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Thread: what a mess

  1. #1
    Super Member sahm4605's Avatar
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    tell me what I have done wrong please. I am trying to quilt this but not sure how to make it look better.
    it is all bumpy, and the quilting looks like a 2 year old did it. plus i couldn't make up my mind what pattern to do or how to do it.
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  2. #2
    Marjpf's Avatar
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    After just reading all the posts about quilt police, I'm almost afraid to answer, but since you asked... I think it's the quilting that is throwing this off. I know it would really be a pain, but have you considered taking it out and trying again?

  3. #3
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    it takes a LOT of practice to be able to do a pattern, especially on a domestic machine, I think that's why most stick to meandering, it's not supposed to look like "something". It doesn't look like you've got too much in there to take it out and try again. Make a small practice piece and work on it till you get your rythm and then get back on the real thing.
    when I'm meandering I think of jig saw puzzle pieces.
    good luck

  4. #4
    Senior Member AnnieF's Avatar
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    I also think taking it out would be the way to go. You might be thinking that it's a lot of work to take it out, but I had a large lapquilt completely finished.....and like you felt it didn't look right. I put it aside for awhile and one day while watching TV just sat and used the seam ripper. It didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would...I then just re-sandwiched....and it turned out great.

  5. #5
    a regular here hazeljane's Avatar
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    I agree. Although the thought of taking it out makes me want to cry on your behalf. On the gift to myself quilt I just quilted, I had to take out a whole row of roses because I didn't pay attention to the fact that the tension was wrong. I did cry. And make my husband help.

    I am also a beginning quilter- I think if you draw the designs on first, with an invisible pen or chalk, it's a whole lot easier to follow them, than free hand them. The quilt is really pretty- it's worth sucking it up and trying again.

  6. #6
    Super Member sahm4605's Avatar
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    I plan on taking every single quilt stitch out tonight and for the next bunch of nights. it will be a pain but in the end will make a better quilt. I wasn't trying to make a picture just trying to make something pretty, after the first one i got mad and kept going. my own fault. figured that I would just take it out anyway. talk about biting off my own nose right? I think that I will see about heading to a local quilt shop and asking them if one of them could help me quilt it together because if i have someone sitting with me for a few min looking over my shoulder telling me what i am doing wrong It will be better. The more comments the better right? in quilting you can never have too much help in making it right. well at least to me.

  7. #7
    quiltilicious's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kathy
    it takes a LOT of practice to be able to do a pattern, especially on a domestic machine, I think that's why most stick to meandering, it's not supposed to look like "something". It doesn't look like you've got too much in there to take it out and try again. Make a small practice piece and work on it till you get your rythm and then get back on the real thing.
    when I'm meandering I think of jig saw puzzle pieces.
    good luck
    I agree with Kathy. If you must finish this quilt right away, try using more straight lines, either in the ditch or near the seams (on either side). Also using a thread that is closer in value to the underlying fabric will "hide" any "mistakes" a lot better.

  8. #8
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    Wow, that looks like one of mine! Here's what I learned that I was doing:

    1. I want to go too fast. I really have to concentrate on moving steadily and consistently

    2. Stippling shouldn't cross over itself. That's what keeps it from looking "messy"

    3. I use my walking foot, rather than FMQ for all lines and even gentle curves like the ones you did. It makes them smoother.

    4. Mark your quilt tops and try to follow the lines.

    5. It takes practice, practice and more practice. I still have practice sandwiches that I use to help me "set the motion memory" before I start on the real quilt.

    Good luck.

  9. #9
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    I've also heard that the key to meandering is a glass of wine. :)

  10. #10
    a regular here hazeljane's Avatar
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    [quote=sahm4605 i got mad and kept going. my own fault. [/quote]

    This made me laugh out loud. It's EXACTLY what I did with the roses. And later cursed myself for. I agree with a couple other of the suggestions too. If you quilt the solid border parts with a walking foot first, you will have lots of stability and quilting done, so you can make a design in the squares more easily. Even if you don't have a "picture" in mind, it helps to draw at least partially, what you want there. For instance, I drew vague shapes that I knew would be roses, but the drawn shapes allowed me to free-hand in them and keep the size consistent. For me, a huge help.

    Also, if it makes it easier for you to face the tearing out- you can tear out a bit, do some SID and straight line quilting- tear out a little more, like that. Maybe it would make it less painful to break it up?

    We're all behind you. I for one, have been there very recently.

  11. #11
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    One other suggestion is that unless you're really proficient with FMQ, it may be better to choose thread colors that blend a bit more with the quilt. Especially as you're learning. I've been FMQ for years and I'm just now starting to pick thread colors that pop out from the quilt. I stayed with matching or neutrals until my skills progressed. And I agree. FMQ with straighter lines, circles etc. are the hardest to master. Free forms are easier as a beginner. We all have had a few rip out projects and if you just can't make yourself do that, use it as a utility quilt and love it. I have a couple of car quilts for this very reason!

