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Thread: Fmq

  1. #1
    Super Member Sweeterthanwine's Avatar
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    Fmq

    How many of you out there do FMQ with just a regular sewing machine or is this even possible? I want to try it, but all I have is a Singer sewing machine. I can't afford one of the fancy ones like Bernina, etc. Any tips you can share with me. I think I might want to try FMQ on the next small quilt I make.

  2. #2
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    It is absolutely possible to FMQ on an "regular" sewing machine. All you need is a machine that does a straight stitch, a way to either drop or cover the feed dogs, and a FMQ foot (a.k.a. a darning foot on most machines), and a foot control. The machine I do my quilting with doesn't have any fancy stitches.

    I'd recommend you do a lot of practicing be for diving into trying to FMQ on an actual quilt though. There is a lot of information on this site about how to get started. You'll also find some great resources on youtube and my favorite is Leah Day's site at http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/
    Wendy

  3. #3
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    I have a Janome 6600 and she does a great job at fmq (I am the one who struggles with squiggly and jerky lines). The challenge comes when you have a large quilt and not a big throat area. But it can be done. I definitely wouldn't start out fmq on a quilt. I would make quite a few practice sandwiches of similar fabrics and batting as one of your normal quilts. It takes lots of practice before you will feel confident enough to fmq a quilt. Even STID can be tricky....LOL. Have fun with it and try not to get frustrated as it is entirely different than drawing.

  4. #4
    Super Member Becky Crafts's Avatar
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    I have a Brother HS-2000 sewing machine & I've been quilting my own quilts. I've been trying different designs on various quilts and just having fun with it. It definitely can be done on small home sewing machine!! Practice, practice, practice and most of all....have fun with it!!
    Live Simply, Love Generously, Care Deeply,Speak Kindly, Leave the rest to GOD

  5. #5
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    many, big=name famous quilters quilt their quilts on their domestic sewing machine- as long as you have a good straight stitch, a darning(hopping) foot & can lower your feed-dogs you can do it-
    it takes practice.
    start with small quilt sandwiches (like 12-15" squares -top, batting, backing) and as you get the hang of it work your way up to larger & larger- you will be quilting quilts in no time- there are tons of videos, tutorials for free motion quilting- check them out= and practice, practice, practice.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  6. #6
    Super Member woody's Avatar
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    I start quilting with my cheapie Brother machine, it did it just fine. Make a practice quilt sandwich and give it a go
    The biggest risk is the one not taken

  7. #7
    Senior Member YC Quilter's Avatar
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    Harriet Hargrave has a great book on FMQ on your home machine: "Heirloom Machine Quilting". She also stresses that PRACTICE is very important. I personally hate to practice and often pay with high level of frustration!

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mom3's Avatar
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    I guess I was dumb when I started FMQ'ing with my older Singer - didn't know any better so I just went ahead and did it. I still do it. You really don't need a fancy machine to do any quilting unless you want "fancy stitches". I'll stick with my older Singer's. Right now my favorite vintage Singer for FMQ is my model 237.

    Of course I would love a machine with deeper throat space. I'm drooling over a HQ Sweet Sixteen which is a 16" throat compared to the little throat space on my 237 - but - until I can come up with at least $5,000 for the HQ then my 237 works just fine.

    I've also got 14 other vintage Singer's to choose from if/when I tire of my 237......

    Shari

  9. #9
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    Very doable. That's how I FMQ. But discovered on my cheapy Brother works better without covering feed dogs. Check out Leah Day's website.

  10. #10
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    I FMQ on my sewing machine, but it took lots of practice before I would even attempt a quilt. I used the cheapest muslin I could find, sandwiched it and practiced over and over. Even now, if I have'nt done it for awhile, I will practice for a little while before starting a quilt. I will not do a large quilt, I only do baby quilts, tablerunners, lap quilts etc. I just don't want the hassle of handling a large quilt.

  11. #11
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    i use a 1600 p janome on a quilt frame. works great.

  12. #12
    Senior Member dixie_fried's Avatar
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    As mentioned by everyone here...DON'T start on a quilt! Make practice sandwiches and keep trying until you get it right. The biggest problem I had was getting my tension set right for my machine to keep from having eyelashes and nests of knots on the back.
    I found my tension had to be quite high on the needle thread to keep the back from looking a real hot mess. Once I got everything worked out, I kept the practice sandwich that looked the way I wanted on front and back. I wrote on it with marker to note what my tension settings were, what sized needle I used and even what thread I used. When I am ready to FMQ something else, I grab another practice square of material from my current project (if possible), set my machine as noted on my successful square, and make sure that everything holds true.
    THEN I will FMQ my piece.
    It's a few extra steps, but, it sure beats picking FMQ stitches out of a quilt!!
    Good luck to you!
    "And I guess I might have made a few mistakes.
    But maybe that's exactly what it takes.
    To get a little happy in this big sad world..."
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  13. #13
    Super Member Val in IN's Avatar
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    I took a Craftsy class called "Qilting Big Projects On A Small Machine" by Ann Peterson. I loved it so much I took the next class by her called "Beyond Basic Machine Quilting". All Craftsy classes are on sale through today for $14.99 ea. Once you buy the class, it's yours to use forever. It's completely interactive. You can make notes, ask questions, and read other users questions, see their results and post your own results. You can go back to any chapter of any class any time and watch as often as you want. I was really desperate to learn because I can't afford a longarm and I can't afford to send them out. I do enjoy handquilting but it takes a long time. These classes are a real life saver for me. I won't hesitate to take more classes on different techniques in the future.
    "I've always been crazy, but it's kept me from going insane!"
    Valarie

