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Thread: Free Motion Quilting Questions

  1. #26
    Super Member faykilgore's Avatar
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    All good advice. I use the batting I cut off finished quilts to make practice squares. I practice a lot to get into the rhythm of the stitch I've chosen before putting needle to quilt. I hate ripping out quilting stitches.
    The only addition I've added that I haven't seen here is the massage therapist after I've finished a large quilt. It takes her about an hour to get my shoulders out of my ears. Stop frequently (with needle down), grab the seat of your chair and pull your shoulders back down. Have fun with it! Mine is never perfect, but it certainly personalizes my quilts!
    Fay

    "You can't help that. We're all mad here." - The Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland.

  2. #27
    Super Member pjnesler's Avatar
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    Another consideration may be the type of batting to practice with, I just completed a quilt with a poly batt that was suppose to be low loft, didn't enjoy working with it at all, it seemed to have lots of loft, and my stitching looked very irregular compared to when I use warm and natural which doesn't have the loft, sort of stays put, and the stitches turn out nice and even.
    All the points brought up by the above members are great to follow too.

  3. #28
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    I practiced on many pieces of fabric and then just jumped in....took a while but finished a kings size quilt for my dgs and his new wife....they loved it....the more you do it the easier it becomes....of course i only did one type of design but it worked.....it was the 1st fmq i have made

  4. #29
    Senior Member carol45's Avatar
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    I took that craftsy course. She explains everything as she goes, the things you need and the process. I found I just needed to do what she was doing and it worked out so well. I loved that course and it really improved my skills.
    Good luck!

  5. #30
    Senior Member Dogwood Quilter's Avatar
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    I also bought one of the courses on FMQ on Craftsy. But I have learned a lot more from a couple of books I checked out of the library. One is by Harriet Hargraves and another is by Diane Gaudynski. I liked the one by Harriet Hargraves so much I bought a copy from Amazon. Now to just get to practicing.

  6. #31
    Senior Member Maire's Avatar
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    For me the biggest "must have" is a stretch needle-makes all the difference, no skipped stitches or loopies. The thread lies better in the longer scarf on the needle (learned this years ago from someone who learned it from a sewing machine tech)

  7. #32
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    You will need a free motion foot. I would also recommend a 90/14 top stich needles like Schmetz and some Machinger quilting gloves to help you hold onto your fabric. As for the quilt sandwich either pin or spray baste.
    Anna Quilts

  8. #33
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I do a much quilting with my walking foot as my darning/fmq foot. This book is excellent to lean more then stitch in the ditch with the walking foot. One Line at a Time: 24 Geometric Machine-Quilting Designs Made Easy by Charlotte Warr Anderson

    Got fabric?

  9. #34
    Super Member AshleyR's Avatar
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    She'll answer your questions in the course.

    I have found that I can skip the gloves if I put 1-2 drops of glycerin on my hands. It just so happened that my husband has a bottle of it, so it was free to me, but it's only a few dollars at Walgreens and a little goes a LOooooooong way! I used to use (2/$.89) rubber-y mechanic gloves with the thumb and 1st finger cut out and I tried the quilting gloves and wasn't impressed. I can't go back to gloves now!

    I also built a little table (well my husband and son did lol) http://www.quiltingboard.com/picture...e-t189553.html that cost $5-6 and was easy to make. I covered it with contact paper, and it's slick enough that I don't think I need anything else on it.

    The most important tool is Practice!!! Just keep practicing and you'll hit that "a-ha" moment! I was like a little kid "I did it! I did it!" when I was able to go and go without breaking a needle or thread!!!

  10. #35
    Super Member RugosaB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skittl1321 View Post
    Well, there is no reason you couldn't try. You probably will need to lower the pressure of the foot though- the darning feet kind of float above the quilt, not press down on it.


    I've heard of people who don't use a foot at all, but I'd just sew right through my finger...
    Thank you for the inspiration to give it a try. I do have a dial to put it in 'darning' mode that seems to reduce the pressure down to nothing.
    To be honest, I'm so cheap, ordering a new darning foot was not something I wanted to do, especially because it seemed to last only 5 months
    You know that feeling when you've finished all your quilting projects and your studio is perfectly clean???? Me neither.

    It's not how fast you sew, it's how well you sew fast! Wait, I think that's supposed to be MOW!

  11. #36
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    I believe the only "must have" will be a darning/fmq foot. Everything else is nice based on personal preference. I do not like gloves; I put KwikSort (bought at Staples) on my hands when I remember to use it. You can fmq with bare hands if your hands and arms are very strong. When I don't use KwikSort my forearms get tired and sore very fast.

    Level quilting space around the needle area is most helpful. Even a small quilt gets heavy and the weight of the quilt will fight you and the needle if the quilt drags or catches on anything. There are a lot of imaginative ways to level your quilting space, and some are very cheap or free.

    You didn't say what machine you have and that could make a difference for what you need. I've only fmq'd on Pfaff machines. My QE has a half way stop on the presser foot to keep the foot floating above the sandwich, with only minimal pressure when the needle goes down.

    The ABSOLUTE must have is patience. You will not excell at fmq the first (few) times you try it, but it does get easier and better the more you try. After a fair amount of experience I found that I got cocky and thought I had it down. That's when I did the worst fmq I've ever done. The key is to start small and keep practicing.
    Shirley in Arizona

  12. #37
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    I'm taking that class and love it. I'm taking her other one as well, I think it's Beyond FMQ or something like that. Great courses! I've been quilting for many years, but she has come up with some tips that more than paid for the class. She does a lot of stitch in the ditch which uses an even feed foot. When she does the FMQ, she uses an open toe FMQ type foot. Both are definitely worth the investment if you don't have them.
    Gloves, I can't use them. They drive me nuts. What she uses in the course is either two sponges or two pieces of that rubberized drawer liner stuff. I haven't had the time to finish either class, but have been using her tips on quilts I'm trying to get done. One thing I don't like about the classes are there is a lot of time filming her doing her SITD and that is kind of like watching paint dry, but overall great classes.

