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

  1. #126
    Senior Member Pat M.'s Avatar
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    I have a Pfaff 7570 and it took a while to learn to fmq. Get yourself a pair of quilter's gloves or tight fitting garden gloves w/rubber nubs on the fingers. Make a gazallion 12-15" practice blocks. I used muslin, different types of batting, backing. 1. Learn to go back and forth, then up and down and last; on the diagonal. 2. Next try loops while doing the exercise. Always relax, listen to music and only do it for about 15 minutes at a time, walk away and then come back so you do not get frustrated. Remember learning how to write in the first grade? Same thing. The practice sheets make great dust cloths, etc.

  2. #127
    Granny Coy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by City
    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!
    Is the bouncy foot an attachment or a technique? There is a lot of good hints in your post. My machine is an old Montgomery Ward heavy metal machine that is suppose to zig zag but doesn't. It was in the rental house when we moved in and has no manual or attachments of any kind. I am really winging it here,

  3. #128
    Super Member mshawii's Avatar
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    Well that was about 50 minutes of well spent time. Oh how I wish that I was that talented and confident with free motion quilting. I do have the machine with the larger throat so it should be easier. RIGHT!!! :roll: :lol: :-( Jan

  4. #129
    Super Member mshawii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat M.
    I have a Pfaff 7570 and it took a while to learn to fmq. Get yourself a pair of quilter's gloves or tight fitting garden gloves w/rubber nubs on the fingers. Make a gazallion 12-15" practice blocks. I used muslin, different types of batting, backing. 1. Learn to go back and forth, then up and down and last; on the diagonal. 2. Next try loops while doing the exercise. Always relax, listen to music and only do it for about 15 minutes at a time, walk away and then come back so you do not get frustrated. Remember learning how to write in the first grade? Same thing. The practice sheets make great dust cloths, etc.
    I was thinking about using them for backs of decorative pillows. Good Idea??? Jan

  5. #130
    Member BARBISBOSS's Avatar
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    I HAVE COVERED THEM WITH MASKING TAPE. AS I WAS NOT ABLE TO DROP THE FEED DOGS.

  6. #131
    noreeli's Avatar
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    I have started quilting a top.... Have done stich in the ditch, and some echo stitching ... My thought were to do some fmq after the echo stitching is done, and realized, hay, I have barely room to get the quilt moving around just to do this, never mind consider fmq..... ugh!

  7. #132
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbjlinda
    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
    Did you try it with the quilting gloves? These make a world of difference on how easy it is to move the quilt.

  8. #133
    Super Member TexasGurl's Avatar
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    Keep practicing on muslin sandwiches and get some Machingers (very light gloves) You might also try Bobbin Genies (little white teflon rings for your bobbin) if you have trouble with backlashing (eyelashing on the back) They can make a big difference

  9. #134
    coll2quilt's Avatar
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    Thank you for posting this link. The tuts are great! She does a wonderful job of explaining everything. I feel with her help, that even I can fmq beyond stippling!

  10. #135
    coll2quilt's Avatar
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    Thank you for posting this link. The tuts are great! She does a wonderful job of explaining everything. I feel with her help, that even I can fmq beyond stippling!

  11. #136
    coll2quilt's Avatar
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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
    This is the link I was refering to. Didnt get it in the last post. :oops:

  12. #137
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    Just keep practicing. I used to make samples & then I realized that I would enjoy my practicing more if I did something useful. So I just jumped right in and started FMQ on my quilts. Don't be so critical of your technique. Just Jump!! LOL

  13. #138
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdiane318
    It's called Xanax and a margarita.
    :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup: :thumbup:

  14. #139
    Granny Coy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gizzy-Girl
    Just keep practicing. I used to make samples & then I realized that I would enjoy my practicing more if I did something useful. So I just jumped right in and started FMQ on my quilts. Don't be so critical of your technique. Just Jump!! LOL

    There is another topic on this board on making string blocks. I thought I would practice FMQ on those. Then I could put them together using the quilt as you go method. With all those differend patterns of fabric going every which way who would notice some inexpert FMQ.

  15. #140
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    The most important thing to remember is to forgive your mistakes! You will make them. The second thing everyone always says, "it's so much fun!" I find it stressful, not fun, because I'm a novice. But I am no longer scared to do it! My first few attempts have lots of mistakes, but my quilting friends think they turned out beautifully, so just go for it! It does get easier!

    Good luck!

  16. #141
    Super Member carslo's Avatar
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    Try a different type of thread in the bobbin, through trial and error I am discovering that a lighter weight bobbin thread is best for my machine.

  17. #142
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    Love magarita, sounds like maybe 2 would be in order!!!!!

  18. #143

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    I loved reading all the responses about FMQ. I have solved that problem for myself. I work a part-time job and pay my long arm quilter for her expertise. My quilts are works of art for my family thanks to her. I give her half the credit for every one of them. I also loved all the responses on cat quilts. Wish I knew how to show you mine.

  19. #144
    Super Member almostfree's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdiane318
    It's called Xanax and a margarita.
    LOL!

  20. #145
    Super Member fabric whisperer's Avatar
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    find someone that has that fairy dust, they would be instant bagillionaires! ROFL

  21. #146
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    I haven't read all the replies yet but a friend of mine swears by the "box of wine" method of FM quilting. Practice and drink. After you've practiced some and start on your project have a class or 2 of wine to loosen you up.

    Oh, and it holds together anounce it a "design element" I meant for it to look like that. Unless, like I did once with my tension not correct, you pull one string and everything comes out...

  22. #147
    Member aussiequilter's Avatar
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    It's possible I might have found the FMQ "fairy dust" on the Internet. Read somewhere out there that you don't have to put the feed dogs down. I couldn't see how you could really free motion quilt with those teeth still sticking up but, having tried everything else, next day I put the darning foot on the Designer SE Husqvana, dialled up the straight quilting stitch (which seems to put most settings at zero) left those feed dogs right where they were and away it went. Maybe with the feed dogs in place the lower tension is still in the control of the sewing machine, not the sewer, which was always my big problem. And it's alcohol-free. Might be worth a try. If it doesn't seem to be right, add alochol.

  23. #148
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    Quote Originally Posted by aussiequilter
    And it's alcohol-free. Might be worth a try. If it doesn't seem to be right, add alochol.


    :lol: Too funny. But I've noticed that if I don't put the feed dogs down it seems to work better. I figured I was doing something wrong and didn't want to say anything.

  24. #149
    Senior Member Numa's Avatar
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    Listening and watching Leah Day really helped me. And one day it just came together! Practice was also involved too of course!

  25. #150
    Super Member Debbie B's Avatar
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    I wonder if certain machines will work better with the feed dogs up? Mine go down & if I have them up it will not move very well.

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