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Thread: Question on FMQ

  1. #1
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    Question on FMQ

    I am ready to try FMQ and have a practice piece put together. Now, where do I start??? Do I start in the center and quilt it in quarters or do I start at the top across the whole thing and down or do I go down one side and then flip it and do the other side? Thank you all for your input. Judy

  2. #2
    Senior Member katybob's Avatar
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    It really depends on what quilting pattern you're doing. Although I was taught to start in the center, I've learned that if the quilt sandwich is basted smoothly with lots of pins, it really doesn't matter where you start. If you're meandering or stippling, it just makes sense to start at the top right or left corner. If you're quilting a motif in each block, then the center might be the best place to start. I often quilt in the ditch around blocks, then quilt inside each block.

  3. #3
    Super Member grammy Dwynn's Avatar
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    It is suggested that it is best to start in the center, of the quilt. If your questions is where to start on your practice sandwich, it really does not matter. Don't forget to breath and try to relax. FMQ takes LOTS AND LOTS of practice, hands slow, machine faster. Each one of has our own "sweet spot" for quilting. That is the special area where you feel comfortable and your stitching looks nice (hopefully).

    Good luck
    "I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand." -Confucius

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  4. #4
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    On larger quilts, I start in the middle..... baby sized quilts I start on an edge and go all the way to the other edge. I also stitch in the ditch to do the main sashing and borders then go do the inside of the blocks. It does take a little practice but just relax.... you can do this.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for asking this question. I'm enjoying the advice...

  6. #6
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I always start in the center and do a cross, always starting from the center, dividing into quarter sections. Then I always quilt next to quilting. This works best for me.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  7. #7
    Senior Member MIJul's Avatar
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    I often quilt in the ditch around blocks, then quilt inside each block.[/QUOTE]

    I do this also. I think it really helps to help keep it smooth and with less puckers.
    "We have this treasure in jars of clay." 2 Corinthians 4:7

  8. #8
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    I don't have any set way to do it. It depends on the size of the quilt and what motif I am quilting. I generally quilt the same direction to avoid any fabric twisting, but this does not seem to matter as much on true FMQ as it does stitch in the ditch. You will have plenty of practice pieces, so try it different ways until you find what is comfortable for you.
    Shirley in Arizona

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    Have fun practicing. I love quilting with my machine.

  10. #10
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    I have just finished FMQing 3 crib quilts. When they say "relax", take it seriously! I found I was hunching my shoulders as I moved the fabric, which caused PAIN(!) from the death grip I had on the fabric between my hands as I moved it under the needle. So, when you catch yourself hunching, take a short break, roll your shoulders, stretch and maybe take a sip of good tea. Some FMQers take a sip of wine to relax, but I'm too chicken! I'll be the one quilting my fingers to the piece!!! Oh and remember the galloping horse rule: If you can't see the mistake as you gallop past on a horse, there IS NO mistake. Have fun!!

  11. #11
    Super Member GABBYABBY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jamsbuying View Post
    Thanks for asking this question. I'm enjoying the advice...
    Me too. You can never read enough or practice enough.

  12. #12
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    I'm working on it but I am having a real hard time moving the material around under the needle. I am using flannel on the back. Could that be the reason it doesn't want to slide? Should I turn it over and put the cotton side on the bottom or woould that not be a good idea?

  13. #13
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    Make sure you put your gloves on; you'd not believe the difference that makes when moving the fabric. If you don't have the quilters gloves you can use the cheap gardening gloves with the rubber dots on the palm and fingers; those will work. Like everyone says; relax.
    Judy

  14. #14
    Senior Member yayaquilts's Avatar
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    FMQing does take practice. Takes practice to establish your own rhythm, speed of your machine, etc. I practice on placemats as they are a great size and then the time to FMQ is on something I can use!! I use Machingers (you can get them at JoAnn's)--they are a must! Also posture is important-relaxing your shoulders and stopping a lot to relax.

    I took a class from an award winning FMQer on a domestic machine, Jill Shumacher.

    One thing I learned that has been very helpful is FMQ in a small square area, similar to a Fox Trot dance step, moving in a clockwise direction. Don't try to turn your project too much--only turn when you have finished in your small square area.

    Keep at it and don't give up! Good luck!
    Karen, aka yayaquilts (yaya-Greek for grandma to 5 beautiful granbabies, 2 girls & 3 boys)
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    "You have enough quilts made when your soul is filled, your creativity satisfied and the fingers just won't work anymore."

  15. #15
    Junior Member Taino Jan's Avatar
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    Practice, practice, practice. I tried to teach myself but got frustrated and would have quit. Luckily, one of my LQS had a class in FMQ and it was the best class I have taken. Of course the teacher made all of the difference. She is very talented and more than willing to share her knowledge. She would be honest in how we were doing yet it did not feel like criticism, rather information. I feel very lucky in meeting her and all the other quilters in my quilt gild like her.

    Anyway, her encouragement helped me to continue and each quilt is better than the last.

    Relax, have fun and keep us posted on how you are doing.

  16. #16
    Super Member jillnjo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by judymay View Post
    I'm working on it but I am having a real hard time moving the material around under the needle. I am using flannel on the back. Could that be the reason it doesn't want to slide? Should I turn it over and put the cotton side on the bottom or woould that not be a good idea?
    Yes, having the flannel on the bottem makes it much harder to move around. The problem with turning it over is that you can't follow any specific pattern you might want to make in the blocks or borders on the front! If it is a meandering stitch you could do that, but I never think the bobbin stitch looks as nice as the top stitch. If you could find a way to make the surface slick so it would slide better, that would help. There are supreme sliders you can buy. I had one and didn't think it was worth the money.Others love it. Good luck anyway! Keep practicing- it only gets better!
    jillnjo

  17. #17
    Super Member LivelyLady's Avatar
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    If you have sashes, I found that by stitching in the ditch or around blocks first enables me to remove all the pins. This makes the quilt so much lighter and easier to FMQ in the squares.
    When you sleep under a quilt, you sleep under a blanket of love.

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