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Thread: Is there some magic spell or fairy dust that'll help with free motion quilting?

  1. #76
    Super Member raedar63's Avatar
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    I just know that if a certian herb would become legal I would make brilliant designs! :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :shock: :shock:

  2. #77
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    It's called Xanax and a margarita....totally agree!!! I keep thinking I will try again this summer but then maybe not! Handquilting was a natural but for some reason fmq is just not my thing. I so admire all the gorgeous fmq I see on this board and think...maybe I was standing behind a door when fmq skills were being handed out.

  3. #78
    Senior Member vivientan's Avatar
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    This thread came in really handy and I realised I'm not alone! I'm very new to MQ and currently only doing SID for a single-sized quilt. I reckon I would have to move to FMQ for the borders once I'm done with the SID. Any advice on what FMQ designs to use for the borders for a beginner? I have an outer border of 4.25" and 2 inner borders of 1.5". Just the thought of doing FMQ really freaks me out! So far, I've only tried on practice quilts and well....they look horrible and uneven! I know it's the speed I need to improve upon and really dread to think about how I could maneuver a huge single-size quilt, when I couldn't even manage a practice quilt :(

  4. #79
    Senior Member grandma sue's Avatar
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    If you use the Magic Genie bobbin washers, they will help with the bobbin thread showing.

  5. #80
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    I feel your pain. Recently purchased a pre-owned Pfaff 7570 and had a devil of a time FMQing a tablerunner. It was like a wrestling an alligator around a bathtub. I could have pieced a full-sized quilt in the same time!
    Your comment about the instruction manual was spot on - it could use some tweaking. I wonder if it was written in German and then translated or written by someone whose native tongue is German.
    Anyway, a friend gave me a can of silicone spray which I used on my thread (which, to top things off was a metalic) and I used a pair of latex gloves. When I spritzed the spool of thread some of the overspray got onto the machine bed. That helped too, a lot, but I was hesitant to just apply it to the machine bed just willy nilly. Makes me wonder if I want to send the $$$ on that silicone sheet.

  6. #81
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    Find a Pfaff dealer in your area and call them they can help you! Do a search, thats how I found one by me!

  7. #82
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    Find a Pfaff dealer in your area and call them they can help you! Do a search, thats how I found one by me!

  8. #83
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    I think PRACTICE is the magic when it comes to fmq..

    Other things that have helped me is to have the bed of the machine even with the table...

    tape a silcone oven liner or something slippery under the needle area (I cut a hole where my needles stitches)

    wear quilter's gloves, they are expensive so I use garden gloves with rubberized fingers.

    draw your pattern on large sheets of paper.. or just use the paper and a dull needle, with no thread, to practice..

    do some every day.. not for hours, but some time anyway.

    Remember you can stop when you don't know where you're headed next.

    Your project will look better than you think it's going to when it gets all done. No one sees each curve and line, but rather the overall effect.

    Oh.. did I say practice, practice, practice!!

  9. #84
    Super Member GGinMcKinney's Avatar
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    Well, I decided my name and names of friends are already in my mind so I practised FMQ by sewing names. Then I could set the machine tension & all the other stuff correctly prior to trying loops, circles & stars. 6 months of practice made such a difference. I just kept practice sandwiches on the machine about 12" square. When filled with stitching I added a muslin to top & bottom and stitched till it got too thick. I use different color threads on top & bottom so I could see which thread caused the issues. I haven't FMQ since before Christmas so now I would practice again before working on an actual item. Hope this helps someone.

  10. #85
    Super Member GGinMcKinney's Avatar
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    Instead of expensive silicone sheet, I purchased a yard or so of clear vinyl at Hobby Lobby. Cut it to fit the needle etc. It covers a large area so there is no drag on the quilt top to the left of the needle.
    I use Mr. Clean blue & white scrubbers instead of a halo. Easily moves the fabric. I had some on hand and just I would try it. I liked it!
    Low budget quilting here.

  11. #86
    Junior Member dottie's Avatar
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    Wow..this is the best tutorial on free motion quilting..have been doing straight line quilting for a while but never attempted FMQ. Thanks.
    Dottie

  12. #87
    Member TeeGee's Avatar
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    While practicing, why not use a water soluable pen (the ones from JoAnn work as well as the ones from a quilt shop)and draw your design on the fabric, then practice your quilting with the design on the fabric for you to see. That way you can learn to control the speed and motion with your hands, then when you master that, go to the free-hand design. BTW, it is much easier when you have on the quilters gloves with the rubbery dots on the fingers. Oh, yes, the next most important part is to have the quilt on a level surface with your machine. If it is hanging off the table the weight will distort the stitching.

  13. #88
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    What do you mean about turning machine around to face you? To me facing means like you have it when you are sewing. Do you mean having the end of the machine by the needle face you? I need all the help and then more so I want to make sure I am getting this right.
    Thanks!
    Robin in TX


    Turn your machine around to face you. When you look at FMQ set ups like the Flynn or the HQ Sweet Sixteen or the Easy Quilter Track System, the machines are all facing you.

  14. #89
    Super Member Marilynsue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsdelvis
    I'm using a Pfaff Creative 1471. I finally figured out the presser foot setting to use - it's surely not clear in the manual! :? I've scoured the internet sites and youtube for help with FMQ.

    Basically they all pretty much say to practice every day for 2 years and you might eventually get the hang of it. I think you must also have to hold your tongue right, turn your fingers into rubber, and mindmeld with the machine.

    My hardest things to conquer are regulating speed, stitch length, and a wonky bobbin thread that wants to peek thru the top.