  13. #38
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    I have the best luck with feed dogs up and an open toe foot with very short legs.

  14. #39
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    What is the quadrant method?

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by lfstamper View Post
    Check out leah day. She tells u everything abt fmq. You need gloves and glider for sure. A glass of wine is a big help too...lol.
    hahahaha that is so funny you are right to relaxe you need the wine. I get very tense.
    Deb

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by RugosaB View Post
    Thank you for the inspiration to give it a try. I do have a dial to put it in 'darning' mode that seems to reduce the pressure down to nothing.
    To be honest, I'm so cheap, ordering a new darning foot was not something I wanted to do, especially because it seemed to last only 5 months
    5 months for a darning foot doesn't sound right! They should last pretty much forever.


    But yes- be fearless! It is only fabric and thread. When experimenting, don't do it on a king size heirloom quilt, but there is no reason not to give almost anything a try.

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by matraina View Post
    What is the quadrant method?
    Divide your quilt into 4 by a vertical and horizontal (for me, imaginary- I don't mark) line in the middle. Do one section at a time, so that you are more organized in your approach. It means you won't miss any part of the quilt, and there is never too much bulk in the machine.

  18. #43
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    I thought about getting my husband to build me a little table that the machine can sit down in. I have one of the plastic tables wish I could figure out how to cut that out and sit the machine down in it rather than buying wood to make one. Any ideas? If I have him cut the opening with a saw how can I attach supports to hold the machine in place since plastic doesn't hold screws very well. Open to suggestions.

    Thank you everyone for all of the tips, guidance and advise.

    Diane

  19. #44
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    turner: I was thinking the same thing, when I read your post. If you were to cut an opening in a plastic table you already have, I was thinking to build a narrow table the height you would want your sewing machine to sit at. Then (the wheels kept turning) I would use the extra few inches of space for quilting items, maybe rulers etc. Also, if you make a top to fit the piece you cut out and attach legs, so it would rest on the lower narrow table, your table would be flat again. Just and idea for a multi use table. gmacindy

  20. #45
    Super Member AshleyR's Avatar
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    I asked a similiar question and got a lot of good tips http://www.quiltingboard.com/mission...e-t188369.html

    Quote Originally Posted by turner0106 View Post
    I thought about getting my husband to build me a little table that the machine can sit down in. I have one of the plastic tables wish I could figure out how to cut that out and sit the machine down in it rather than buying wood to make one. Any ideas? If I have him cut the opening with a saw how can I attach supports to hold the machine in place since plastic doesn't hold screws very well. Open to suggestions.

    Thank you everyone for all of the tips, guidance and advise.

    Diane

  21. #46
    Senior Member Dogwood Quilter's Avatar
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    Go to "Quilt In A Day" select free patterns and at the bottom of the page there is a file on how to make a sewing table from a farm table. Hope this helps.

  22. #47
    Senior Member mustangquilts's Avatar
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    That is a very good class. I also recommend a walking foot. Great for stright lines and putting on boraders. No pleats.I also highly recommend Leah Day. What info I give at my classes is to have a bobbin geni, slider, connecting threads pro essential thread, a walking foot, a darning foot, gloves or scrapes of rubber rug backing, a dry board or paper and practice practice pratice drawing and making samples of the designs you want to make. To this day I always draw out my design before sewing just to get my brain and hands in sink. Good luck and have fun.

  23. #48
    Senior Member Quilted Dogs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by turner0106 View Post
    I'm wanting to try free motion quilting. I signed up for the online course with craftsy.com "Beyond Basic Machine Quilting". I have reviewed parts of this. However, my first question is what tools are a must have for FMQ. Which sewing foot do you use and do you like it? What tips or advise can you offer?

    Thanks Everyone
    Diane
    I just took a class at my local quilt shop and loved it so much. She even showed extra things to do. I bought a pair of gloves with the finger tips rubber there and only cost me $8 which I thought was great. I use a free motion foot that I bought at Jo ann fabrics for my machine. Funny, they even offer u a glass of wine to relax, relax is the key and just jump into it......enjoy, I did doing the class and so happy I spent $20 for it.....
    http://signatures.mylivesignature.co...C68D6DB95A.png
    Quilting With A Friend Will Keep You In Stitches

  24. #49
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    I would love have to a glider! However I have found a good coat of car wax on the flat surface of my sewing surface ONLY makes my Juki and Janome pretty slick. I use either a cheap pair of garden gloves with the rubber palms or plain old disposable gloves. I love Leah Day! But I also love the craftsy course. It is well taught by Ann Peterson. I am taking the same one you are and my free motion has vastly improved.

  25. #50
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    I use garden gloves with the "plasticky" feeling on the fingers and palms. Actually bought 6 pairs of gloves from Costco for $7-$8, which I thought was a great value. I started FMQ'ing without gloves but found my fingers were terribly sore afterwards because I was gripping and pulling on the quilt top so hard. So now I won't quilt without gloves on. They are worth every penny.
    Also saw a tip which I have yet to try (soon thought!). On my machine, I can remove the foot pedal and has an auto run function. The thought is that you have one less thing to do if your speed is automatically controlled. I will try anything once!

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