Welcome to the board. I would finish this quilt with the walking foot straight lines.
Then make small sandwiches 20 inches roughly. Now this could be fabric you like
And will join them into a quilt or keep as sample as.just practise. Remember all those handwriting
Lessons at school , or learning to drive and co- ordinations the foot hand ye etc. we have all
Spent ages practising. Some people just using paper and with a very upright pencil practise the movement
Of the material under the needle. You may find it is not the machine but that you are just changing tensionunnecessaryil. Keep going it is fun but not on your precious quilt.
Ps we have all had to undo
I agree with all this good advice. If you DO decide to get it serviced, ask the technician to show you how to adjust the bobbin tension. I thought I knew how, but when I had my long arm serviced, the tech showed me I was not turning the adjusting screw far enough. I still don't do too much at a time, but I am more confident now.
I can't help with your tension problem, but wanted to tell you that NO question is a dumb question & we all had to begin learning at some point. We didn't just wake up one day & know how to quilt. I am a newbie also, & I ask a lot of questions. That's how we learn & it is such a blessing to have access to the bountiful knowledge of all of these wonderful people on this QB. I couldn't do it with out their help. I would say you were a newbie twit IF you didn't use the resources that were available to you. So, no you are not a newbie twit, but, one smart lady. Hang it there!
My DSM is very simple so no bobbin tension adjustment. I noticed also little dots of top thread showing on the back. I read a few posts on the board and found out that those little dots of thread generally disappear once the quilt is washed. Just to make it safer, I try to use the same color thread for both the bobbin and the top thread. Good luck!
I have a Singer Golden Touch & Sew. In order to do "darning", according to the manual, I have to use an embroidery hoop & have my cloth very tight. It would only make birds nests without this hoop. There is no mention of FMQ in the manual. That being said, I have not used this Singer machine for any real FMQ because I have a long arm.
Have you read your manual? If it's missing, you might could go to the manufacturers website & look under the "Support" tab for a copy. Perhaps your machine is Picky & requires extra adjustment or apparatus to do the FMQ correctly.
Allthe advice given is right on!!! Welcome to the board from Southern CA!!!!!
Thanks so much everyone...have noted all suggestions and will dutifully try them out.
I'm having a sewing afternoon today so will check my tensions the way you suggested bigsister and see how I go. Yes Fay, the machine was serviced not so long ago and has been sewing fine so I suspect it is my technique and my mucking around with the tension perhaps. Nice to know that the little Janome 360 can possibly manage it if only I can get things right! Hmmm but the lure of a new machine is tempting! Hadn't thought about a private lesson Holice...excellent idea, I'll certainly look into that in the New Year!
Oddly, and I forgot to mention this in my previous post, when I try to do FMQ on a practice swatch the stitching comes out a lot better....could it be that it is just my inexperience in moving the weight/bulk of the quilt that is contributing to the crappy stitching on the back?
I agree with Holice. You can FAQ with any machine. Welcome from NE Ohio, USA.
My suggestion is to take yourself off to Coles or Woolworths and get some large (giant or supersize) big anyway Chux wipe cloths (used as temporary dishcloths). Pin three together (like a sandwich) and put into practise what the other quilters have suggestsed with all their ideas, and free motion quilt them. Do this until the packet is empty and when finished overlock around the edges. They will be thick strong dishcloths that will last a year or two and you will have become "Miss Practise Makes Perfect".
Oh my, I hope you don't go out and buy a new machine just to free motion on!!! You don't need to!! It really is all practice. You can even free motion on a TREADLE and people on this board do!
I agree with those who say it sounds like a tension issue. What thread are you using? I tend to use a REALLY high tension with cotton threads and a really low tension with polyester threads. Just do a LOT of playing. Seriously - get a test sandwich put together and start with your tension at 1. Go all the way up the dial slowly and look for improvement on the back AND front as you go. It's like playing "hot and cold". Once you find that magic spot you're good to go! You can pretty much count on being able to turn your tension to that number whenever you are using that particular combination of fabric/batt/thread/needle.
OH YES, what needle are you using too? THIS is huge! People don't often realize what a BIG difference needles make. If you're using 40wt or 50wt cotton you want something like a 90/12 sharp - if you're using a 30wt or 40wt poly you're going to want something like a 70/10 sharp. The difference between the two is when you're using the wrong needle you'll get skippet stitches and thread breaks.
Good luck!!! :)