    Any hints or words of wisdom?

    Let me know if you find any--I too am looking!

  15. #90
    Senior Member BarbZ's Avatar
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    Do you have a stop/start button? I was having trouble trying to keep my mind on my foot pedal and speed plus my hands and i tried using my auto button at a medium speed and i didn't have to worry about my foot and concetrated on my hand movement. It seemed to help me a lot. Hope this helped.

  16. #91
    Senior Member BarbZ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rob529
    What do you mean about turning machine around to face you? To me facing means like you have it when you are sewing. Do you mean having the end of the machine by the needle face you? I need all the help and then more so I want to make sure I am getting this right.
    Thanks!
    Robin in TX


    Turn your machine around to face you. When you look at FMQ set ups like the Flynn or the HQ Sweet Sixteen or the Easy Quilter Track System, the machines are all facing you.
    Yes turn it so the needle end is facing you. My husband made me a table to go around it and I have a silicon mat and sprayed pledge on the table top and it works slick. There is a tutorial on hand made quilt tabletops that is really good. Go to search and type in handmade quilting table and i think it will come up. Good luck.

  17. #92
    Super Member sharoney's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maia B
    It must be "try and cry" FMQ day. I've been making quilts for 20+ years, hand quilting and machine quilting straight lines only. So I have great machines with which to FMQ, I've read some recommended books, and I tried it early this morning. Hundreds of thousands of people do this, right? So no tension problems, no eyelashes, but it was just awful. I think everything is set just fine, because the stitch line is great except that it's jerky, ugly, and inconsistent. I could feel the thread's shame and disappointment at being involved. I can't trace a line, make any attractive shape, nothing nice at all. I sewed out a bobbin's worth on a 12"x 18" piece, which I then took directly to the rabbit cage to die the worst death any quilt can as a peed-upon chew rug. I went back to bed. Later, when I opened my thread drawer, the quilting weight threads were all cowering in fear. Even the piecing thread looked nervous. The worst of the whole story is that I was using the Bernina 440 with BSR, which is supposed to help, right? So I know it takes practice, but I'm pretty discouraged. It's also not AT ALL fun. Which is crazy, too...fabric :) + batting :) + thread :) + Bernina :))) = sad and sore like I did too much yard work.
    I started a thread about "I wish my earlier quilting was better" - the same thing you're talking about. My piecing was great, but my early MQ, not so much. It does take time, and it does take practice, and you do have to figure out which directions work best for you. But it's SO worth it if you hang in there. FMQ is my fave thing in the world to do- I can't wait to get a quilt pieced so I can quilt it. And I've gotten better and better and better.

  18. #93
    Senior Member BarbZ's Avatar
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    I tried typing in the machi;ne tables but nothing came up with it. I did PM someone who might have it. It was really neat. If I can I will take a picture of mine and post it. It basically looks like the tables that come with your machine but it is made so you turn your machine towards you and the table fits into it and you have table space out to the sides. Hope this helps.

  19. #94
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    It won't take two years but you do need to practice and each quilt after it clicks in will be better each time.Have confidence and practice. No one has to see the practice sandwich.

  20. #95
    Super Member grandjan's Avatar
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    Lisa, I use a kid's Magnadoodle to practice a design before I actually quilt it. You can repeat it as many times as it takes and the feel of the stylus running over the Magnadoodle screen is kind of like the smoothness of sliding a quilt under a needle. I've found that, for me, it works better than paper and pencil.

  21. #96
    Member BARBISBOSS's Avatar
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    I learnt by pretending i was in a canoe and meandering down a stream with all its twists and turns but never crossing to the other side.

  22. #97
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    If there is magic fairy dust, can you spare some.

  23. #98
    Granny Coy's Avatar
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    I watched all 4 beginner videos. I want to really try it but I have an old Kenmore machine and I don't know how to get the foot feed thingies out of my way. I read that you can cover them if you can't lower them but cover them with what I wonder?

  24. #99
    Member aussiequilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maia B
    It must be "try and cry" FMQ day. I've been making quilts for 20+ years, hand quilting and machine quilting straight lines only. So I have great machines with which to FMQ, I've read some recommended books, and I tried it early this morning. Hundreds of thousands of people do this, right? So no tension problems, no eyelashes, but it was just awful. I think everything is set just fine, because the stitch line is great except that it's jerky, ugly, and inconsistent. I could feel the thread's shame and disappointment at being involved. I can't trace a line, make any attractive shape, nothing nice at all. I sewed out a bobbin's worth on a 12"x 18" piece, which I then took directly to the rabbit cage to die the worst death any quilt can as a peed-upon chew rug. I went back to bed. Later, when I opened my thread drawer, the quilting weight threads were all cowering in fear. Even the piecing thread looked nervous. The worst of the whole story is that I was using the Bernina 440 with BSR, which is supposed to help, right? So I know it takes practice, but I'm pretty discouraged. It's also not AT ALL fun. Which is crazy, too...fabric :) + batting :) + thread :) + Bernina :))) = sad and sore like I did too much yard work.
    Mala B, you are not alone (perhaps except for the rabbit). I am using a Husqvana Designer and my experience is exactly the same as yours. I too am feeling pretty discouraged. Quilting on two waiting projects has been unpicked - again - and they are all folded up following their last unsuccessful and painful outing, though I do see them every day which reminds me they're still not finished. The worst thing is one of them is a baby quilt and the little girl is now a year old.
    Tell me when you find the secret, because there just has to be one.

  25. #100
    Junior Member dottie's Avatar
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    Check out mammac's utube link on page 1. It is awsome.
    dottie

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