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Thread: FMQ - What am I doing "wrong"?

  1. #1
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    FMQ - What am I doing "wrong"?

    I did a lot of reading before I started experimenting with FMQ. I can sort of meander, I can sort of do loops ... I was playing with hearts and feathers last night,.... my control and stitch length is getting better.

    I've been quilting on bed sheets, using universal needles, and -really- old thread that I didn't even wind (came with vintage machines I've bought), my fabric hops up and down with the foot.

    By all accounts, I've set myself up for failure, right? Here's what I don't get:


    • I'm not breaking needles (I broke one the first night, about 2 hours in, and I think that was a mistake from getting tired)
    • I'm not shredding thread
    • I'm not skipping stitches
    • I'm not getting puckers
    • I haven't been able to find a machine that I "hated" for FMQ (all have been class 15 or 221 bobbin style machines though.), nor have I been able to pick a favorite, they all seem to be "good" to my limited experience.
    • All embroidery feet seem equally good (the singer one is a little noisy, and I need to keep oiling it to quiet it down, but otherwise good)



    You're probably thinking: What? What's she asking?

    When I read about people like Leah Day having trouble when she started, and needing to use those bobbin washers, etc, or talking about how this foot is better when adjusted by bending this, shimming this, and cutting that, etc, I wonder what I'm "missing".

    The only thing I can think of is that my tension may be a little loose? I can see the top thread on the bottom a smidge, especially if I turn too fast. Maybe that's allowing the machines and thread to "forgive" my inexperience?

    Maybe my stitching really looks -that- bad and I just don't know any better? :P
    Tammi - I've found that many baby steps tend to get you further than a huge leap in followed by a huge leap out - http://www.archaicarcane.com
    Singer 411G, 301A, 2x 221 (featherweight), 222k - the holy grail, 15-90 Centennial, 27, VS2, 28 hc, 128 knee bar, 201-2, 31-15, Pfaff 130-6. Non-Vintage - Pfaff 6122, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81595 serger, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81155, 2013 APQS Lucey

  2. #2
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    Just to clarify,... I'm not trying to be smug,.. I want to know how to recognise issues that I may be missing. So far I've been lucky to not be having the major issues (broken needles, broken threads, etc) but I can't help feeling like I'm not looking for the right things, so I can't improve on the result I'm getting.
    Tammi - I've found that many baby steps tend to get you further than a huge leap in followed by a huge leap out - http://www.archaicarcane.com
    Singer 411G, 301A, 2x 221 (featherweight), 222k - the holy grail, 15-90 Centennial, 27, VS2, 28 hc, 128 knee bar, 201-2, 31-15, Pfaff 130-6. Non-Vintage - Pfaff 6122, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81595 serger, Kenmore (Janome) 385.81155, 2013 APQS Lucey

  3. #3
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Sounds like all you need is practice. You've already identified one common problem: going too fast on curves will cause imperfect stitches. While it is theoretically possible to get perfectly balanced stitches (between the top and bobbin thread) it's not always possible.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  4. #4
    Power Poster
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    With my FMQ, I like my stitches to be as even as if I am using my regular foot with the feed dogs. I figure my FMQ is successful if my stitches are evenly spaced, no thread pookies and the back should look as good as the front. If you've mastered all that then don't worry about problems you don't have.

  5. #5
    Super Member sewbeadit's Avatar
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    Just practice some people learn it very quickly and some don't apparently you did. Good for you, now just stitch stitch stitch.
    Sewbeadit
    W. Washington

  6. #6
    Super Member franc36's Avatar
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    Wow! I wish FMQ was that easy for me. You are fortunate.

  7. #7
    Super Member JulieR's Avatar
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    Sounds like you're taking to FMQ like a duck to water! The more you stitch the better you'll be, and the more you'll be able to spot areas you'd like to improve (which is true of everything in life). Meanwhile, enjoy the process, and your success!

  8. #8
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    Some of the problems are exaggerated to sell products and some are greater on certain machines. Polyester thread is supposed to be easier to quilt with but I found it harder. I bought the bobbin genies and use them but don't see much of a difference. I am not a great FMQ expert but aim to improve drastically when I am off from work this summer. Use whatever works for you.

  9. #9
    Junior Member patti p's Avatar
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    I am new to FMQ I practiced on scraps with the embroidery or darning foot, I did not like it the material was to far away and like you it seemed to pull up and I had so e issues with the bottom thread bunching up, so I bought 2 Quilting feet the ones that have a spring on it, so far I have only used the closed toe one I was very Happy that it worked so much better, at least for me.
    Patti P
    http://pattiscards.blogspot.com/

  10. #10
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    it sounds like you're not doing anything wrong .. FMQ is just one of your natural talents!!
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

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