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Thread: Free motion quilting

  1. #1
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    Free motion quilting

    What is the best stitch length to use when FMQing? I am just beginning. I have been practicing and it seems a smaller stitch length works good but I would like some advice.

  2. #2
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    If you are doing FMQ with the feed dogs down, you are controlling the stitch length, not the sewing machine.

  3. #3
    Super Member JulieR's Avatar
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    Hi KarmPD, and welcome! Yes, during FMQ you are controlling the stitch length yourself, based on how quickly you move the fabric under the needle. If your machine is sewing quickly but you take your time moving the fabric, your stitches will be smaller and, I agree, much better.

  4. #4
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    The above responses are correct - unless you have a stitch regulated machine, such as a Bernina with the BSR or a longarm. Stitch length is pretty much an individual choice, but you may find that you have smoother stitches around corners and when you start up if your stitch length is on the shorter side rather than really long.

  5. #5
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    And I thought the machine was responsible for the uneven stitches....oh no....who will I blame now??lol

  6. #6
    Super Member JulieR's Avatar
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    Oh, I blame the cat! Darned cat... LOL

  7. #7
    Super Member Knitette's Avatar
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    I was told to set the stitch length to 0 - but I've no idea why. Hmmm......... Does anyone know why?
    Lang may yer lum reek.

  8. #8
    Super Member TerryQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Knitette View Post
    I was told to set the stitch length to 0 - but I've no idea why. Hmmm......... Does anyone know why?
    You set the stitch length to 0, then you don't have to lower your feed dogs. I used to lower the feed dogs and then I watched a couple of Lea Day tutes and she says to set the stitch length to 0. It works great, don't lower the feed dogs any more when I do FMQ.
    The Trike Riding Quilting Diva

  9. #9
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    I am doing FMQ now for the first time. I'm thinking that there will always be uneven stitch lengths on these quilts especially for a beginner, and it obviously takes practice. I think the secret is to not be too particular especially if it is your first time trying it. If you look at the over all picture as I have I'm sure you'll find the over all look of the quilt is still good.

    I haven't tried not lowering the feed dogs. I can't understand how that would work. Doesn't it still pull the quilt backwards?

  10. #10
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    Shoot! I forgot to set the stitch length to zero! I've been quilting the past two days! It's been several months since I last did it so I forgot!

    I follow Leah Day too and I have learned so much from her!

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