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Thread: Free Motion Quilting

  1. #1
    Super Member Sandee's Avatar
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    Free Motion Quilting

    Just wondering- How many here feel comfortable FMQ on their domestic machines and how many have tried more than stippling and meandering?? If you have tried, do you have any special things/techniques you do to make the process successful?

  2. #2
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    I did this rather easily many years ago, but apparently have forgotten something crucial... They tell me it takes hours of practice before one should touch the actual quilt, and that's the part I haven't done yet. My old machine was a lovely Pfaff, and now I have a pretty basic Brother, so that may make a difference once I get around to practicing. I will check back here to see what others say.

  3. #3
    Super Member Midwestmary's Avatar
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    I do FMQ my quilts and have found one of the biggest things is to have the quilt supported on all sides - avoid drag at all costs I've recently acquired a Janome 6600P and the larger throat space is nice and makes it easier to manuever. I think a supreme slider and quilting gloves help quite a bit.

  4. #4
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Yes, I do all my quilting on a domestic - I don't own a mid or long arm.

    It took a while, but I have become comfortable with it. I STILL practice though! Each time I want to try a new quilting motif (and there are still a LOT that are new to me), or one that I've not done in some time, I practice ... a LOT. I don't ... and I mean NEVER, put my quilt under the machine until I've practiced the motions over and over with the same thread, batting and fabric. Even if I plan on quilting using something I'm very familiar with (stipling for example), I'll still do a short practice with the same batting, fabric and thread to make sure everything plays together properly.

    I am in fact practicing two motions now that I plan on using on my mini lone-star. I started practicing Sunday, I'll probably not touch the real quilt until this weekend at the earliest.

    Sue
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  5. #5
    Super Member tjradj's Avatar
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    I'm pretty comfortable with my FMQ. I totally agree though, that practise is the key. If I'm trying a new pattern, first I practise on paper until I've got the ins and outs figured out. Then I practise on small 14" square quilt sandwiches. When I'm done them, I just serge around the edge and donate them to animal shelters. Only when I feel confident about a pattern do I use it on a quilt.
    I used to be "hot", now it's just "hot flashes!"

  6. #6
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    I have never FMQed on my sewing machine! Well, I can't say that really. I've practiced some but it is hard for me; as I understand it, you go fast on the foot pedal but slow(er) on moving the quilt. That's hard for me even with headphones on. If anyone has any advice, I'm listening.

  7. #7
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    I am gradually improving my FMQ skills. I would say the biggest asset I've discovered is Hobbs 80/20 fusible quilt batt. Until I started using it, I would always end up with a wrinkle or pucker somewhere on the back of my quilt. It would drive me up the wall! I am going to try the spray basting when the weather gets nice because I think it would work well too. There is just something about the sandwich being stabilized that makes it easier to avoid wrinkles. My Bernina with the BSR does help to reduce micro stitches but I can do a fairly descent job without it too.

  8. #8
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    Take a look at patsythompsondesigns.com. I found this site this week, tried a feather design (her tutorials are on youtube), and was so pleased with the results that I ordered two of her books. Take a look, you'll see!

  9. #9
    Senior Member ChaiQuilter's Avatar
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    FMQ on a DSM is extremely difficult. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Many talk the talk but few can walk the walk, even with practice, myself included. My LQS now has a long arm machine. I signed up for lessons on it. I can then FMQ for $15 an hour. I think it's a good deal because I've thrown away quilts with fabrics worth much more than the $ it would take to longarm my next quilt. I also have to take into account the aggravation/tearing my hair out factor. I really excited about the class. Maybe you know someone who would let you rent their longarm.

  10. #10
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChaiQuilter View Post
    FMQ on a DSM is extremely difficult. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Many talk the talk but few can walk the walk, even with practice, myself included. My LQS now has a long arm machine. I signed up for lessons on it. I can then FMQ for $15 an hour. I think it's a good deal because I've thrown away quilts with fabrics worth much more than the $ it would take to longarm my next quilt. I also have to take into account the aggravation/tearing my hair out factor. I really excited about the class. Maybe you know someone who would let you rent their longarm.
    I wanted to start FMQ my own quilts and I have a Janome. I took the class and feel really confident doing a table runner or wall hanging. I tried it for the first time on a twin size quilt right before Christmas and I HATED IT!!! I just don't enjoy the struggles I have to go through to do it. So I will continue to do SID and straight lines and send out any quilts that I want fancy quilting on. I know that there are quilters out there that do it on their domestics and their quilt tops turn out beautiful. Just not for me. . . .
    No one has ever become poor by giving. - Anne Frank
    Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

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