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Thread: I just finished my first FMQ! A few problems....

  1. #1
    TX_Cutie's Avatar
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    I just finished doing FMQ for the first time and I'm really happy with how it turned out. There were only a few problems. I did the outside borders on a full sized quilt and when I got done with the first side, I realized I had stitched the backing over itself and had to take out stitches over the last block. NOT fun.

    Several times my thread broke and seemed to fray itself into a big ball. I took some pictures and put them below. I used Warm and Natural 100% cotton batting and Coats & Clark Dual Duty thread. Could it be the thread itself?

    Also, I think I may be moving my fabric too slow. A clerk at the quilt store said "fast machine, slow hands". I've got my machine on full blast and I moved slow but it seems like my stitches are REALLY close together. Is that okay?

    Broken thread and the way it looked on the back when it broke. The thread is to the left.
    Name:  Attachment-50126.jpe
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Size:  28.1 KB

    Stitches up close.
    Name:  Attachment-50127.jpe
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Size:  23.6 KB

  2. #2
    Senior Member MaineGirl76's Avatar
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    Wow you did a great job!

  3. #3
    Super Member eparys's Avatar
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    Looks great for a first attempt -

    I am not an expert but what I found out with my few FMQ projects is that the thread needs to be good thread (I no longer purchase Coats & Clark as I have had that problem with just plain sewing with it) and that if you are using spray basting that your needle eye should be larger than you would usually use as the "glue" builds up in the eye AND you should go lightly on the spraying!

    Also - some machines are more finicky that others with thread. I am sure that it is how it goes through the tension disks and needle.

    I use either Microtex or embroidery needles and Guterman thread.

    There are also a few threads (forum threads of course :lol: ) on this as well . Here are just a few that might help you as well:

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/posts/list/14279.page

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/posts/list/18640.page

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/posts/list/4946.page

    I just searched on "thread FMQ"


  4. #4
    Super Member Quilt4u's Avatar
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    Great job.

  5. #5
    k3n
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    Power Poster k3n's Avatar
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    Well I think it's great for a first attempt! :D

    I'm new to this as well but what I find is using a quilting thread in the top and a finer one in the bobbin works best for me. I use Aurifil cotton piecing in the bobbin and a 100 percent cotton quilting thread in the top. And I don't think close stitches matter if you like the effect but if you want them wider, just experiment a bit on some practice sandwiches with speed of machine and hands, til you find a groove you're happy with. :D

    Hope this helps, but I'm NO expert, it's just what works for me! :D

  6. #6
    reneebobby's Avatar
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    First attemp looks good to me. I had those same problems when I did my first few (sure will have again since I haven't done it in about a year)

  7. #7
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I know nothing of the specifics of FMQ, but I do know yours looks good. Without the title no one would know it was a first time.

  8. #8
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    I think you did GREAT for your first FMQ attempt. I have to say, I don't think the breakage problem is you. My machine hates the Coats and Clark thread. It always shreds and then breaks on me whether I'm piecing or FMQ'ing. I'll bet if you change to a different thread, you'll find that you don't have that particular problem anymore. Good job!

  9. #9
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    I think you did a great job for your first time free motioning. As for the tiny stitches, I do think that you were going a tad too slow.

  10. #10
    Super Member sewjoyce's Avatar
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    Looks good to me! :D

  11. #11
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Use a size 60# or higher thread top and bottom with a 60/8 needle to practice. It does make a difference.

  12. #12
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    fast pedal speed also means fast friction of the needle eye on your thread. so stop once in awhile to let the thread rest. also check it and make sure it's not fraying. larger eye needle will help with free motion too!!
    small stitch length is due to slower movement of the quilt, you're right. so maybe move a bit faster. too fast and you will get too long a stitch. practice! looks good otherwise. :mrgreen:

  13. #13
    Super Member joeyoz's Avatar
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    Your quilting looks great. I would say a lot of your problem is your thread. Coats & Clark Dual Duty thread was not made for quilting.

    Keep up the good work. Happy quilting!!!

  14. #14
    Super Member MollieSue's Avatar
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    Wonderful quilting!!!! You Go Girl!!! :thumbup:

  15. #15
    Senior Member billswife99's Avatar
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    Your curves look great! I still am a chicken to try this but I do know my machine has certain threads it likes and others that it doesn't play well with at all.

  16. #16
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I think it looks wonderful. I agree with others that the breakage may be your thread. I had the same problem with Coats and Clarks thread. I use Connecting Threads thread now and have no problems with breakage.

  17. #17
    TX_Cutie's Avatar
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    Thank you for all the wonderful words and encouragement! I'll definitely be getting some new thread and try out a few needle sizes. I was using an 11. I started with a 14 but the holes it left seemed too big.

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