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Thread: FMQ Problem

  1. #1
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    FMQ Problem

    I have only tried FMQ a couple of times because I just can't seem to get the backing to look good. This is a baby quilt that I am working on and as you can see the top part of the quilt looks fairly good around the little lamb but if you turn it over it has all of these wrinkles. I had this nice and straight when I started the FMQ so I am wondering what is the problem. I think I would like to do more FMQ if I could figure out how to get the backing looking nice with no big tucks, etc.
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  2. #2
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    Are you using a walking foot? they are really needed to FMQ

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    The problem is that you seem to be outlining the squares before you FMQ. With FMQ I always start in the middle of my quilt and work my way out, it pushes all the wrinkles out with it. Any stitch in the ditch you want to do should be done after the center of that particular square is filled in.

  4. #4
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    No, walking feet are not for FMQ...darning feet or FMQ feet are

  5. #5
    Super Member woody's Avatar
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    How did you baste you quilt before you started quilting?
    Also maybe try the FMQ, starting from the centre and working outwards first before you stitch in the ditch around the blocks.
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    right, darning foot, or no foot (many fmq and embroidery people do no feet)...BUT presser lever DOWN, (it simply will NOT work when lever is up) and gardening gloves or hoop on top, holding down and moving at the same time.... the outline is fine to do first, it keeps it straighter, but you MUST have the layers smooth and basted or pin basted to do this....

    I prefer basting...set top tension down to about 2...looser than normal, sew work in 4" squares, keeping smooth on all layers while basting....now RESET tension....do not forget!!! and FMQ till all is well and then on the back...pull the bobbin thread out...it will be really flat on the back and not 'in the layers' from the loose top tension.... once the bobbin thread is out, the top will come off in huge long lengths... it would not be good for seaming this way but it holds everything in place realllllly better than a pin here or there.... just try on a small sample and see what i mean...

  7. #7
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    If you are really Free Motion Quilting, you can not use a walking foot! Make sure your feed dogs are down and/or covered and use a darning foot or a FMQ foot. Also, I agree with not sewing a square around your motif first. Do the FMQ and then do the square.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member 1000projects's Avatar
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    For your next quilt, isuggest fusiblebatting or spray basting... Itwill help lots!
    Long arm quilting in Carmel, Indiana http://quiltcycle.blogspot.com/

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    I know you will get tons of personal preferences but I could not get a decent back on my domestic sewing machine until I started using Hobbs 80/20 fusible batt. I have done up to a twin size quilt with no puckers. I imagine that if you use the 505 fusible spray that you would get the same result with no wrinkles. I can't use sprays due to allergies. I also found that polyester batt slips more than cotton or cotton blend batt. Just my opinion, some people love polyester. Try a few different things and find out what you like best.

  10. #10
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    I use Dritz spray basting and never have to start in the middle....the trick is to have the backing tight and straight before you start sewing....once it is spray basted in place, it will not move, then you can sew wherever you want.....once I discovered spray basting, I will never pin again.....feed dogs down, darning/quilting foot (no walking foot unless doing straight line sewing) presser foot down, pedal to the metal and go!

  11. #11
    Member lovequilter's Avatar
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    I use a all cotton batting for free motion quilting, as the ploy slips around. I also spray baste. Check your back often.
    Linda
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  12. #12
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    Spray baste helps tremendously! Another thing I do sometimes is to use water soluble thread and baste every foot or so (each block of rows). This helps hold it together a bit more than the spray baste alone. I use a large stitch and do a simple grid every 12-18" inches or so. I always do my stitch in the ditch first, then quilt the blocks. I rarely have any puckers. Once the quilt is all done, I wash it and the water soluble baste washes away.

  13. #13
    Super Member suebee's Avatar
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    Morelcabin is correct. Use darning foot (FMQ foot) for FMQ. Use walking foot for SID (after stippling is done) or whatever design is quilted in that block (space)

    Quote Originally Posted by morelcabin View Post
    No, walking feet are not for FMQ...darning feet or FMQ feet are
    SUEB

  14. #14
    Super Member tjradj's Avatar
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    Wow, lots of advice. Looks to me like you're having the normal issues when learning FMQ. I assure you my first quilts were a lot worse. Here's my take on things.
    If you notice, your quilting around the lamb is actually quite good. The backing really shows up when there are areas of the quilt that are not quilted as much as the others. So, the lamb area looks poofy on the back. When there is a poofy area, you're bound to get puckers beside it.
    Spray basting or using fusible batting is a great fix. Pin basting is also very good but you have to take the time to make sure you tape the backing down tight to the table before layering the batting. Take the batting out of the package before you're ready to use it so it can relax and 'dewrinkle'. Make sure it's straight and evenly laid out before adding the top. Smooth the top from the center to the outside. Once the entire quilt sandwich is ready, pin baste from the center of the quilt to the sides, pinning every 3 or 4 inches. I even pin baste when I use a spray baste on larger quilts.
    I find that the quilting works a lot better if I quilt evenly throughout an area = making the spacing between the rows of stitching about equal. I do SITD around blocks before filling them in. If you've made the backing tight enough before basting, it works.
    When I'm ready to do the borders, I stitch the edge together, about 1/8" in from the outer edge. I find it helps to prevent the border from bowing out. It also helps me gauge the border design so it fits in the border but doesn't get chopped off by the binding.
    Anyway, keep up with the fmq. You're doing great, you just need more practise.
    I used to be "hot", now it's just "hot flashes!"

  15. #15
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    I use painters tape and tape my backing to the floor before layering on the batting and quilt top. Then pin every 4 inches or so and peel the whole thing off the floor to sew.

  16. #16
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    Q

    Thanks to everyone for your suggestions. I actually taped the backing to the dining room table so it was nice and smooth. then I added the batting and then the quilt top. I started in the middle making sure it was all nice and straight with no wrinkles. then I pin based the top about every 4". When I turned the quilt over it looked very good so I thougt I was good to go. I do think the suggestion of FMQ the center of each block before the SID rows was a good idea. I could also have messed things up by removing the pins before FMQing the blocks. However, I straightened them out really well before doing the FMQ so I thought it would be OK. I used a darning foot on a Singer 15-91. I removed the pins so I would not sew over them or the foot get caught on them. I think perhaps a better way for the FMQ would be to baste the area really good. It just seems like when I do FMQ and I have only done it twice, it always winds up not staying taunt and when I get to the end I always have the puffy places. I have tried adjusting the presser foot tension but I am not sure that is the problem. Anyway, I don't think I can take out the stitches because they are very tiny and I will keep on trying. I am sure there are youtube videos on FMQ that I should check out. Again, thanks for your help and ideas. This is the greatest place for all things concerning quilting know how.

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