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Thread: FMQ questions

  1. #1
    Senior Member meyert's Avatar
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    FMQ questions

    For the first time last night I seriously played with FMQ on my Janome 6600. I had an old JC Penny comforter that I am cutting into squares to do my play sewing on ... so I have the layer cake feel. I have a couple of questions. 1) do you guys draw the pattern on your quilt before you start to FMQ? I have seen and purchased a few of the quilting stencils and they seem to work good for a guide and to help me be consistent.. just wondering what others do. 2) I am using the darning foot, because that is what the manual said to do - - is that the correct foot? I applies 0 pressure to the fabric and I find myself wishing there was teeny tiny amount of pressure. 3) I read somewhere here that some people have hooks on their walls and ceiling to help manage their quilts while they are quilting... I think I am gong to try this (my room is very small) I bought some command hooks to put on the wall so if things don't work out I won't have ruined my walls.. does anyone have any tips on this hooking the quilt to the wall method before I get started? I have a baby quilt that I am going to FMQ for the first time, but I think I will still be struggling with the bulk. Thanks for any thoughts you can share!!!

  2. #2
    Super Member carrieg's Avatar
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    Your Janome will handle a baby quilt fine. You might need a table, or lower your ironing board, to keep quilt from falling off the opposite end of the table. Work on 1 quarter of it at a time. I have done different methods. Meandering and loopies, tracing a design on golden threads quilting paper, taping that to quilt & stitching thru it. First thing they suggest is to write your name, over and over. Remember to drop your feed dogs and your pressure foot.
    Carol in Michigan

  3. #3
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    To add just a touch of pressure to the fabric, try FMQing with the feed dogs up. Some people find this gives them better control.

    I don't think command hooks would be able to handle the weight of a quilt, especially as you are pushing and pulling on the quilt as you re-position your sewing area. You would not usually need this for a baby quilt.

    How big exactly is the area to the left of your machine? One of the most useful things is to add a flat area to your left to help hold the quilt flat with your machine.

    Edit: You can use the foot you describe to FMQ. However, there is also another type of foot you can use that adds a little pressure as each stitch is formed. This is a "hopping" type of foot. This foot has a spring and is hooked over your needle screw so that the foot goes down with the needle and "hops" up with the needle.

  4. #4
    Super Member MartiMorga's Avatar
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    I took a FMQ class at the Paducah Quilt Show last year and we were told to make various shapes over and over. Like cursive c continuing across the top down the side across the bottom up the side. When I say this I mean that the c is staying straight up and down and not turning the material. Others were the L, small e, writing our name. She basically was telling us that we needed to practice uniform shape and sizes and getting our motion in time with our machine. I have practiced and practiced, but not as often as I should. I did a baby quilt of spirals and felt that the last 1/2 was better the first. I practiced on a sandwich every time before starting on the quilt. I did loops around the borders. By the end I was feeling more confident. Wish I had purchased the gloves to keep my movements uniform. Also, I have my machine on one of those folding tables (white bought at Sam's) up against my L sewing area, it fits into the L shape, gave me room next to and behind to hold quilt. Have fun

    Forgot to mention, you should not stop to reposition your hands or any other reason until you get to a logical place - for instance, the point of the c, before you start to go down, where the L crosses to start the next L. And stop often enough to relax your shoulders and arms. Keep tension at bay.
    Last edited by MartiMorga; 01-26-2014 at 11:17 AM.
    God Bless Quilters and Sewers
    Marti

  5. #5
    Senior Member meyert's Avatar
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    Thank you for your responses.... I have next to no room to the left of my machine. From the needed to the wall maybe 2 feet. I have a very small room that I am working in. I guess I can pull the machine and table into the middle of the room while I am working. The foot that I have on my machine does have the spring.. I will have to see if it "hops". The command hooks that I have may hold the weight - I might have to use 2 or 3 of them. These are the same hooks that I use to hang my quilts (60" x 50" not big quilts) when I take pictures... I do need to use 3 of them though. I did try writing my name.. it was awful. I was doing hearts pretty good. Prism99 thanks for the feed dog tip, I may try that just to see how I like it

  6. #6
    Super Member bjchad's Avatar
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    I do lots of FMQ with no more than 2 ft to the left of my machine. I have the table my machine is on pushed into the corner and have no trouble supporting the quilt. Would like a little more space behind the machine but I'm working in a small space too. Don't move out into the middle of the room. Let the walls support the quilt. You probably won't need hooks unless you are doing something very, very big and very heavy. I have done a king sized with my set up without needing hooks.
    Also a comforter may have a higher loft than is comfortable for learning FMQ. You might find it easier to work with something a little flatter.

  7. #7
    Super Member franc36's Avatar
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    You asked if people ever draw a design and FMQ along the lines. I must confess that most of the time, that is what I do. I have never learned to enjoy stippling. I do love following lines. I do all my stitching in the ditch FMQ instead of using a walking foot. I use stencils or just draw designs for my FMQ in the blocks and on the borders. My goal this year is to learn to FMQ without lines. I am going to do the Leah Day classes. Best wishes with your FMQ!

  8. #8
    Super Member ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    #1 If you are going to stipple or do any of the other meandering stitches, normally, you don't mark. But if there is a stencil with a design, you mark it. And hopefully the world will NOT stop rotating, but I do leave my feed dogs engaged. NEVER had a problem.

    #2 Yes, that sounds like it is the correct foot.

    #3 There was a post over a month ago about someone using the 17067CLR-VP hooks to hang a small quilt. You might want to do an advance search and enter COMMAND. You could then find out who started the post and send them an email with your questions.

    #4 My advice!! Two things you need to accomplish for good FMQ. First, get in tune with your machine so that when you try free motion, you can imitate the speed in which your sewing machine would move the fabric. Don't EVER be in a rush. Secondly, don't look at where you needle is but look an inch down to where you want to go. You can not guide you quilt unless you are looking ahead. Think of it as driving a car. You look down the road to see what is ahead., where to make a turn. Hope this makes sense. It is what I was taught and it has helped me be successful with making some very nice quilts. Good Luck and be sure to enjoy yourself !!
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  9. #9
    Senior Member meyert's Avatar
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    Thanks for all of your thoughts and encouragement. Its nice to hear that I am not the only person working in a small space I think I can keep the speed in step, my current problem is that for some reason there is a movement completely off the wall making the fabric move - - - is it me?? ha ha ha... .I don't have good control I guess. Unless its like you said the comforter that I am practicing on just isn't the best (it is pretty old) I have a "practice quilt" all pieced and sandwiched just trying to get the courage. I figure I can always pull out the quilting that I mess up and start over again

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