FMQ question

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Melissa Halpain Posted: Wed, Sep 12 2012 4:04 PM

This is probably a stupid question but I'm thinking this is the best place to ask a FMQ question.  When you FMQ on a domestic sewing machine do you start in a corner or from the center. I'm kinda confused about this one. 

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Starling replied on Wed, Sep 12 2012 5:40 PM

I've taken a bunch of classes and read a bunch of books, but I don't have a lot of personal experience. So this is from what I've been taught or have read.

If you have stitched in the ditch to stabilize the quilt, you can start any place you want to start.

Basically the consensus I've seen, and have done myself on the few projects I've done so far, is you use a Walking Foot to stitch in the ditch on the long seams of the quilt. One teacher I've taken a class from literally starts that from the outside to the middle. Another from the center out. I've tried the outside to the middle and that worked. I've tried from the center out and it worked too. Both were very small quilts - wall sized not bed sized.

Then once that has been done, and you have removed most of the pins you can FMQ just about anywhere.

 

 

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Starling, thanks so much for the info. I really appreciate it.

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Barbara replied on Thu, Sep 13 2012 7:04 AM

Melissa I always start in the middle . I do a stitch in the ditch to stabilize my quilt . then I go to the middle and work my quilt in quarters.  Sometimes You will have to work around this depending on your quilt , but working form the center out ,helps keep your backing from puckering. 

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Starling replied on Thu, Sep 13 2012 10:10 AM

One of the teachers on Craftsy.com, Ann Peterson, literally sews down the edge of the border of the quilt before she starts the free motion. She sews her borders first, then the inside long seams, all stitch in the ditch, and then the last thing she does is stitch down the border. NOTHING MOVES. Nothing shifts. Nothing puckers. I've done this a couple of times and it works.

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I'm SITD around 9P and planning to FMQ hearts..... I started in the middle and working my way out and I'm getting some puckering! I'm seriously just thinking about going at it and meandering all over it! I don't want to ruin the quilt but puckering and then having to tear out 1000000000000 stitches is getting old quick!  :/

 

 

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Barbara replied on Sat, Sep 15 2012 7:22 AM

Erin I can understand your frustration ,I still get some puckering no matter how tight I get my sandwich, Sometimes there is just nothing I can do about it . if they are small I leave them. this may sound awful but I'm not entering them in a contest and no one else is going to really care , Are you using basting spray or pinning your quilts? I have found it happen with both , but it seems to me it a little more with pinning . I have found If I can get someone to help me when I sandwich  my quilt it is a lot easier to get smooth and very little puckering.  Good luck and let me know how it goes.  

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I have just pinned the sandwich Barbara and I used A LOT of pins too!  I am stuck out here alone until the 29th so I didn't have access to basting spray. I'm (kind of) enjoying the peace and quiet but the no car situation is driving me CRAZY!!!!!  I am planning on buying some basting spray the first chance I get to try it out. For now, I am just taking my time and checking often for puckers; that way if there is one I can get it out quick.  One day I will get this figured out ;) I am starting to despise this quilt and just want it finished and off to it's new home...LOL

 

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Barbara replied on Sat, Sep 15 2012 4:29 PM

Erin,I can sure relate to that, Some quilts eps if they are not yours you just want to get done. good luck and you'll get it . 

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MaggieNae replied on Wed, Sep 19 2012 4:45 PM

I hang my backing, batting and top on a long pole (horizontally) and baste from the top (middle) down each side.  Then I SITD.  I still get a little puckering.  Perhaps if I basted accross as well it wouldn't be so bad.  I've never used any adhesive, just pins or basting threads. 

