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Free motion quilting

Old 12-22-2015, 09:29 AM
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Default Free motion quilting

Happy holidays to everyone!!!

I had surgery last week, so have been having fun with ALL day to do nothing but quilt and read (OK, I admit, I'm getting a bit stir crazy LOL, but am having fun)

I have tried my hand a FMQ a number of times, and hated it. Figured it was because I was too impatient, you need WAY to much practice to make something look nice (as opposed to something a 5 year old shoved through the sewing machine).

So I sat down again this week and tried it again. And you know what? I still hate it. And I so wanted to be able to have these really pretty designs on my quilts and I simply can't do it. I don't know if it's technique, I don't know if it's a mental block, I really don't know.

It's not my machine, I have ZERO issues doing FMQ with my machine. I can't even sew over lines that I drew on fabric LOL

And honestly, when I look at it all done, I don't even like the look of the quilt at all. I much prefer the way I quilt things together.

Are there others out there like me that just prefer to quilt without doing FMQ?
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Old 12-22-2015, 09:45 AM
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I'm struggling with FMQ right now. I really want to learn how to do it well, but I don't seem to have a knack for it.

I just don't like doing things I'm not good at.

I'm not going to give up though. I'll keep plugging away until it gets reasonable.

The hardest thing for me to FMQ is a straight line of all things. You'd think that would be easy, wouldn't you?

So I'm just following the print or just wandering around with loops and wavy lines and weird pebbly things. I practiced on a wall hanging and some potholders and moved on to a quilt and I'm in too deep to quit now.

But I understand not really enjoying it. I'm having to make myself do it.

If you don't like FMQ you can still get nice results outlining or using decorative stitching.

It's your quilt, so do what you like and what feels good to you.

Nothing wrong with that.
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:01 AM
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I always feel frustrated with FMQ, too. Now I just use my embroidery machine and quilting programs I've bought. I have some block programs and some edge-to-edge programs. My machine can do up to 6X10" designs, but I have a lot of 4X4" designs, too. If you have an embroidery machine, look at Embroidery Library online. They have all sorts of programs you can use.
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:33 AM
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I would look into quilting with a walking foot. There are several books out there and at least one Craftsy class. You are not limited to straight lines.
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:34 AM
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I have an embroidery machine, and I think that's part of it LOL ... why don't I just use that instead of driving myself nuts trying to do something, that quite frankly, I don't enjoy.

I'm usually one of those - I WILL CONQUER IT - but have to also recognize that I don't HAVE to do everything LOL

Seriously, I just took a really nice wall hanging (bargello) and wrecked it!
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Old 12-22-2015, 10:39 AM
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FMQ takes practice and patience what helped me I used 100wt silk thread it is so forgiving and it will give you the confidence you need to move onto other threads and designs I really think straight line quilting in hard to do fmq that is why they use the rulers to do them
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Old 12-22-2015, 12:04 PM
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Sometimes to my eye a lot of FMQ seems to "distort" the design and detract from the fabric.

To me the purpose of quilting is to keep the layers of fabric from moving and not to be the feature of the item.

That is just my humble opinion - by no means right and not written to offend anyone.

BTW I admire those you can do those lovely designs on their work and my FMQ skills need a lot of work. I like to use the walking foot to do my quilting.
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Old 12-22-2015, 02:04 PM
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You really need to be familiar with your machine. When at a certain speed, and I don't mean FAST, you just need to match that speed and move the fabric at the same rate that the sewing machine would. The other thing is to not look at the needle but where you want to go next. It does take a lot of practice. I found it easier to follow lines.
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Old 12-22-2015, 02:26 PM
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I do gentle curved lines with my walking foot, but it's not for FMQing. i've seen some gorgeous machine work by domestic sewing machines. Quilters can do almost anything!
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Old 12-22-2015, 03:20 PM
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Looks like you would be a candidate for a ruler like Accents In Design. Amazing quilting with just straight lines. Thought I might like to do that, but haven't had the time --Until Tomorrow - looking forward to surgery, took a whole month off, and hoping to be able to start sewing within the first week!
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