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Thread: Learning Free Motion Quilting

  1. #1
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    I am getting ready to teach FMQ at two events. I have done this many times before. I wonder if there is good feedback from members here that will make the classes better. So am asking this question.

    What are the most important things you need to learn or wish you had learned if you took a class.

    If you have not taken a class then what has become the most important thing you have tried to learn.

    And any other thoughts that might be useful.

  2. #2
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Every machine has different requirements. Some need to have the stitch length at zero others need regular stitch lengths. For me, it was most important to understand what my machine needed. Once that was settled, I could focus on the actual process.

    Class I took used "Machine Quilting Made Easy" by Maureen Noble. Great techniques and exercises in that book.

    We worked on little sandwiches about 14" square. That was a bit easier to handle than a full quilt. Plus, when you work on a sample square it's OK to mess up. Not so easy to adopt that attitude when you are working on a quilt.

    Have fun.

  3. #3
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    I have taken a FMQ class and have practiced at home but what I found is that it is easy to do on a small square but much harder when this big old quilt is going through!

    I know you can't use actual quilts in class but some tips for how to handle and move a big quilt around would be helpful, I think.

  4. #4
    Super Member AlwaysQuilting's Avatar
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    I can't give you any ideas but just wanted to say I wish I lived in your area and could be in your class!

  5. #5
    Super Member mimom's Avatar
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    keep a good rhythm and when you start a large quilt dont put it down for too many days at a time as you might lose the rhythm you had when you started it and the FMQ will be different.

  6. #6
    Super Member Glassquilt's Avatar
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    Find your own speed and go with it.

  7. #7
    Super Member quiltwoman's Avatar
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    I agree about finding "your speed".

  8. #8
    Super Member Melinda in Tulsa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlwaysQuilting
    I can't give you any ideas but just wanted to say I wish I lived in your area and could be in your class!
    I second this! Wish you could give a class in Oklahoma!

  9. #9
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    I am assuming you are teaching FMQ on a DSM...

    setting up your space. (table to the left and behind your sewing table to deal with weight of quilt.

    trying different darning feet (open vs. closed, hopping vs. not hopping)

    using different thread,

    using machingers

    basting spray vs. pinning (large pins vs small pins), when to remove pins

    different methods for marking the quilt

    what needle to use in the machine

    If you want to imress the class, have multiple pictures and very short films demonstrating different techniques. Discuss specific brands and how/where to purchase. Make it easy on people to try new techniques and products.

    perhaps ask people to show up with a specified number of blocks that are pinned (tell them to use their ugly fabric) to practice on during the class. Once people try, they will have questions.

    It would be kinda fun if you had a few fat quarters to give away as prizes during class for things like...
    first person to stump you with a question, first person to "travel" correctly, answering multiple choice questions about FMQ. Makes it more interactive which makes it more fun.

    Have people choose from a book of pictures of techniques a specific pattern that they want demonstrated.

    I wished I lived closer. I am determined to develop great FMQ techniques

  10. #10
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Use the best quality thread, batting and fabric to learn with! Wool batting, silk thread (or other thin quality thread) and quilt shop quality fabric. I took a class from Diane Guadynski and she insisted on practicing using the best made such a difference that she provided the best for the class members to use. It does make a difference. http://dianegaudynski.blogspot.com/

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