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Thread: Free motion quilting

  1. #1
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    Free motion quilting

    This weekend I have read two books on this topic. One says ignore tension setting on the machine as all the work is done with control of foot pedal and hands also feed dos can stay up. It also says start with a slow speed and build up
    Now the other book told me to drop feed dogs and adjust tension especially if you get eyelashes and go for it.
    I thought I could FMQ but this new machine is a viking HjCLASS 100q and I have never used it before for quilting .it needs some adjustment I'm sure as I am very good at left side eyelashes at slow speed. At top speed everything is fine but the sewing machine motor doesn't sound fine. I is my light weight class machine and I wanted to take it to class next week and FMQ so I need to sort out.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  2. #2
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    I don't have a Brother machine but I do drop my feed dogs on my machine and use a darning foot for FMQing. I also find my Machingers gloves very handy for being able to move the sandwich better. Can you find out which way the class instructor will be teaching? I know Leah Day FMQ with the feed dogs up on her machine.

  3. #3
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    I do not adjust the tension, and the feed dogs are down on my Pfaff, but on my low cost Brother, the same way. It is only my opinion, but I think it is all in your rhythm that comes with practice. I had a FMQ teacher tell me that if the tension is correct for straight line quilting, it is correct for FMQ, so, I just learned without any adjusting.

  4. #4
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    I think you need to try each way and see what works for you. I'm sure it varies by machine, user, etc. Personally, I have better luck with the feed dogs down. I think success is more of finding the right machine speed vs. hand speed. That can also vary by machine. I got it down pat with my Viking Sapphire, but when I got my Juki, I had a learning curve with the machine vs. hands. I found with this one, I have to move my hands faster than with the Viking.

    The eyelashes often happen from going around curves too fast. Keep practicing and it will get better.

  5. #5
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    I do most of my FMQ on a basic Mechanical Brother that doesn't drop the feed dogs. I set the stitch length on zero. I have covered up the feed dogs with the supreme slider but one time I forgot to use it and didn't notice any different. I find that if I get eyelashes it is because I am going around the curves with the wrong combination of machine speed and my hand speed. I have never adjusted the tension, top or bottom. I am not an expert, but can do a respectable job of meandering.
    Alyce

  6. #6
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    I need to drop feed dogs and adjust tension. Major tension adjustment. Funny thing is that I don't need to adjust with walking foot. I have a babylock and haven't figured ou how to set stitch length to zero. Lowest i can go is 0.2

  7. #7
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    Each machine is different - the only thing consistent with them (for me anyway) is the need to practice - A LOT.

  8. #8
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    When I FMQ with my Viking its not the tension so much as the stitch length .. I get much better results when I take the length to zero. I fiddle a bit with tension prior to FMQ just to get the proper balance between the upper and lower threads.

  9. #9
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone. I canfmq I use a juki and bernina and have no problems hence the question. At classes I do my own thing at this week I was hoping very much to quilt. I will keep going it is no annoying when you can quilt. I started reading and am finding so many different ways they say.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  10. #10
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    All machines are different. I have the Viking Diamond Deluxe and did FMQ for the first time this weekend and loved it. With it I only have to push a button to tell it I'm doing FMQ and then chose which foot I'm going to use, it has two choices. The machine does the rest. It has thread positioning which really helps. I didn't go full speed but did go kind of fast and then moved the fabric and it turned out great. Now maybe I'll start getting quilt tops done. I had no nest or anything; I had been so nervous about trying FMQ. I'd still use this machine in class next week because then you can get help from the instructor unless you have another machine to use. I've read on here and in books where some adjust tension, others do not, and some drop the feed dogs, others do not. It may be a personal thing, not sure. Leah Day has a great website on FMQ with lots of tutorials and she does it on basic machines. You can learn alot from her. A really good book, recommended to me by a few great quilters is, Machine Quilting Made Easy by Maurine Noble, she also recomends a few books in her book. She started machine quilting back when it wasn't really accepted as a good thing to do and then you never would have found a machine quilted quilt at a quilt show. Good luck.
    Judy

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