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Thread: What material for FMQ Practice

  1. #1
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    What material for FMQ Practice

    I'm finally getting the courage to try FMQ but I know there will be many ours of practice in my future. I'd rather not use my stash for practice sandwiches, but don't know what else to use. Is there something inexpensive that I can use that won't use stash or break the bank?

  2. #2
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    I use panels or cheap muslin from joanns
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

  3. #3
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    I learned to FMQ on Placemats I made with scrap fabric. Worked great and I still use them.

  4. #4
    Super Member PamelaOry's Avatar
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    Before I knew better I bought a whole bolt of cheap black fabric from Joanns thinking I would have plenty of black fabric for quilting until the end of time. I used one of the 60 percent off coupons to get it, so it was really inexpensive. I now use it for fmq practice and to test patterns etc. before I touch “the good stuff”. I disovered that they sell Kona at Joanns so did the same thing again (using the coupon) to replace my black-till-the-end-of-time plan with quilt worthy fabric.

  5. #5
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    It's important to use fabrics/battings as close to the same as what you will be using for your "real" projects. That way you get a better "feel" for what you are doing and come to know better what settings for your machine, etc.

    I learned that for me, practicing, just for the sake of practicing, with the intent of pitching it, gave me too much freedom to do anything as though I didn't care, and I didn't learn well enough how to do real things! I had to switch to something that was a keeper ... even if it was not perfect FMQing.

    Now, I try to make my practice pieces something useful ... placemats, grocery totes, tote bags, candlemats, etc. Right now, I am quilting a piece that will become a cover for a heating pad.
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  6. #6
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    For general practice I use some batting and pieces of some well worn sheets. If I'm getting ready to start on a specific project, I make a sandwich with scraps of fabric used in the project. I used the little sandwiches to make pads to go between my china plates.
    Patrice S

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

  7. #7
    Super Member KalamaQuilts's Avatar
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    I practiced on panels, lots of different spaces to try different techniques.
    When I started on quilts I made 24" practice squares with the fabric/batt/back that was in the quilt.
    Panels were a lot more fun

  8. #8
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    I made a ‘sandwich’ from off-cuts of wadding and squares cut from an old sheet.

    I also found that, with patience, I could unpick the stitches and use the square again.

  9. #9
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    Those little mini pre-printed whole cloth quilts.

  10. #10
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    Cotton shirts that are ready for Goodwill (or even go to yard sales and buy cheap cotton shirts and deconstruct them.

  11. #11
    Super Member notmorecraft's Avatar
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    Instead of unpicking to reuse the piece, I just use a different colour of thread, that way I used the same piece a few times, trying out different designs.

  12. #12
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    You can also practice without thread, to get the motion down, and reuse the same sandwich many times. Then move on to practicing with thread.

  13. #13
    Senior Member catsden's Avatar
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    I go to the thrift store and buy sheets and fleece blankets. Cut to size and sandwich then draw squares, triangles etc on them and practice fmq. Saves on paying a lot for fabric and batting.

  14. #14
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    I think it is a good idea to use contrasting color thread, so you can see where you've been. I like the idea of not using any thread, as Mitty suggests, too.

  15. #15
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    I use ugly fabric that I know will never go into a quilt.

  16. #16
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    Someone here on the board in about the last two weeks or so suggested using water soluable thread which I thought was a great idea!! I picked out a small sandwich (about 18x24") and I'm not too eager to do that again. I used muslin I got on sale. There were a couple of good ideas here too. Good luck on what you try.

  17. #17
    Super Member Ariannaquilts's Avatar
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    Years ago at a AQS quilt show I found this package of different types of batting. I bought this specifically to practice my FMQ on, the squares are 18 inches and I just sandwich with any fabric I'm not trying to make a quilt I'm just trying to practice. Although I could have made a quilt out of it that wasn't what I wanted to do.
    Maria
    Always be true to yourself!

  18. #18
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    That’s what I use. Cheap muslin and batting Square sandwiches

  19. #19
    Super Member JENNR8R's Avatar
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    You could use these practice panels: https://www.heartbeatquilting.com/sh...ric-Panels.htm

    If you use water-soluable thread in the bobbin, you'll be able to soak the panel in water and reuse them as many times as you wish. Be sure to remove the water-soluable thread bobbin when you want to sew something that you want to keep.

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