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Thread: FMQ is NOT for me (at least not right now!)

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Hi everyone,

    I have been making quilt tops and taking them to a LAQ which can get pretty expensive if you are making gifts for Xmas. I have tired FMQ and just can't get the hang of it. I know that "Stitching in the ditch" is an option, but is there any other way? Something that I could do on my own sewing machine? Tutorials would help.

    Thanks..

    Doda

  2. #2
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    you could do echo quilting

  3. #3
    Super Member janRN's Avatar
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    Doda I've been trying FMQ for 2 yrs (I'm sure people on this board of tired of me whining about it) and I just can't get it. I've practiced and the practice pieces are fine. I try it on the real thing, thread and needle break.
    I've about given up. I draw a quilting pattern (just did holly leaves) on the top, and then just quilt on whatever I've drawn. That works for me. Maybe some of us are just never going to be FMQers!! I don't drop my feeddogs or use a darning foot-just sew over my design with reg sewing foot.

  4. #4
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    I didn't think I would EVER get the hang of it! I tried and tried and tried and tried, then one day it clicked in my brain and wala! I love it! So keep trying! It helps if you can practice everyday for a bit and also use the start button on yr machine vs the foot pedal (if you have one)

  5. #5
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    i don't know. i was about to give it up but am taking a class on the 19th. the quilt i did yesterday, i just did diagonal lines across the quilt blocks. still have to do something in the border though.
    sometimes FMQ works well, most times not.

  6. #6
    Senior Member quiltin chris's Avatar
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    Free motion quilting on my machine is hard for me too.

    I just need to practice more. That's what everyone says.

    I have done some stitch in the ditch--that's not too hard but it's kind of like invisible quilting. Noone sees it.

    You can always stipple--large or small.

    Good luck with whatever you try.

    Chris

  7. #7
    Power Poster erstan947's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janRN
    Doda I've been trying FMQ for 2 yrs (I'm sure people on this board of tired of me whining about it) and I just can't get it. I've practiced and the practice pieces are fine. I try it on the real thing, thread and needle break.
    I've about given up. I draw a quilting pattern (just did holly leaves) on the top, and then just quilt on whatever I've drawn. That works for me. Maybe some of us are just never going to be FMQers!! I don't drop my feeddogs or use a darning foot-just sew over my design with reg sewing foot.
    I'm in the same boat. This seems to work best for me also.

  8. #8
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    Have you looked at Mary Mashuta's book "Foolproof Machine Quilting"?

  9. #9
    Super Member Katrine's Avatar
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    It is worth persevering with the practice - I spent months and months on practice squares. And practising shapes etc with pencil and paper alot really works and makes it easier when you go to the machine, you will find you have a more fluid movement. If you dont have a speed control, try blocking the descent of the foot control pedal to limit the speed a little which helps with control.
    Most fmq'ers still "warm up" before starting on a quilt.

  10. #10
    RST
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    Senior Member RST's Avatar
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    You could tie or tack -- two techniques that have their own charm.

    You could resort to fusible batting (though I personally hate that stuff).

    You could barter with another quilter who does like FMQ and come up with a trade in services.

    RST

  11. #11
    Senior Member snow's Avatar
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    Keep trying don't give up!

  12. #12
    Super Member gale's Avatar
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    I just do straight line quilting. In a diagonal cross hatch or even just random. Some do straight line but do a wavy-ish line or some use a decorative stitch.

  13. #13
    Super Member gale's Avatar
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    Here's a blog I like to read that has an article about straight line quilting.
    http://tallgrassprairiestudio.blogsp...-and-tips.html

  14. #14
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I do a decorative stitch in the ditch, you can also do a decorative stitch for the cross hatching too.
    Just elongate your stitches, and choose a stitch with a fairly open design :D:D:D

  15. #15
    Super Member hperttula123's Avatar
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    I have tried fmq with a bsr foot on a regulaer sewing machine and I can't do very well, but me and my mom went in together and bought a long arm quilting machine and it's wonderful. Using a regular sewing machine is like...we like to put it....like trying to draw but instead of moving the pencil, your moving the paper. I cannot do it. Maybe with LOTS of practice, I would be able to do it, but I'm not wasting that much fabric...lol. I'm just lucky enough to have a mom that lives in the same town as me and we both wanted to buy it. So it's no problem to run over to her house to quilt something.

  16. #16
    Spring's Avatar
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    I tried FMQ and I too am one who is sick of tearing up good fabric. Right now I LOVE stitch in the ditch. Im going to take a class on it after I move because I love the look....but right now Id much rather stitch in the ditch or pay someone else to FMQ my quilts.

  17. #17

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    Gale,
    Thanks so much for the tutorial.
    Just had the house painted and I have lots of painter's tape left over.
    Marie

  18. #18
    Super Member plainpat's Avatar
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    What is the diff between stipple & FM quilting ?

    Quote Originally Posted by quiltin chris
    Free motion quilting on my machine is hard for me too.

    I just need to practice more. That's what everyone says.

    I have done some stitch in the ditch--that's not too hard but it's kind of like invisible quilting. Noone sees it.

    You can always stipple--large or small.

    Good luck with whatever you try.

    Chris

  19. #19
    Super Member plainpat's Avatar
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    Lucky you!!!!!
    Quote Originally Posted by hperttula123
    I have tried fmq with a bsr foot on a regulaer sewing machine and I can't do very well, but me and my mom went in together and bought a long arm quilting machine and it's wonderful. Using a regular sewing machine is like...we like to put it....like trying to draw but instead of moving the pencil, your moving the paper. I cannot do it. Maybe with LOTS of practice, I would be able to do it, but I'm not wasting that much fabric...lol. I'm just lucky enough to have a mom that lives in the same town as me and we both wanted to buy it. So it's no problem to run over to her house to quilt something.

  20. #20
    Super Member quilterella's Avatar
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    I can't do FMQ right now either, been doing Physio for my shoulder and am currently waiting for reconstructive surgery on that same shoulder. I do love to do echo quilting, whether it is around appliqued shapes or seams, it makes things pop!

  21. #21
    Super Member gale's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by justme2
    What is the diff between stipple & FM quilting ?

    Quote Originally Posted by quiltin chris
    Free motion quilting on my machine is hard for me too.

    I just need to practice more. That's what everyone says.

    I have done some stitch in the ditch--that's not too hard but it's kind of like invisible quilting. Noone sees it.

    You can always stipple--large or small.

    Good luck with whatever you try.

    Chris
    Stipple is just a pattern of free motion quilting. It's still FMQ.

  22. #22
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Like amma said, work with decorative stitcehs. Or you could incorporate some grid work.

    I recently learned that I can do straight-stitch @foot-width from the seam where I "tie off" by sewing at a tiny (.6mm) stitch length for about 5-7 stitches. Then I quilt at a normal stitch length (about 3-3.5mm depending on the batting) until I get to the end and I tie off with tiny stitches again. Have used this to sew squares, triangles, lines....

    Using that method, I can lift the needle and pull the quilt to the new position without having to trim the thread. I trim that later.

  23. #23
    Super Member quiltaroni's Avatar
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    I have a quilting friend who told me to practice on one of


    those slates the kids use where you draw pull out the screen

    and then start over again.You really get the smoothness you need when actually quilting. It worked for me good luck

  24. #24

  25. #25
    Super Member luvTooQuilt's Avatar
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    Ive tried FMQ.. I'm with you.. Im all thumbs and cant get it right or even make it look halfway decent.. I'll bit the bullet for the LAQ..

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