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

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

Old 05-02-2012, 05:51 PM
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Default in awe of all of you free motion quilters......

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? :-)

Last edited by jillmc; 05-02-2012 at 06:01 PM.
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:55 PM
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One of the things I learned in a FMQ class was to turn your sewing machine so that the "wheel" side rests in the space between your arm and shoulder. I've found it gives more control. If your underside has a bunch of loops on it, then try tightening the top tension until the loops disappear. Good luck!
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:56 PM
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I'm still a beginner too; I find cleaning out the bobbin case to be very important for my machine. Get out every little bit of lint that you can each time you have to clean the bobbin.
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:15 PM
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Don't fret about what it looks like right now... It took MONTHS of trying before I did anything that was "acceptable"! It sounds like you may need to tighten your top tension just a little bit at a time, but it could just be that you need to practice first. When I started, "my machine" would have tension problems, skip stitches, refuse to sew with some threads, etc. I found that after LOTS of practice, "my machine" mysteriously quit having these problems!

You do have to get used to the idea of adjusting your tension when needed though; different threads require different tension settings. I always adjust the bobbin tension first with the little screw, then adjust the top to match.

Keep trying and don't despair! It will EVENTUALLY get better with practice.
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:04 PM
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I just recently took a free motion quilting class and have watched many online videos. When I first tried it, I was sure I would never be able to do it because it just seems counter-intuitive to me to move the fabric under the needle - like moving the paper under the pen. Good grief!! But I stuck with it and have practiced on more muslin sandwiches that I can count and I think I'm finally getting the hang of it. It takes hours and hours of practice. I even caught myself "air practicing" the other day while I was out walking. It's a muscle memory thing - eventually the motion will be automatic. I'm not there yet either, but getting closer... Don't give up!!
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Old 05-03-2012, 02:37 AM
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I did the same as you with practicing on small sandwiches. I've just now gotten what I think is OK, but it took more than an hour! Keep going. Practice, practice, practice.
Yeah, listen to me; I've yet to put mine to the test on a real quilt! I'm scared to death of that! But I will....one day!
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Old 05-03-2012, 03:00 AM
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Keep practicing..I must've lucked out.. I'm not finding a problem with the tension, but I am having a problem with the stitch length.. Practicing does make adifference..
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Old 05-03-2012, 03:52 AM
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thank you for the words of encouragement! I think I might need gloves, as well. The fabric didn't want to move as fast as I wanted it to! And I need to increase the speed of my stitches....the first attempt looked more like basting than quilting! Keep posting your gorgeous quilts....they keep me inspired!
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Old 05-03-2012, 03:57 AM
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I took a class years ago. I did ok, but was bored with the process at the time. I want to try it again. I purchased a class at at Craftsy around Christmas, but so far haven't had the time, or keep making excuses, to sit down and do it! I have the Quilter's kit for my HV SE with the whole kit-n-kaboodle....guess I just need the big push to dive in an get started.

Good luck!
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Old 05-03-2012, 04:04 AM
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Everyone who said top tension is too loose is absolutely right. After tightening it, if you still see no improvement be sure to check the thin wire tension spring - i had that terrible bottom looping and couldn't figure out the problem - adjusted the tension over and over. Finally noticed the wire spring had completely broken off. Replaced it and wala, problem gone.
Happy stitching.
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