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Thread: in awe of all of you free motion quilters......

  1. #26
    Senior Member emlee51's Avatar
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    Practice seems to be the key word in this thread(pardon the pun). I'm using a lot of my UFOs for practice...they all were made for myself, so why not? Most of them are scrappies, so all I'm looking for here is warmth, not quilt show quality. I've also learned that your stitch length depends on the speed at which you move your fabric and the speed at which you run your machine. If you can get those two things in sync you can do a good job.

  2. #27
    Super Member GGinMcKinney's Avatar
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    For me it took lots of practice on 12" square sandwiches. I found I could just add fabric to top and bottom of the sandwich and quilt again without making a new sandwich and using up my batting. I quilted daily for weeks. I found it easiest to quilt my name or names of my family. I was already familiar with the motion so then the speed and moving came easier. I have a Janome 6600P. I have to turn the top tension dial almost as high as it will go then back off till the tension smooths out. The little dashes on the back went away with practice which has a lot to do with speed. Seems the machine goes fast and the hands move slower or something like that. After lots of practice on sandwiches I quilted charity quilts lap size and made baby quilts. The size of the quilt changes the feel so I slowly moved up to quilting queen size on my Janome. You can do it. Practice may sound boring, but it can be so fun to see the improvements. Turn on the music and relax. Try a variety of notions and tools till you find your groove. It is in you, just relax and it will be wonderful!!! Go, girl!
    GGinMcKinney

  3. #28
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    I'm new to this also and as you can tell from my screen name I am a man with fairly large hands so when I tried to get gloves to hold the quilt with they were all to small. I ended up going to Lowe's and getting coated gardening gloves $6 for two pair and then setting my machine at half speed so I don't have to worry about my speed surging on me, and then all I had to concentrate on was my pattern and hand speed. It took me a couple of hours of practice and I was off and running with a simple meandering pattern.
    Practice and visualization of the pattern is what helped me. Doing the meandering pattern I kept thinking of an open ended figure eight.
    just my two cents, but hope it helps.

  4. #29
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    Hi all, I am with all of you about having a nerve attach when I think I am going to begin the quilting process but once I get started I find I can't stop. I am loving the proces but am a total newbie to quilting so I try to practice, practice, practice. I have to restrain from putting a real quilt on my machine. Someone mentioned to me about putting a Teflon washer in the bobbin case which helped. Can anyone explain the washer thing to me... Where are the washers sold..I will try anything that will help make the job run smoother!

  5. #30
    Member allsgo's Avatar
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    I am breaking out in a sweat just reading this!


    lol

  6. #31
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    I haven't tried the gloves just for quilting, but I really enjoy my $.49 mechanic gloves from Harbor Freight. I did cut the tip of the thumb and forefinger out so I could use my fingertips! I have also been trying to use just plain shelf liner (the rubber kind. Or rug-grippy things) like the instructor in a Craftsy class I'm taking.

  7. #32
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    on my machine I always rethread and clean any lint or fuzz from the bobbin and bobbin case.Then make small adjustments on the top tension.
    Quote Originally Posted by jillmc View Post
    You make it look so darn easy! I have watched a gazillion video tutorials, and finally took the plunge with some practice "sandwiches".........ohmeohmy. After an hour, some of the stitching may pass for quilting! The top side looks ok'ish, but the bottom looks awful. I am scared to death to touch the tension settings, but I know I must! There are no loops anywhere,but the stitches on the backside look "loose".... Any suggestions as to how to go about this??? Any tried and true tips for a beginner? :-)

  8. #33
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    am new at this also ''one thing I will say is to use is good quality cotton thread '" and to keep on practice............we will all get there on day ....just have fun trying pgmb

  9. #34
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    also keep bobbin free of lint and check it frenquently
    .............pgmb

  10. #35
    Member TerrimB's Avatar
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    Hey, I think we've all been there! I'm on quilt # 14, and this is my first attempt at free motion quilting. I got a pair of (vinyl?) gardening gloves that stretch and have a mesh on the back so they don't get too hot for my hands. This is the ONLY way I can get my king size quilt to move under the needle. I watched one video on youtube, put together a practice sandwich of the same materials as on the quilt and dark thread so I could see what I was doing. Then, I took the plunge. Not too bad so far... if I could only convince 2 of my cats that it's not their quilt and they need to get off it so I can sew! hahahaName:  quilterkitty.JPG
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  11. #36
    Super Member jillmc's Avatar
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    how sweet is that kitty??? :-) No wonder your quilt won't move!

