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    Free motion quilting

    I was wondering how many of you do free motion quilting on your home sewing machines? Do you have any suggestions for a newbie? I been watching a lot of different youtube deminstations and they look so nice.

    #2
    Re: Free motion quilting

    Hi

    I do all my fmq on my homesewing machine. It has only a 6" trhoath so it is a struggle at times but I manage

    My best tips is Leah Days site

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2A3sIre7cg0

    And of coures, Practise and practise!

    Good luck!
    sigpic

    God, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    The stash to make a quilt to help me cope,
    A quilt to give to comfort those I love in times of hurt, fear and uncertainty.
    And the courage to keep on sewing when life itself seems held together by a single thread of hope.

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      #3
      Re: Free motion quilting

      Yeah, practice is a must. I do FMQ meandering. Stippling is to close and makes the quilt stiff, in my opinion. So I meander to get space between the lines. The throat on my machine is 7 inches and that is just barely enough room, but I can do a twin size pretty reasonably. I start in the middle of the quilt and work to the left, the turn the quilt upside down and start in the middle again and work that side. The point is that the half of the quilt you are NOT working on is to the left of the machine and then you only have hal of it to stuff into the throat area as you start in the middle of the quilt and as you work to your right, the finished portion comes out of the throat area and it gradually gets easier to move around cause the bulk to be moved gets less and less.

      I recommend gloves...it just helps tremendously to have them as opposed to bare hand,s although so do well bare hands. I bought a pair of garden gloves for $4 at Lowes'''PERFECT for quilting! They fit just right so they are snug while wearing yet easy to pull off and on as needed. The fingers are a vinyl-like so they hold the bulky of the fabric very well without slipping.

      Don't let the "sound" of the machine urge you to move your hands faster. It is kind of like a natural reflex that when you hear the machine moving fast, you automatically make your hands move fast with it. Practice practice practice until you get the feel of it. You don't have to move the fabric as fast as you think you would. Remember the faster you move your hands, the longer the stitch is going to be. And I honestly think that move of the "issue" there is mental.. you hear the fast noise of the machine so you tend to wnat to go as fast. Yes, the faster the machine, the more you move your hands, but the key is to just get an even speed that you are comfortable with and can hold that speed.. and then...move your hands the speed needed to make the stitches right. I have noticed that hte machine speed is faster than my hands when meandering. I have not been sucessful in doing all the designs and patterns that many do. Part of that is that some of them are impossible with a home machine...you need a long arm for that. And some say they can do some patterns with a home machine, but I have never seen it. They tell how to do it, but I have yet to see a video of someone using a home machine to do a FMQ pattern on a twin size or larger quilt. But meandering you can do circles and loops and things like that...just again...practice practice and more practice. Make a sandwich of your actual fabric batting and back and practice first thing to get the feel of how it will feel under the needle. Also to test your threads to make sure they are doing great. I have so many times just started FMQ!'ing only to take a break and notice the bobbin thread was "nesting" and the whole bottom is messed up. Looked perfect on top! But it is a thread issue. So I always start with ta patch and make sure the thread is doing right, then start the quilt. It is fun to do, don't be afraid. Just don't do your first time FMQ'ing on your actual quilt. Get small pieces, like 36x36 or smaller even, and make the sandwich and practice on them. Most of it is just getting the feel of how to move the quilt under the needle, the needle speed and holding it right and all that. Good luck, don't give up! It does come to you!
      Cheri

      www.fabricandmemories.blogspot.com

      Comment


        #4
        Re: Free motion quilting

        Yes.......I've done some FMQ on my 30 year old Kenmore sewing machine. I highly recommend the gloves also.........I have the machingers gloves.........about $8 or $9 I think.

        Do a search here on the forum for free motion quilting too..........it should pull of lots of info from others for you.
        "I'm putting together a list of 100 reasons why I am NOT relentless!" - Sue Heck, The Middle

        Leonard: For God's sake, Sheldon, do I have to hold up a sarcasm sign every time I open my mouth?
        Sheldon (intrigued): You have a sarcasm sign?

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          #5
          Re: Free motion quilting

          I've been learning to FMQ on my new machine. It's a quilting machine so I've got a little more throat space. I find that I'm happiest with my outcomes when I find a comfortable speed. Too fast and it gets messy, too slow and I get board. Gloves are a must. I need to sit a little higher than normal to stay comfortable. Smaller projects are easier...I've made more table runners than I can count but giving them as gifts is fun. When I work on a full sized quilt the weight of quilt to the right of the needle gives me trouble. It's really hard to move the fabric as freely as I need to with so much weight hanging off the desk my machine is on. I've decide the next large project I quilt will be moved to the dining room table so the quilt doesn't dangle but spreads out on the table.

          I hope you enjoy learning.. I love FMQ. I actually went to a quilt show this past weekend and got to test drive a few long arm machines. They are AWSOME!! SO EXPENSIVE...if only the kids didn't want to go to college, and drive, and eat, and have a house.