  14. #14
    Super Member jillnjo's Avatar
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    I want to pop in here to encourage you to go ahead and start practicing with the machine you have!! I used a very basic machine for several years and didn't know any better!! It does work and I also recommend you start on practice squares you have sandwiched together. Then, maybe try a small inexpensive panel. The above threads have lots of great ideas that are so helpful. I recently showed several friends the way I FMQ and they all tried, too. One lady had the nicest stitches and fairly smooth curves the first effort she made! Most of the others felt like they were all thumbs, and that is how I felt, too. I am always excited to encourage anyone to get started-old and young alike. It is fun to create with thread. Enjoy!!!
    Last edited by jillnjo; 04-07-2012 at 06:15 AM.
    jillnjo

  15. #15
    Super Member patchsamkim's Avatar
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    You can machine quilt on any machine as long as you can lower or cover your feed dogs. It just takes a LOT of practice. Start with sample squares, or on a baby quilt with cheater fabric that you can donate and learn on that. A baby won't care if it isn't "perfect" and you will learn a lot more than you will on samples.

  16. #16
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    I have a Janome and I do it all the time. I would love a long arm but, once I conquered the FMQ it is not so bad.
    A friend is someone who knows all about you and loves you anyway.

  17. #17
    Super Member lalaland's Avatar
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    I use my regular sewing machines (mechanical and computerized) for FMQ. Whichever machine I'm sewing on, that's the one I use. I also have a Brother 1500 with a 9" throat that I use exclusively for FMQ. When I have a big quilt, I put it on a big table and use my 1500. I have pretty good luck with the results. All the smaller stuff, table runners, toppers, wall hangings, I just do on a regular sewing machine.
    Thought for EVERY Day: You know all those things you've always wanted to do? You should go do them.

  18. #18
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    I do my FMQ on a singer confidence and I do "good enough" for me. I usually only do SID or meandering or stimpling all of which I find fairly easy. I have yet to try "fancy" FMQ on a large quilt. On reason is that I like the FMQ to be secondary to the design/pattern of the fabric. Also FMQ on a large quilt is hard/struglle! Do not forget that since practicing on a 12" sample is EASY! It take a lot of "muscle" to push a large quilt thru the machine. The usual quilt size that I do is 80x100. Also be aware that your backing may not lay as smooth when quilting on your machine as when done on a longarm. All the above said I will continue to quilt my own tops on my machine since I can not afford a LA or to send them out to a LAQ. YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!!!

  19. #19
    Super Member dilyn's Avatar
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    I have made everything from table toppers to king sized quilts with my domestic machine. I like the fact that I can sit and stich, take my time and do whatever I like in my stitching. It dows take some practice, but I've only been quilting a about 2 years and it didn't take that long...start with something simple and go for it!

  20. #20
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    I do it all the time. Don't have or want one of those machines that cost more than my first house and car combined.
    Of course, that was a long time ago.

  21. #21
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    I do my FMQ on a Singer Quilter's Confidence and it works out fine. One thing I do is not drop my feed dogs. I know this is controversial but it works for me. I leave my feed dogs up and change my stitch length to "0". This has cleared up all tension issues and makes a more even and cleaner looking stitch.

  22. #22
    Super Member barri1's Avatar
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    It's funny that I was getting frustrated with the FMQ that I was doing, and took a break to read the board.. and this is what I ended up going on to.. I'm using a Singer 66 where the feed dogs don't drop.. I put something over them, but I'm thinking of taking it off, and trying without..

  23. #23
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by barri1 View Post
    It's funny that I was getting frustrated with the FMQ that I was doing, and took a break to read the board.. and this is what I ended up going on to.. I'm using a Singer 66 where the feed dogs don't drop.. I put something over them, but I'm thinking of taking it off, and trying without..
    That's how I do it, but be sure and set your stitch length to zero. I see QuiltLady60 mentioned this too.

  24. #24
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    Mystery Machine

    I have found this lovely pink Western Super Deluxe Sewing Machine. It is a straight stitch. I think it was made by Toyota. Can anyone tell me anything about it. I cant find it on the web at all. I would like to FMQ with it. So I wonder how big is the throat space is and it it would lend itself to FMQ?

    Thank you sooo much. This is my first vintage machine. (a newbie)
    Sherri
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  25. #25
    Power Poster lynnie's Avatar
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    my friend does fmq on her singer featherwt mach.
    put off till tomorrow what you can do today, and if you procrastinate long enough, you may never have to do it.

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