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Tell me I知 not alone bc my quilting is awful.

Tell me I知 not alone bc my quilting is awful.

Old 07-21-2019, 10:55 AM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Upstate New York
Posts: 1,231

When I was teaching my daughter as a teen, she kept getting frustrated and stopping...she had very high expectations for a beginner...I had to pull out my first FMQ quilts and show her..nobody starts out great..the idea is to start. Pull out your first FMQ quilt, and your most recent and compare them, I'd bet you have improved, just not at the pace you think! Just keep watching videos and practicing and it will click for you!We are our own toughest critics. Take a piece to a quilt shop, sometimes some advice from people actually seeing your work can help. Look into FMQ classes at a local shop, you'll get a lot out of it.
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Old 07-21-2019, 01:01 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Outside St. Louis
Posts: 38,181

It does take lots of practice to FMQ. Relaxing is very important too.
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Old 07-21-2019, 02:43 PM
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Ontario Canada
Posts: 1,869

I practised for about 5 years (off and on) before I got the hang of it (I also bought a brand new brother dreamweaver, which I am sure helped).

I swore about 2 years ago that I was done with FMQ and would never do it again. But ... you know the quilt of the week on the home page? That's mine! And I am darn proud of it, because I busted my butt!

I hate meandering / organic FMQ. Drives me bonkers. I used stencils and lots of them. I mix and match and make up my own designs.

Start small - 20x20 - but make the fabric 30x30 so you have edges to grab onto. Do feathers, big circles, swirls and loops ... they are easy and if you mess up, it just looks like part of the design (trust me!).

Once you are confident in your movement, do a black thread on white fabric ... or the reverse. This helped me find my weak spots. Once I practiced those and got them down pat, I was off and running.

Do you know what my practice quilts were? lapquilts for my friends' cats. She loved them! She laid them all across the back of her couches (she got about 20 of them) ... the cats love them, no more fur all over her couch, and I got to practice. Also, I used all my scraps because the cats don't care!

Have fun!
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Old 07-21-2019, 05:52 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: western n.c.
Posts: 645

You are not alone, I have quilted around 50 quilts and I can not fmq, I know I can't and I will not try anymore. I use rulers, sitd and use pantograph patterns . I am happy with this and like what I have done when I finish. This is all that matters in the long run. Many tell me I need to grow in my quilting, but I am a stiff quilter.I would only hate what I had done and then spend many hours picking it all out. So try rulers, patterns, sitd in the end just be happy with what you do.
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Old 07-22-2019, 04:17 AM
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Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 6,430

I agree that lots of practice makes perfect, so don't despair; just keep on working on your project. I would say that a minimum of 8 hours would ensure a good muscle memory to keep you happily quilting along.
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Old 07-22-2019, 05:34 AM
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Join Date: May 2018
Location: South Dakota
Posts: 330

You are doing OK! At the risk of repeating everyone else, practice is key. Since I didn't want to waste fabric and time practicing, I made the practice pieces actually be a useful item and gave them away. Simple table runners, cosmetic bags, baby blankets. Even the 14" sandwich squares were bound and became liners for my non stick cookware for my home and RV. Yup, I made those up for gifts as well. My friends wanted them for their non stick cookware! It appears that if you give a quilted gift to a non quilter, they don't even see the stitches!
All I did was meander. Over and over. Until really, I was sick of meandering. And just like all the other posts, one day, it didn't look so bad and I began to try other patterns. Now free motion quilting is the best part of the entire quilting process for me. I really enjoy it. What a thrill not to have to stitch straight! I'll probably never get over that aspect! Just keep trying and you will get there!
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Old 07-22-2019, 06:22 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 127

Where would I be without you guys!! I do need to practice more. I need a practice only sandwich for sure and 20 min a day I think would make a difference. As well as being a little less critical of myself. 😬 Question...is it possible the grace hoop frame could also be helpful? Doesn稚 take up too much space and I wonder if it could improve the experience if quilting.
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Old 07-22-2019, 06:28 AM
Join Date: Jun 2019
Location: Northern Virginia
Posts: 84

Been quilting for near 20 years and I still feel like I'm practicing! But it sounds like you're doing fine.
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Old 07-22-2019, 07:01 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,386

McTavishing was my solution in learning how to quilt and eventually I was able to relax and practicing also paid off. Now I can comfortably do other folks quilts, and get paid for my services.

I have also helped others by letting them practice on my long arm, I purchased sheets from the second hand shops and set up the machine, then the ladies would show up, play on the machine for an hour or so, and once the sheet was full of quilting, I would cut up the sheets, put on a binding and take them to the pet shelters and SPCA, they were also very happy to have fresh beds for the animals - and no one complained about the quilting.

Here are some samples of McTavishing, and Leah Day has videos as well.

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Old 07-22-2019, 08:58 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: florence ky
Posts: 82
Default how do quilt rulers work

I keep hearing about quilting rulers. How do they work.
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