  12. #12
    Senior Member hokieappmom's Avatar
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    I agree with others that stippling is easier than trying to create or even follow a design. My quilting rack has a laser light for pantographs, and I can't come close to staying on the lines. I just need a LOT more practice! Good luck tearing out. I've had to do that too.

  13. #13
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I machine quilt most of my quilts and I'm still learning too. I use a very thin thread, size 60 or higher in top and bobbin. I make sure it will blend with the quilt colors and not stand out. I loosen the top tension. I set the stitch length to 0 if free motion quilting. If using a walking foot I set the stitch length to 3.5 or 4. I use thin batting so there won't be a thick layer to sew through. I keep the quilting very simple. A straight cross hatching looks fantastic on most quilts.

  14. #14
    MNQuilter's Avatar
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    Looks liek you have some great advise here. I was also going to add to use a matching color, it's more forgiving. I also found that besides meandering, loops seem to be pretty easy to do, at least for me. They can be all different sizes and then I don't worry so much about not crossing other lines.

    I have to go tear out my attempt to FMQ a tablerunner now! :0)

  15. #15
    Super Member GrammaNan's Avatar
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    I feel your pain. I have practiced for hours and still have problems. I am putting off quilting a finished top because I am afraid I am going to ruin it with my poor quilting skills. But, I do get better every time!

    Here is a funny suggestion. Find a small child and have them put painted handprints on the quilt. No one will ever know...

  16. #16
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Use a marker (dry erase markers wash out of cotton..try it!) to mark your design on each section. Then follow the marks, and it should make it much easier. Don't be afraid to try new skills. Try making a practice quilt (not too many pieces, but some so you can try different quilting around pieces), and then practice, practice, practice. You could make this one your practice quilt! That way you wouldn't have to take so much out. Good luck!! It will get better!!

  17. #17
    Pam
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    Everyone who tries FMQ has one of these somewhere! It is worth learning. You have lots of really good tips!

  18. #18
    LadybugPam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quilterjody
    I've also heard that the key to meandering is a glass of wine. :)
    LOL ... that's the stuff!! :lol:

  19. #19
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    Also try practicing on an 18 x 18 "quilt sandwich" - and then you can go on top of your previous lines over and over again - and not feel guilty when you toss it

  20. #20
    quiltluvr's Avatar
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    Great suggestions. I hope something works better to your satisfaction. It's a lovely quilt. Kudos to you for sticking to it with such a good attitude. Can't wait to see what you come up with.

  21. #21
    Super Member candi's Avatar
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    Oh, I can so sympathize with you. I took a FMQ class at the LQS last week. We spent about four hours learning. The teacher had a hand out for the class in which tips number 1,3,5,7,9 and 11 say practice. I suggest making a 20 or so inches muslin sandwich, and practice any chance you get. I noticed that my last quilting stitches showed some improvements over the first, mind you not good enough for a real quilt, but definitely a move forward there. I think stippling would be easier than circles and flowers. The teacher gave us a good exercise that I though helped, she asked us to draw our design on a paper with a pencil. I was having hard time drawing the puzzles, she said until I can draw it easily, I won't be able to quilt it. Makes sense.
    Finally, I would use invisible thread, it hides many of the imperfections. I even use it when I do straight lines because I am not that good.
    OK, I need to go play with my muslin sandwich.
    Good luck :)

  22. #22
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnnieF
    I also think taking it out would be the way to go. You might be thinking that it's a lot of work to take it out, but I had a large lapquilt completely finished.....and like you felt it didn't look right. I put it aside for awhile and one day while watching TV just sat and used the seam ripper. It didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would...I then just re-sandwiched....and it turned out great.
    I also agree- if you do it while watching TV or something like that it's not bad and then you can start again. No advice on mq though b/c I haven't done it.

  23. #23
    Super Member sahm4605's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by candi
    I even use it when I do straight lines because I am not that good.
    Good luck :)
    I can't walk straight let alone sew straight. :lol: making the top was relativly easy. well kind of. Loved it. now just have to get this quilting thing under hand.

  24. #24
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I feel bad for you, Oldest Daughter had to rip out a queen sized quilt, she finally got it all ripped out, requilted it with her all time favorite - stitch-in-the-ditch, loved it and is glad she ripped it all out. She loves it now.

  25. #25
    MNQuilter's Avatar
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    The other thing I just picked up after seeing people on here talk about it over and over is the gardening gloves withthe rubber dots on them. I figured for a couple bucks I'd try them with my quilting and if I didn't like em, into the shed they'd go for gardening! I've tried them once so far and I like them, a lot! I'll see once I've done a little more, but I like the control they seem to have over the fabric. Might be worth a shot.

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