Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 26 to 50 of 54

Thread: FMQ....I don't think its for me.

  1. #26
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Brisbane, Aust
    Posts
    1,503
    Have a glass of wine and relax - it will all happen for you with practice

  2. #27
    Super Member sharoney's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    South Texas
    Posts
    1,976
    When I first started machine quilting, I would always draw a pattern on the quilt. As I made more quilts, I got more comfortable with quilting without the pattern. My first FMQ quilts were just meanders, and I look at them now and see uneven stitching, bad tension, and just mistakes- but in order to get where you want to be as a quilter, you just have to keep at it. I'm still not where I want to be, but I'm a lot better than I used to be, and I know I'll keep improving with every quilt I make.
    If people quit making quilts because every quilt is not perfect, there would be a lot fewer quilts around.
    And lastly, some people are just better at piecing, and some are better at quilting. If you just feel like you're not improving, maybe you can pay someone to quilt your quilts, or find someone who'll trade quilting for piecing with you. I've actually thought about it, because, while I enjoy piecing, I really love FMQ, and I'm a better quilter than I am a piecer.

  3. #28
    Super Member Bonbonary's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,312
    Blog Entries
    3
    I just tried fmq by using the start button on my Janome instead of the foot pedal. My quilting was much improved. Maybe because I had one less thing to worry about. I tend to speed up or slow too much when I get nervous or am not sure where to stitch next. You might try that too if your machine has a start button. Just unplug the pedal and give it a try. Also gloves are a must for me, too.

  4. #29
    Senior Member skowron5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Wallace, Michigan
    Posts
    452
    I find I have more trouble on practice pieces than quilts. I think it is because the practice piece is small and you can't grasp as well. If you have some fabric you can waste try making a larger piece and see if that helps. I was going to give up and then one day it just started looking good. I am on my second wall hanging on a wholecloth with just fmq and I love it. Give it more time before you give up.

    I also learned from a Craftsy class with Ann Peterson that she uses cupboard lining that is like rubber and grippy. You just cut a couple squares and use instead of gloves. I find it is easier for me with that. The gloves just didn't work for me.

  5. #30
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Delaware County, SW of Phila.
    Posts
    605
    I have taken two workshops on FMQ. One was an all day affair. I have given up. The only thing I FMQ on are my charity quilts for babies since I figure they won't care anyway! I would love to get better at it but mostly SID or do lines around things to make them stand out. Some things are better left alone and for me FMQ is not worth the aggravation. I really love quilting but that can make me walk away from my machine. Good luck.

  6. #31
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    10,464
    Blog Entries
    2
    I'm sure that there are some folks who are immediately successful, but not me. I read somewhere that you should make a big stack of practice sandwiches. FMQ 45 minutes every day, and at the end of a month, you will have it down. This was my experience, and even after a month, I wasn't wonderful, but comfortable, with an even stitch length. The amount of time per day was good, so you didn't get tired, and the daily repetition gets the muscle memory ingrained. You can reuse the sandwiches by putting a new piece of fabric on top, so you don't need a new one every day. A hard thing for me was figuring out where to go next. I would strongly agree with the posters who said to doodle with paper and pencil a lot.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  7. #32
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Cadillac, MI
    Posts
    6,582
    Blog Entries
    19
    1)Draw with your index finger to imprint the pattern on your brain. 2)Give yourself permission to sew in all directions. Once I did this, things improved. Those of us coming from an apparel background have many years of sewing forward. 3)Increase the size of your practice sandwiches. When you use something small, there is too often nothing to hold on to near the edge and the size is limiting. I only quilt a small area at a time, but I use a larger area to guide the quilt. I am down to a border with not much extra now and it's difficult to keep my vines where I want them.

    My FMQ isn't perfect, but it will hold the quilt together and it will improve. Soon I will asking for help with feathers which scare me.

  8. #33
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Walton Hills, OH
    Posts
    575
    I'm getting much better with Cindy Needham's class on Craftsy. It's for quilters of all levels.

  9. #34
    Senior Member Grannyh67's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Barling, Arkansas
    Posts
    821
    Blog Entries
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by quiltingnd View Post
    I've signed up for a few classes and watched them and watching Leah Day and youtube videos, but it just doesn't come very easy to me. I know that I'm tense, and I want to be perfect right off the start which doesn't help my cause at all. My practice pieces have only been around that 12x12 or 15x15 sizes. Thanks for letting me know that it just takes time and practice. I will keep trying.
    Hey, Im right there with you. I expect too much of myself. I too am learning FMQ. I do pot holders, lol.....I did do a table tunner and it turned out pretty good. I know we will get better if we just keep tryinh and not expect too much of ourselves, good luck and do as I am doing, hang in there.
    Life is SEW great!!!!!!

