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Thread: I have issues...

  1. #26
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    I don't always like the look of long arm quilting. I also quilt my quilts on my sewing machine, it does have a 11 inch throat which helps. I try to do some different things, I don't quilt in the ditch. One can do curved lines also. I also have tried FMQ, doesn't look to bad on a busy fabric, plain or marbled fabric forget it. I used to hand quilt but not able to do anymore. Wasn't very good at that. I try to do what ever I am best at doing.

  2. #27
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    dgreen, don't be discouraged and let yourself develop at your pace. Practice does help, but as my very quilt teacher said, "Just do it!" and you will get better as time goes by. There are different ways to learn, and you will find which learning method works for you. I took a couple of FMQ classes and they were worth it...after one class, I finally overcame my fear of doing feathers. Here is my quilting philosophy...every quilt is a rehearsal for the next quilt!

  3. #28
    Super Member applique's Avatar
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    I have so many quilts waiting to be made that I am doing only the part that I love. I pile up my tops and if someone wants to quilt them, I use them as payment. Pick one that you want and quilt one for me. Whatever works for you!
    Debbie
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  4. #29
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    Beautiful and "fancy" quilting can be done on a domestic machine. Check out Diane Gaudinsky's books and Harriet Hargrave's, "Heirloom Machine Quilting." Harriet says she does hand quilting by machine -- and she does. I took a class from her and saw her quilts -- ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS -- and she does them on an older model Bernina which does not have a large throat. I just haven't practiced what I learned in her class, and because I, too, am a perfectionist didn't want to "ruin" my tops with imperfect quilting. So, I continue to hand quilt because I am comfortable with it and admittedly prefer the look of it to machine quilting. My reason for taking the class was to finish all those tops hanging in my sewing room -- five years later they are still hanging there. So, I need to get off the computer and get busy finishing those tops either by hand or machine.

  5. #30
    Super Member sharoney's Avatar
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    I quilt all my own quilts, even up to king size, on my domestic machine. It is definitely a learning process, and I'm glad that LA's and online quilting sites were not so prevalent when I first started FMQ, because looking at pics of what LA's can do would have been very discouraging. I don't have the space or the money for one. I did buy an E-Z quilter frame for my DMS several years ago, and ended up not using it because the quilting space is so small, especially for large quilts, and I had to keep moving and adjusting the quilt in the frame. I just kept at it. I can turn out a very nicely quilted quilt that I am happy with, and isn't that the point? I also recommend Leah Day- watching her helped me immensely, and I use a lot of her patterns.
    I also think its important to enjoy the process, which I do, very much. FMQ is my favorite part of making a quilt. I can't wait to finish piecing so I can quilt.
    Having said all that, I believe that there are people who are better at piecing than quilting, and vice versa. I think those people should get together and trade talents, and there's no shame in that.

  6. #31
    Super Member joym's Avatar
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    have you tried "quilt as you go" method?? I was feeling the same way as you (except the perfectionist part ) because I would have to send mine out to a LA and I really could not afford it. There is a QAYG method called "fun and done" and I like that. You can quilt your designs on a regular machine.
    Last edited by joym; 03-15-2013 at 06:04 AM.

  7. #32
    Super Member sharoney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadQuilter View Post
    I solved that by buying a HQ Sweet 16. Now I just need more time.

    Harriet Hargrave said in her lecture at our guild last month that for many people the actual quilting is like an afterthought. "Now that I made this top/pattern....how in the world am I going to quilt it?" She suggests to think about the quilting as you are deciding on the pattern/fabric. I tried that with my next project and it does make a difference. I am not dreading the quilting. BTE, she does all of her quilts on a regular DSM.
    I find this is so true! I do think about how I'm going to quilt it, even before I start piecing, and all the way through the piecing process. While I'm making the quilt, I will be looking at pics of quilting, and books, and YouTube, and even drawing out ideas because the quilting has to suit the quilt. I usually try to decide which is the "star" of each quilt- the fabrics, the pattern, or the quilting. That helps me a lot.

  8. #33
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    I have ruined two quilts while trying to quilt it on my home sewing machine. If I had to do that all the time, I would never quilt again. I send all my large quilts out to a LAQ and always happy with the way they turn out. I don't feel bad about it as I don't like the sandwiching part, at all. So, if I don't like it, I don't do it. This is supposed to be fun.
    Marilyn

  9. #34
    Super Member Luv Quilts and Cats's Avatar
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    I have only recently started learning machine quilting. I usually have my quilting done by a long-armer. But I am working on smaller projects now and learning to machine quilt on my DSM. I don't have much of a space so smaller projects are best for now. I haven't taken a class on it, though they are offered in LQSs around me. I would like to sign up for one to get my feet wet. I just finished a lap size top for me and a larger top that I plan to donate or give to someone (not keeping it because I don't like the colors). My friend who has done some large bed quilts on her DSM is urging me to try it on mine. Not too sure I want to do that big of a project though. Maybe watching the video someone suggested will give me the oomph I need.
    Luv Quilts and Cats
    Never underestimate the healing effects of beauty. - Florence Nightingale

