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Thread: Scared of my longarm machine

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Clayton, Indiana

    Scared of my longarm machine

    I have a real problem. I am scared to try FMQ. I know how my machine works, how to load the quilt and baste it. I just have no confidence in myself to try it. Instead of jumping in I sit and read the board until I don't have enough time to do it. I just don't know how to make myself try it.
    Grammy to Isaiah and Ruth

  2. #2
    Senior Member Michellesews's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    El Paso Texas
    do some practice pieces until you are more comfortable. Use some pantos to get the feeling of moving the machine down. It takes time and lots of practice! You'll be fine, don't let fear of failure stop you dead in your tracks, or you will never move forward.
    Michelle Guadarrama

  3. #3
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Upland CA
    Quote Originally Posted by Michellesews View Post
    do some practice pieces until you are more comfortable. Use some pantos to get the feeling of moving the machine down. It takes time and lots of practice! You'll be fine, don't let fear of failure stop you dead in your tracks, or you will never move forward.
    Agree, just jump in and do it!!!!! Practice, practice, practice!!! You will love it!!!!

  4. #4
    Super Member OKLAHOMA PEACH's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Try one of your LQS that give lessons, with guidance maybe the fear will be taken away.

  5. #5
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    New York City/Manhattan
    it's like trying to get to Carnegie Hall...practice, practice, practice. Of course you will not be perfect the first time; none of us were. Settle for trying and improving one project at a time. Stop procrastinating--go quilt! Keep your elbows by your side, keep breathing, and try not to hold tension in your shoulders. You will get better. Ask me how I know!
    Laurie in NYC

  6. #6
    Junior Member hybearn8er's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Wheat Ridge, Colorado
    Don't compare your work to anyone but your self!!!!The biggest problem with newbees is they want their work to look like one of the pros! Accept that your circles might not be round when you start but with practise they will be! When I started free motioning I was the same way.One thing that helped me was that I bought some fabric that was printed to look like a quilt from Marshall 's on line and use it to practice on, way easier as you have different spaces to work with just like on a real quilt. So give your self a break....noone is perfect when they start out!

  7. #7
    Super Member wolph33's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    oh just put a yard of a solid color on and play.find out what you like to do.just have fun-do not be afraid.when we got ours we played a lot.then we bound the edges and gave them to our area shelter for cats and dogs.that way we did not feel like we were wasting fabric and batting.critters do not care what the quilting looked like.please go have some fun.

  8. #8
    Super Member jgriinke's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Northern Wisconsin
    Take some fabric out of your stash. Or, if you can, go to JoAnn's and get LOTS of cheap muslin. Put that on the frame, with batting and quilt away. Just do whatever comes to mind. Now, remember, you won't do it the way you see in your mind. It takes practice. Start with one design. Say, a simple meander, practice that until you feel comfortable, then move on to something else. I quilted many of my first quilts on my frame with just a simple meander.
    Just relax, and remember to breathe!
    Just one more quick thing - if you think what you are quilting doesn't look good - write your name. You will be amazed at how good that looks. Then, think of how many times you have written your name. That proves that practice is the key.
    Have fun with it.

  9. #9
    Super Member soccertxi's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Glendale AZ
    Donna, Just know that you are NOT ALONE! I had upgraded machines twice before I got my gently used Gammill. I have freemotioned before...quilts..DONE...people asking me to quilt for them. And even then, when Lucy came home (that is the Gammill!) I was intimidated. I use the "I can do ANYTHING for 15 mins' rule (a la Flylady. Google her, she is WONDERFUL!) and I quilted some muslin. That muslin was cut up for dog beds. I got to practice and the doggies at the shelter got new beds. We both won! No one saw my 'oops' except the strays..and they aren't talkin'!! lol I DID save one piece from my 1st attempts so I could see how far I had come (and show newbies with machines w/ feeddogs how important it is to put the presser foot down. OH the rats nests!) maybe find a friend to hold your hand. Its nice to have someone who 'speaks' freemotion.
    Beth in AZ
    Innova 22' with Lightning Stitch and Pantovision
    Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too can become great. Mark Twain

  10. #10
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    I think first you need to pinpoint exactly what it is you are afraid of. I seriously doubt it is the longarm itself. After all you didn't spend the kind of money a LA costs without actually trying one out did you?

    Are you afraid of ruining fabric? Solution: go to thrift store buy some sheets and blankets to use as practice pieces and batting. Small investment and that should eliminate any fear of ruining anything. After all, you more than likely spent many thousands of dollars for your set up, what is $10 or $20 for a couple of old used sheets and a blanket? Loads of practice time on one set of sheets with a blanket in between for batting.

    Are the expectations you set for yourself way too high and thereby making you afraid of failure? Well the only way to get over that is to do the above. I think it is safe to say every single LA quilter out there who does handguided (not a computer set up) started out making squarecles instead of circles, feathers that looked like they were from some mutant alternate universe or jumped out of a Salvador Dali painting and flowers that looked like a toddler's first attempt to draw with a crayon.

    Are you afraid you have wasted a truckload of money because you will never be any good at this? Again, you will never know unless you start and if it doesn't work out for you, you can always sell it. But you have to try. Nobody is ever good at anything the first time they try it. You had to crawl before you walked. You had to learn to wobbly walk before you could run. And you fell down a few times during the whole process. Same with riding a bike, same with learning to write, same with everything. It takes a lot of tries and practice before it becomes 2nd nature.

    Quit comparing yourself to others, turn off the computer and go to your LA and load a practice sandwich. Make loops squarecles, quilt your name in cursive, write out the alphabet in quilting. Who cares if your P looks like a Q or your M's look like deformed camel humps. Keep trying.

    I went out and bought a bunch of pads of cheap newsprint paper. The biggest ones I could find like 14" x 17" and bigger. Got myself a bunch of pencils and doodled, doodled, doodled. I wanted to be good at feathers so I drew feathers over and over and over again until I could do them in any direction and I was happy with my drawings. Amazing how much muscle memory took over, it was like signing my own name. Doodle and draw whenever you are sitting idle, like watching TV or talking on the phone. Pretty soon you will be able to transfer those doodle drawings to the LA.

    Seems such a waste to be so blessed as to be able to afford to have one and not even try to use it.

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