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  1. #1
    Applique Angel

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    Default So, how do you decide on a FMQ design?

    I enjoy FMQ even though I'm not the best at it. However, I hate trying to decide what FMQ designs to do on my quilts. It takes me forever to figure something out. Does anyone else fret over this? I stare at it for awhile asking myself, should I do an all over design? Should I do this part a different design than this part? Then I google FMQ and look at all the beautiful quilting and wonder how the heck they come up with such cool ideas. I guess I just worry it will look stupid and ruin my quilt.

    I'm just curious if anyone else puts themselves through all this?
    Tracie

  2. #2
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: So, how do you decide on a FMQ design?

    I do then I go ahead and do the ones I am comfortable doing. I do try to do curvy things with straight piecing.

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  4. #3
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: So, how do you decide on a FMQ design?

    Oh Tracy, I have sympathy and empathy for you as this is a major conundrom for me as well. When I first started, I didn't have many options so I would just start. As I got better and saw more designs I would start and see what happened. Now, I think it should have some relationship to the quilt and that has made the decisions harder
    I am currently working on a quilt that is causing me the same issues. I am embroidering designs on some of the larger spaces and want to FMQ the rest. I was thinking perhaps some ruler quilting and then I thought maybe some feathers or even some meandering flowers....so you see...you are not alone

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  6. #4
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: So, how do you decide on a FMQ design?

    Yes....you are not alone! I can get paralyzed at this stage! It helps me to have a large piece of plexiglass that I can lay over the quilt top and use water markers to audition a variety of designs. Just be careful to not get the markers on the fabric.

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  8. #5
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: So, how do you decide on a FMQ design?

    Learning how to pick what designs to FMQ where is a skill you learn a piece at a time. I have taken many classes and read lots of books on how to break down this process. The two best classes I took at Craftsy/Bluprint were

    Machine Quilting: Small Changes, Big Variety with Angela Walters

    The Secrets of Free-Motion Quilting with Christina Cameli

    As has been already mentioned you start with the motifs you have already mastered and build from there. And as Angela teaches in her class, if you can't decide, just start with the portion you have decided on and then wait for inspiration as you go along. You don't have to plan it all out.

    I have found doodling designs on top of the quilt to be very helpful. I just use a piece of vinyl with painters tape around the edges so my marker won't slip off the vinyl onto the quilt.I use dry erase markers on the vinyl. Drawing on the actual block helps me to understand the scale. A lot of times I discover that I can't make a curve that big without having to reposition my hands (which may leave a bobble in my arc) or I know I can't travel stitch accurately over that long a distance. Then I know I need to pick a different design.

    Start with what you know and add one motif at a time.
    Stash Treasure Acquisitions Beyond Life Expectancy. My stash keeps me STABLE, oh yeah.... and dark chocolate.

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  10. #6
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: So, how do you decide on a FMQ design?

    Oh I think this is my biggest issue. If I get creative and start FMQ, I then feel I have to quilt it to death. This of course takes a lot of time.

    So now I try to stick to simple designs using rulers with curves or straight stitch. I want my quilts to be used, not put up as showpieces or untouchable.

    Enjoy life and do what makes you happy. Everything else will follow.

    Every day I try to do one thing that challenges my comfort zone.

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  12. #7
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: So, how do you decide on a FMQ design?

    I use a tip that I got from a professional quilter in Canada. I posted about it here...https://forum.missouriquiltco.com/sh...t=55292&page=3
    Bec

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  14. #8
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: So, how do you decide on a FMQ design?

    Bear with me here for a minute.

    Remember the days of standing next to a phone tethered to a wall. And remember doodling on the phonebook or note pad? When you doodled, did you doodle squares? Diamonds? Hearts? Words? Names? Squiggly lines?

    All FMQ is, an improv of doodling, with thread and fabric. Think of your quilt as a grid to doodle in/on. Sometimes paying attention to the barren spaces and less attention to the pieced blocks. Or vice versa, while learning to doodle on your quilt, with practice you learn what works, and what doesn’t esthetically (esthetically or not it still is quilted, which was the doodling point).

    Overtime, it will become easier. The more doodles (notches on your quilting belt), the more experience of knowing what will work fantastically and what will not. In the mean time you learn as you go. But regardless if it turns out great or not, you still finished the main goal. It is quilted. . Be adventurous and have fun, it is after all an enjoyable hobby!
    Blogging ahead.....research in quilting and sewing with a dab of cooking/recipes too.

    https://myquiltprojects.wordpress.com/

    https://thecookbookproject.wordpress.com/

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  16. #9
    Applique Angel

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    Default Re: So, how do you decide on a FMQ design?

    Great ideas! Thanks for sharing.
    Tracie

  17. #10
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: So, how do you decide on a FMQ design?

    I agree with the two courses Denise recommended. I also struggle with the decision part. I sometimes think it was easier when I only could meander! Knowing how the quilt will be used is a clue: there is no point in intricate custom quilting for a baby quilt. On scrappy busy quilts like Bonnie Hunter's an overall design is ok, on modern patterns with lots of background you can add a lot of texture with contrasting shapes and density. It is about having fun and finishing a project.

    Another technique that works for me is to print several copies of a pic of the top and doodle on them. This way I can take them with me during commutes or waiting moments.

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