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Thread: FMQ Practice

  1. #1
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I finally bought a foot and have been trying to teach myself to do FMQ. I don't really meander well. I had a bit of trouble with the top thread breaking and the foot got stuck at a few of the intersections. I suppose that's because these are crazy blocks and the interstections are a bit thick.

    I think I will get this eventually, but I may have to quilt every scrap I have first!
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  2. #2
    Super Member SherriB's Avatar
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    Looks like you are getting the hang of it! I feel like a failure at FMQ. Mine looks okay on the front but the back is HORRIBLE!!! I have tried changing the tension, needle and bobbin with no luck. Some where I read that there is a bobbin holder for Janome's that is just for FMQ. I am going to ask the dealer where I bought my machine if they recommend it.

  3. #3
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I had many tension problems, too. I just have a Wal-mart cheapie machine, so no bobbin holder. I ended up with the tension set almost as high as it would go. I just kept upping it until I got it to look decent on the back.

  4. #4
    Marjpf's Avatar
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    You are doing far better than I can. My mind just does not register the idea of random meandering. Keep up the practice.

  5. #5
    Super Member Debra Mc's Avatar
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    Looks good. Just takes pratice. I was making my stitch length too short & then I realized to make it look like hand quilted I had to lengthen it. Don't under stand about the bottom thread because you will be sewing along & it screws up then corrects its self. You don't know till you look on the back side.

  6. #6
    Jamie's Avatar
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    Looks great...keep your stich length high..your tension even..make sure your feed is down..and keep as even a speed as you possibly can, I also found that if you go to slow it turns out uneven on the back. I love doing FMQ, took me a bit of time to get it down to an art :)

  7. #7
    Super Member Rachelcb80's Avatar
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    I actually read in a few different places (can't remember now, somewhere in a Google searching frenzy) that some machines do better holding their tension settings when the feed dogs are left up. I can't say for sure that I know that to be a fact but when I was FMQ'ing on my little Brother machine, I left the feed dogs up.

    You're off to a good start! I'm one that wants to get the hang of things right away. Practice annoys me but in the case of FMQ'ing, it really does just take a bunch of practice. :)

  8. #8
    k3n
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    Power Poster k3n's Avatar
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    Hi Lisa - first off I have to say that looks pretty darn good to me - certainly miles better than my early efforts! Just wondered if you had the quilting gloves? They made a big difference to me - I have the Machingers and they're so fine, I can even thread the needle while wearing them. :-D

  9. #9
    Senior Member sewjean's Avatar
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    I bought a feed dog cover and have been trying to FMQ but it just is so hard to get the fabric to move! I have to pull it. What is the secret to moving the fabric easier. Any suggestions? Here is a pic of the foot I am useing. I know someone can help, please!
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  10. #10
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    Looking good. Just keep practicing!!!

  11. #11
    Junior Member Rymer's Avatar
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    wow!! that looks way better than my practice attempts! great job. i'm jealous!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewjean
    I bought a feed dog cover and have been trying to FMQ but it just is so hard to get the fabric to move! I have to pull it. What is the secret to moving the fabric easier. Any suggestions? Here is a pic of the foot I am useing. I know someone can help, please!
    wear rubber gloves..(you can get them at walmart,gardening gloves with rubber finger tips) make sure your fabric top is as even as you can get it with the sewing machine..if it is not already.

    i am thinking maybe your foot tension is to tight..if your having that much trouble moving the fabric. take your time.

    you really didn't need a feed dog cover..my girlfriend uses her old drivers liscense..or a business card. her feed dogs don't go down either..older machine.

    for practicing use the cheapest fabric,I use muslin, top and bottom with batting in between..and a color of thread that is totally different than the color of the fabric/muslin, so you can see what your doing easier.

  13. #13
    Super Member cuppi duke's Avatar
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    I think you are doing great. I also think that some machines just don't adapt well to free mothion. I have a new commercial grade singer and it doesn't do as well as my little cheap brother. I have found that by putting my stitch length on 0 it works better but sometimes still skips on the back.

  14. #14
    Junior Member laadw's Avatar
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    It took me a while to get the hang of it. Each time I FMQ a new project it takes me a little while to get back in the grove. Just keep practicing. I was always afraid to FMQ and finally I tried it and now I like it. I tried a new design last night and I realized I am acutally getting better at it.

  15. #15
    Super Member cuppi duke's Avatar
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    I use a darning (or quilting) foot that has a spring and the little bar goes over the needle screw to keep the foot up a small amount. If you can't find one at your local shop you can get them on e-bay. Just type in quilting foot.

  16. #16
    Jamie's Avatar
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    I agree...gloves are a must..I got a pair of gardening gloves, that have the little plastic grippy dots on them..you can get them at the dollar store..and it makes it soo much easier to move the fabric around...a quilting foot is also the easiest way to do free motion, and probably the safest...I've tried with other feet, and no foot at all..Also there are also some great tools out there to use to draw on the quilt to follow a pattern..I use a marker that turns invisible when it dries.

  17. #17
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I have not tried gloves of any kind yet. That's next on the practice list.

    I have the springy foot. It is much better than no foot, but does seem a bit tight at some intesections. I need to play around to see if there is an adjustment.

    I use the darning plate cover that come with my machine. It is a bit raised so the foot fits tighter. It never occured to me to not cover the dogs. I thought dropping or covering was required for FMQ.

  18. #18
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa_wanna_b_quilter
    I have not tried gloves of any kind yet. That's next on the practice list.

    I have the springy foot. It is much better than no foot, but does seem a bit tight at some intesections. I need to play around to see if there is an adjustment.

    I use the darning plate cover that come with my machine. It is a bit raised so the foot fits tighter. It never occured to me to not cover the dogs. I thought dropping or covering was required for FMQ.
    I also loosen the amount of pressure put on the foot when you lower the foot to start sewing. I turn the knob until I get it all the way up to the top, no pressure to speak of. It is directly above the foot, at the top of the machine. I set my stitch length to 0, lower the feed dogs, and turn my upper tension to 1, that makes the stitches on the back look good and makes the upper thread go down a little more. All stitching, and movement is on you. I haven't perfected it yet but, when quilt is put on a bed it looks very good. Everyone is pleased with it, so I just keep doing it.

    Your first attempt looks great to me. As soon as I finish sewing on the binding, I wash and dry the quilt and that helps it look better also. Just keep doing it and you will be more pleased with your work.

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