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Wanting to start FMQ

Wanting to start FMQ

Old 09-20-2018, 11:46 AM
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Default 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
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Old 09-20-2018, 12:18 PM
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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.
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Old 09-20-2018, 12:47 PM
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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...
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Old 09-20-2018, 01:00 PM
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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.
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Old 09-20-2018, 02:18 PM
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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.
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Old 09-20-2018, 02:33 PM
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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!

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Old 09-20-2018, 03:12 PM
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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.
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Old 09-20-2018, 04:51 PM
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I don't feel meandering is hard, doodling really builds muscle memory
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Old 09-20-2018, 05:38 PM
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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!
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Old 09-20-2018, 06:11 PM
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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.
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