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Thread: What do you practice your Free Motion Quilting on?

  1. #51
    Super Member mar32428's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amma
    I have made pot holders out of mine LOL I put another layer of fabric over the front and back and cover up my FMQ :wink:
    I did all my practicing on Linus quilts. The stitching wasn't that bad and the little ones sure don't care.

  2. #52

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    Pot holders are great to practice on because no matter what you end up with, it still is useful

  3. #53

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    I practice before every quilting session. Have some scraps all made into sandwiches in a pile. Then I make potholders out of them. I find that quilting just a minute or so gets me into the "swing" of things, and my quilting looks so much better.

  4. #54
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    If you need the manual, it's often available online at the Brothers' site.

  5. #55
    Super Member patdesign's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aneternalpoet
    Ok, that explains it some for me.. Not sure how to drop the feed dogs, but will find out. But what you are saying about the special foot, that means to buy the quilting foot that is talked about? My adopted Quilting Mommy, lol, explained about that foot, so it sounds like I need to find out how to order one for my machine, since Walmart probably doesnt have them..
    thanks.
    If you plan to do a lot of free motion quilting, there are a couple of handy items out there you might like to know about. One is the quilt halo, which really helps you move the fabric about without tiring yourself as much. The other is a plastic type sheet that goes under the fabric and doesn't grab the fabric so much, it is very slippery and I found that the two items work really well. If you are not able to drop the feed dogs on your machine, you may be able to get a feed dog cover plate for your machine. You didn't mention how old or new it is. A lot of the newer machines come with a quilting foot which is a round "foot" like a donut, and doesnt impede the moving about of the fabric. :D

  6. #56
    Senior Member Stitchalong's Avatar
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    I buy inexpensive fabric and make throws or lap quilt size. When finished I bind and use to cuddle up with on cold winter evenings and or we camp so I have several to take camping.

  7. #57
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    Check on e-bay quite a few dealers out there with tons of different sewing feet they also state the different machines the feet are for. Best find out the model if it is a low or high shank. Also check on the site Brother Machines you may also be able to find an inst. manual.

  8. #58
    Super Member weezie's Avatar
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    Many years ago, I had a box of fabric given to me. Much of it is only good for practicing on. I made a twin-sized quilt, using 2 of those pukey-looking fabrics for the top and backing (+ a new batting). It gives me a lot of "quilt" to practice on and, for me, it's better than using a bunch of scrap pieces.

  9. #59
    Super Member wraez's Avatar
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    Have you seen this blog?

    http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/

    She shows a different free motion design each day. When you look at her blog, go to her posting of July 8th. She has different designs on different colored blocks, I think it would make a great wall hanging.

    Recently I discovered 'Zentangles' and I've been doing them in thread on fabric for fabric postcards....it is great practice.

    I've become addicted to making them. Now I need to move to a larger block size

    warm quilt hugs, sue in CA

    zentangle postcards
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  10. #60
    Senior Member sharone's Avatar
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    Hi

    I make little cosmetic purses from the practice bits. They make lovely little pressies!

  11. #61
    Super Member Ditter43's Avatar
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    Old mattress pads are perfect for practice! :D

  12. #62

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    I bind them and then donate them to my local church group where they are used in a nursery setting. I suppose a daycare could also use them.

  13. #63
    Power Poster
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    I practice on scraps.

  14. #64

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    I go to quilting classes at the local adult school. The teacher gave us sheets of paper with different designs. She told us to use an old needle and sew over the papers to practice (no thread). It's kind of hard to move the paper around. You're supposed to hold your fingers spread out over the paper as if it is fabric but you have to pick the paper up between your fingers to get it going. Then after practicing a couple of weeks we copied the designs on fabric then made a fabric sandwich. We used different colored thread for the bobbin and top thread so we could see our stitches. I'm still practicing but still doing stich in the ditch. One of these days .....

  15. #65
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    you may be able to download an instruction book for your sewing machine on the manufacturers site on the web - I dont know anything about fmq either

  16. #66
    Senior Member schwanton's Avatar
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    A woman from my quilt guild gave a great tip for fmq - make small practice sandwiches with the leftovers from your project. Set your stitch length and tension until you get the stitch you want. Practice your stitching on the sandwich to see the stitching. Then with a fabric marker - write the tension and stitch length on the sandwich. If you are continuously changing your dials it will be easy to duplicate the stitch. I always think I can remember but it is not always the case. When I have practiced to death my sandwiches I usually put another piece of fabric on top until I have my stitch perfected. Saves fabric and batting!

  17. #67
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    When I needed to practice some quilting I made seat mats for the car. I have leather seats and in the summer I wear shorts and I really hate being stuck to the seats so I made a quilted, bound square for my seat. My granddaughter calls it "the butt thing," LOL. She wants me to make her one too. I need to practice free motion on my new machine anyway.

