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Thread: Free motion quilting

  1. #1
    Member newbie1001's Avatar
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    Hi, I'm still fairly new to quilting, and a while ago I wrote here about what a hard time I had learning to FMQ. Since I had such trouble maneuvering the quilt in my throat space, I got the idea to turn the machine by 90 degrees so the space left and right of the needle would be completely free to move the quilt. In addition to that, I made a construction out of foamboard to bring the area around the machine up to the same height. The block is covered with a transparent laminate which makes the fabric glide really easy. I'm telling you, I've been quilting happily ever since! Here are some pictures

    machine in table for regular sewing
    Name:  Attachment-70531.jpe
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    machine on table with foam block around it
    Name:  Attachment-70532.jpe
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    quilting
    Name:  Attachment-70533.jpe
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  2. #2
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    That looks like it would be much easier. Thanks for sharing.

  3. #3
    Super Member Quiltgranny's Avatar
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    Thank you for posting these pictures of your new set up. I've heard some positive things from other quilters who have done the same thing. I would love to see a picture of you actually using your machine this way. Would you consider posting such a picture?

    How far from the edge of your new surface is the needle of the machine? Are you sitting or perhaps standing to quilt now? Sorry, but I'm having a hard time visualizing just how this works for you. The edge of the needle looks pretty far away to me, although it may not be. Would love to hear more about how this is done. Are you quilting from one long side to the other and then unrolling the bulk, or??

    Thanks so much,

  4. #4
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Quilters are so smart:>

  5. #5
    Member newbie1001's Avatar
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    I just went downstairs to measure the space from needle to edge of foam block, it's 12 inches. I can still see well this way. Can't take a picture of myself right now, have to wait for my husband. So far I've only been making baby quilts up to 42 inches square. What I usually do, I start somewhere close to the middle and quilt from left to right and back to left etc. Every couple of inches I roll up the quilt more. I hadn't yet gotten into the habit of quilting the traditional way, so for me it was easy to take on this method, it may not be so for someone who's been quilting the other way for years. But I encourage everyone to give it a try. No more cramped up right shoulder and arm for me!

  6. #6
    Member newbie1001's Avatar
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    Oh, and I sit while quilting, I just put a cushion on my chair to raise my height.

  7. #7
    Senior Member KittyGram's Avatar
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    What a great idea! I'm going to try it.

  8. #8
    Super Member Kellie G's Avatar
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    What a great idea. Glad you are happier.

  9. #9
    Super Member MaryStoaks's Avatar
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    Sounds like you have come up with a novel new method that works! Congratulations!

  10. #10
    Power Poster sewnsewer2's Avatar
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    Hummm, I never would have thought to do it this way. Good idea!

  11. #11
    Super Member Chigger Holler Quilter's Avatar
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    Was the clear laminate you used like Plexiglas? Or? The pictures really helped me. I have never thought about turning the machine perpendicular to where I sit to sew...thought I had to face the front of the machine! LOL glad you are happy with your set up...Happy quilting!

  12. #12
    Member newbie1001's Avatar
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    The laminate came on a roll in the shelf liner section of Walmart. It has an adhesive on the back and I just rolled it around to block to hold it together and to get that smooth surface. Had thought about getting that teflon thing (SuperGlider?), but this is a lot cheaper and bigger.

  13. #13
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I love your idea!!!! Thank you for sharing it with us :D:D:D

  14. #14
    Super Member Melinda in Tulsa's Avatar
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    I would love to see your pic's of how you use it too. That looks so interesting. I have my machine sitting on a conference table, using an extension. I would love to cut a hole in it to recess my machine, but I'm at a loss as how to do it. I'm a fair carpenter, but I would need visual step by step directions! I have raised my sewing chair, but then have a hard time operating the foot pedal. You ladies are so great!

    My table does not have adjustable height legs but if I knew where to buy them reasonably, I would replace them. I'm too afraid to cut the legs off, as I'm sure I would ruin the table.

  15. #15
    Member newbie1001's Avatar
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    I guess if you would like to build something around your machine rather than cutting a hole in your table you could go with a foam block like I did. If you cannot reach the foot pedal anymore, put it on a sturdy box or something else high and big enough to accomodate both the pedal and your foot.

  16. #16
    Super Member Quiltgranny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newbie1001
    I just went downstairs to measure the space from needle to edge of foam block, it's 12 inches. I can still see well this way. Can't take a picture of myself right now, have to wait for my husband. So far I've only been making baby quilts up to 42 inches square. What I usually do, I start somewhere close to the middle and quilt from left to right and back to left etc. Every couple of inches I roll up the quilt more. I hadn't yet gotten into the habit of quilting the traditional way, so for me it was easy to take on this method, it may not be so for someone who's been quilting the other way for years. But I encourage everyone to give it a try. No more cramped up right shoulder and arm for me!
    Thanks so very much!! That gives me a better idea now. Okay, so you do work left to right. Thanks for explaining some of this to me, it really helps. I'm totally new to FMQ, so naturally had a few questions. I really appreciate you replying. I'm sure that will help others, too. I could certainly do with less shoulder and neck pain while sewing, too!

  17. #17
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    This looks like a great idea. I quilt on my glass topped dining table, I need to get some foam like yours to make it as high as my machine. Thanks for the idea.

  18. #18
    Power Poster MamaBear61's Avatar
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    Very creative, I can see that it probably does make moving the quilt easier and therefore less tiring. I always found trying to fight with a quilt to feed it through the throat area actully wore me out.

  19. #19
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    What a great set up. I can see why it would be easier.

  20. #20
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing your technique....sometimes we "forget" that we don't have to do things the set way, so we do need a jolt to the "creative thinking" part of our brains from time to time.

  21. #21
    Super Member dakotamaid's Avatar
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    Oh,l love that last picture, looks like you found the grooooove......... :-D Keep on quilting!

  22. #22
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    Great idea! Is the foamboard brown? i have seen it in white and green. my machine is to heavey to move from table to table. it is in a sewing table now.

  23. #23
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    HOW CLEVER YOU ARE. THANKS FOR THE GREAT NEW WAY TO DO IT.

  24. #24
    wambrita's Avatar
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    What a cool setup! This is a great way to think outside of the box!!

    Thanks for sharing.

  25. #25
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Great idea!! That is about the same placement of the machine as if it was on a quilting frame. I think it would be tons easier that way!!

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