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

  1. #101
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    Aussiequilter, and others, thanks for being so supportive. I expected it to require practice, but I can't even imagine getting to a point that I'd be able to start quilting my waiting tops. It helps to know I'm not alone, and I'll be using the tips here, except the ones that involve chemical mood enhancers. I can see how FMQ would drive one to that, though. I'd just give up, but if so many others can do it, it must be possible.

  2. #102
    Super Member Gramie bj's Avatar
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    you said you finally figured out the pressure foot setting to use. I drop my dog feet and use a FM foot that does not use any presser. Maybe I'm just not reading right tonight.

  3. #103
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    i STARTED TAKING A FMQ CLASS AND SHE SUGGESTS MAKING AND PRACTICING ON 15 SANDWICHES OF BLACK SO YOU CAN SEE YOUR STITCHES. aLSO YOU NEED TO PRACTICE MIN A DAY AS IT TRAINS THE BRAIN. jUST DOING DOODLES AND ZENTANGLES HELPS YOU TO GET THE MOVEMENTS. iT TAKES 50 HOURS OF PRACTICE TO GET USED TO fmq AND 500 HOURS TO BECOME PROFICIENT IS HER MOTTO AS S HE HAS SEEN OTHERS SAY. sTICH LENGTH WILL COME IN TIME AND YOU CANT BE PERFECT. iF YOU TRY TO BE PERFECT YOU WILL NOT ENJOY THE PROCESS.

    JEFF

  4. #104
    Super Member Kappy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BarbZ
    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.
    Go to google and type in homemade quilt table, it should be the first one on the list and it takes you back to this quilting board, but when I did a search on this board it did not come up. So try google. If I knew how to get the link here I would, but when it comes to some of the simple things a computer can do, I don't know how to do them!

  5. #105
    Super Member Debbie B's Avatar
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    If you go to search at the top of the page and type in homemade quilting table you will see a picture.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kappy
    Quote Originally Posted by BarbZ
    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.
    Go to google and type in homemade quilt table, it should be the first one on the list and it takes you back to this quilting board, but when I did a search on this board it did not come up. So try google. If I knew how to get the link here I would, but when it comes to some of the simple things a computer can do, I don't know how to do them!

  6. #106
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    Have you tried using contact paper?
    1 You draw the design that you want on the paper side of the contact paper. You can cut it in strips, squares, circles or large pieces.

    2. Slowly take off the backing and gradually adhere it to the quilt. Then using the darning foot with the feet down, sew through the written pattern into the quilt.

    3. When finished, gently rip away the contact paper that was adhered to the quilt. You will then see the pattern sewn into the quilt. Tweezers are helpful in removing little bits of paper.

    You will get used to moving the material and you will soon be able to do it on your own without using the contact paper. Btw, using those rubber-tipped gloves so your fingers don't get sore. They are called "fingerlings" or something like that. It only took me a couple of practices with contact paper and then I found it much easier to do. Humming helps to keep you from grinding your teeth, biting your lips, etc. I used to sing "around and around and around I go."

  7. #107
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    Have you tried using contact paper?
    1 You draw the design that you want on the paper side of the contact paper. You can cut it in strips, squares, circles or large pieces.

    2. Slowly take off the backing and gradually adhere it to the quilt. Then using the darning foot with the feet down, sew through the written pattern into the quilt.

    3. When you are done, pull off the paper with the written design and you will see that you have sewn the design onto the quilt. Pull off the paper, using fingers or tweezers

    4. This method gets you used to moving the material without jerking it around. I did it a couple times and then did FMQ with no paper, just using my hands and moving material. The gloves rubber-tips called Fingerlings help. It also helps to sing or hum to keep from being so intense that your grind or bite your lip.

    Have fun.

  8. #108
    Senior Member JoyVoltenburg's Avatar
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    get a good rhythm - don't get discouraged by every bobble in your stitching - and keep practicing. Also practice the designs over and over on paper or dry erase board... kind of like practicing cursive writing in grade school (do they even do that anymore?).

  9. #109
    Senior Member Up4BigChal'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?
    Yep Enjoy a glass of wine or a beer then when your all nice and relaxed WhaaLaa so they tell me anyway

    :P

  10. #110
    Senior Member PghPat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stitchofclass2
    I also learned from a video or someone on the Board to cut out the front of my quilting/darning foot. Mine has red marks on each side so I used a "cut off" tool (for jewelry) and cut out the front. What a difference! Couldn't believe that I could see that much better. Yolanda Wood River
    Yolanda, could you possibly post a picture of what your "cut off" darning foot looks like? I know I can get mine cut off but don't want to ruin it by cutting it wrong.

    Thanks! Pat

  11. #111
    Member jjgallamore's Avatar
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    One thing that has helped me is to play with a child's Etch-a-Sketch. A friend turned me on to this strategy and it really worked.

  12. #112
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    I have only been quilting a short time and wanted to FMQ my landscape quilt. I practiced on a 'sandwich' and then dived into the landscape. I found that a slow steady speed was best for me and I can slow down my machine. I also learned to use the "correct" size needle!. I kept breaking needles and they are too expensive to keep replacing, so I double-checked the size and changed to the correct size and had no further problems. I can't do feathers and circles yet but want to learn...Good luck.

  13. #113
    Super Member quiltjoey's Avatar
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    I have only been quilting a short time and wanted to FMQ my landscape quilt. I practiced on a 'sandwich' and then dived into the landscape. I found that a slow steady speed was best for me and I can slow down my machine. I also learned to use the "correct" size needle!. I kept breaking needles and they are too expensive to keep replacing, so I double-checked the size and changed to the correct size and had no further problems. I can't do feathers and circles yet but want to learn...Good luck.