  12. #37
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    I had thought about gloves too but to me it looks like it would take away the tactile sense. I am taking a class on craftsy and she uses pieces of drawer liner stuff. That works great. I also now keep two sponges at hand and love it. They really grip the fabric and make it easier to move.

  13. #38
    Super Member nstitches4u's Avatar
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    One of my machine quilting books had a page of stippling. It was suggested that you trace the stippling to get used to the movement. I photocopied the page and put it in a plastic sheet protector and used a dri-erase marker to trace the stippling design. Then I erased it and continued retracing and practicing. It helps to 'train' your brain to move in the right motion.

    Now I have an IPad with a 'Drawing Pad' app so I can draw stippling designs with the tip of my finger while I am relaxing in front of the TV. Then I delete it and just keep practicing. It helps you to think in 'stipple-ese'. Is that a word? lol

    It just takes a lot of practice. I'm still not comfortable enough to quilt a large quilt, but I do some Project Linus quilts and other charity quilts. I'll keep trying and some day, when I grow up, I'll be a FMQer. lol

    Norma

  14. #39
    Super Member sewingsuz's Avatar
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    I agree with you girls, I break out in a sweat, why am I afraid of this? It is not like me. I have tried alot of things in my life and this makes me nervous. Am I afraid of failure?
    Suzanne
    Asking a seamstress to mend is like asking Picasso to paint your garage.

  15. #40
    Power Poster ube quilting's Avatar
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    I do use pen and paper to practice FMQ. When i want to learn a new pattern I copy it over and over and over one every scrap of paper that crosses my path. The thread tension thing is rather simple compared to learning how to move the quilt around to get a design sewn onto it! Take your time and practice as ofeten as you can. As previous posters have suggested, adjust the upper thread tension a little to tighten it. I found that on my machine if I pull the top thread and then the bobbin thread and the tug feels about the same then I am close to having a balanced tension. Keep on stitching!
    peace

    EDIT: TerrimB, Love the cat!
    Last edited by ube quilting; 05-05-2012 at 06:03 PM.
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

  16. #41
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    You have all made my pistons start firing...brain pistons that is---I have been practicing FMQ off and on for a while but now have 2 tops done and need to get the FMQ mojo going. After reading your different approaches to the free slide problem I ran into my pantry and grabbed a piece of Press'n Seal. It has a sticky side which stuck beautifully to the machine and I just cut a hole for the needle (about 1/2" square). My practice sandwich does seem to slide much better! Hopefully it isn't just a fluke. I do have a question about gloves. I bought a pair of Fons & Porter which are very restrictive and am looking at the Machinegers but has anyone tried "Betty Bands". I have seen them on line and wondered how they work?

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by jannm View Post
    You have all made my pistons start firing...brain pistons that is---I have been practicing FMQ off and on for a while but now have 2 tops done and need to get the FMQ mojo going. After reading your different approaches to the free slide problem I ran into my pantry and grabbed a piece of Press'n Seal. It has a sticky side which stuck beautifully to the machine and I just cut a hole for the needle (about 1/2" square). My practice sandwich does seem to slide much better! Hopefully it isn't just a fluke. I do have a question about gloves. I bought a pair of Fons & Porter which are very restrictive and am looking at the Machinegers but has anyone tried "Betty Bands". I have seen them on line and wondered how they work?
    I made myself a very small "extension table" out of 2 paperbacks and a season of 24! I wrapped it all up with paper and then put Press and Seal on the top of it, and it does slide really well!
    As far as gloves, I wear $.89 mechanic gloves and cut the fingers out. I forget I'm wearing them sometimes. I have thought of making a "betty band" out of rubber shelf liner and velcro, but I haven't done that yet. I can't imagine spending $16 on shipping foam on a strap!

  18. #43
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    Well, a follow up on my bright idea. The Press n'Seal does work really well but it does leave a residue on the bed of the machine. It came off easily with Fantastic but will have to "tweak" things a bit. Gloves are a problem for another day!!

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