  10. #35
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    suzyquilter

    Quote Originally Posted by dgreen View Post
    Does anyone else feel this way? I am a perfectionist and am so inspired by the art of quilting; however, my struggle is with the actual quilting part. After working so hard to piece a quilt together, it feels like such a letdown to stitch in the ditch on my little sewing machine. I have tried machine quilting on my home machine, but it is very limiting, and just can't look as good as I aspire it to look. Does anyone else feel like "what's the point of quilting if I don't have a longarm?", and what area do you focus on to substitute for the fancy quilting done on these machines. I don't mean to sound like a whiner, I just need another way to think about this. Maybe i should focus on hand-quilting....
    I agree with others that answered you. It takes LOTS of practice. I did buy myself a good machine with a large throat area. I made the sales person in the shop roll up a king size quilt to make sure it would fit so I could quilt any size. My other tips are set up tables around your sewing area so the quilt does not fall over the sides. That pulls and can really mess with tension. When I quilt a large piece I know my sewing room will be tight until I'm finished. Good luck.

  11. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgreen View Post
    Does anyone else feel this way? I am a perfectionist and am so inspired by the art of quilting; however, my struggle is with the actual quilting part. After working so hard to piece a quilt together, it feels like such a letdown to stitch in the ditch on my little sewing machine. I have tried machine quilting on my home machine, but it is very limiting, and just can't look as good as I aspire it to look. Does anyone else feel like "what's the point of quilting if I don't have a longarm?", and what area do you focus on to substitute for the fancy quilting done on these machines. I don't mean to sound like a whiner, I just need another way to think about this. Maybe i should focus on hand-quilting....
    While I admire the work done on a longarm, I don't think it is the be all, end all, if you know what I mean. I kind of enjoy the simple quilting such as stitch in the ditch too. I find it very fulfilling to have done the entire quilt by myself. I tried some FMQ on my last baby quilt and it wasn't too bad, just will take time!

  12. #37
    Super Member weezie's Avatar
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    My FMQ is not good, but I feel confidant that it will be good ... eventually; I am of the opinion that if others can do it, so can I. I have a nice machine/table set-up dedicated only to that and will practice a lot when I have some current WIPs completed and out of the way. I neither like nor dislike to hand quilt, but I do it; I always have at least one hand quilting WIP. I have quilted by machine (not FMQ) designs that required me to tie and bury the thread ends, which is annoying, but effective, with a much quicker end result than quilting by hand; of course, I can only do this with straight stitching (such as grids) or wavy (such as vines and ribbons). In fact I do whatever is necessary to have my quilts done by me, from start to finish. It's just how I am and not advice for anyone else. As a matter of fact, I think the LA quilters who do such a fabulous job of quilting the quilt tops sent to them deserve a big round of applause.

  13. #38
    Super Member kiffie2413's Avatar
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    You are me...or were...So much so that it has been 3 years since I started machine quilting...and I finally last night "got it"...and I only have domestic machines...I will say that I did just get the Janome Horizon 7700 machine...mainly for the 11" throat space and the fact that it will do more than just the straight stitch that my Brother PQ-1500 does...that being said, I must say the 1st time I tried fmq (just a simple meander stipple) with my Janome, it was way different than on my other machines...thread didn't pull, needle didn't break, no birds nesting or thread bunching...after 3 years I really almost fell out of the chair that it went as well as it did...Now I am certainly not saying that it was the machine that made it better...as operator error surely covers a lot of what I do...lol...but I can tell a big difference in the fmq with this machine.
    Also, have you checked out Leah Day's website? She only quilts on a domestic...has stated several times she does not want a la...which is certainly a preference thing (in my case it is also a $$$$ thing...., I did good to finally be able to purchase my Janome). Leah also has tons of videos, and fmq designs all free...check out her site and see what you think..
    http://daystyledesigns.com/
    Good luck,
    Kif
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  14. #39
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    I quilted about 150 quilts on my Bernina short arm before it died (3 years old!!!) I have access to a LA, but my body says no. You can FMQ even a king sized quilt on a regular machine, just to a small area at a time. I now have a Janome and could do almost anything, but my arthritic shoulder objects. If you can't afford the $ or space for a LA, just do what you can. Remember, you can quilt even a king sized quilt as 4 smaller pieces.

  15. #40
    Super Member JoanneS's Avatar
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    Marti Michel has a great book in which she breaks down machine quilting into quilting just a part of it a a time. You can either plan ahead and do a sort of quilt as you go - or finish your top and backing, sandwich it and then remove the outer thirds of the batting, so you don't have to wrestle with the entire batting while you're quilting.You quilt the center third first. It REALLY makes a difference. It's a piece of cake to reattach the batting and finish quilting the outer thirds after you finish the center third.