  10. #35
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    San Antonio, Texas
    Posts
    8
    I can't stress enough checking out Leah Day's Free Motion Quilt site! She refers to s "stitch/mind muscle you develope from practice and also sends us back to our memories of learning cursive handwriting. I don't Have FMQ mastered, but try to practice daily on a scap plain piece of fabric no smaller than 7 inches. I promise you will eventually master it. But to sit and just practice the art ver and over at one time will rattle you marvellous brain cells------we'll it did at least for me!

  11. #36
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Pasadena, MD
    Posts
    63
    Hang in there, I just learned how to operate my sewing machine August 2011. Now, I am trying to learn how to FMQ and having difficulty. Signed up for Leah class on Craftsy, and hopefully that will help me. The most important I hear is practice, practice.

  12. #37
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    Colorado
    Posts
    70
    I doodle FAQ patterns in all my meetings at work. My coworkers think its pretty funny but it has helped me train my brain very well. I love FAQ. I stuck to meandering for a couple of years first.

  13. #38
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Posts
    421
    Relax! From what I've learned from TV and youtube is practice,practice,practice. Look at it this way, when you were learning how to ride a bike, did you fall a few times before you could get your balance right? When you were learning how to drive a car, did it take some practice to get your license? Why would you assume free motion quilting is any different? The first time you do anything is harder than if you do that task for years. I've seen so many posts on here where posters say they have tried FMQ once or twice,say this is too hard, and give up. One teacher suggested buying a white board or a sketch book and write a line of cccc's. The idea is to do it enough that you have muscle memory.Then try different letters. Once you get that down, try connecting leaves or hearts or stars or whatever you want. Use practice sandwiches and do it. Remember, you will not be going to quilt jail if you feel that you do it wrong! This is supposed to be a pleasant hobby, if you get stressed out, what fun is that? Good Luck!

  14. #39
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Posts
    4,983
    Blog Entries
    1
    try getting a dry erase board and practice; it's been said that if you practice drawing the design until you feel comfortable then it'll come more easily when you FMQ. I took a class at Raleigh sewing expo last yr because I too was intimidated by the thought of it. I was surprised that I was pretty good. I havne't done anything yet but right now I'm working on finishing up WIP and then I'm going to get serious about it. I even have a crib size Gracie metal quilt frame with stitch control that I picked up. I was going to sell it due to lack of space but they don't do so well here on Craigslist so if I have to keep it I want to learn to use it. I'm hoping to take another class in the future.
    Judy

  15. #40
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Here and there
    Posts
    1,660
    To each his own! My own are my friends who bought long arm quilting machines so they can quilt the tops that I and others take to them. I get the thrill of the top, they get to exercise their artistry and make some money. FMQ a kitchen quilt (hotpad) is about the most I'm going to do and I don't feel frustrated or bad about it. froggyintexas

  16. #41
    Senior Member asimplelife's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Northern Minnesota
    Posts
    488
    Quote Originally Posted by FroggyinTexas View Post
    To each his own! My own are my friends who bought long arm quilting machines so they can quilt the tops that I and others take to them. I get the thrill of the top, they get to exercise their artistry and make some money. FMQ a kitchen quilt (hotpad) is about the most I'm going to do and I don't feel frustrated or bad about it. froggyintexas
    This is how I look at it too. I am learning to FMQ so that I can quilt my own Project Linus sized quilts and small projects (table toppers, pillows, etc.). I have learned to really enjoy walking foot quilting over the last six months and feel it's time for a new challenge. I'm taking it slow and not stressing over it.

    I will continue to send larger quilts or special projects to a professional as they have a skill set that I don't and I'm not interested in purchasing a long arm of my own. I don't have the space or the desire to learn those skills and there are MANY more quilts I want to make instead!

  17. #42
    Super Member IBQUILTIN's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    North Fork Ca
    Posts
    8,257
    You could mark your pattern for a while, start out slow, and just practice, practice, practice. You will get it, if I can get it, believe me, anyone can. I marked for a while just to get the feel of things, then my body developed a motion memory thats lets me do most anything I want now. I just had to go at it slow. Don't give it, you'll get it.

