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Thread: tips for FMQ and stencils

  1. #1
    Super Member MarionsQuilts's Avatar
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    tips for FMQ and stencils

    Good morning all!

    I decided to buy a couple of stencils to practice FMQ. I did it with contrasting colours so everyone could see what I was doing right, and what I was doing wrong!

    I need some tips / guidance please! Is this supposed to be single line quilting? Or am I expected to go over some areas twice? (This is where I seem to struggle more).

    Also, if I was using similar colour thread, I guess some of my boo-boos wouldn't be as obvious?

    I know I need to practice, that much is obvious!

    Would you fill some of the empty spaces in? Or just leave it as is?

    Thanks so much!

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  2. #2
    Power Poster Homespun's Avatar
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    I don't do this type of quilting, but I think yours looks great!
    Retired teacher, loving it.
    Love quilting also.

  3. #3
    Senior Member granky's Avatar
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    Geez! You're doing great! Personally, I don't like every inch of a quilt quilted, but that's just my preference. I sort of like open spaces so that patterns stand out more...
    Life happens...and we react...

  4. #4
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    What you fill in or leave unquilted is a design choice, entirely up to you. With most stencils you do have to backtrack, and that can be difficult, but it looks like you've done a good job of it.

  5. #5
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    I like open spaces, too. Keep going! I don't do machine FMQ but I think you are well on your way!
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  6. #6
    DJ
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    Nice work! Can't give you any advice. Your quilting is so much better than mine.

  7. #7
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Agree with the others ... pretty much a personal design choice.
    That is quite an intricate pattern to work with and you have done a really nice job.

    Back tracking is done regularly even in free flowing FMQing.
    You just look for the path that can offer the least of that to happen.
    .... I usually figure that out, when I am almost done the project!

    When I FMQ with stencils or a self-drawn-on design, I use it as a guide, and don't stick it rigidly.
    For example, each of my butterflies might be slightly different, just as they would be IRL.
    Likewise, each of the feather petals in the centre may look a little different.

    For threads ... finer thread (yes you can even go as small as 100 wt) and
    thread matched to fabric colour, can both help to camouflage any of your oopsies!

    As said already ... personal choices and do it your way!

    You have a great sense of design and style in this and your other work, so before long,
    you will no doubt feel right at home and your results will certainly show it!
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  8. #8
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    It looks nice and although quilting does take up fabric, I think if you stippled between the butterflies and the wreath, you might get some wrinkles quilted in.

  9. #9
    Super Member rryder's Avatar
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    That looks great! As others have said most designs require some backtracking, some more than others.

    Rob
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  10. #10
    Junior Member Grannies G's Avatar
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    You did a nice job. As others have said it is a personal choice. If you want the butterflies to pop out more then do some fill work in the backgrounds. To give the feathers more deffination consider stitching a vein in each one from the spine curving up the center just over half way and backtrack back to the spine. Sounds difficult but not and can help bobbles in the spine. No I didn’t notice any bobbles in your spine. It all depends on what pleases you it’s your quilt.

  11. #11
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I think it looks great.
    Another Phyllis
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  12. #12
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    I also think it looks great. I'm working on my FMQ skills. While I am not great at it, right now it is my favorite thing to do relating to the quilt. I have watched Leah Day on her free website, leahday.com and she sometimes goes over stitching lines if she wants something to stand out. I am not that good that I can do that without coming off the line, so I have a lot of practice to do that. Sometimes empty space is very nice. It is all about your preference. Keep up the good work!!
    Alyce

  13. #13
    Super Member bjchad's Avatar
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    Looks great! If you want to fill in some of the background you could consider cross hatching or just back and forth lines. You can use the same weight thread or try finer thread.
    The more you practice, the better you will get. You’ve got a great start.

  14. #14
    Super Member citruscountyquilter's Avatar
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    Not all stencils are designed for continuous line quilting without backtracking. Continuous line stencils often have arrows on them and a little dot or star as to where to start. These are illustrated on the little label near the top of the stencil. If you don't want to backtrack look for a stencil like this. Many stencils are designed for hand quilting where stops and starts are easier to handle with having the thread travel in the batting to reach the next starting point without breaking the thread. I'm always on the hunt for new stencils when visiting quilt stores as many stores do not carry them. When I find one that has a good supply it is like a bonanza for me!
    Another way that I get a quilting pattern on fabric is to use a light box and trace a pattern on from a book. There are several good books out there with quilting patterns in them or you can find them on line and print them off. With this method you trace the pattern on the quilt top before you sandwich the batting and backing to it.

  15. #15
    Super Member MarionsQuilts's Avatar
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    Thanks all! I will keep practicing and slowly getting better!

  16. #16
    Senior Member Carol Ann's Avatar
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    Great job!!!

  17. #17
    mac
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    Oh, yes, you are doing a very good job. It looks wonderful. Like others have said, if your thread matched you would not see a lot of the back-tracks, they would just blend in. With practice you will be an expert in no time. It is amazing how some people just pick up machine quilting a lot easier than others. You are a natural.

    One thing that I was taught when I took some classes was that if you want a lot of poufiness you leave that part of the quilt unquilted. If you want your quilting to be less poufy, then you need to balance your quilting by sewing down the poufy areas with as much quilting you did in other areas. For instance, in the middle section, outside of the feathered wreath where it is a little poufy, you could stipple or cross-hatch that area. This would balance the amount of sewing (quilting lines) and it would make that part of the quilting recede into the background. And, of course, the opposite is true. If you want something to stand out more, you quilt less. Please note, I am only using this as an example of how a different look could be obtained and not in any way saying how you quilted it was wrong. I think you did beautiful job.

  18. #18
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    looks great! with most stencils there is likely to be a little backtracking, just take it slow and it works. I love to quilt, so being me I'd probably fill in a little of the space in the center in order to highlight the exact center. Love those butterflies!

  19. #19
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    That looks amazing for a first try!

    You can look for free motion quilting videos by Angela Walters and Leah Day on YouTube. You will learn a lot from either of them.
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  20. #20
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    Looking good. Not everyone can do this type of quilting. It takes concentration and practice. You are on your way to wonderful things.

  21. #21
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    You did a beautiful job on this!! Don't need to add anything.

  22. #22
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    looks good
    Nancy in western NY
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  23. #23
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    It looks great! I with I could do half as well, but I haven't gotten off my duff and practiced enough.

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