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oreoflurrie 10-12-2011 04:33 PM

I have made about 30 quilts now, and have only done machine quilting on about 3. I started out tying them, then sent one out to a LAQ. That was quite expensive, so I wasn't going to do that anymore. Then my quilting class went to a LQS for a demonstration on their LAQ rentals. I've done about 5 or 6 that way. But I'm so scared to put my beautiful quilts on my machine to do the quilting at home. So many hours of hard work, I'm so afraid I'll ruin them. Anyone else have the same phobia?

Cyn 10-12-2011 04:36 PM

Yes and so I end up handquilting mine!

Dolphyngyrl 10-12-2011 04:36 PM

I'm not scared. I just hate that it takes lots of practice and is not something you can just excell at in a few days

no1jan 10-12-2011 04:38 PM

Yes, you sound like Deja Vu.

I am going to make samples so I can quilt on for practice. That is the only way I will get over my phobia.

katier825 10-12-2011 04:46 PM

Start with some practice sandwiches, then progress to smaller things, like placemats, table runners, charity quilts, and when you gain more confidence, quilt the ones you like best.

You'll never know how good you might be at quilting if you don't try! Who knows, you could be really awesome at it and never know otherwise! :)

hopetoquilt 10-12-2011 04:50 PM

I bought some stencils I plan to use. I am not good enough to do "freehand" FMQ but I think stencils might work. I have been using a walking foot to do a grid and have done some stippling.

Quilting is my hobby. If it comes out terribly, I had fun doing it and can toss it or use it on a soccer field.

thepolyparrot 10-12-2011 04:58 PM

4 Attachment(s)
I bought some quilt tops on eBay - mostly vintage but also several new tops. The quality of the fabric is not great, but it's a pretty design when it's done.

Applied to a quality backing fabric with a good batt and enough quilting, the tops should hold together relatively well.

These gave me the chance to learn on relatively inexpensive quilts that I hadn't spent 40-80 hours piecing and the results are actually pretty nice, especially when you consider how little I spent on them and how inexperienced I was at drawing with a sewing machine. :)

To be sent to QOV - this is very good quality fabric, made by a quilter who just didn't have time to quilt all her projects.

Assembly-line pieced - some of the fabric is very good - the solid white was extremely difficult to quilt because it was so tightly woven - I think it was a percale of some kind.

Assembly-line pieced - most of the fabrics in this one were "medium" quality and a couple were as nice as Moda's. I got lucky and found some 108" wide Moda backing fabric that coordinates just beautifully with the aqua and brick colors in the top. :)

dphelps 10-12-2011 04:58 PM

I agree. Start out small. I just finished a large quilt on the machine but, believe me, I practiced a lot. You really have to get the feel of the fabric and the machine before you can start to feel comfortable. Once you feel good about your new skills, it is all downhill from there. I advise watching you tube and reading all you can on FMQ, etc. All those tuts really help.You can do it. Take your time.

3incollege 10-12-2011 05:01 PM

I can manage the size of baby quilts, but thats all. Too afraid.

Painiacs 10-12-2011 05:06 PM

Oh I agree! I'm right there! I've done 1-2 SID and 1-2 crosshatch so far. Scared to try fmq!!!

quiltin chris 10-12-2011 05:18 PM

I am right there with ya. I want so badly to FMQ a baby quilt--BUT-- I am so afraid of ruining it, it is just sitting there on my table waiting.

I have been practicing on my domestic sewing machine but the stitches just don't make me happy. So I am kind of disappointed with the whole thing.

I am sure we are not alone in this.

Chris

AliKat 10-12-2011 05:20 PM

You can start with some charity quilts. The recipients are just plain old fashioned overwhelmed to be getting them they don't know the difference. If you really mess up you can still make like a frog .... rip it, rip it, rip it.

ali

0tis 10-12-2011 05:21 PM

Of course, I have a long-arm at home and I am petrified everytime I load one on the machine - I struggle with the quilting part - I know that I need to practice more - I have never had any instruction or classes and self taught sewer, quilter and piecer. I just wish I could whip out the wonderful quilting designs that I see on here. I know, practice, practice, practice....

Kat Sews 10-12-2011 05:25 PM

I make scrap baby quilts to donate to a local charity. They aren't perfect, but I get a chance to practice my FMQ. The quilts are always appreciated by the organization.

Glenn 10-12-2011 05:40 PM


Originally Posted by oreoflurrie
I have made about 30 quilts now, and have only done machine quilting on about 3. I started out tying them, then sent one out to a LAQ. That was quite expensive, so I wasn't going to do that anymore. Then my quilting class went to a LQS for a demonstration on their LAQ rentals. I've done about 5 or 6 that way. But I'm so scared to put my beautiful quilts on my machine to do the quilting at home. So many hours of hard work, I'm so afraid I'll ruin them. Anyone else have the same phobia?

