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Thread: I may be a lost cause

  1. #31
    Member happy grandma's Avatar
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    Jan 2013
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    I am doing fmq for the first time. It is far from perfect but I have decided I am just going to have fun. The one thing I have found is I do a lot better when I breathe. Yes I was finding myself holding my breath and tensing up. Relax, breath and enjoy. I have been promised that it will get better.
    And Jan thanks for the straight line ideas. One of them will look perfect in one of my blocks.

  2. #32
    Junior Member Onetomatoplant's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
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    I'm still very much a beginner FMQer, but make lots of practice sammiches and practice just meandering to work on getting your tension right and just getting a feel for speed, stitch length, etc. Then choose a pattern to sew, and just know that initially, it's going to look bad. If you get frustrated get up and walk around or try another FMQ pattern. I bounce around to different patterns when practicing - it cuts down on the frustration and eventually you realize that each one is improving. Yeah, practice, practice, practice.

    It can be fun, I promise!

  3. #33
    Super Member gramquilter2's Avatar
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    Leah Day has some good online help, I think she tells you not to drop the feed dogs. Gloves and practice, practice, practice, ask me how I know! No one is a lost cause.

  4. #34
    Super Member
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    I don't use gloves because I can't find any to fit my small hands. I'd sew the loose fingertips into the quilt! I use Quicksort, a lanolin based gel, like tellers use to count money. It works great, keeps my fingers soft, and I don't have to take it off when I take a break.
    Shirley in Arizona

  5. #35
    Super Member sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    The more you do, the better you get. It also takes a cooperative sewing machine... Ones with the bobbin case set vertically work better than those with bobbin cases that are flat (horizontal).

  6. #36
    Super Member Wanabee Quiltin's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
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    Don't give up yet. I am pretty bad at it too, but I am better than I was. I believe it takes a great deal of practice and time, which I don't have much of right now. But I do believe the day will come when I won't be embarrassed by my work. Keep working on it, you will do fine in time.

  7. #37
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    Just practice a lot, a whole lot. Make up some quilt sandwiches and just do it over and over again.
    I wear gloves with rubber nubs. Fabric dries out my hands so much, I can't move the sandwich. Just keep doing it and one day you will see you are pretty good.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  8. #38
    Senior Member
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    I also have followed Leah Day's advice found at daystylequilts.com and on you-tube. Her ideas are the most helpful, I think. Before that started out trying stencils but found them much harder than the actual fmq. I feel it is just a matter of practice and not being too hard on yourself. I find that by the time I finish each quilt, I can see progress. Just hang in there!

  9. #39
    IQ2
    IQ2 is offline
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    I'm currently taking the Leah Day Craftsy class FMQ Sampler. The best thing I've learned so far is that you should come to a slow stop (with needle down) when you need to readjust your hands or the quilt, and then slowly start up again once you're comfortable...like driving a car...ease up on the gas before you stop and gradually give it gas again when you start. I always thought that once you started free motion you needed to keep moving, and that's how I got myself into the most trouble...pointy curves, giant ("toe-catcher") stitches, etc. (love that class, by the way)

  10. #40
    Member
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    Aug 2012
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    East Coast
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    I'm a novice. I started 9 months ago. Initially I practiced 1/2hour a day - treating it like piano practice from childhood. Some days I practiced folowing a line and other on consistent stitch length. Next I used a meander stencil to make several sets of placemats. Then I moved to doing charity quilts. I've done 31 of them so far. Each one is better than the last but far from perfect. I still don't do anything freehand. I mostly use pantographs -- trace them onto Golden Threads, needlepunch the paper, and pounce with iron off chalk onto the quilt. It's addictive.

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