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Thread: FMQ-What am I doing wrong!!!?!!!

  1. #1
    Senior Member quiltingnd's Avatar
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    Angry FMQ-What am I doing wrong!!!?!!!

    I have this quilt I am doing for a friend's daughter. I REALLY wanted to try my hand at a meander. I had practiced a few times on small scraps and it didn't seem too bad. I figured this quilt was a good way to practice. I could sew around each block and then meander in that box. Make it seem less daunting. While the top doesn't look too shabby (I was even happy with my spacing), the bottom looks HORRIBLE! What am I doing wrong? I have my feed dogs down. My stitch size set to 0..and my tension on 8-9?

    I feel so VERY frustrated because I REALLY want to do this. It doesn't have to be perfect, but I sure would like it usable. I am guessing by the looks of the back that I need to figure out how to pull that all out and try again?

    Am I just moving my fabric too fast? Not going fast enough on my sewing machine? (speed wise?)

    Pics of the back:



    Pics of the front:



    I feel so very frustrated and honestly..dumb. Is FMQ really this hard?! I am just tired of stitching in the ditch or straight line quilting. I wanted to do a quilt that actually LOOKED quilted. Please help!!!

  2. #2
    Super Member decky's Avatar
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    I think you may have your top tension to high.

    Pat in MN

  3. #3
    Member Yoshi's Avatar
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    I am still learning and i've found that when this happens it is a combination of any of the following: the tension being too low, my hands moving too fast and my machine speed being too slow. I've also found that it's much more likely to happen on poly batting than cotton.

    Being the pro that I am at FMQ I can tell you that a seam ripper will take that right out and you should be able to go over it again.

    edited to add: i don't know if i can link to another quilting web site so I'll just share with you that if you type "what is FMQ eyelasing" into the search engine of your choice, you'll find a TON of information on how to troubleshoot the problem!
    Last edited by Yoshi; 03-20-2013 at 12:54 PM.

  4. #4
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    Same here, it should be easy to take out so try it again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Yoshi View Post
    I am still learning and i've found that when this happens it is a combination of any of the following: the tension being too low, my hands moving too fast and my machine speed being too slow. I've also found that it's much more likely to happen on poly batting than cotton.

    Being the pro that I am at FMQ I can tell you that a seam ripper will take that right out and you should be able to go over it again.
    When life gives you scraps, make a quilt.

  5. #5
    Power Poster Diane007's Avatar
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    yep... you really have to play with your tension

  6. #6
    Super Member tatavw01's Avatar
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    slow down new Needle first, put your tension and length back to what you use to stitch with. I never change the tension, length and keep my feet dogs up and always use a new needle. Here is sample of my quilting I do on my Juki
    Name:  20130127_085435-1 (484x640).jpg
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    Last edited by tatavw01; 03-20-2013 at 01:29 PM.

  7. #7
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    I have best success with new needle, medium speed (if you can, set the speed on machine and let it run), feed dogs down, tension at about 7, and moving the fabric slower.....once you get the hang of it, you can speed up the machine and fabric.....tension can be a tricky thing, you will have to play with it a bit.....don't get down on yourself, it isn't easy at all the first few times you try.....put together some practice sandwiches to work on until you at least get the tension better....I despise ripping out, so will always get a practice sandwich before starting a quilt, just to make sure machine is behaving!.....it looks like your stitch length is pretty consistent (something I always struggle with), so that is one aspect you won't have to worry about so much....try to have fun, but practice, practice, practice!

  8. #8
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    It looks to me like your top thread may not be actually in the tension disks, or your bobbin tension is way too high. If it was just a speed issue, those eyelashes would be more prevalent around the curves, but yours look fairly consistent throughout.

    First, I'd take the thread out of both the top and the bobbin and totally re-thread.
    Next I would do a "regular" straight stitch on a practice sample using a regular foot with the feed dogs up and stitch length set "normally" to see if the tension looks good that way. If not good, adjust and necessary and re-test. The tension shouldn't need to be changed significantly between doing a regular stitch and a FMQing stitch as long as you are using the same threads as you will for FMQing.

    Then I'd drop the feed dogs,
    Set the stitch length to zero,
    Put on my quilting foot,
    and do some test meandering on a practice sample with the same or similar backing batting and top fabrics.

    When all looks good on the practice piece, you'll be all set to go back to your quilt!

    This is the process I go throught each and every time I set up for FMQing a piece.
    Wendy

  9. #9
    Junior Member jzaaboo's Avatar
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    I agree with Wendy-I agree with you on how frustrating it is at first, I've only done 11 quilts, and I'm always convinced I've ruined my beautiful tops. The tension problem here is more than a little eyelashing, something is threaded wrong, or maybe your bobbin is in backward in your bobbin cover and it's catching.

  10. #10
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    The good news is, the bobbin thread will pull right out and then you can easily pull out the top eyelashes. You need more tension on your top thread as too much thread is being pulled to the back. You might have the bobbin tension too tight as well. Put your tensions back to the factory settings and then adjust a little at a time until you get a good balance in the sandwich sample.

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