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Thread: Total newbie needing advice

  1. #26
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    I'm no expert, but have FMQ both on my cheapie Brother from Wallyworld and my fancy Elna. Besides dropping the feeddogs, and using a darning foot, the only thing I do with tension is loosen the top stitch (thread) just a tad so it doesn't pull on the curves. several of the comments already given are important--new needle, clean machine (a tiny ball of lint can cause problems with the bobbin), and ALWAYS bring the bobbin thread up to the top of the fabric before you start the FMQ! Other than that practice,practice, practice! And drawing out your designs on whiteboard or paper really does help get that muscle memory. Check out some of the tutorials on the web for some ideas beyond stippling, too.

  2. #27
    Senior Member ruby2shoes's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. Yes, I always use a new needle for most garment projects and did same when doing the quilting. I used a 90/14 with 100% cotton: same spool for needle and bobbin. I did the jiggly thing with the bobbin and it didn't move at all so I loosened the screw titch by titch until I had the bobbin dropping just an inch or so. Made quite a difference when I sewed some practice swatches (just material pieces, no batting)...much happier with the stitches. I then did as you suggested and "went up and down" my needle tension dial and found the spot where I was most happy with the result. Then, I put my presser foot pressure back to its normal setting. Next, I made some practice swatches with some leftover batting, on with the darning foot and down with the dogs and off I went......
    Practice swatches weren't too bad for a beginner...quite happy with them. So now that I have the Janome back to "normal" I figure any further problems I have are going to be "me" not the machine. I'm thinking that perhaps I should buy a really cheap poly filled quilt from Kmart or such and practice FMQ on that? That way I'm getting used to moving bulk and weight around?? This could be the last piece in the puzzle??
    And no, I wouldn't buy a new machine just for FM stuff......just thought I would spoil myself next time my better half buys another motorbike!!
    Last edited by ruby2shoes; 12-09-2012 at 12:39 PM. Reason: spelling

  3. #28
    Super Member katesnanna's Avatar
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    Welcome from another Aussie. If I spend some time doing a practice piece and use the man on a galloping horse technique I'm okay but it won't win me any prizes. I usually only do stippling on small projects.

  4. #29
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    I was so happy I was able to give directions good enough to help someone.
    I've been fixing my bobbin case tension for years, mainly because I sometimes do bobbin work. I put light weight yarn on the bobbin and invisible thread on the top, so the bobbin tension needs to be changed for that, and then put back.
    Mavita - Square dancer and One Room School Teacher

  5. #30
    Super Member MaryAnnMc's Avatar
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    Lots of great advice here! Good luck finding the solution. Don't get frustrated, just keep at it, and you'll find what works for your machine.
    aka Chicken McLittle

    If it's true we learn from our mistakes, I'm going to be a genius!

  6. #31
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    As Holice first suggested:

    Make sure your feed dogs are lowered/dropped or covered.

    On my machine (a Pfaff 1471 - late 1980s machine), the instruction manual says for darning to lower the presser foot only 'half-way' for darning/FMQ. There is a 'stop' that I seldom use, but it is there - perhaps your machine also has the same feature?

    Do you still have the operating instructions that came with your machine? There may be a section called "darning" that might give you suggestions on how to set up the machine.
    Last edited by bearisgray; 12-10-2012 at 06:38 AM.

  7. #32
    Senior Member Dogwood Quilter's Avatar
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    Ok I am going to jump in here with another idea. Read this thread here on the board. http://www.quiltingboard.com/main-f1...ng-t35165.html
    Could it be tufts of batting showing through on the back of your quilt and not the tension. Also my sewing machine man years ago showed me the drop test with the bobbin but he showed not to have it drop over a quarter inch at a time. I hope this helps you some.

  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joset View Post
    if you decide to get a new machine for fmq. i recommend the 1600p by
    janome it does a fantastic job.
    - I agree with Joset, I am also new at quilting I started January 2012, I have a Janome 1600P and I love it, I have it on my 10' foot quilting frame and it does an awesome job and is super fast and easy to figure out since I am no awesome person at figuring out how to run sewing machines. I too have a mega old sewing machine that I do ALL my piecing on which is an old old ALCO that my mom gave me...I am 27 yrs old and have fallen in love with quilting...I use my Janome for doing all my quilting and fooling around with new designs after I have finished my tops... sometimes in the bobbin case there gets lint in there that can cause thread issues, I use a makup brush to clean it out a bit and seems to help some...tension is always tricky to get perfect and sometimes it doesnt get perfect but after one wash the threads pull eachother to the center and it looks just fine ...best of luck and have fun!
    LIVE ~ LAUGH ~ LOVE

  9. #34
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    In my humble opinion all you need to do is lots of practice. At times I have to do unsewing also. I have lots of experience but, sometimes it would be impossible to tell it.
    Welcome from Missouri.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  10. #35
    Super Member JoyjoyMarie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joset View Post
    if you decide to get a new machine for fmq. i recommend the 1600p by
    janome it does a fantastic job.
    This is my machine too, and I've been having fun doing FMQ with it. I did have that same thread problem, intermittently, and in addition to what the other gals are saying, check to see that you are not inadvertantly lifting the pressure foot with your knee as you are sewing. For some reason I was doing that, and it really messes up the thread tension. As soon as I released my knee to a relaxed position not on the knee lever, my tension was restored. Happy sewing!
    KEEP CALM and CARRY ON!!

  11. #36
    Senior Member ruby2shoes's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone...all suggestions added to my little note book. Have just finished sewing some Christmas print dresses for my granddaughter and the machine is sewing "a treat" with lovely stitches and tension. So all is back to normal and the Janome it would seem, has forgiven me! Will start piecing my next quilt top in the New Year when my fabric arrives (man, I love Etsy!) and then it is "back on the learning curve" horse! In the meantime I am going to buy a really cheap quilt from KMart and put all your suggestions into practice so when I am ready to start on my quilt I will be all "practised and sorted". I think I am going to have to re-think my sewing table set-up as well and perhaps get my OH to "rig up" a nice big extension for me. There's a nice little holiday project for him!!!! Thankyou all so much....what lovely support this site gives...and Merry Christmas to everyone too!

  12. #37
    Senior Member ruby2shoes's Avatar
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    Point taken Dogwoodquilter........yeah, my bobbin case doesn't really drop a "whole inch or so"...just had another look and I may have got my "drop measurement/guess" slightly wrong....never was too good at judging distances!!!

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