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Thread: History of FMQ?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012

    History of FMQ?

    Just curious when FMQ started gaining in popularity? Did technology have to advance to some point before it was even feasible on machines, or were people doing it decades ago?
    I can see why it may not have been popular during the depression years because of the amount of thread needed for intricate designs, but there had to be creative minds out there who had the resources-no?

  2. #2
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Western Wisconsin
    Blog Entries
    The modern FMQ revolution started with Harriet Hargrave. She experimented all on her own, using her domestic Bernina sewing machine. Took a finished quilt to her quilt guild's show-and-tell. Someone commented that all that intricate hand quilting must have taken a long time to do. When Harriet said she had finished the quilt in a week with machine quilting, everyone got excited. I think one of the exciting things about HH is that she used nylon monofilament thread and intricate quilting (feathers, etc.) so that from a slight distance you couldn't tell at all that it was machine quilting.

    Prior to HH, there was a man who made machine quilting of straight lines very popular. He died quite awhile ago, although I'm sure I could go into some of my vintage magazines and find articles about him. He was an engineer, I think, and demonstrated how to quilt in straight lines without stopping and starting.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    in my stash mostly
    My mother was quilting on her Singer pedal machine back in the 1950's. She would have me and my brothers hold the rolled up quilt and help guide it through the opening in her machine......you'd best not get in a hurry and start pushing it, cause she didn't like that! She quilted it in rows, not the patterns we have today.

    These were used for cover during the cold weather and boy were they warm. She also made quilts out of dungarees and overalls, using the back of the pants legs as they were not as worn as the front. These denim quilts were so heavy you could barely turn over under them; but they kept you warm.

    She also years later had daddy build her a quilt frame that hung from the ceiling and she and her friends would quilt quilts by hand, mostly the Baptist Fan pattern. This brings back many fond memories, thank you for reminding me about them.


  4. #4
    Super Member mike'sgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    I saw an article in a quilting magazine about a man in the late 1800's that hooked his wife's treadle up to a long frame so that she could quilt. Neighbors brought their quilts over to use this new contraption. So I guess the basic idea is not new, just not wide spread until Harriet started spreading the word.

  5. #5
    Super Member Emma S's Avatar
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    Jun 2010
    Roseburg, OR
    Great to hear some history. Thanks for the question and the info.

  6. #6
    Super Member valleyquiltermo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Great question, loved reading the reply's.
    Sweet Dreams come from under Cozy Quilts made with love.
    Life is short, take time to enjoy it. Play with your kids and g-kids,
    and do what you can for others.

  7. #7
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Outside St. Louis
    Very interesting. I didn't hear about any machine quilting until the 1970's. I started getting Quilter's Newletter and they talked about it. I didn't start seeing many quilting type feet until about the 90s. I wouldn't even try it until abround 2010. Always takes me a while to try anything new. Same with clothing styles, I start liking them about the time they change.
    Very interesting replies.
    I am very thankful to whomever brought this to popularity. Syre is alot faster and easier on my hands than hand quilting.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

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