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Thread: Drawing and FMQ

  1. #1
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    I read a post earlier today that made me stop and think. The poster said, and this isn't an exact quote, "If you can't draw with a pencil you won't be able to draw with a sewing machine." :shock:

    I have all the technical aspects of FMQ down. My practice sandwiches are pucker free, stitch length is fairly even throughout. Yet, they still look like crap because I can't draw my way out of a paper sack and have never had the ability. I honestly didn't realize how much being able to draw mattered! No wonder FMQ has been an exercise in frustration for me. Even my stippling and meandering has the look of something being tortured.

    I'm going shopping for stencils.

  2. #2
    Senior Member 1234Irene's Avatar
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    Please don't give up. The owner of my LQS talked me into taking any picture from any magazine or newspaper and just practice drawing or tracing over that picture. It helped me, maybe it will help you too.

  3. #3
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    You can use a white board and just draw, draw, draw. Also, turn on music you enjoy and that will help you relax and not stress. If you have a friend that can draw a stipple or meander for you, place a piece of plexi-glass over it and use a vis a vis marker and practice tracing it. Or put it on a copy machine and make multiple copies that you can practice tracing.

  4. #4
    Super Member brushandthimble's Avatar
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    doodle on a white board, really will make a huge difference.

  5. #5
    Super Member scowlkat's Avatar
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    Seriously, Sally Terry suggests using paper and pencil to practice any chance you get. Eventually your hand and eye learn to coordinate and the motion becomes second nature. Like learning to ride a bike I guess. It worked for me!

  6. #6
    Senior Member tsnana2000's Avatar
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    You can also get Golden Threads paper. You trace the quilt design on to it and pin it to the quilt and just quilt along the lines. That will also help you develop muscle memory. Believe me I can't draw much either, but with the paper it comes out looking pretty good.

  7. #7
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Doodling with a pencil, without any plan or thought and without lifting it off the paper, will relax your mind and loosen your muscles. Waltz the pencil around on the paper. When you're relaxed, switch hands and hold the pencil still while you move the paper around underneath it. You are now free motion drawing! :lol:

    You're not trying to quilt the Mona Lisa after all, just lines and shapes. People learn to draw all the time...with pencils, paints or sewing machines. For all of them, it takes practice.

  8. #8
    MTS
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    I've never felt it's the fact that some people can draw better with a pencil (ok,maybe they can) but I think the doodling is to practice the motion - getting the hand and eye coordination working.

    If you're doodling (with a pencil) teardrop shapes, for instance, what do you do - or how do you - extricate yourself from a dead end?
    How do you move to another section of the block?
    How do you adjust the shapes if you're in a tight smaller area trying to find your way out?

    I think it's more to become familiar with those kinds of situations so you don't panic and tense up and/or freeze when you're actually FMQ-ing and confront the same situations.

    So like Sadiemae suggested upthread, just keep drawing.

  9. #9
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    I'm not giving up! No way, no how! Seriously though - I really can not draw. My hand writing is barely legible, to the point my signature is never the same twice.

    I'm going to look into the Golden Threads paper. Do they still make tracing paper?

  10. #10
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    i have never been a doodler... never. and i am definitely not the artist of the family. but there are lots of squiggles and other designs that you can use for your quilting that don't need tons of talent. just find your niche and use what you are good at. your quilts will look great.

  11. #11
    Super Member fayzer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch's mom
    I read a post earlier today that made me stop and think. The poster said, and this isn't an exact quote, "If you can't draw with a pencil you won't be able to draw with a sewing machine." :shock:

    I have all the technical aspects of FMQ down. My practice sandwiches are pucker free, stitch length is fairly even throughout. Yet, they still look like crap because I can't draw my way out of a paper sack and have never had the ability. I honestly didn't realize how much being able to draw mattered! No wonder FMQ has been an exercise in frustration for me. Even my stippling and meandering has the look of something being tortured.
    I'm going shopping for stencils.
    Don't give up. I paint and draw and my FMQ looks like heck. No amount of practice has helped. I have been working on my DGD's queen size quilt today. Nothing but problems. Thread fraying, needles breaking. Finally stopped and am drinking a mango margarita. Maybe things won't look so bad when I go back to work on it. My biggest problem is the small harp on my Bernina. Unfortunately, I cannot buy a new, bigger machine.

  12. #12
    Super Member Glassquilt's Avatar
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    You can doodle with your machine as well. Old needle, picture on paper - trace picture.
    Remember that you're not getting graded on staying with the lines. :)

  13. #13
    Super Member Connie in CO's Avatar
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    I agree with the ladies,it is fun you get better with practice.....

