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Thread: Wanting to start FMQ

  1. #1
    Senior Member pyffer3's Avatar
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    Wanting to start FMQ

    I have played with fmq in the past but not really stuck with it long enough to really do anything. Now, since I have bought a new machine (Juki TL2200 mini) I am really wanting to learn fmq. I have been reading and reviewing videos. One thing that stuck out today was an article that said meandering and stippling are the hardest fmq techniques for a newbie to learn. Why is that and what should I start with? I tried following a simple wave one time with my walking foot and I just couldn't get the hang of staying on the line. I would love advice from any of you!
    thanks, Terina

  2. #2
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    For beginners I always suggest loop de loops because every time the stitching line crosses over, you can reposition your hand and quilt.

  3. #3
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    As a newbie I have found meandering and stippling ok - it is the only FMQ I can do! Anything more precise is a challenge...

  4. #4
    Super Member Doggramma's Avatar
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    I thought stippling and meandering were hard too when I first started. I would tense up and the stitching looked choppy, then I would continually box myself in an area. For some reason then I really got into swirls. They seemed easy enough if you don't go too fast and leave room to back yourself out of the midlle of it. Wavy lines are easy too. One of my favorites is woodgrain. It's a combo of wavy lines and a swirl (like a tree knot) every so often. Or something Angela Walters calls dot-to-dot. When I do it, I work my way over to a spot with a either wavy line or an arc. Then echo it to fill in an area.
    Lori

    *********

  5. #5
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    I think following lines is harder than FMQ, for me anyway. LeahDay.com has a lot of information for getting started with FMQ, starting with setting up your machine. She has YouTube videos, lots of free designs with instructions on her website. She offers quilt alongs with block patterns, some with a reasonable fee, and then quilting instructions. Her style of teaching and wealth of information really helped me get going on FMQ.

    I also bought baby panels on sale, usually, made my quilt sandwiches and used for practicing. Something that can be donated and useful was motivating for me.
    Also, try not to let someone tell you what is hard to learn. That is very individual, just go for it and see what method works for you. Don't be discouraged by your first attempts, just keep at it! Good luck! It is worth the work.

  6. #6
    Senior Member TheMerkleFamily's Avatar
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    Terinna - I, too, have the TL2200 and am a beginner at FMQ. I purchased the Echo Foot from Juki and it helped me a lot because you can see clearly and it also has guide lines to help keep you aligned when trying to echo around.

    I recommend Christina Gameli (spelling?) FMQ classes on Craftsy and Angela Walters FMQ challenge (free). There are many others, too, that just show you several styles and get you to practice, practice, practice. It's the practice that helps overcome the challenge of getting better at it.

    Good luck and let us know what you find/recommend too!

    Christine
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    In my dream world.... fabric is free and quilting makes you thin!

  7. #7
    Super Member bjchad's Avatar
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    Draw things out on paper or white board. This helps you learn the shapes, sizing, and traveling (moving around your quilt without boxing yourself in.) paper practice is incredibly helpful.

  8. #8
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    I don't feel meandering is hard, doodling really builds muscle memory
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

  9. #9
    Super Member NZquilter's Avatar
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    I started with meandering and it is still my go-to quilting design. At first I found myself very nervous and stressed and it showed in my stitches, but using Machiners quilting gloves really helped. I also found listening to relaxing music helped ease my tension and taught me a smooth rhythm, which in turn made my stitches better. Try to keep your shoulders relaxed. Doodling helps me immensely in building muscle memory. I doodle each new design a lot on white boards and when it comes time to actually quilt it, it feels like second nature. And practice! You can totally do this!
    We didn't realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun. ~ Winnie the Pooh ~

    1912 World's Rotary Treadle (White Company), 1942 Singer 66-16, 1952 Pfaff 130-6, 1954 Singer 15-91, 1956 Singer 201-2

  10. #10
    Super Member osewme's Avatar
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    I don't have a stitch regulator on my machine & I find it very hard to coordinate my machine speed with my hand speed (moving the quilt). Therefore, I get a lot of those "eyelashes" on the back which I do not like at all. I really like Angela Walters & Leah Day when it comes to good information. I need a lot of practice but don't make a lot of quilts during the year so it's hard to get practice in for me.
    A lot of members are trying to learn FM quilting right now so I will follow these threads very closely.
    Thanks for your questions....I think I will learn from what others tell you.

  11. #11
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    I've done a considerable amount of FMQ in the past but nothing fancy, just loop do loops and meanders. I really like Angela Walters videos, but I recently took a FMQ class at my LQS and enjoyed it and learned A LOT. I recommend it if its at all possible.
    Patrice S

    Bernina Artista 180, Singer 301a, Featherweight Centennial, Rocketeer, Juki 2200 QVP Mini, White 1964 Featherweight

  12. #12
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    If you write a person's name over and over, try this. I have a brother, Lee. The "L" and then 2 "e's" are a pattern to follow easily, over and over. Then progress into other letters. This is what I found easy to do for me when I started.
    Have fun.

  13. #13
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    Glad to know I'm not the only one who thinks stippling and meandering aren't as easy as they look or sound.

    I much prefer leaves, swirls, stars. pebbles, even feathers.

