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Thread: Is there some magic spell or fairy dust that'll help with free motion quilting?

  1. #11
    Senior Member lisalisa's Avatar
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    a good piece of advise I got was to draw the design out first to so you create the muscle memory. People learn by repetition. The idea there is to repeat it so much with pen and paper so that when you start quilting your hands will naturally follow that same motion.

    I'm with you though, it's been one of the toughest things I've ever tackled. I'll get there by golly.

  2. #12
    Senior Member quilter1943's Avatar
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    I love this! Maybe it wouldn't have taken me so long to learn.
    Quote Originally Posted by jdiane318
    It's called Xanax and a margarita.

  3. #13
    Senior Member quiltnmom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdiane318
    It's called Xanax and a margarita.
    I love this! ROFLOL! I have my grandson's quilt all sandwichedd and ready to go do some FMQ but... it intimidates me.
    A grown woman, intimidated my some fabric.

  4. #14
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    It's like patty your head and rubbing your belly at the same time!

    Practice is the answer, sorry to say.

    Adjust your tension if the thread is popping up, usually one click at a time until it stops.

    Slow the speed down on your machine if you have that capability, if not, then rest your foot half off the petal so you can't press fully and that may help to slow down the speed.

    I have always found it easier to move sideways when fmq, I seem to be able to coordinate the movement easier. So experiment, see what works for you to enable to keep the stitches even. We all have a different coordination system, so what works for one, may not work for another.

    Good luck, stay with it, it is worth the effort. Once you master it, you can pick up the speed, so don't feel like you have to be a speed demon at first. Speed comes later. Right now focus on the stitch evenness.

  5. #15
    Member scrappydoo's Avatar
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    I feel your pain. I've been practicing for what seems like forever to FMQ. Here are a few things that I have found to help:

    If your machine has a speed adjustment, set it at a comfortable speed (for me that's pretty slow).

    For those peeking bobbin threads, try adjusting the top tension a smidge lower so the top thread isn't pulling your bobbin thread to the top.

    Take the curves slower, on my machine this is where I get "eyelashes", by slowing down I have cut down on the eyelash effect.

    And finally, don't clench your teeth. I literally have to sew with my mouth open so I don't clench my teeth. This helps me stay relaxed so I don't go nuts and start sewing at supersonic speeds.

    Hope this helps!

  6. #16
    Super Member 0tis's Avatar
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    Yes, I would love some of that fairy dust please - I have a difficult time with FMQ - and I have a longarm - its frustuating to me - I envy those on here that are so good at it.

  7. #17
    Senior Member debp33's Avatar
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    If you do find that fairy dust I'll buy some from you! :lol:

  8. #18
    Member PAMAR's Avatar
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    I have only been fmq-ing for about 9 months. In addition to the above suggestions (the best being to practice, practice, practice), a seasoned quilter told me to make sure to "puddle" the fabric around the needle. In other words, create a nest with the fabric bunched up on the flat surface around the needle to take the pressure off.

    My fmq-ing isn't perfect, but this suggestion really helped.

  9. #19
    Senior Member mizkyp's Avatar
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    I'll take some fairy dust too. I keep telling myself it cant be this difficult. I keep practicing and one day it will work.

  10. #20
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdiane318
    It's called Xanax and a margarita.
    Too funny!

    Seriously, it does just take practice. There were some things I wasn't good at, so I kept working on the ones I was good at, like loops and swirls. Then I moved on to other shapes. Now I'm pretty comfortable. Still haven't attempted feathers on anything but practice sandwiches, but do see myself doing it on a real quilt before too long.

    Don't worry about perfection. Once the quilt is washed it will shrink up and pucker a bit. The things you worry about likely won't even be noticeable. Relax and enjoy it!

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