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Thread: I Played at FMQ Today

  1. #1
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    I Played at FMQ Today

    I made two "quilts" of about 12 inches square with as close to solid fabric as I have. Then using a thread that was much darker, I just fiddled around attempting to make the stitches even. My goodness....I applaud anyone who can do that. I kept telling myself I will probably never use it on a real quilt. I just wanted to see how bad it would be. Not too bad, but gee what happens if you are in the middle of one and the phone rings? I did not do too badly when I could just go, but anywhere I stopped and started up again is pretty clear. Oh well, I was just playing.
    Life is not a movie. No one is going to yell "CUT" when you make a mistake. - Anne L. Fulton

    I am from the South....39 miles south of Boston.

  2. #2
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    Good for you! I'm just starting to venture into FMQ, too, and it's pretty daunting, but I WILL PREVAIL! I just need to get back to the practice mat...

    Got a pic of your playtime?

  3. #3
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    Gee Teeler, are you SURE you want to see this? lol
    Life is not a movie. No one is going to yell "CUT" when you make a mistake. - Anne L. Fulton

    I am from the South....39 miles south of Boston.

  4. #4
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    Getting the stitches close to the same size takes lots of practice. Being relaxed helps too. Like anything else, somedays are better than others. Once the quilt is washed and dried, the stitches aren't as noticeable. We are our worst critics.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  5. #5
    Junior Member SewFarBehind's Avatar
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    I want to see! I tried my first FMQ yesterday. The back was horrible but I'll get it right one day.
    Why do I keep trying to find the "like" button?

    Viking Husqvarna 950 S; Bernina 1150 MDA

  6. #6
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    It really helps to have the needle down feature on your machine. Also pick a FMQ design that allows you a resting spot as you practice. You will need a spot that you can stop to re-position your hands or take a breather.

  7. #7
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    Ummm, if the phone rings or kid yells at you, you get a weird jerky spot in your FMQ. I speak from experience.

  8. #8
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    I did not have a particular pattern in mind. I just went all over. Back and forth to see if the stitches would be pretty much the same size. It almost looks like one of those puzzles kids play to see if they can get through the maze. I did take a couple of pics of it, if you REALLY want to see.........
    Life is not a movie. No one is going to yell "CUT" when you make a mistake. - Anne L. Fulton

    I am from the South....39 miles south of Boston.

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    I want to see! I am hoping to make my first practice attempts this weekend. I found some old poly/cotton yards in my stash and I figured they would make a good practice sandwich for my first tries. I want to see what to expect (or aim for!) I know it takes a long time and a lot of practice to even get close to some of the beautiful machine quilting I have seen!

  10. #10
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    I have found slowing the speed down makes a big difference. When I first started FMQ in December 2012 I lowered my feeddogs and put the stitch length to zero. I have found though that keeping the feeddogs up gives me more control. I also found keeping the stitch length at the normal size helps prevent those kind of jerky, uneven rounded edges.

  11. #11
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    Okay, here it is. As I had said, I just did little straight lines and corners to see if I could keep it steady. This is the second one. The first has a million "eyelashes", but this was much better. That is good advice about picking a pattern that will give me a chance to rest my hands. Next time I play with this, I will do that.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Life is not a movie. No one is going to yell "CUT" when you make a mistake. - Anne L. Fulton

    I am from the South....39 miles south of Boston.

  12. #12
    Super Member Pinkiris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EllieGirl View Post
    I have found slowing the speed down makes a big difference. When I first started FMQ in December 2012 I lowered my feeddogs and put the stitch length to zero. I have found though that keeping the feeddogs up gives me more control. I also found keeping the stitch length at the normal size helps prevent those kind of jerky, uneven rounded edges.

    Are you saying that you FMQ with your feed dogs UP and your stitch length set at 2.5 (or whatever)?? How is that different from regular stitching? I don't get it! Maybe I'm dense............
    Sue

  13. #13
    Super Member Chigger Holler Quilter's Avatar
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    In her class on Craftsy, Leah Day recommends leaving the feed dogs up and covering them with a slick surface. She maintains that a lot of sewing machines just seem to stitch better that way.
    I can understand why you asked, tho....sounds silly unless they are covered so as to not move the fabric.

    ​Connie aka Chigger Holler Quilter

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    We've got to start somewhere - when we are all experts no one will believe what it looked like when we started out!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boston1954 View Post
    I made two "quilts" of about 12 inches square with as close to solid fabric as I have. Then using a thread that was much darker, I just fiddled around attempting to make the stitches even. My goodness....I applaud anyone who can do that. I kept telling myself I will probably never use it on a real quilt. I just wanted to see how bad it would be. Not too bad, but gee what happens if you are in the middle of one and the phone rings? I did not do too badly when I could just go, but anywhere I stopped and started up again is pretty clear. Oh well, I was just playing.
    I put my phone on do not disturb......LOL

  16. #16
    Super Member klgls's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinkiris View Post

    Are you saying that you FMQ with your feed dogs UP and your stitch length set at 2.5 (or whatever)?? How is that different from regular stitching? I don't get it! Maybe I'm dense............
    The darning foot you should use allows you to move the fabric freely, even though the feed dogs are up. I look a FMQ class and the instructor does some fabulous FMQ and she leaves her feed dogs up - she likes the resistance. However, she did say it was personal preference and that you should try it both ways.

