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Thread: I may be a lost cause

  1. #21
    Super Member LynnVT's Avatar
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    Thank you, Jan, this is helpful. I'm working on both fmq and straight lines all the time. I bought the Line Tamer ruler at Four Paws Quilting to use with the Sweet Sixteen and it's really helpful.

  2. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by meldmac View Post
    You are all great, i think i need gloves as i found moving the fabric around was an issue. Also, when trying to turn it seemed like the needle would jump to a different spot.
    My needle used to "jump" also. Then I started looking at the fabric under the needle after I had been working to straighten out the next line to sew. It is usually kind of bunched up. Even if I'm just making a straight seam in my piecing it does that.

    Of course the needle is down, so now I leave the needle down and lift the presser foot. It's amazing how much the fabric moves. After the fabric is lying smooth and relaxed, I can start sewing again. No more jumping. Just takes a split second to lift the presser foot and look at the fabric around the needle. Sometimes it just pops back into place.

    I couldn't FMQ without gloves. Even the cheapy vinyl gloves work.
    Mavita - Square dancer and One Room School Teacher

  3. #23
    Super Member klgls's Avatar
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    I have only FMQ four quilts on my DHM. I was very happy with the first one (after some practicing on sandwiches). The second one - not so hot. I seemed to have gotten worse. But I persisted and on the third one it was much better. I'm very pleased with the fourth quilt. I haven't used gloves yet because I had some of the rubber finger tips already and I put them on my middle fingers and thumbs. I have much better control then. I may get the gloves and try that as my fingers do sweat with the rubber tips - but that also gives me a short break when I'm FMQ to stop and take them off for just a bit. Helps me to relax too. Have fun above all else.

  4. #24
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOTTYMO View Post
    It is also the speed of the machine and the speed of your hands linking together. Remember learning to drive 3 pedals steering wheel and a gear stick and brake . And only 2 hands and 2 feet. It's the sae problem. Keep trying. Personally I like the speed of the machine to be not on full but 1/4 down. I can then manage my hands better.

    This is so true. I couldn't do FMQ at all for the longest time. It just looked BAD, the thread broke, there were knots, etc. Then one day without feeling like I changed anything, I looked OK. I figure if I keep plugging away at OK, it will magically look good one day.

    On the other hand, there is no law that quilters must ever use FMQ. Many beautiful quilts are done with designs that can be done with a walking foot.

  5. #25
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    Thanks Jan, I too missed this chart the first time around. Glad you posted again.

  6. #26
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    FM is something you got to work at. Then one day it just clicks, you improve more and more. Not something you can learn in an hour. I have people ask me quite often to teach them FM, I tell them it is something you got to have lot's of patience and practice to make it work. You can do it, if you want, just persistence.

  7. #27
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    Don't feel alone, common subject on the board. What struck me with the listing was 25 replies to 1000+ views. You hit the nail on the head for a large group of people.

  8. #28
    Super Member katesnanna's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jan in VA View Post
    Perhaps if you start by looking at straight line quilting with a different eye it will help. There is much more than just stitch in the ditch. I posted this graphic just recently, but I suppose it's worth doing so again.

    Jan in VA
    Thank you, Jan. As always great info.

  9. #29
    Super Member
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    I love fmq, and I hate sitd. I have a Pfaff Quilt Expression 2.0 which sews like an absolute dream and I love the IDT, but I cannot get my stitches to stay in the ditch. With fmq I don't have to worry about that. No, my stitches are not all the same length, but I have decided that they should not be. With shorter stitches I can turn tighter curves and do finer detail, but I don't like really short stitches on wider turns and longer runs of stitches. I still find that I am very satisfied with the overall look.

    My fmq is not totally free hand work. I quite often cut templates from free applique or coloring book shapes that I get online. I meander loops or leaves or hearts or whatever and stitch around the template periodically. I gave up trying to stipple as I always worked myself into a corner and had to do a loop or double back to get out of it. A meander with interspersed shapes works well. I put arrowheads, bears, and kokopeli on a western theme quilt and butterflies, daisies, and bees on a garden theme (flowers) quilt.

    Don't try to copy others work. Just keep trying and keep practicing until you find what you are comfortable with. Oh, you've also got to be relaxed. Just let your fingers guide the quilt where it "feels" right. Also, don't try to fight the quilt or force it to go somewhere. If a stitch or two take off in the wrong direction just go with it and make a loop or something to bring it back where you wanted it.
    Shirley in Arizona

  10. #30
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    Thank you!

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