  18. #68
    Super Member Pat G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scrappycats
    I understand that I am not the only person that needs to practice Free Motion quilting (is that what it is called?)before being good enough to do a quilt, but just what do you do with all your practice pieces?

    I just threw away a few muslin sandwiches (about 15 inches square) that I quilted the tar out of over and over again trying to get the technique down. But, sure hate throwing fabric and batting away. I did do a piece yesterday that I added a zipper to and made into a notions bag to carry to the LQS.

    But, I need more, much more practice and I was wondering what ya'll learned/practiced on.

    I spent part of last Sunday practicing FMQ too. Now I wish I had made my practice pcs. larger to make them into something. I finally gave upon the scraps & got out a tablerunner I made a few yrs. back but used a higher loft batting so I didn't really like it. I FMQ the heck out of it & I got so excited & did the whole runner. I was so happy with the freedom I felt once I saw the outcome. Now I won't be so afraid of it anymore.

    Prob. I had though was if I wanted to go faster, instead of remembering to move the fabric myself, I'd speed up the machine. I am so proud of myself.

  19. #69
    Super Member Pat G's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nursie76
    Quote Originally Posted by aneternalpoet
    Ok, that explains it some for me.. Not sure how to drop the feed dogs, but will find out. But what you are saying about the special foot, that means to buy the quilting foot that is talked about? My adopted Quilting Mommy, lol, explained about that foot, so it sounds like I need to find out how to order one for my machine, since Walmart probably doesnt have them..
    thanks.
    I think you may be talking about a walking foot. that is used to feed several layers of fabric through the machine evenly. The foot that is used for free motion quilting is often called a darning foot. What type of machine do you have? If you can check with your dealer and explain what you want to do with it.
    No, not a walking foot. The foot has a round circle (mine is a clear plastic) on it that the needle goes through & it also has a spring. I think they're also called darning foot. I'm sure others could explain it better.

  20. #70
    a regular here dljennings's Avatar
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    i used black fabric top & bottom & then used varigated threads in each family member's favorite color. after i practiced, i cut them to fit my dining room chairs. after i put the binding on, free chairpads!

  21. #71
    Senior Member yellowsnow55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat G
    Quote Originally Posted by nursie76
    Quote Originally Posted by aneternalpoet
    Ok, that explains it some for me.. Not sure how to drop the feed dogs, but will find out. But what you are saying about the special foot, that means to buy the quilting foot that is talked about? My adopted Quilting Mommy, lol, explained about that foot, so it sounds like I need to find out how to order one for my machine, since Walmart probably doesnt have them..
    thanks.
    I think you may be talking about a walking foot. that is used to feed several layers of fabric through the machine evenly. The foot that is used for free motion quilting is often called a darning foot. What type of machine do you have? If you can check with your dealer and explain what you want to do with it.
    No, not a walking foot. The foot has a round circle (mine is a clear plastic) on it that the needle goes through & it also has a spring. I think they're also called darning foot. I'm sure others could explain it better.
    Sometime the darning foot is known as embroidery foot. In the olden days u used no foot at all for darning/embroidery. Just a needle and watch fingers. My friend managed to sew herself to the sewing machine years ago and I purchased a foot soon after, as I was the one having to remove needle from finger and I'm pathetic if it comes to other peoples blood. :thumbdown:

  22. #72
    Junior Member doglover's Avatar
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    My first long piece of practice was the size of a twin bed and I did not want to throw it away so I put a binding around it, four pieces of elastic to the four corners and use it under my sheets on the twin bed. The second practice piece was the size of a lap or throw and granddaughters also practiced on it by signing their names in stitches. It is now a prized throw that they fight over when they spend the night. Now when I practice complicated stitches, I cut out a 12" sectionand plan to put them together for a quilt called "Practice makes perfect". Never waste around here.
    doglover.

  23. #73
    Senior Member rahaube's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aneternalpoet
    I have never done any machine quilting, so going to jump right in there, and ask if free motion quilting is done using the same foot that is normally found on a new sewing machine? is free motion work, just whereever, and whatever area you want to stitch a design? ( :oops: blushing cuz I really feel dumb in asking.. But I am not like Dumb, and Dumber ( think Jim Carey ), I am more " I love it when a plan comes together" because I am forever and a day, figuring out I can do whatever I set my mind on.. hope someone can answer the question, lol.
    It is not dumb to admit that there is something you don't understand. This is how we learn. The foot used in free motion quilting is like a darning foot or what is called a big foot, similar to a darning foot but with a larger surface on the quilt. Free motion quilting is done with the feed dogs down and you move the fabric around with your hands.

  24. #74
    Junior Member Shikadee's Avatar
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    Great Idea!

  25. #75
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    Contact your local brother dealer and they can probably get you an instruction book.

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