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Thread: inadvertent squiggles when FMQing

  1. #1
    Senior Member NatalieF's Avatar
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    inadvertent squiggles when FMQing

    I'm learning to FMQ and at my very beginnings. When I stitch, I can trot along okayish, but anytime I have to stop and start again, such as removing a pin, or re-positioning my hands, I get an inadvertent "squiggle" in my stitching. I think it's from the weight of the quilt, since it pulls, but no matter how I try to be steady when I start back up, this happens the majority of the time.

    I realize that it's a matter of practicing, but does anyone have any tips and tricks that can help? Since I'm just starting, I'm hoping to drill "good habits" in from the start.

  2. #2
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Do you stop with the needle down?

  3. #3
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    Arrange other flat surfaces around so there is no drag on the quilt at all. You can use an ironing board, anything. There are also frame set-ups you can construct or buy to suspend the rest of the quilt from to eliminate drag. Always stop with the needle down.

  4. #4
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    Stopping with the needle down won't help. It happens when you start back up. You just need to try not to move the quilt until you get the machine going. I have done this many times until I remembered to hold the quilt until I started up again.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  5. #5
    Super Member soccertxi's Avatar
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    set up a table in front, in back or to your side to help keep the weight of the quilt from shifting your work. I try to take one or two little stitches in place before I move when I start back up. I doubt anyone will see those except you...and Don't You Point Them Out! (I used to point out every little bobble....I made myself stop)
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 08-10-2017 at 01:12 AM. Reason: remove shouting/ all CAPS

  6. #6
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    Make sure you have any pull off the quilt before starting to stitch again. Also check your needle, is it straight or pulled off center in the fabric? Try not to obsess about the first stitch but have a clear path to where you want to go next and start sewing.

  7. #7
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    Are you sure your presser foot top button is down far enough? I am speaking about the old regular machine, no fancy computer model. The button would be on the top of the machine allowing your presser foot to engage with the feed dogs better. If too loose, you can actually get out of line easily. Just my idea.

  8. #8
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    we all have to start somewhere in our FMQ. practice, practice. and make sure the quilt is supported all around, so no drag against the needle.
    Nancy in western NY
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  9. #9
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    I did this when I started FMQ. Just remember to not move the fabric until the machine starts moving.

  10. #10
    Senior Member jokir44's Avatar
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    Try this. When you turn the machine on, raise the needle. Then use the wheel and return the needle to original hole. That way if the quilt has pulled to one side or the other you have realigned it. Then start your regular FMQ.

  11. #11
    Senior Member NatalieF's Avatar
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    thanks so much for all of the wonderful advice! Like I said, I want to start with "good habits" before letting bad habits get ingrained in my noggin!

  12. #12
    Super Member copycat's Avatar
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    Lightbulb free motion tips post

    Have fun learning to F-M quilt. Stop with the needle down. Never try to move the quilt before the needle goes Up and Down 1x in place. I learned this in a class. So in other words, just relax and take a stitch (or 2) without moving the quilt and then continue on your merry way. Practice stopping and starting on a sample quilt sandwich. Also check to be sure your quilt is not hanging off and causing drag. You should feel like your quilt is sliding freely. Last tip, if you can set your machine to Half speed, do so. Keeps you from taking off too fast when you are learning. Good luck!

    https://www.quiltingboard.com/main-f...s-t289113.html

    I almost forgot...check out the above post where I asked for the best tips for free motion quilting success.
    Last edited by copycat; 08-11-2017 at 01:51 AM. Reason: add link to post with tips

  13. #13
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    I always try to stop somewhere where a bobble won't show... a seam, a darker spot, etc.

  14. #14
    Senior Member NatalieF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by copycat View Post

    https://www.quiltingboard.com/main-f...s-t289113.html

    I almost forgot...check out the above post where I asked for the best tips for free motion quilting success.
    Thanks for the link! I had read it when it was first posted, but it certainly helped to read it again.

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    Are you using gloves or something that gives you good contact? Sometimes that can make a difference.

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