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  1. #1
    Block Queen

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    Default New to FNQ question

    I just returned from a beginner course on FMQ and would like a few opinions.

    Do you mark your quilt for FMQ before or after you sandwich it. This course said to mark before, but I was a bit concerned about smearing your markings.

    Any and all opinions greatly appreciated.


    Debbie

  2. #2
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: New to FNQ question

    I am self taught at FMQ so not an expert but I don't mark. I do it free hand. I thought that was why it was free motion.

  3. Thanks debbie1952 thanked for this post
  4. #3
    Applique Angel

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    Default Re: New to FNQ question

    I don't free motion, but I think you would mark before
    Sandwiching . Trying to mark after sandwiching would
    make it hard to mark on batting.
    I thought free motion was just that, free motion,
    No marking?

  5. #4
    Block Queen

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    Default Re: New to FNQ question

    Thanks for the replies so far, sorry I put down FNQ, guess I was in a hurry. This course spoke lots about designs that were very specific, in that it was tress, birds, boots etc, drawn around the borders. Yes I had learnt to just go for it in a previous class. In this class the slogan was, "if you can draw it you can quilt it." Just one of man many ways to quilt I guess.

  6. #5
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: New to FNQ question

    Quote Originally Posted by grammaterry View Post
    I am self taught at FMQ so not an expert but I don't mark. I do it free hand. I thought that was why it was free motion.
    Some people do mark for free motion quilting. This is particularly with complex designs, feathers, feather circles, and such. You don't need to mark for a meander, stipple, or many of the swirl designs.

    It is easier to mark the top before it is sandwiched, but I understand the concern about smearing. First, be very aware of the properties of your marker. Test it on a test square. Some will set, and will not wash out, if the marks are ironed. The frixion pen claims that the marks disappear once ironed. They do, but a residue can remain, and under certain conditions the marks may reappear. I love the air erasable pens, but I wouldn't use one to mark a whole quilt, as I think some of the markings would disappear before the quilting is finished. If you are going to mark on very light colored fabric, I would definitely do a sample block and then wash to make sure the marks do wash out. As far as smearing, you just have to be careful with your basting. But if the pen does wash out, a little smear here or there shouldn't be a problem if the design is not distorted.

    There is another option, which is to use freezer paper or something like Golden Threads quilting paper. This would be for specific designs. You need to have the design drawn on a regular piece of paper. You put the design paper over several layers of freezer paper or Golden Threads. With NO thread in your machine needle, you use your machine to needle punch the design into the other papers. You then can lay these papers on the areas where you want to quilt the design. The freezer paper can be ironed onto the fabric (and it can be done after sandwiching). The Golden Threads paper would have to be pinned in place, and again it can be done after sandwiching. You then FMQ over the design on the paper, and you then pull the paper away from the fabric. The Golden Threads paper is very thin, and pulls away easily.

    BTW - using paper in this way can also work with your walking foot - with a simple design and on a smaller quilt (where it is easy to stop and turn the fabric), or on a border.
    If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.- Zig Ziglar

  7. #6
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: New to FNQ question

    I'm taking an FMQ BOM class with Leah Day where we have very specific designs on the blocks. At first I marked just about everything. Now I just make a few dots or lines here and there to orient myself, except for certain more precise motifs. Per Leah's recommendations, I use either a chalk pencil for dark colors or a fine line blue water erasable marker for light. Just handle your quilt sandwich carefully and as Sylvia said above, test your marker BEFORE you start.

  8. #7
    Rotary Pro

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    Default Re: New to FNQ question

    It was always my understanding that the term free motion quilting is a reference to the fact the feed dogs are dropped or stopped from moving the fabric from front to back (allowing for free motion). Marking or not is by quilter's choice.

    If I am going to mark, I generally do it before I make my sandwich but it depends on the size of the project and complexity of the design. If you do mark before, and the design gets smeared, you can always refresh those sections (been there, done that!). As with most techniques, you will learn as you go what works best for you. Enjoy!

  9. #8
    Block Queen

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    Default Re: New to FNQ question

    Thanks for the help. I have freezer paper and golden threads paper, and I think I will try those first. It should be an adventure. What size stitch length do you aim for when you FMQ, again I know everyone is different.

    Debbie

  10. #9
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: New to FNQ question

    Quote Originally Posted by Sylvia H View Post
    Some people do mark for free motion quilting. This is particularly with complex designs, feathers, feather circles, and such. You don't need to mark for a meander, stipple, or many of the swirl designs.

    It is easier to mark the top before it is sandwiched, but I understand the concern about smearing. First, be very aware of the properties of your marker. Test it on a test square. Some will set, and will not wash out, if the marks are ironed. The frixion pen claims that the marks disappear once ironed. They do, but a residue can remain, and under certain conditions the marks may reappear. I love the air erasable pens, but I wouldn't use one to mark a whole quilt, as I think some of the markings would disappear before the quilting is finished. If you are going to mark on very light colored fabric, I would definitely do a sample block and then wash to make sure the marks do wash out. As far as smearing, you just have to be careful with your basting. But if the pen does wash out, a little smear here or there shouldn't be a problem if the design is not distorted.

    There is another option, which is to use freezer paper or something like Golden Threads quilting paper. This would be for specific designs. You need to have the design drawn on a regular piece of paper. You put the design paper over several layers of freezer paper or Golden Threads. With NO thread in your machine needle, you use your machine to needle punch the design into the other papers. You then can lay these papers on the areas where you want to quilt the design. The freezer paper can be ironed onto the fabric (and it can be done after sandwiching). The Golden Threads paper would have to be pinned in place, and again it can be done after sandwiching. You then FMQ over the design on the paper, and you then pull the paper away from the fabric. The Golden Threads paper is very thin, and pulls away easily.

    BTW - using paper in this way can also work with your walking foot - with a simple design and on a smaller quilt (where it is easy to stop and turn the fabric), or on a border.
    Thanks so much for answering this question. I have had the Golden Threads paper for over a year and now I know I can use it for the quilt I was unsure of quilting on my DSM. Yeah!

  11. #10
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: New to FNQ question

    Quote Originally Posted by debbie1952 View Post
    Thanks for the help. I have freezer paper and golden threads paper, and I think I will try those first. It should be an adventure. What size stitch length do you aim for when you FMQ, again I know everyone is different.

    Debbie
    I was taught to set my stitch length to 0 for FMQ. (My machine only goes down to .2) If you have a stitch regulator for your machine, I would look into how to use it for FMQ. When you set your length to 0, you are in control of the stitch length. It does take practice to keep a consistent stitch length. You develop a rhythm between your hands moving the material and the speed of your foot on the pedal. My 'rule of big toe' - as long as the stitch isn't so large that your big toe could get caught in it, it is an okay stitch length. You don't want someone to be sleeping under a quilt and have their big toe pull out the quilting!
    If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.- Zig Ziglar

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