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Thread: Thread/Tute idea on FMQ

  1. #1

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    If this already exists somewhere on the forum, you may feel free to scold me now.
    But I was thinking, there are so many of us, especially beginners, who struggle with FMQ.
    I thought it would be great if those of you who've mastered the art would share their tips, tricks and tools that have helped them get better at it.

    For instance, what kind of foot do you use, or do the gloves really help, etc.
    I know I've seen some of this info scattered about but would really love to find it all on one thread.

  2. #2
    Senior Member barbsbus's Avatar
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    what is FMQ?

  3. #3
    Senior Member krabadan's Avatar
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    I think it's free motion quilting

  4. #4
    Super Member Grandma Cindy's Avatar
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    I wouldnt be of any help either since it took me 5 seconds to figure FMQ...

  5. #5
    Super Member ScubaK's Avatar
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    Maybe we should put a sticky in the tip/resouces forum

  6. #6

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    Sorry everyone. FMQ=free motion quilting. I'd seen that abbreviation used here before so I was just thinking... when in rome and all that.

  7. #7
    Super Member Quilting Aggi's Avatar
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    I have just been experimenting myself in FMQ so I have much practice to go before I master it, but having fun in the process. I hear that the gloves do help. I don't have the gloves yet, but I hope to get a pair in the new year as my friend and I are planning to start a queen size trapunto quilt each! So I have LOTS of FMQ ahead of me!!!

  8. #8
    mamatobugboo's Avatar
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    i am currently quilting (free motion) a lap size and I have to say - the gloves are my #1 MUST HAVE when quilting. I've FMQed all but one of my quilts (i've made probably 15) and I will not do it without my gloves.

    The one I am working on now has a lot of stops and starts so I need to take the gloves off to snip threads etc and a few times I have forgotten to put them back on. 10 seconds into it, I'm wondering why my stitches are so uneven, why the quilt is not moving smoothly, etc. And I figure out that it is because my hands keep slipping on the fabric and I don't have my gloves on!

    I use a darning foot with the clear toe but a small hole, not the big open toe. The reason I do that is to keep the fabric smoothed out as much as possible around the needle. I've found that the larger the opening, the more the fabric tends to "bubble" a little around the needle. Since I have switched to a darning foot with a small opening, I haven't had any puckering while quilting.

    Another tip would be to practice a bit before you start on your quilt, even if you have taken only a 3 hour break from it. Also good for checking your thread length and tension. And, if you are using a decorative stitch, that is a good way to check that you actually have the right one chosen (yes, I have learned this from experience!)! I try to equate it to running or exercizing. I would not jump right into full speed workouts without a little bit of a warm up first! When you are warming up, make a small quilt sandwich and practice writing your name or drawing a tree or the actual design you are quilting - gets the shoulders warmed up and the kinks out before you tackle your quilt!

    Happy sewing!

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Thank you for the tips! I have 3 quilt tops ready to FMQ but I have been afraid to start! I have done some practicing but have a looonnnggg way to go!

  10. #10
    english rose's Avatar
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    I have recent taught myself to do free motion stipple. Have a look at www.sharonschambernetwork.com - an excellent tutorial. I also learned the value of sticking some teflon sheet onto the machine (with masking tape) with a hole cut in for the needle. On line I fould a Supreme Free Motion Slider which would have cost me about $40 to have sent to UK. However here in the UK we have a store called Lakeland and they sell teflon sheet under the name of "magic carpet" for far less, about 5 I think. Teflon sheets are also called craft sheets and I found these on line also but not very big. The teflon just takes all the effort out and you get nice smooth lines and curves.
    Jane

  11. #11

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    I've been doing FMQ, for 2 years now. Self taught.It took me a solid week of pratice for 3 hrs aday. I've never used a glider or spray. The item that helped me and I could'nt do without are my gloves. I did'nt have the quilters gloves, I used regular gardening gloves, the kind that have hard little bumps on the palms.About the 2nd day of struggling with the fabric and bunching and pulling, and my stitching looking like haywire, I started doing alittle more research. And my gloves are a must.
    Hand quilting is an art all in its self, and thats how I did all my quilts. But since I have found FMQ, thats how I make all my quilts. Slimply because I can finish alot of my quilts alot faster and move on to more of my ideas. I use my hand quilting for embellishments on my quilts now.I keep my machines cleaned often because alot of lint and fuzz will build up. I also change my needle about every 3-4 quilts.

  12. #12
    Super Member peaceandjoy's Avatar
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    I'm just starting to toy with FMQ myself, so am not able to provide experienced suggestions. In addition to the darning foot, definitely wear quilting gloves. I prefer the Machingers brand over the quilter's gloves with the gripper dots. The Machingers ones aren't as bulky.

    I did find a few clips on YouTube that I found helpful. Different searches I did at their site were, "quilting," "free-motion," "stippling," and "machine quilting." You'll definitely find some inspiration!

    I took a one-day class from a quilter who does workshops all over the country, has entered quilts in national competitions, and quilts for some of the "famous" designers. Her work has been published in both magazines and books. She does it ALL on a home sewing machine - no long-arm! I guess I was hoping that I'd absorb some of her talent by osmosis... NOT!!! :roll: She had us make several 12" sandwiches and practice different things - loops, hearts/leaves, stippling, etc. Basically, as others here have said - it comes down to practice, practice, practice. Now I know how younger DD felt when I told her that she wasn't going to sound wonderful on the clarinet just by picking it up - she'd have to practice. She didn't want to hear it any more than I do, lol :oops:

    One suggestion I also liked was to use a "cheater panel" or make a very simple top using just some big squares. Something you haven't invested a lot of time in. Practice on that, with the plan that when you are done you will give it to a child or charity that will be delighted and won't be inspecting it for perfection as we are apt to do ourselves.

    My LQS brought back a new tool from the Houston show. It's called "Quilt Halo." I haven't tried it yet, too busy getting ready for Christmas. Okay, and a little surfing the net...

  13. #13
    Super Member Yvonne's Avatar
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    Practice! Practice! Practice! Practice!

    I started out buying kitchen gloves and they work fine but they make your hands sweat. I've now switched to the snug fitting quilters gloves. They are the best and I can't do any quilting without them! But the bottom line is "Practice!"

    I have made different quilts that I labeled in my mind as "practice quilts" so I don't get uptight about errors. I just relax and go with the flow!

    Some one also recommended to put on some music. It does help with the rhythm. Then it's back to Practice! Practice! Practice!

    Most importantly... have fun with it! Smile while you Practice! :lol:

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