    A few hints:

    wear Machingers (I tried garden gloves but Machingers have better grip) --otherwise you'll have a devil a time holding onto your fabric

    going faster is easier than going slower

    Make several large (20x20) quilt sandwiches with ugly , solid fabric. I say "ugly" as in anything you are okay messing around on. Solid colors in a contrasting thread make it easy to see your stitches. Make the sandwiches large like this so you feel the freedom to move around and can get up a good rhythm.

    Try to relax your arms instead of tighten them. Breathe, don't hold your breath.

    I also like to say "one potato, two potato, three potato, four
    Five potato, six potato, seven potato more" as I do swirls and such--just for rhythm.

  14. #14
    Super Member rryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by osewme View Post
    I don't have a stitch regulator on my machine & I find it very hard to coordinate my machine speed with my hand speed (moving the quilt). Therefore, I get a lot of those "eyelashes" on the back which I do not like at all. I really like Angela Walters & Leah Day when it comes to good information. I need a lot of practice but don't make a lot of quilts during the year so it's hard to get practice in for me.
    A lot of members are trying to learn FM quilting right now so I will follow these threads very closely.
    Thanks for your questions....I think I will learn from what others tell you.
    If you’re getting lots of eyelashes, you may need to adjust your tension in addition to paying attention to machine and hand speed. Eyelashes on the back would ndicate that your top tension is too loose in relation to your bobbin tension. You can try tightening your top tension some to see if that helps. However, if tightening the top tension causes thread breakage, you may need to loosen you bobbin tension a bit rather than tightening the top.

    Rob
    1955 Singer Featherweight 221/ Late 60's early 70's White Selectronic 970/
    1975 Kenmore 158 model 1914/. 1981 Brother VX560/ Brother PC420PRW/
    Brother PQ1500s/ HQSweetSixteen

  15. #15
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    I found the easiest designs to start with were shapes that I was so used to drawing or writing that I did not need to think about what I was doing- loop de loops are like writing "e's" and "l's". Also shapes that we have doodled since we were children like little hearts and flowers seemed very easy. Stippling requires more thought so it was harder
    Sometimes your hands speed up on the end of curves which will give you lashes so will need to think a bit about your speed there.
    I started with little fat quarter sandwiches and found them a very comfortable size to practice on. I still keep some beside my machine to warm up on.
    I found that following planned lines was very hard at first so I decided to just doodle. It was fun, I relaxed and I improved faster then.
    Listen to info from lots of people. We are all different so not everything that one person swears by will work for you.

  16. #16
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    There is a Youtube video from Laura (Sew Very Easy) where she demonstates making large C's all over and I tried it. It is totally do-able!

  17. #17
    Super Member NZquilter's Avatar
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    I just watched Laura's tutorial. Thanks, Susie! It does look very pretty and easy. I might try that one next.
    We didn't realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun. ~ Winnie the Pooh ~

    1912 World's Rotary Treadle (White Company), 1942 Singer 66-16, 1952 Pfaff 130-6, 1954 Singer 15-91, 1956 Singer 201-2

  18. #18
    Super Member Watson's Avatar
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    The thing I learned that helped me the most when I started was to figure out what was my ideal speed and then set the pedal speed to that as a maximum, so I only had to worry about my hands. (If you have that feature on your machine.) This way you can put your pedal right down and you kno your machine isn't going to get away from you and race off.

    Watson

  19. #19
    Super Member Irishrose2's Avatar
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    I find stippling harder that meandering. I like crossing lines. Circles were hard, straight lines were until I started ruler quilting (I just started.) I find any marked pattern difficult. I truly like free motion - in other words, go where I want. When I did some flowers in a center, I drew it on tissue paper and stitched through it. Worked better than following a pattern for me. I need to go see the 'C' video again. I remember liking it.

  20. #20
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    If you are on Facebook there is a woman named Jeanne Harrison who has excellent tutorials on FMQ. She also had videos on U-Tube. Machine Quilting Tutorials with Jeanne.

  21. #21
    Senior Member jokir44's Avatar
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    I too would like to recommend Angela Walters free videos.

  22. #22
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    so many good suggestions. I was determined to do adequate FMQ and stuck to meandering for a long time. As everyone has said it takes a lot of practice but to me I even enjoyed the practice. I quilt for my own pleasure so there is no pressure on me. I started out on a dinky mechanical Brother machine from Costco and it did a nice job, but, of course, small space. I graduated to a used Brother PQ 1500 and I am really enjoying it. A learning curve of course with threads, needles, speed, etc. Even on the little machine I learned the "sweet spot" of speed of machine and my hands. Couldn't always get there right away, but could feel eventually when all was in sync. Leah Day was my first inspiration. And I like Angela Walters, and now Jeanne Harrison has come to Facebook. All great resources. I can't seem to manage to do the drawing as practice. That is a different motion to me. If I had a long arm I think that would work better as a way for me to practice. I use scraps and just quilt the life out of them and that seems to work for me. Have fun with it and don't pressure yourself and it will come. I have graduated from just to meandering and I can do a few different things yet. Feathers are hit and miss. Need more practice.
    Alyce

  23. #23
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    There are lots of on-line how to get started. I suggest that when you find a design you like, start drawing it so that you clear "muscle memory" where the design transfers to your brain from your hands.
    BJ

  24. #24
    Senior Member donac's Avatar
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    I like to sit up higher when I machine quilt. I sit on a pillow

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