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Thread: machine quilting

  1. #1
    Senior Member BettyJean's Avatar
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    machine quilting

    This may be a stupid question-But how fast should youe needle be going in free motion quilting, anyone?
    Drifter

  2. #2
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    It's not a stupid question! It really depends on how fast you're moving your hands. The faster the needle is, the smaller the stitches are. If you're just starting out, slower might be better.. then speed up until you find your sweet spot!

  3. #3
    Super Member lalaland's Avatar
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    I fmq on 3 different machines and put the pedal to the metal when I fmq on all of them. I've found it's easier to control the speed I'm pushing the fabric along, then to control the speed of the needle. If I want a smaller stitch, I push the fabric slowly. If I want a bigger stitch, I push the fabric faster. When I feel like I'm getting out of synch, I just stop for a moment to recoup. The thing to remember is you have to be consistent on the speed you are pushing the fabric along on the project you are working on so your stitches will be consistent. I never get loops on the underside when I do it this way.
    Thought for EVERY Day: You know all those things you've always wanted to do? You should go do them.

  4. #4
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    what ever works for you to accomplish a consistant speed between moving your hands/fabric & the machine speed. some go really really fast- some are comfortable going slower- you need to make small (like 12" square sandwiches) and practice, practice, practice to find *your rhythm*
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  5. #5
    Senior Member Johanna Fritz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BettyJean View Post
    This may be a stupid question-But how fast should youe needle be going in free motion quilting, anyone?
    Practice, Practice, practice. Some machines work better FMQ (free motion quilting) going sideways, some are better going up and down. Depends on model of your machine. If you want to see 365 GREAT FMQ patterns - each with a short 2 min video demonstrating how to do it, check out: http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/
    I use this site whenever I have a quilt to start.

  6. #6
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Its up to you, some like the pedal to the metal but i broke many needles that way. I prefer a medium speed. I can control my hand speed and stitch length better that way.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Pepita's Avatar
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    I have enjoyed Leah Days site as well. I found a long time ago that keeping a index file of my freemotion motifs really helps when you are ready to start a quilt. As far as getting the timing down, that is just practice. One of the teachers of free motion that I have taken, said she keeps a cheater quilt sandwiched and ready for when she starts a quilt. It is what she practices on before she starts on her quilt. I suggest you practice for 20 minutes or so at the begging before you start quilting on your 'real' quilt. The cheater quilts are great for dogs, or throw around quilts, baby quilts and so on. (You know the ones you plan on using up!)

    The other big piece of advice I have is when you start making mistakes, stop, walk around take a break then go back and quilt. In the beginning especially I had lots of tension in my upper body, trying to get the quilt to go the way I wanted. I can't say I never have that happen now, but I have learned to relax, and instead of being a power house and trying to finish the quilt in 1-2 days, I keep my quilting to a few hours a day. I think I have better looking quilts because of it.
    Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too can become great. Mark Twain

  8. #8
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    good question , lots of good answers . Cathy

  9. #9
    Senior Member BettyJean's Avatar
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    THANKS EVERYONE FOR YOUR ADVICE ON MACHINE QUILTING, i REALLY APPRECIATE IT!
    Drifter

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