  16. #41
    Super Member Aurora's Avatar
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    Hand quilting is in my blood and it provides me with the time to sit and relax.
    Aurora

    "A dying culture invariably exhibits personal rudeness. Bad manners. Lack of consideration for others in minor matters. A loss of politeness, of gentle manners, is more significant than is a riot." -Robert A. Heinlein

  17. #42
    Super Member grandme26's Avatar
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    I am taking a class tomorrow at my LQS on free motion quilting and can't wait to learn something. I have used the LQS LA a couple of times and love it. Just bought a Janome 9800 and it has enough room to do a small quilt on it.
    Grandmeto6 aka Judy

  18. #43
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    No, I don't feel that way at all. In fact I don't want a long arm. I feel like I really didn't quilt it if a long arm does it. For a year I've been learning FMQ through Leah Day and Craftsy classes. I recently made a template for a wine glass. I had quilted SID and I traced the wine glass on to every other square on the back. I did the back because my quilt backs are muslin. It turned out great and I have found I'm very interested in doing FMQ and FM embroidery. I'm taking a Craftsy class now that teaches those skills. As far as being perfect...I don't even go there because I'll never be at that level.

  19. #44
    Senior Member leakus's Avatar
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    I was a perfectionist too but finally I understood "better done than perfect". I do charity quilts with fabrics from my guild and practice machine quilting on them. Little by little I try new designs. I learned that I dont like heavy quilting so I am finding what I am feel comfortable with. The set up when you are quilting is a must. If the quilt is hanging you will only get frustrated. Chech Leah Day as it was suggested. Just last weekend I tried another machine and foot and made the whole difference about my experience machine quilting. I think now I will be able to experience more and feel better about it, but to tell you the truth, I usually don't use the seam ripper. I know that the recipient (non quilter) will not even notice the imperfections. Good luck and dont be too hard on youself. Enjoy the process and the result.
    Andrea
    :-( I wish I was a full time quilter!
    Andrea (Margate, FL)

  20. #45
    Super Member meanmom's Avatar
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    I hate to hand sew so hand quilting isn't an option for me. I sometimes feel the same way. My quilt guild makes doll quilts for Salvation Army for their Christmas toys for tots. I have a small pile made so far about 20. I am going to sign up for one of the Craftsy classes and use them to practice on. It is so much easier to practice on a smaller quilt. I took a FMQ class years ago but didnt feel like I was getting any better no matter how much I practiced. I took another class last year. I have no idea what I learned that I didn't already know but I do know my FMQ is a lot better now.
    I will make a few more doll sized quilt then I need to figure out which Craftsy class to take. Good Luck.

  21. #46
    Power Poster twinkie's Avatar
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    I do not have a long arm machine and also feel intimidated by the art of FMQ. I have done it on small objects but I am not always satisfied with the outcome.

  22. #47
    Super Member Gannyrosie's Avatar
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    Ditto to Anita in DE. I keep sticking to hand quilting cause I can perfect it, slowly. Maybe one day I'll take up on the challenge of MQ. Slow and steady wins the game as the saying goes, Right?

  23. #48
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    FMQ takes practice. Start out by drawing designs on paper until your hand can really flow through your favorite design. Experiment on a big square [with batting and backing[. Try different speeds and get your hands moving in sync.
    I want to be able to make beautiful, fine designs so I am taking a break from piecing and working on free motion every day for 20 minutes or more. Leah Day tutorials are a great place to begin. I love to hand quilt, but want to master FMQ

  24. #49
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    I actually don't love the look of a long-arm-quilted quilt. It's too perfect, obviously not done by human hands alone. I love the charm of FMQ. It's freestyle, by hand. Very cozy and personal...
    http://www.craftsy.com/user/333534/pattern-store?
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    "The reward of a thing well done is having done it." -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

  25. #50
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    I enjoy the piecework, but then I ran into the fact that I didn't LIKE Stitch In the Ditch. YUCK! So I invested in a "hopping foot" and then jumped in. I Free Motion Quilted a bed runner, with a mini pattern from an old quilting magazine I had saved for years. I wasn't happy with the way it turned out, my stitches weren't even, I could see every wobble of the lines, etc. Then I took that to work, and WOWED the crowd of non-quilters! Hmmm, that made me feel good!

    Take a deep breath, start SMALL! and enjoy the learning process. Does your machine have some interesting stitches? I've used the 3 step zig-zag with variegated thread and stitched across the quilt in a grid. Turned out really cute.

    Recently I discovered the "Pebble" pattern. Remember drawing circles learning how to write? Pretty much the same pattern, but with thread. Ignore the quilt top pattern, do an all over Pebble (for the baby quilt, I'm calling it Bubbles!) I still can't wrap my brain around stippling, but circles? No problems! And the texture is instant and really fun. And by the time I finished the first 200 circles, I found myself relaxing and they looked better and better. I took my breaks when I ran out of bobbin thread! That first Pebble quilt, thread color was fluorescent PINK on top and mauve thread on bottom! And the baby I gifted it to, doesn't care if all the lines aren't perfect!

    Good luck and Happy Quilting!

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