I like the look of handquilting better than machine so I don't use a LAQ. Glenn

LivelyLady 10-12-2011 05:49 PM


Originally Posted by katier825
Start with some practice sandwiches, then progress to smaller things, like placemats, table runners, charity quilts, and when you gain more confidence, quilt the ones you like best.

You'll never know how good you might be at quilting if you don't try! Who knows, you could be really awesome at it and never know otherwise! :)

Great advice :thumbup:

Charlee 10-12-2011 06:06 PM


Originally Posted by Glenn

Originally Posted by oreoflurrie
I have made about 30 quilts now, and have only done machine quilting on about 3. I started out tying them, then sent one out to a LAQ. That was quite expensive, so I wasn't going to do that anymore. Then my quilting class went to a LQS for a demonstration on their LAQ rentals. I've done about 5 or 6 that way. But I'm so scared to put my beautiful quilts on my machine to do the quilting at home. So many hours of hard work, I'm so afraid I'll ruin them. Anyone else have the same phobia?

I like the look of handquilting better than machine so I don't use a LAQ. Glenn

I like handquilting better too, HOWEVER! I have also seen some terrific machine quilting...I don't feel like I could ever get those results tho, so if I had a quilt that I considered to be heirloom quality that I wanted super nice quilting on, and I could afford it, I'd send the quilt out to a LAQ...

familyfun 10-12-2011 06:13 PM

I am also afraid to do it. I have been practicing on small sandwiches. Wow they look bad. The stitches never seem to turn out right. I am in the process of making a king size for my bed and really want to machine instead of hand quilt it.. but I am really afraid to ruin it.. I am going to have to do alot more practice before I stick the big one under the needle.

oreoflurrie 10-12-2011 06:19 PM

Thank you everyone! I don't feel so alone. It seems I am part of a large group! I made a 4Patch Posie last year, I was so proud of it and wanted it to be quilted very special, so I just took it to the LAQ last week. I was talked out of a custom job because of the cost, they are just doing a pantogram of some ivy leaves on it. I'm picking it up tomorrow, I hope it will do it justice. I was hoping to put it in a show, but it may not be "special" enough to get noticed. We'll see.

thepolyparrot 10-12-2011 07:46 PM

No, don't be afraid - use materials that you don't care much about and just play! :)

What's the worst that can happen? You'll have a quilt with wonky quilting. I have a bunch of them.

Most wonky quilting just about disappears when you wash it the first time - try it with a crib size of whole cloth with a lot of practicing on it. Put it in the washer and dryer just once and see if it's not pretty when it comes out. Launder it a couple more times and it softens up and turns snuggly.

If it's something you want to do, take it as an inner prompting. Don't give up just because you try it a time or two and get thread nests or messy lines. Who cares? You're just playing with scraps! :)

Draw your designs on your practice pieces with markers or stencils or whatever you want. Tape color book pictures to the quilt and sew over the lines of the drawings. Echo around them, doodle in between them.

Don't give up, if it's something you really want! :)

LyndaOH 10-12-2011 08:09 PM

I think part of the phobia with FMQ is that there are really two separate parts to it and you have to master both. The first, and sometimes the hardest, is figuring out the right combination of tension, thread, needle, bobbin thread and tension, and machine speed and fabric movement speed to come out with a nice stitch.

Once you master that, the second part, actually quilting a pleasing design, becomes so much easier.

I would practice but use fabric, thread, etc. that is similar to what you'll be using so you can get that nice stitch. There are a lot of resources here on the board to help you with your specific machine so that you can zero in on the right settings. Your local sewing machine dealer should be able to help you with that as well.

spartan quilter 10-12-2011 08:15 PM

I am just too impatient to practice, practice, practice. As LyndaOH said above, you need to master so many techniques, and so, I do SID, shadow stitching or decorative stitching, where I can use my walking foot. All my projects tend to be 60x80, and easy enough to do on my home machines. Love the patterns of FMQ, but it is not for me. And I am fine with that.