  14. #14
    Super Member Pat P's Avatar
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    I have an old roll of white paper and I sit down and practice doing diferent designs, vines and leaves, hearts and twirls, did an abstract one, trying to do no two quilts in the same design. Need to practice feathers. Use to fmq in the round and round, but when I did 4 king-size quilts I mask taped across the center, started in the center went back and forth till that half was done. Turned the quilt around and did the other end. Will probably quilt fmq this way from now on. I usually tape my design paper to the wall and repeat to myself what I did. The knack of doing a quilt half at a time is to repeat the design in the same size and dimension as the first half.

  15. #15
    Super Member fayzer's Avatar
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    I can draw myself silly with flowers, vines, feathers.......anything on paper. But when I carefully put my quilt onto the machine, with plenty of support to hold the weight, I still only have about 5-6" of FMQ area and it drives me insane. I cannot afford to send a quilt out to a long armer. I'll just keep struggling along until I finish. I have fabric for 4 more quilts. I think I will quit buying fabric. If I finish these five, I will be lucky.

  16. #16

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    That's a stupid poster. I can draw, sketch and paint but my FMQ looks like my cat did it after spending lots of quality time with her catnip. It is all practice, practice, practice. Just because you can't draw doesn't mean you can't learn how to FMQ. Just keep at it and it will come.

  17. #17
    Super Member katiebear1's Avatar
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    That's what srencils are for :-)

  18. #18
    Ed
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1234Irene
    Please don't give up. The owner of my LQS talked me into taking any picture from any magazine or newspaper and just practice drawing or tracing over that picture. It helped me, maybe it will help you too.
    :thumbup:

  19. #19
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    She didn't come across as condescending or mean spirited in her post. I believe she was only pointing out that a person isn't going to magically become Michelangelo in front of a sewing machine without practice.

    I realized, from her post, that I can't draw with a crayon so what in the world would made me think I could do it with a electric machine and a needle going at 1000 stitches per minute?! The ability to draw has to make the flow easier, my brain doesn't work that way. I've said before "My brain creates a masterpiece, my hands make a mess."

  20. #20
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    If you are this frustrated, I would suggest you purchase a couple of stencils of designs that you want to learn. Practice with them enough and you will develop muscle memory. You can purchase stipple and meander patterns, as well as anything you probably ever dreamed of. I just don't enjoy following a line, so I practice A LOT!

    Here are some free pantographs that you can practice with. Just print them with your printer.
    http://www.urbanelementz.com/shop/category/free-stuff/

  21. #21
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    Maybe the old exercise we used to use for art classes would help you begin to draw in a more relaxed way.

    I think this came from Drawing from the Right Side of the Brain ... or some book like that.

    In drawing a chair:
    Don't draw ... draw the negative space around the chair ... and maybe even draw it upside down.

    Sorta like that old shadow picture where you had to look at the open spaces to see the work Jesus as all the darker areas were what was the negative space around the word.

    Wish I could state it better. Maybe someone else can.

    It all comes down to practice, practice, practice. Then dropping those negative comments in your head about your work.

    ali

  22. #22
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    Sadiemae -Thank you for the link to the free panto's. I was going to buy stencils, these will work even better!

    I'm really not frustrated. I'm aware of my capabilities and my strengths and weaknesses. All elements of quilting are a challenge for me, but I love the end result, so I keep trying to get better at it.

    I can bake! We may not have beautiful handmade quilts to keep us warm but we won't starve!

  23. #23
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch's mom
    Sadiemae -Thank you for the link to the free panto's. I was going to buy stencils, these will work even better!

    I'm really not frustrated. I'm aware of my capabilities and my strengths and weaknesses. All elements of quilting are a challenge for me, but I love the end result, so I keep trying to get better at it.

    I can bake! We may not have beautiful handmade quilts to keep us warm but we won't starve!
    I think you will have beautiful handmade quilts by the look of your avatar. Don't count yourself short, we all learn in different ways at different speeds. I see all of the beautiful paper pieced quilts and know I would never finish them in several lifetimes.

  24. #24
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    Pooh I can't draw either!!!

  25. #25
    Power Poster miriam's Avatar
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    20 some odd years ago a friend and I were trying to teach ourselves to batik - using wax and dye - we put wax in a little pipe like thing or a paint brush and made designs on fabric - then dyed - I had a pretty hard time of it. I'm not a good drawer - I can come up with ideas real good. My friend could draw... Long story short. One day her dad who was a professional graphic artist back in the day came over to see what batik was. We set him down and he got really into it - beautiful work. I asked him how he knew what to do. He just laughed made a few comments but what stuck with me was when he said, "There isn't really ANYTHING you can't get good at if you practice long enough." It's been my motto ever since. If I flub up, I just haven't practiced enough.

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