  14. #114
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    Man if there was a majic spray, the ingenious creator (who I'm sure would be a quilter) would make a fortune on it. :lol:

  15. #115
    Super Member hudgoddess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by knlsmith
    WINE machinger gloves WINE sharp needle WINE and don't forget to breath. Oh and sometimes WINE. lol Works for me everytime.
    AMEN, SISTER!!!

  16. #116
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdiane318
    It's called Xanax and a margarita.
    And sweetie, if that doesn't work, try drinking red wine and eating chocolate--together. (And by then you may not even care!) Seriously, you have my sympathy as I can't free motion quilt either --after hours of practice. Try self-hypnosis and keep saying," This is fun, I love practicing and I am getting better." lo love

  17. #117
    Super Member annesthreads's Avatar
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    This thread is inspirational! I'm just putting a quilt together, and am going to FMQ it. I've told the sad story of the quilters edition machine that won't quilt on another thread. After years of thinking I was just incompetent, I've tried 4 different machines in the past few days and produced OK stitches on all of them. I'm amazed! One of the many things I've done while searching for answers to the problems I've had was to email Leah Day, whose FMQ Project website has been mentioned. She sennt me such an encouraging and helpful reply. Her advice came down to - just put a quilt on your machine and FMQ it. Just do it. I realised that she's right - I'm getting nowhere while quilt tops pile up because I'm scared to quilt them. None of them are going to be precious heirlooms: once I know that I'm using a machine that isn't causing its own problems (in this case my Mum's 50 year old Husqvarna, which doesn't even have a modern darning foot but quilted quite happily) I'm just going to have a glass of wine and set to. And if it all goes horribly wrong, I'll drink the rest of the bottle of wine and then I won't care any more :) For me, half the battle is defeating the perfectionist demon....

  18. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by mommamac
    I feel your pain!!
    Have you seen these video? I've only watched the first 2 but she is easy to listen to and demonstrates well

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=39I5A...layer_embedded
    thanks, I would like to try free motion quilting

  19. #119
    Junior Member cbjlinda's Avatar
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    I feel for you" I tried it for the first time and it wasen't too bad but it was much harder to move the fabric then I imagined it would be. I thought it would simply slide around easily. Haven't gotten back too it but I will. I am going to practice on some squares and then start out small on a doll quilt. I figure the grandkids aren't going to care if it isen't perfect. take care

  20. #120
    Super Member Becky Crafts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltinghere
    I've heard an 'adult' beverage will help...:) seriously!
    I'm on too many meds...guess there's no hope, huh? :-)

  21. #121
    Senior Member brightstar_202's Avatar
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    no fairy dust because if there were any I'd buy a truck load of it... :D I just did a baby quilt and it did not turn out that bad but I sure could have done better I think. it looks all confused sewing to say the least...Oh well the mother liked it so I guess it is not too bad. Just keep practicing is what they all say...So I guess that is what we have to do... :thumbup:

  22. #122
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    Quote Originally Posted by Becky Crafts
    Quote Originally Posted by quiltinghere
    I've heard an 'adult' beverage will help...:) seriously!
    I'm on too many meds...guess there's no hope, huh? :-)
    I am in the same situation. No coffee, tea, or alcohol. They don't mix well with the anti depressant meds I take. Not suppose to have chocolate either but I refuse to give that up. A girl has to have one vice. I thought I would try the music and whole body motion tricks. As soon as I can figure out how to get my feed dogs down.

  23. #123
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    To answer the question - no - no fairy dust. BUT .. if you are trying to recreate the look of Long Arm - forget it .. no matter how much practice you will never become a machine.
    Some say you have to feed dogs down. I don't. I do use the bouncing foot thing (it must have a better name!) and put my machine on 1/2 speed .. if you cant' do that automatically, put a block of wood in the peddle. Go slow, have your pattern in mind, maybe even mark it with washout or air-out product, and go for it.
    Go simple, and as already said several times, practice. Fix a sandwich about 15" square and practice the devil out of it. Change thread colors each time you practice .. you can use it to check stitch length, are you pulling curves too fast and getting bobbin on top like a spicer web, is the shape right, are you liking what you see?
    Don't expect perfection, so work on something real that is for the kids to drag around, or that will be given some other place where it will get lots of love and scrub.
    The idea of free motion is to connect the back to the front and keep the batting from sliding around. And look nice doing it.
    SO - what is your objective? When you stop berating yourself you will see you are actually doing a really nice job! Don't give up ... you're a Quilter!

  24. #124
    Super Member Debbie B's Avatar
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    Granny Coy, I've read where you can buy a plate to fit your machine to cover the feed dogs. My brother sewing machine has a button on the back that you slide it to lower or raise the feed dogs. I bought an old singer 125 and it has a large screw of sorts under the machine and you can twist it to lower or raise the feed dogs. Debbie

    Quote Originally Posted by Granny Coy
    Quote Originally Posted by Becky Crafts
    Quote Originally Posted by quiltinghere
    I've heard an 'adult' beverage will help...:) seriously!
    I'm on too many meds...guess there's no hope, huh? :-)
    I am in the same situation. No coffee, tea, or alcohol. They don't mix well with the anti depressant meds I take. Not suppose to have chocolate either but I refuse to give that up. A girl has to have one vice. I thought I would try the music and whole body motion tricks. As soon as I can figure out how to get my feed dogs down.

  25. #125
    Super Member Dodie's Avatar
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    can you buy a stitch regulator for your machine I have one for mine and it is wonderful

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