  17. #17
    Super Member Monika's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pinkiris View Post

    Are you saying that you FMQ with your feed dogs UP and your stitch length set at 2.5 (or whatever)?? How is that different from regular stitching? I don't get it! Maybe I'm dense............
    That confuses me a little too. I leave my feed dogs up, but put my stitch length to 0 so they just go up and down and don't try to move the fabric back. That is what Leah Day recommends with or without a slider. I know she reccomends a slider, but I don't have a slider and this set-up has still worked well for me.

  18. #18
    Super Member fireworkslover's Avatar
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    I highly recommend you watch Leah Days videos on her website: daystyledesigns .com. She's come up with over 350 designs. She also has lots of tips to share that work for her and might for you too. Drawing your design first on paper or a dry erase board before ever touching your sewing machine is the best way to start learning this process. Then make up a FQ or 1/2 yard practice sandwich w/ solid or nearly solid fabric and practice, practice, practice.

  19. #19
    Super Member fireworkslover's Avatar
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    My machine (Husqvarna/Viking) will not let me keep the feed dogs up and fmq even if I put the stitch length at 0. The pressure foot puts too much pressure on the fabric and I can't move it. When Leah Day does this, she's covering her feed dogs with a Supreme Slider, but you could use a paper or index card taped over the feed dogs.

  20. #20
    Senior Member petpainter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fireworkslover View Post
    My machine (Husqvarna/Viking) will not let me keep the feed dogs up and fmq even if I put the stitch length at 0. The pressure foot puts too much pressure on the fabric and I can't move it. When Leah Day does this, she's covering her feed dogs with a Supreme Slider, but you could use a paper or index card taped over the feed dogs.
    I am using my Viking Diamond with the dogs UP- there is a setting, but my issue is that is does leave marks on the supreme slider from the feed dogs. That part I don't like. I haven't tried it on my older model Viking to see if's the same.
    I'm doing the practice squares every day, too. I have a special quilt to do, but it seems like forever until I'll be good enough to quilt it, and I don't want to go on with another project. Crafsty has a whole free class with Leah Day you can watch, too.

  21. #21
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    Just keep playing. The brain as well as the muscles must learn the new technique. Usually, about 8 hours of practice, spread out over several days, will do the trick. Post a pic when you can.

  22. #22
    Super Member llong0233's Avatar
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    Teeler, Boston and Jingle all make good points. And here's another tip if you're serious about getting better...don't answer the phone! Give yourself a break and set aside as much uninterrupted time as possible, relax and let 'er rip. I'll bet you get much better much faster than you think. Good luck.
    Quilting Makes Me Happy...

  23. #23
    Junior Member iwillquilt's Avatar
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    I have an older cheapy Brother that I play with for fmq. It doesn't have the option to drop the feed dogs and the darning cover plate always got hung up and messed things up. Now I never bother. And I don't change my stitch length. Just put the darning foot on and off I go. I will never win an award. But my quilts are made with love for my grandchildren and family. They don't notice or care. If I ever learn to get my stitches even I might be concidered pretty good. I would love the oportunity to learn long arm sometime. It's on my bucket list.

  24. #24
    Super Member JoanneS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Boston1954 View Post
    I made two "quilts" of about 12 inches square with as close to solid fabric as I have. Then using a thread that was much darker, I just fiddled around attempting to make the stitches even. My goodness....I applaud anyone who can do that. I kept telling myself I will probably never use it on a real quilt. I just wanted to see how bad it would be. Not too bad, but gee what happens if you are in the middle of one and the phone rings? I did not do too badly when I could just go, but anywhere I stopped and started up again is pretty clear. Oh well, I was just playing.
    That's what answering machines are for. Don't answer the phone!

  25. #25
    Super Member nhweaver's Avatar
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    What a great idea to use old poly cottons from the stash to practice!!! My goal this year is to practice fmq more.
    Quote Originally Posted by Pamsel View Post
    I want to see! I am hoping to make my first practice attempts this weekend. I found some old poly/cotton yards in my stash and I figured they would make a good practice sandwich for my first tries. I want to see what to expect (or aim for!) I know it takes a long time and a lot of practice to even get close to some of the beautiful machine quilting I have seen!
    If life gives you lemons, make a margarita.

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