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Thread: ugh i'm so frustrated with my FMQ!!!

  1. #1
    Senior Member wannaquilt1's Avatar
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    I tried to free motion quilt my Quilts for Kids quilt tonight and it's not going well. I started on my singer 201 and was having issues with birds nests. so instead of messing with it I figured I'd move over to my Brother CS-6000 and do it with that one even though it has a super small throat space. Well it was going ok and then I noticed I'm getting some eyelashing on the turns so I slow down and it's still happening. I'm beginning to think it's not me. I'm so frustrated I want to get a quilting machine and my husband keeps saying "let me see if we can afford it. i have to figure it out" I've been waiting a week for him to figure it out. ahhhhh!

    I think I'm going to send my christmas qpplique quilt out to get it quilted because i don't want to ruin it. then maybe he can see how it's saving $ to get me a new machine :)

  2. #2
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    Good luck with your new machie. Hope you get an early Christmas present.

  3. #3
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    Ugh I hear you but those long arms are so pricey. I hope you can get the Singer 201 to work for you. It has such a nice large throat opening.

  4. #4
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    Sounds like you just need to practice more. I had the same problems starting out. Then one day it all looked good! Are you pulling your bobbin thread up? That is usually the cause of birds nests I think. One thing that made me feel better when I first started was to match the thread color on the back. Mistakes were less noticeable. Don't forget, most people won't see the mistakes that you see. Keep the machine speed faster and your hands slower.

    Keep practicing, it will get better!

  5. #5
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    it takes practice---even with a 'quilting machine' you can get 'birds-nests' and eyelash areas----the machine does not quilt a perfect quilt for you-
    any machine can be used to quilt beautifully- as long as you have practiced, practiced, practiced and worked out all those things that are part of the learning process
    start small (pot holders/placemats) as you get comfortable- and your quilting is as beautiful as you want it to be- move up to a runner, baby quilt...then a bit larger--and a bit larger- until you are quilting large quilts-
    we all had to start small and learn-
    and even seasoned long-arm quilters at times still have problems with tension-or thread breakage- birds nests-
    there is a definite learning curve
    and no machine is going to fix it for you...the machine is only as good as you are

  6. #6
    Super Member QultingaddictUK's Avatar
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    I would stick to your 201 a super machine for quilting, and you are lucky to have one. What I would suggest is that you follow Leah Day's videos: http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.c...tart-here.html she really is the queen of FMQ IMO.

    A couple of tips from me, calm down a glass of wine helps, honestly but just one :twisted: For a beginner I would suggest that you start with having the same thread in your bobbin as on the top, you can try the other fancy threads later. Start with a cleaned machine and new needle and following Leah Day's advice don't drop your feed dogs as with them up you get a bit more control.

    All of us quilters who have mastered FMQ knows that practise and patience is the key to success but I would say also that knowing your machine is a big issue as well which is why I have suggested sticking with your 201 as it is a super machine.

    Keep us posted on your journey and remember to ask if you continue having problems.

  7. #7
    Senior Member mmdquilts's Avatar
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    Don't feel bad. I have trouble doing FMQ too. I am still working on practice pieces for over 6 months now because I'm not happy with how I do so not doing a real quilt yet.

  8. #8
    Super Member knlsmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QultingaddictUK
    I would stick to your 201 a super machine for quilting, and you are lucky to have one. What I would suggest is that you follow Leah Day's videos: http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.c...tart-here.html she really is the queen of FMQ IMO.

    A couple of tips from me, calm down a glass of wine helps, honestly but just one :twisted: For a beginner I would suggest that you start with having the same thread in your bobbin as on the top, you can try the other fancy threads later. Start with a cleaned machine and new needle and following Leah Day's advice don't drop your feed dogs as with them up you get a bit more control.

    All of us quilters who have mastered FMQ knows that practise and patience is the key to success but I would say also that knowing your machine is a big issue as well which is why I have suggested sticking with your 201 as it is a super machine.

    Keep us posted on your journey and remember to ask if you continue having problems.
    couldn't have said it better myself. Practice practice.

  9. #9
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    in the beginning my seam ripper was my friend....you will get the hang of it..use a quilting needle, oull up the bottom thread to the top and use a good quality thread. 100 cotton Gutterman works welll for me. If you spray base I would recommend 505 spray. The gloves work wonders.

  10. #10
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    A machine with a drop in or horizontal bobbin is not the best choice for FMQ. The thread has to 'turn a corner' so to speak coming off the bobbin. This can cause all manner of issues. Take comfort in knowing it isn't you.

    I know there are some who FMQ just fine on a horizontal bobbin machine and I'm not saying it can not be done with plenty of practice. It just isn't the best tool for the job.

  11. #11
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    I use the Genie Magic Bobbin washers, it really has pretty much elimated bird nesting for me. As far as the eyelashes that is a matter of practicing and get your speed right. It will happen, just be patience and one day it will just click.

  12. #12
    Super Member Tinabodina's Avatar
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    The top tenion is to loose. I have also found the horizontal bobbins are not the best when it comes to FMQ.

  13. #13
    Super Member leatheflea's Avatar
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    Eyelashing take that top thread all the way down to zero. On a couple of my machines that was the only way I could get it to work. I guess maybe I move to fast but it worked. Good luck! Oh and that glass of wine really does help. Wont even touch free motion with out it!

  14. #14
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    I finally got free-motion looking good on my last quilt (with a horizontal bobbin) but found as soon as I forgot and starting pulling the quilt through instead of guiding it I had eyelashes and nasties. Going to remember the wine trick next time - I did have to say "Self, relax."

  15. #15
    Senior Member wannaquilt1's Avatar
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    ok so i moved the needle over to the left position and for some reason that stopped the eyelashing. i don't know why but when it was in the center and i tried to turn it eyelashed no matter how slow i went.

    right now I'm really frustrated because the thread keeps breaking. I've tried tension 0 (really bad loops underneath with that one) through 5 and the thread breaks after about 30 seconds. Do you think it's the batting? I got high loft poly and my quilt sandwich tester is low loft which is working fine but the quilt is giving me a terrible time.

  16. #16
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    Increase your needle size. What size needle are you using? Try a 90/14 quilting or a 100/16 top stitching needle. I know the 100/16 sounds like it is the size of a harpoon but it may well solve your problems.

  17. #17
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    When you do your sandwich tester piece, you might have better luck using the same batting as you have in your quilt. Hang in there! You have gotten some really good advice here!

  18. #18
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    if you are wanting a long arm quilting machine, go and take some quick lessons first. they cost a bundle!

  19. #19
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    How much practice did you do? I would say most people take at least a month of daily practice before trying a quilt.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by leatheflea
    Eyelashing take that top thread all the way down to zero. On a couple of my machines that was the only way I could get it to work. I guess maybe I move to fast but it worked. Good luck! Oh and that glass of wine really does help. Wont even touch free motion with out it!
    :D :-D

  21. #21
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    Leah Day uses a Janome Horizon and it has a drop in /horizontal bobbin. She gets pretty awesome results. I'd take the comments about your machine's bobbin orientation with a grain of salt.

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