          Comment


            #6
            Re: Free motion quilting

            I've been learning to FMQ on my new machine. It's a quilting machine so I've got a little more throat space. I find that I'm happiest with my outcomes when I find a comfortable speed. Too fast and it gets messy, too slow and I get board. Gloves are a must. I need to sit a little higher than normal to stay comfortable. Smaller projects are easier...I've made more table runners than I can count but giving them as gifts is fun. When I work on a full sized quilt the weight of quilt to the right of the needle gives me trouble. It's really hard to move the fabric as freely as I need to with so much weight hanging off the desk my machine is on. I've decide the next large project I quilt will be moved to the dining room table so the quilt doesn't dangle but spreads out on the table.

            I hope you enjoy learning.. I love FMQ. I actually went to a quilt show this past weekend and got to test drive a few long arm machines. They are AWSOME!! SO EXPENSIVE...if only the kids didn't want to go to college, and drive, and eat, and have a house.

            Comment


              #7
              Re: Free motion quilting

              Originally posted by Swedish leo View Post
              Hi

              I do all my fmq on my homesewing machine. It has only a 6" trhoath so it is a struggle at times but I manage

              My best tips is Leah Days site

              https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2A3sIre7cg0

              And of coures, Practise and practise!

              Good luck!
              Swedish leo - what is the largest quilt you've done on your machine? I have a full size quilt I'd like to try FMQ; how much of a struggle would something like that be?

              Comment


                #8
                Re: Free motion quilting

                I love to FMQ on my home machine. I have about 9 or 10 inch throat space, so that does make a difference. I have a twin size quilt under the needle right now I am working on. A few things I would add to those that have already responded:

                1. In addition to making the quilt easier to manage by starting in the middle, the other reason you want to start in the middle and work your way out is because you can help to ease out any puckers you might have towards the edge. If you start on an edge and end up with any puckering, you end up working it into the center of the quilt and then you are stuck with no where to go.

                2. You can do more than meandering and stippling on your home machine -- check out Leah Day -- you can do all sorts of patterns on your home machine. I do and I love it!

                3. You should always put on a fresh needle at the start of FMQ. I usually use a 90/14 topstitch needle, but if you are using heavy fabrics, you might need to use a larger needle. And always clean out your machine when you are finished as well, because FMQ causes a lot of lint build up.

                4. Try to have a flat surface to work on, particularly right at your machine. If your machine doesn't sit inside a table, and didn't come with a extension table, you can find them on line that will fit your machine. You also want to try and not let your quilt drop off the sides of your table, because this may cause drag on your quilt which will affect your stitches. In other words, you want as much support for your quilt as possible, especially if you are working on a large quilt.

                And to reitterate what others have said, gloves are my friend -- I cannot quilt without them. I use Machingers, but there are other options available too. And Practice Practice Practice. Best wishes and have fun
                My soul is fed with needle and thread, my body with chocolate!

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: Free motion quilting

                  Thank you so much a have an older singer. I will try fmq and see how it goes I just love the look of them and being on a limited income I don't have the money to have it done and I don't think that would be the same for me. I like to do things my self.

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                    #10
                    Re: Free motion quilting

                    I have been looking for a extention table with no luck. There are all kinds on the web but can't find one to fit my machinel. I have a singer scholastic plus 6550. I got it in 2005 so it has some years on it but not used much.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: Free motion quilting

                      Hi. I have been doing FMQ on my home sewing machine for 5 months now. I hope this makes me enough of a beginner to give suggestions to another beginner. My sewing machine has a 7.5" throat space. I highly recommend Leah Days website. She is doing a beginner level Free Motion quilt along this year.

                      The Free Motion Quilting Project

                      I would definitely start with Leah Days video on how to modify your FMQ foot so it doesn't hop up and down.

                      Fitting Free Motion Foot to Your Machine - YouTube

                      I recommend you buy a generic FMQ foot and modify the generic one. Try FMQ with the foot that came with your machine for 30 minutes. Then try again with the foot you modified that doesn't hop up and down for thirty minutes. For me that was the most significant change necessary.

                      I also agree with all the other comments that you need gloves ( I love my Machingers) and a flat quilting surface. I also highly recommend a slippery surface like the Supreme Slider or the less expensive identical acting item called a Sew Slip.

                      SewSlip - The ultimate slippery surface for free motion sewing and free motion machine quilting! It's not a drag! It's drag free!

                      As a beginner, start on a small project, and use a thread that contrasts with your background. The contrasting thread is so you can see it. Then practice, practice, practice.
                      Stash Treasure Acquisitions Beyond Life Expectancy. My stash keeps me STABLE, oh yeah.... and dark chocolate.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: Free motion quilting

                        Originally posted by Anitap View Post
                        I have been looking for a extention table with no luck.
                        This extension can be adjusted to fit virtually any machine. I have been using mine for six years and have adjusted it for three different sewing machines.

                        Sewing Mates Sew AdjusTable Quilting and Sewing Tables
                        Stash Treasure Acquisitions Beyond Life Expectancy. My stash keeps me STABLE, oh yeah.... and dark chocolate.

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                          #13
                          Re: Free motion quilting

                          Thanks again I just purchased an extention table on line it will take me about 2 or more weeks to get it. I got a 24x24 I hope that is big enough. I can't wait to get it.

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