Now, I have a question.  I'm putting together a quilt for my cousin.  She's picked some lovely fabrics starting with a med/small dark leaf print in puple,green, gold, pink, teal etc.  I'm using that for a center square and building up sashes and triangles (square in a square).  The rest of the fabrics are dark purple then light pink, the purple plaid then green then white then gold then white then teal.  Most are fairly solid in their prints.  We're using a dark purple small floral print for the backing.  I'm so afraid to do the actual quilting on this.  I don't want to use dark puple on the light pink and white fabrics.  It would totally change their look and texture.  I don't want to mix thread colors across the backing to match the different sections of the top.  What do we think of invisable thread?  It is hard to work with?  Should I maybe pick a lighter color and just go for it?  My FM skills are not yet as good as I'd like them to be, so this is really freaking me out.  I don't want to ruin the pretty top with aweful quilting, but I don't want to just do SITD either.

HELP.

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Barbara replied on Sat, Sep 22 2012 11:01 AM

Maggie ,I'm so sorry I didn't see this sooner .if you still need help here is my suggestion,  first try placeing the thread on both sides and see how it might look ,I would try a dark gray or med gray ,as those blend in well with alot of fabric . If you are using a dark fabric I would not use anything light ,the nice thing about a printed fabric on the back is it helps  hide mistakes ,but then we don't make mistakes ,we are creative.  Just take you time and don't try to do anything to complicated. it would help to see a picture and then I could give you some better tips . Let me know if I can help with anything else , Make sure you use the right size needle or you will have breakage and that can be frustrating . Know what kind of thread your machine likes .Superior thread and Aurfil are good threads to use .  I have used some invisable thread but I really don't care much for it . You don't really wan tto use that on your whole quilt .   

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Hello Melissa... There is never a stupid question!!!  Always start from the center and work out and don't forget to bring your bobbin thread to the top of the quilt! :)

 

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Susie replied on Tue, Dec 18 2012 6:49 PM

When I take my quilts to my friend's and use her long-arm, she unravels some of the spool and coils it around on the top, just to see how the colors blend.  If it doesn't look right, then we change to a different color.  I imagine you can do the same thing with a DSM as well.

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Debbie-do replied on Mon, May 13 2013 1:47 PM

Hi there,

I'm hoping someone can help me out.  I finally stopped procrastinating and started quilting my MQ5 this weekend.  After pin basting I Stiched in a ditch around each of the 20 blocks with my walking foot... no problem.  Then I put on my free motion foot and decided to take it easy on myself (since it's my first big quilt that I've ever done FMQ on ) and just do a roomy stipple on each block.  I had cleaned the bobbin area before I started .  I practiced on a small sandwich of the same fabric and batting (same thread I had used on the SIAD)... no problem. 

Started stippling on the quilt, got through about 1/3 of the first block... funny sound, snagged and broken thread.  Frogged it back to a good point and started again... same thing happened. 

Ooops, realized feed dogs are up and I forgot my slippery slider.  ... That didn't help. 

Changed my old topstich 80 needle for a new one.  Didn't help. 

Changed the upper tension to about 4.5.  Didn't help. 

Finally after working through 5 blocks this way I finally got a block that the thread didn't break.  I had changed to a quilting 90 needle and moved the tension back to automatic.  From then on it was every other block that gave me fits.  I rethreaded my needle what seems like 100s of times, from the spool on down, replaced the bobbin a couple of times, made sure my needle was in all the way. 

At this point I'm pretty frustrated and wonder what else I should try to adjust to keep the thread from breaking as I'm quilting the borders and the sashing.  Your suggestions will be well received!  Thank you!

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Hello Debbie;

     There are several reasons why your thread would break and it sounds like you have tried everything you should do to fix it.  I have a couple of questions which might narrow this down too!  First of all, what machine are you using?  You could have thread lint built up in the upper threading area of the machine.  Also, is it possible that your thread is old?  I know that old thread will break easy.  I have had this problem myself!  If your thread has been stored for a number of years, the thread starts to break down.   Especially cheap thread.  Just a thought!  A larger eye needle on old thread can sometimes correct this, but I would try a different type thread if you can just to see if it helps!  But again, I would take a piece of fabric and fold it in half and run it through the threading areas on the upper part of the machine.  The fabric will catch any lint that might be stuck in there.  I hope you get the problem figured out.  Good luck and keep us posted on how you make out.

Lori H.

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