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Thread: Free Motion is my Kryptonite

  1. #1
    Member Totally Straight's Avatar
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    Free Motion is my Kryptonite

    As a relatively new quilter (I've made a few among other things), I was very happy with the colors, piecing and borders of this quilt and started to think about the next step of quilting it.

    I said to myself....... "Randy, you ought to try free motion quilting". " It looks really easy watching videos on Youtube".......... Boy, was I wrong !!!!!

    I couldn't control the stitch length moving it around, width from prior stitch, straightness of stitches or making the design look as nice as the vision in my head intended. After totally ruining this quilt, I'm going to leave free motion for the true experts untill I get a little more experience and a bigger machine. My quilts look alot nicer when I'm in or near the ditch.

    It looks passable from a distance, but as soon as you look close you will notice either I had to many glasses of wine or didn't know what I was doing. I'm thinking about throwing a stitch ripping party and you all are invited !!!!!!! Who's coming ???????
    Attached Images Attached Images

    I wouldn't laugh at a guy that quilts, because your wife seems to find it attractive...

  2. #2
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    you must save this for posterity. I just know in the future that you will appreciate this learning experience ;-)

    ps, the quilt is not ruined.
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

  3. #3
    Super Member DebbE's Avatar
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    Love your quilt! I'd leave it 'as is' -- quilting is a learning journey, and the ones where we learn new things are part of the trip. The white blocks give it a modern, slightly wonky feel, and it really adds texture to the quilt. We quilters are very hard on ourselves, aren't we? Can't wait to see what you do next.

  4. #4
    Super Member terri bb's Avatar
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    i think its fantastic! you did a great job at it. i LOVE your signature LOL you made my day! good job with all those flying geese; for some reason those seen to be my nemesis and they are so simple! have a beautiful day!its all that practice that makes it worth while!
    A rolling stone gathers no moss

  5. #5
    Super Member Emma S's Avatar
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    Your quilt is lovely, love the crisp clean colors! The experts on this Board have posted threads that give advice on FM quilting. They really help. Don't forget to use gloves for traction, its hard to believe how much help they provide..

  6. #6
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    First time FMQ? Honestly you did really well!!!! I would not take it out. Really beautiful quilt!!!

  7. #7
    Super Member JenniePenny's Avatar
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    Fmq is my downfall too. Yours looks a ton better than what i can do.
    Don't despair - I don't think the quilt is ruined at all!
    "He who masters the grey everyday is a hero."
    https://www.etsy.com/shop/PeachPalaceDesigns

  8. #8
    Member Totally Straight's Avatar
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    Maybe I should not have said ruined........ LOL LOL

    I'm trying so hard to get good at quilting that I sometimes forget the world is not coming to an end when things arnt perfect in my quilt.
    I wouldn't laugh at a guy that quilts, because your wife seems to find it attractive...

  9. #9
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    Ha, ha. it looks good from here. slow movements with the quilt will keep your stitches constant and faster pedal speed. darning foot (with spring). one day try it again on practice squares. I Find gripping the quilt on either side helps. some place hands flat and move the quilt. what ever works best is what will work for you.

  10. #10
    Super Member sharoney's Avatar
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    Randy, do not despair! My first FMQs were terrible! Way worse than yours- I look back at them, and the piecing is so nice, and the awful, awful quilting! But the only way to get better is to keep at it. Get some books- books really helped me a lot in the beginning. Check out Leah Day's website- Daystyledesigns.com- I learned a lot from her, too- and I use a lot of her designs.

    P.s. I agree with DebbE- I like the wonky, modern feel your white blocks have. Hang in there, dude!

  11. #11
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    I personally think you did a great job for your first time. I have tried FMQ many times and it does not agree with me so I happily SID and do lines; I can get very creative with them. We all have our limits and our strengths. It's ok to not be able to do something. Personally, I admire the quilt and applaud you for your efforts. Diane

  12. #12
    Super Member moonwork42029's Avatar
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    Since you ruined that quilt and it is simply awful, I'll PM you my address and you can just mail that abomination to me so you won't have to suffer any longer...out of sight, out of mind, no evidence it existed. (Just don't come see me in Possum Trot or you may have flashbacks).

    There I did my part to help
    Lisa L.
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    My most recent swap - Boomerang 16



  13. #13
    Super Member gramajo's Avatar
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    Your FMQ is a whole lot better than mine. I wish mine looked as good as yours.

