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Thread: machine quilting "free hand"

  1. #1
    Member Jazz's Avatar
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    I'm new to all this, please forgive me if you've covered it before, but once I've made my quilt top and sandwiched it, how is it finished on a regular, non-computerized home sewing machine, other than stitch-in-the-ditch? Are you using an iron-on pattern to guide your machine stitches? How do you know where to guide the needle?

    Everyone's work is so intimidatingly beautiful that I've been reluctant to participate, but now Iím unable to resist!

    Thank you so much for your inspiration and advice!

  2. #2
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Hi Jazz, Welcome to the board. Do a search on the board for Free motion Quilting or FMQ. Also go to Leah Day's website, Daystyle designs for lots of trips and tricks and how to's for FMQ on a domestic sewing machine. You need a special foot called a hopping foot, also known as embroidery foot. If you can find an open type for your machine that increases your visibility alot! Here is a link to Leah's website:
    http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/

    Leah does it totally freehand with no marking. I like to have a marked design to follow when I FMQ on my domestic. I now have Longarm machine and do both marked and unmarked free hand. Some people only need to mark a few final references like a spine of a feather and then can fill in the details free hand. Have fun!

    Edited to add, you can also go to the library and see if they have Harriet Hargraves book "Heirloom machine quilting". She lays it all out from your very first stitches to elaborate feathers. Very, very good reference tool and worthy of the investment of purchasing your own. You can find them used on Amazon for a very reasonable price.

  3. #3
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Also, if you want to move up from stitch in the ditch but are not ready for free hand you can do simple designs with you walking foot. Depending on the throat space of your machine, you may be able to do cross hatching, echo quilting or other geometric designs.

    I have been outline stitching around my dresden plates and doing diamonds between the blocks on my domestic machine.

  4. #4
    Member Jazz's Avatar
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    Thank you so much! I appreciate your swift and helpful response! I'm studying it all right now.

  5. #5
    Power Poster erstan947's Avatar
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    http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=-KxGzmtakrg&NR=1
    Maybe this video will help. Welcome from Louisiana:)
    At the top of this page do a search~ click on Search then type in "Free motion quilting on a domestic machine" and you will find lots of questions and answers and tips form the Quilt Board members....happy searching:)

  6. #6
    Super Member julia58's Avatar
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    Welcome Jazz, and good luck with your FMQ. Practice...

  7. #7
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Welcome from Minnesota and happy quilting.

  8. #8
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I found that to practice simple designs like leaves and hearts, get a stencil for a simple border.
    Practicing on the border is much easier since you dont have a folded up quilt in the throat of your machine.
    For the body of the quilt do a simple straight line design with the walking foot. You can use the attachment that will give you even spaced lines or stitch in the ditch.
    There are many different marking tools, sometimes I use chalk and pounce and sometimes I use a dissapearing ink pen.This is something you have to experiment with till you discover what you like best.

  9. #9
    Super Member grammy Dwynn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazz
    I'm new to all this, please forgive me if you've covered it before, but once I've made my quilt top and sandwiched it, how is it finished on a regular, non-computerized home sewing machine, other than stitch-in-the-ditch? Are you using an iron-on pattern to guide your machine stitches? How do you know where to guide the needle?

    Everyone's work is so intimidatingly beautiful that I've been reluctant to participate, but now Iím unable to resist!

    Thank you so much for your inspiration and advice!
    Welcome on board! FMQ (Free Motion Quilting) can be achieved by anyone. BUT it does take practice, practice and even more practice!

    Good luck on your quilt and quilting

  10. #10
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    Welcome from Nebraska, lots of good advice here! :)

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