  18. #43
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    1,988
    Oh my, I know just how you feel!! I took an FMQ class and felt like a complete and total failure! Although I haven't attempted it again, I have a better outlook and much more information than when I first attempted it. I agree with looking at Leah Day's website for alot of great inspiration!! Have heart, don't beat yourself up, or psych yourself out saying you can't do it... it takes tons and tons of practice and alot of patience. Just practice on a quilt sandwich made up just for practicing FMQ. That's what I plan to do, just lots and lots of practice!!
    ~Sheriann~💖 BabyLock Ellisimo 💖 Husqvarna Viking Designet 1ESS 💖 BabyLock Imagine 💖 Janome Jem Platinum 760 ♥ Beloved Gram's 1924 Singer Treadle 💖 1937 & 1953 Singer Featherweights #IAMSEWBLESSED ♥

  19. #44
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    387
    Just keep trying! You will get better. Although I took a class at a LQS, I have found videos and classes on the web much more helpful. Doodling has never helped me - but different things work for different people. Pretend you are looking at someone else's work and I bet you will see more good and less bad. Don't be too hard on yourself.

  20. #45
    Super Member Luv Quilts and Cats's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    3,708
    Keep trying. I told myself for years I couldn't machine blanket stitch applique pieces because my brain is not good a picturing things and I was afraid I wouldn't be able to know how to position the applique so the needle would fall in the right place as I went around the applique. Well, I tried a straight stitch inside some flower applique blocks for a quilt I was making. I had trouble keeping the stitches the same width away from the edge of the applique. Frustrated, I decided to try my machine blanket stitch. I had two practice pieces to work on. You know what, it was a lot easier than I thought! The foot I was using had an opening and if I kept the edge of the applique straight in that opening and went slowly around all the curves, it worked!!! So keep trying and practicing. The more you practice, the more confident you will feel and I bet even like it. If during practice you get uptight, then leave it for a while. There's no law that says you have to do it well all at once. Have fun. Believe me, I am going to experiment with more machine applique!
    Luv Quilts and Cats
    Never underestimate the healing effects of beauty. - Florence Nightingale

  21. #46
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Butte, Montana
    Posts
    142
    I am learning FMQ too, it is pretty ugly starting out. What I am doing to practice is cutting up 3 layers of flannel into squares and using them as my sandwich. When I get done, I will sew the squares together as a rag quilt....can't see spending all that time/fabric/batting and not ending up with something...even if it ugly.

  22. #47
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Posts
    2
    When I first started I would even draw out meandering to follow but don't worry overmuch if you go off the lines. The Frixion pens by Pilot work fantastic for drawing because when you iron your work lightly the lines go away. Buy them at an office store like Staples, tho'... way cheaper than at a quilt shop. Try to keep your touch light. I often find I have to repeat "pretend you're driving in the snow... don't oversteer". Another thing I discovered... I NEVER like my work until I've washed it. It's amazing what a difference that makes! Don't give up on yourself! Just keep practicing and it will come. All of a sudden you'll wonder what you found so difficult.

  23. #48
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Rapid City, SD
    Posts
    4,909
    I'm with you - I want to learn to quilt on my machine and am intimidated by it. Then I read that a person should practice for at least 100 hours so that is my goal. I cut a bunch of squares and layered them. Now I practice a bit every day and find that I'm getting a lot better. I tried the gloves and they helped a little bit, then I tried the "handles" and love them. They come in two sizes, have a grip on the bottom. You place them around your needle and move your hands. They made learning a whole lot easier.

  24. #49
    Senior Member scrappy2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    W Ohio
    Posts
    759
    Blog Entries
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by Bonbonary View Post
    I just tried fmq by using the start button on my Janome instead of the foot pedal. My quilting was much improved. Maybe because I had one less thing to worry about. I tend to speed up or slow too much when I get nervous or am not sure where to stitch next. You might try that too if your machine has a start button. Just unplug the pedal and give it a try. Also gloves are a must for me, too.
    I'm also having some trouble with fmq. I have read all the comments and will try them & practice alot more. I have changed my tension many times & my speed but I still get small loops on the underside but at least they are small now. What am I doing wrong? :0(

  25. #50
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    SoCal
    Posts
    9,749
    Just try again another time. You can also quilt by doing stitch in the ditch or over a line you draw on the fabric with a walking foot and stitch lenght set to 3.5.
    Anna Quilts

Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 1 2 3 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.