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Thread: Free Motion Quilting Advice

  1. #1
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    I am wanting to do free motion quilting on my Brother sewing machine which the feed dogs lower and there is also a darning foot. I have carpal tunnel syn. so can not do hand quilting any more. I am good at drawing free hand because of art work in the past. The sound does not work anymore on my old computer, so can not watch tutorials. So need help in this area. Any advice would be helpful. Thanks ahead of time.
    IdahoSandy

  2. #2
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Make a stack of practice squares. 12 -24 inches seems to work well for me. You will probably have to play aroud with your tension and such to get things just right. I find that a medium fast machine speed and slow hand speed gives me my best results. My results are still not great, but are getting better.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa_wanna_b_quilter
    Make a stack of practice squares. 12 -24 inches seems to work well for me. You will probably have to play aroud with your tension and such to get things just right. I find that a medium fast machine speed and slow hand speed gives me my best results. My results are still not great, but are getting better.
    This is great advice and the lady that taught me said "breathe- breathe - breathe.

  4. #4
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    I just wanted to send you this blog link that has free motion quilting information in it. I found it helpful.

    http://afewscraps.blogspot.com/2010/...eandering.html

  5. #5
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    Protect your wrists by not doing FMQ for long stretches of time. Frequently stop and stretch your arms and do some simple wrist exercises.

    Be sure you have good body posture when doing FMQ, similar to good positioning of hands on a computer keyboard.

    Check out the "bats" by Paula Reid for hand grippers and moving the fabric. I've heard that they do help those with carpal tunnel as they have a nice place to 'rest' your hands.

    SewCalGal
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 01-30-2014 at 06:41 PM. Reason: remove personal website from post

  6. #6
    Senior Member TrenbeathRanch's Avatar
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    Although I am a LAQ, this advice should be applicable to any free motion sewing. Try to keep your speed steady. Many have a tendency to quickly "swoop" when sewing loops or curves (as if writing cursive)...this will result in elongated stitches, eye-lashing, and possibly thread breakage. Good luck!!

  7. #7
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    All good suggestions. It takes a lot of practice and I have found that there is a "sweet spot" when the speed of my machine and the speed of my hands is right. I know it when I get it, but can't always get there except by accident!

  8. #8
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    A tiny bit of information that might be helpful is to use something that will give your hands "grip". There are a dozen things that you can try. Some folks use office rubber fingers, some gloves made for FMQ, some use garden gloves, some use a lotion.
    Don't FMQ for too long a period before taking a break. Get up and walk around a little bit to rest your eyes, arms and back. If you feel yourself tensing up when your are FMQing, take a couple of really deep breaths.

  9. #9
    Senior Member CAJAMK's Avatar
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    also try to get the bed of your machine or extension table nice and slick. supreme slider is something you can buy. or to save money i went to joann's bought the heaviest gauge vinyl they had and cut out around my extension table & feedogs. static electricity or spit (yes, a little spit) helps to hold the vinyl in place. I have done about 10 quilts on one piece of vinyl. i wash and air dry it after each use.

  10. #10
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    I do use the Supreme Slider and believe it helps, but I don't think it is a perfect tool (doesn't stick and you need to tape it down).

    I've heard where some quilters have purchased a silicone spray and applied it to their quilting sewing counter/top. I was nervous what this might do to fabric, but they claim it doesn't harm fabric. I've not yet tried it, but want to do so. Definitely sounds like it has possibilities. In the meantime, my favorite (while not perfect) tool is the Supreme Slider.

    Quote Originally Posted by CAJAMK
    also try to get the bed of your machine or extension table nice and slick. supreme slider is something you can buy. or to save money i went to joann's bought the heaviest gauge vinyl they had and cut out around my extension table & feedogs. static electricity or spit (yes, a little spit) helps to hold the vinyl in place. I have done about 10 quilts on one piece of vinyl. i wash and air dry it after each use.

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