Willa 10-12-2011 08:41 PM

If it helps - remember it isn't brain surgery and no one will die. You can always take it out if you don't like it.

christinetindell 10-13-2011 03:21 AM

You can't get good unless you practice. Start on a top for charity or a baby quilt or a table runner. You've gotta jump in and just do it. Yes, it is intimidating but Pavarotti wasn't the star that he is when he first started out.

texaspam 10-13-2011 03:24 AM

It DEFINITELY takes PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, but you can still have nice quilts on your practice pieces. Try quilting blocks and joining them in the Quilt As You Go method. Then move on to larger quilts. I actually think I do better on larger quilts. I have a lot of quilt tops that are scrap quilts, so I practice on them. Occasionally, I pull out one of my quilt shop fabric quilts. If you aren't going to enter it into a quilt contest, it really isn't important if you have mistakes on it. You can always put a label on it that says you are learning to machine quilt and put the date on it. I never thought I would have a machine quilted quilt. Now I am not sure when I will actually hand quilt again! Good luck!

fabric_fancy 10-13-2011 03:32 AM

i do all my quilting because i just can't let go of the creative process and allow someone else to do it for me.

i also struggle every day with perfection. i put hours/days/weeks/months/ and years into the piecing and then the quilting and i just hate when it doesn't come out perfect.

by the time i finish a quilt i want to kick it into the living room and burn it in the fireplace.

i've found this to be a common feeling amongst all my artist friends.

on the bright side, once a few weeks or months have passed i end up loving the quilt and i don't even notice the flaws any longer.

so the moral of the story, jump in there and get those tops done. start with some simple designs and work your way up. choose the tops that lend themselves to simple patterns and save the complex stuff for later when your skills improve.

jitkaau 10-13-2011 03:52 AM

Used to - until a friend roped me into helping her quilt 200 charity quilts. It was good enough practice to knock the fear out of me.

damaquilts 10-13-2011 04:32 AM


Originally Posted by Dolphyngyrl
I'm not scared. I just hate that it takes lots of practice and is not something you can just excell at in a few days

This sounds like me. :-) What I can't just sit down and do it and it looks like Sharon Schamber? LOL

Meme2six 10-13-2011 08:13 AM

I'm taking a FMQ class in mid-November and am really excited. I've never tried it at home, but have several quilts to finish by Christmas and am hoping this class will teach me enough so that I can get them completed.

NanaBear 10-13-2011 08:35 AM

Yep!! So true!!!!

ncredbird 10-13-2011 09:05 AM

Practice is what charity quilts are for. After you start feeling comfortable with your work you can progress to something that you want to keep. I am just starting long arm quilting and will be making drag around quilts for the grandchildren and charity quilts. I have no plans to do it for others so it doesn't matter to me how much time it takes to get better. Ann in TN

NanaBear 10-13-2011 09:39 AM

Such a great way to look at the charity subject...I've treated even those projects like they have to be "perfect".......my phobia also infiltrates my learning a new machine......I have a 5-year-NEW Elegante, basically unused, because my senior brain goes into spasms every time I sit down at it and try to figure out how to use it...I throw up my hands in panic and drag out my OLD OLD OLD standby, my 38-year-old ElnaSuper.......thx for the push.... :roll:

SueSew 10-13-2011 10:24 AM


Originally Posted by hopetoquilt
I bought some stencils I plan to use. I am not good enough to do "freehand" FMQ but I think stencils might work. I have been using a walking foot to do a grid and have done some stippling.

Quilting is my hobby. If it comes out terribly, I had fun doing it and can toss it or use it on a soccer field.

I think it is easier to FMQ freehand than follow a line, especially when the line makes a curve away from you and behind the FMQ foot! Ugh

sharoney 10-13-2011 10:27 AM

Starting out with small projects is the best way to go. Table toppers, placemats, baby quilts. Also, use stencils at first. Mark your quilts and follow the lines. That's how I started. My first FMQ quilts are not that great- but the only way to get better and more confident is to DO IT!

indymta 10-13-2011 10:39 AM

Haven't gotten past straight line quilting..it looked so boring. Have sent out my quilts that are for gifts to a LAQ but you're correct in that's expensive. Signed up for the FMQ class on craftsy and hope to force myself to try FMQ and practice, practice.

babalu 10-13-2011 01:12 PM

I totally agree with you! I am scared to death of anything except SID, and I'm not very good at that. I tied my first 10 quilts! And I don't think I have the patience to practice FMQ...but that's going to be my first step. Maybe next summer!

bnndr 10-13-2011 01:12 PM

I am right there with you, scares me to death to even think about it, so I hand quilt all my quilts. My sister has mastered the machine quilting though, she cant hand quilt due to hand problems but can do the machine quilting.

NanaBear 10-13-2011 02:06 PM

I'm new to this site and feeling ignorant...I figured out LAQ but am stumped over FMQ and SID.....

Nanaquilts44 10-13-2011 02:36 PM

My machine doesn't do the job I want at least when I am driving it. Yes, it is scary.

quiltingnana59 10-13-2011 02:38 PM

I signed up for the FMQ class on Craftsy also and I am anxious to get started on it. I hope it helps me because I love the freedom of FMQing. I got a HQ SweetSixteen sit -down recently and I have been doing lots of practicing on small projects. Haven't tackled a big quilt yet but getting ready to try.


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