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Thread: What Is Free Motion Quilting

  1. #1
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    A recent question and one of the answers got me to thinking that perhaps all are not giving free motion quilting the same description. I almost have the impression that to many FMQ is making squiggly stitching across the quilt.
    What do you think?

  2. #2
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    "Free-motion" just means that your stitching isn't machine-guided - you are free to drive the fabric in any direction, instead of driving it forward in a line as when you're allowing the feed dogs to drive it. :)

    You can do squiggles, but you can also draw anything that you can draw with a pencil on paper - loops, flowers, color-book drawings, feathers, swirls, spirals, etc.

    And you can go beyond line drawings into free-motion embroidery - or thread-painting, as it's sometimes called.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Zebra2's Avatar
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    Here are some pics of some of the FMQ designs I've done. Very relaxing (usually!) :D
    Attached Images Attached Images        

  4. #4
    LadybugPam's Avatar
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    Beautiful work Zebra ... but you are using a large quilting machine, I suspect. I push fabric through my little machine - it is much less intricate

  5. #5
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    oh i don't know hon, there are quilters out there who do wonders with a regular machine. boggles my mind!

  6. #6
    Senior Member Zebra2's Avatar
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    Yes, I am a longarm quilter. However, I've seen some amazing award winning quilts done on domestic machines. I'd like to be able to do both, but haven't found the time to practice on my domestic.

    I am hosting Karen McTavish,(national award winning quilter/teacher/author) here in a few weeks. She, and other nationals, are being encouraged to teach their methods on both longarm and domestic machines. This is good. I'm all for bettering one's skills, no matter what type of machine you use.

  7. #7

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    Even though I've taken classes on free motion quilting I haven't found it to be relaxing. I'm intimidated and it is hard to get started because I'm afraid.

  8. #8
    Super Member lalaland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LadybugPam
    Beautiful work Zebra ... but you are using a large quilting machine, I suspect. I push fabric through my little machine - it is much less intricate
    I free motion quilt on my Kenmore sewing machine. Here's a table runner I did. I used a decorative stitch on the strips and then free motioned around the trees, you can't really see it but I just wanted to show where it was done.

    On You Tube there are gals who show how they FMQ using their sewing machines. Some even do king size quilts - you do it in sections. And some do very intricate stuff, I pretty much do squigglys.

    This is my machine, it does have an extension table and I use a teflon slider
    Name:  Attachment-151474.jpe
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  9. #9
    Super Member tjradj's Avatar
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    I do my best micro stippling on my basic machine. I just work in smaller areas at a time. I also find that for really fine work, I have better control with pushing the fabric under the machine, than with the long arm method of "driving" the machine over the quilt.
    I also "only" have 11" throat space on my quilting machine frame, so when I need to do larger blocks in a cohesive pattern, I'll do it on the table top. That's when I can't break the pattern into smaller pieces for the frame.
    I agree with the description of FMQ as anything that is not machine guided. It's not only 'scribbling' on fabric. Some of the FMQ designs are quite intricate.

  10. #10
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    The examples here are beautiful!!

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