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Thread: Was I told wrong?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    DFW Texas
    This is a FMQ question. I was told by a quilting teacher that I MUST have a 'stitch regulator' in order to do free motion quilting. (the teacher also owned a quilt shop that sold sewing machines). I could not afford a new machine, so I tried to FMQ on my regular machine. The stitches were extremely uneven and I lost interest in trying, believing she was right. Now I am reading posts on the quilting board about not dropping the feeddog. Was I told wrong? Is it possible to master FMQ on a regular machine without a stitch regulator. I am getting interested in trying again. Please give me your opinion.

  2. #2
    rb. is offline
    rb.'s Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    northern Ontario, Canada
    I don't have a stitch regulator, and my FMQ is just fine.

  3. #3
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    While most think it is easier to learn to FMQ with a stitch regulator, it is not difficult to FMQ without one. It just takes a little more practice getting the speed and movement in synch. Most beginners are too slow with the speed. In fact, I just recently saw an old episode of Lap Quilting with Georgia Bonsteel and she was doing FMQ on her non-stitch regulated machine.

  4. #4
    Super Member oatw13's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    You can definitely FMQ on a regular home sewing machine without a stitch regulator. :)

    But, it takes practice! I am not great, but it works for me. It is a learning process and I think it is faster or at least more interesting than stitch in the ditch. I cannot sew a straight line! lol

    Keep reading on here. There is some amazing work being done on home machines - without stitch regulators!

  5. #5
    Super Member quiltinggirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Wichita, KS
    Yes, you can do FMQ without a stitch regulator. After A LOT of practice, I was able to do FMQ on my sewing machine. My first machine (Brother) I had to use a cover plate because I didn't have the "auto drop" for the feed dogs and I didn't have a stitch regulator. However, I must admit, the FMQ got a whole lot easier when I purchase the Viking Sapphire 875Q. :)

  6. #6
    Super Member MrsM's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Hoosick Falls, NY
    I drop the feed dogs, I don't use a stitch regulator, and drop my tension to zero and go. But I am a beginer.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    I don't have a stitch regulator. I can tell you that my FMQ is not perfect. I was looking at a Bernina machine, and also a Brother, and the salesperson told me that you can learn to do it without a stitch regulator, it just takes practice. Well, I scrapped the idea of a new machine, (I have a Viking that my dad brought to me a few years ago, and he told me it was for me and my girls to use. Because I do more than my girls do in the way of quilting right now, they told me to keep it at my house. Well, my mom found out and it caused a big fight. Anyway, I was going to buy a new machine to keep the peace, but decided against it). Anyway, I got off topic, but I find the more I practice the better it looks.

  8. #8
    lbaillie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    warsaw, ky
    Blog Entries
    I don't have a stitch regulator on my machine... now, so far I've only mastered "stippling", but thats because I haven't gotten brave enough to try other patterns. I FMQ with my feed dogs down. It takes practice, start with a small project, and I recommend gloves with rubber tipped fingers, It just feels like I have better control. Takes a little to get use to wearing gloves,but now I cant FMQ with out them.

  9. #9
    Super Member fabric_fancy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    at my sewing machine

    she is selling you false information.

    tons of people have been doing free motion quilting long before stitch regulators came on the market.

    most people still don't have one.

    you either have to buy a machine quilting frame, like a Grace, or a bernina in order have a stitch regulator.

    also many people who do machine frame quilting don't have a stitch regulator.

  10. #10
    Super Member fabric whisperer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Ohio... wanna build a cabin in the woods and live off the land... and quilt all day!
    you don't need a stitch regulator... you DO need to drop the Feeddogs tho ... and practice, practice, practice... get some remnants at the store that are pretty cotton, sandwich a small square (anywhere from 12x12 to 18x18) and just jump in and go. Basically, your goal is to match your movement of the fabric with the speed of the needle strikes.

    The slip-n-go clingy thing really helps you in learning to move the fabric, too.

    You can try these:
    2 inch line. Stop. Now go another direction so you get zigzag jiggy-jaggy design...
    loops and swirls...
    write your name in thread...
    make a box, but make it go into itself (like a maze wall)...
    5 big loops to make a big flower, then the center make a round swirl

    Have fun ~ put on some relaxing music ... have a cup of your fave beverage ... take a deep breath, and remember to breathe while you're FMQ'ing!

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