  14. #14
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    don't be too hard on yourself... looks pretty good. nice quilt.
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak T.H.I.N.K.
    T is it True? H is it Helpful? I is it Inspiring? N is it Necessary? K is it Kind?


  15. #15
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I assume you don't watch professional sports and then think you can play the game as well as the athletes do it. The same can be said for FMQ. Many, many of the videos on YouTube are done by professionals. Leah Day is a great example. Don't beat yourself up for not playing as well as they do.

    Practice on some smaller projects. Placemats and hot pads are good ones. Not much investment if they look bad and who really cares if you grab the cookie sheet with an ugly hot pad?

  16. #16
    Senior Member omaluvs2quilt's Avatar
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    I like the "wonkiness" as well...and don't worry too much about the stitch length, that'll come with practice. After about 5 intense practice sessions (believe me, the first one did not go well and I didn't think I could do it) I fmq'd my very first quilt on my Janome 6600, with an overall leaf pattern that I made up myself by cutting out paper, pinning them to the quilt and stitching around them. Boy have I learned a LOT since then! Just keep plugging along and you'll do just fine!!! I usually use my walking foot for straight line quilting, but that would have been a bit too much turning for me, lol.

  17. #17
    Senior Member JaniceP's Avatar
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    Totally Straight, your quilt looks nice and even the free motion looks better than my first attempt. LOL The color is really nice and it looks like you did a great job on the blocks too.
    Always in Stitches,

    So blessed in the opportunity of life, the gifts of nature, and the choice to do good to others. I'm thankful for this day.
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  18. #18
    Super Member JJean's Avatar
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    It's a great quilt! (Yeah--who said anything about quilting was easy.)

    I am no expert at FMQ--(yours is better than mine by a mile). Sounds like you need a larger level surface around your sewing machine to hold the quilt up--that's what I read that I need too.
    Jean

  19. #19
    Super Member cctx.'s Avatar
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    I like it. It's liberated. You did an awesome job. Keep up the great work.

  20. #20
    Super Member nannyrick's Avatar
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    Randy, you have done a great job!!! Do not think of your quilt as "ruined". It is not. FMQ takes practice and will come with it. Hang in there. Your quilt looks great.
    so many quilts to make, so little time.

  21. #21
    Junior Member Liz92B's Avatar
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    looks good to me ...keep it!! maybe try some small "samples" (like 12'x12") to play around on, and you could stitch them all together later ...
    Liz / Calgary

  22. #22
    Super Member Debbie B's Avatar
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    Randy, Your quilt is beautiful. Love all the colors. And I think your quilting looks great. My first time FMQ I did on a queen size quilt. I was very new to quilting & did not know that I should go from the middle out and not from one side to the other. Not to mention my sewing machine had a 5" throat space. What was I thinking?! It took me 2 weeks spending my evenings as I watched TV to rip out all those stitches. Even when I went back & tried again the backing had more than 1 pucker. That poor quilt! I learned to practice on small 12" blocks. I only do FMQ on small quilts & table runners now. I bought a used Juki (short arm) & frame that I quilt my quilts on now. Good luck!

  23. #23
    Power Poster RedGarnet222's Avatar
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    I too think this is a great quilt and see nothing wrong with your quilting. Don't be so hard on yourself, randy. Anything like this takes practice and time.

    Here is one thing I will say. Quilting free motion it is much easier to quilt rounded designs. That way it is totally free-form and much more easy to hide any mistakes because it is more like a free form art. There are tons of books on free motion quilting. I suggest you maybe spend some time checking one out. Also, There are pre-printed panels to practice on at the quilt store for sale. It is amazing how these help you to get the motion going between eye and hand.

    If you need to learn anything technical about quilting, spend a little money on yourself. Look at all the art students who spend a small fortune learning the craft. Oh and you could take a class at a local quilt shop.

    I hope I haven't overwhelmed you with all this information. I am just trying to give you some options about learning.
    Last edited by RedGarnet222; 03-06-2013 at 10:49 AM.
    RedGarnet222

    "Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern ... It will come out a rose by and by. Life is like that ...one stitch at a time, taken patiently."
    *Oliver Wendell Holms

  24. #24
    Senior Member skowron5's Avatar
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    I think it looks good. Just keep practicing.

  25. #25
    Super Member anicra's Avatar
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    Love the colors and the pattern. Great job with the quilt and you're being too critical of yourself!! There are no quilt polie here!

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