...it's 'cause you are!
    Momto5

  9. #9
    Senior Member Bamagal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anael View Post
    Don't try this: Name:  FMQ (576 x 432).jpg
Views: 217
Size:  87.5 KB

    I'm doing a Leah Day design (tree roots) for the first time on a large quilt and it got stuck.......didn't know what happened untill I saw my quilt inspector
    Love your Quilt inspector!!! Mines a Black Lab--he's usually on the end of any quilt I work on!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Bamagal's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your great advice!! I look forward to trying it out!

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