Friday, October 14, 2011

FMQ Friday

Ok, everyone is just having too much fun free motion quilting lately, so I had to jump in and try it again.

If you are having a really good day and generally feeling pretty good about yourself, don't FMQ. It will definitely knock you down a peg or two. Wait until you're having a mildly crappy day, then it just might lift your spirits a bit.

I decided to join in FMQ Fridays with Cindy at Fluffy Sheep Quilting. Each week she chooses a pattern from the Free Motion Quilting Project by Leah Day for everyone to attempt, then we can encourage (and laugh with) each other and not feel quite so bad.

Here is this week's pattern:

Appropriately enough, it is called Drop Art. Doesn't look too hard, right?


Here's my first attempt. I started off using cheap green thread so you could see a little contrast, but it kept breaking, so I grabbed the closest better spool which happened to be white. My fabric is aqua, so I thought it would show up a little better than it does.

Here's the back of that one:


And my second attempt:
Front
Back
 Why do my raindrops look like sausages?? Obviously I need to adjust the tension a bit, but I really didn't want to touch it.

I decided to try a different pattern...


 Not terrible, but it just seems like it should be much easier, especially after watching the video! She has such a calm, soothing voice when she is explaining it to you, and her speed is always so consistent. She has such fluid motions, too. Basically the complete opposite of mine!

Here are some things I've noticed...

I feel like if my machine is moving fast then my hands should be, too, but that's not really how it works. For some reason, I have a hard time taking my foot off the pedal. Even when I get stuck and aren't sure what I should do next, my needle is still moving, so I feel like my fabric should be moving, too. It's a vicious cycle, really. Must take foot off pedal!!!

I also need to find that spot where my needle speed and stitch length are happy together. Debbie told me to set it so I can "floor it" and not have to worry about moving my foot, just my hands. I think that is great advice. 

Also, I need the left side of my machine to stick out farther. When I come to the point in the pattern where I need to push the fabric that way, my left hand tends to slip off and mess up everything. I think I may set up some books or something to kind of extend my sewing space next time. One of those sewing tables where your machine is sunk down into the table would be sweet, but I don't see that happening here anytime soon.

Now let's see how everyone else did with their "drops". Stop by FMQ Fridays and leave some encouraging words for the other brave souls!

26 comments:

  1. You did A great job! What a great idea. I can't get past stippling, and when I trt something new I end up always ripping it out!

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  2. Good Job! I've found out the hard way that good thread matters. Its hard to practice your stitches if you are fighting your thread/machine. I just joined Free Motion Fridays too. Sew much fun. Can't wait to see how we all progress.

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  3. Och, those don't look that bad! I have a cunning plan to get started on mine, my new machine came with 3 free lessons, so I'm hoping she'll teach me some FMQ in that time :oD

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  4. Looking good and not. sausage like! x

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  5. Looks great to me.

    Can you get an extension for the top of your machine? I know some companies make them.

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  6. You've learnt some great tips along the way, thanks for sharing!

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  7. haha....I love your post! You know I'm at the same place in the fmq journey! I hadn't heard about fmFriday, so will check it out. And I think you are making great progress!

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  8. Looks like you are doing well - we will all be brilliant at the end of this process - wherever that is ! I'd also like a special table for my machine but the extension is already making a difference!

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  9. I think the first one looks good! The second is a bit sausagy but those twirls look brilliant ;)

    I keep getting worms and if next week they look like worms again I'm giving up!!

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  10. I love your version! Let's do that! And yeah thread can be a pain but I can still see it... It does not look like sausages!!!

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  11. I absolutely LOVE that my machine has a little switch that limits how fast I can go to keep me from overdoing it when I quilt. It's one thing to go full-speed when I'm putting a hem on a skirt; it's another when I'm trying to stitch-in-the-ditch or do free motion!

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  12. They look great, love your twirly ones too.

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  13. he, he: you summed up FMQ'ing brilliantly when you say don't do it on a good day!

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  14. You could uses the 'sausages' as some kind of Halloween fingers!!
    You did real good though x

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  15. Your drops look very like Leah's to me and I like your 'something different pattern :)

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  16. I don't see sausages, just fat rain drops. :)

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  17. Looks lovely, even the sausages, lol. My machine is old and in a cabinet, and the foot pedal is actually up under the machine on the right side so I have to use my knee! It was totally weird at first but I actually think it's easier for FMQ. Great post!

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  18. I think that`s an amazing effort Toni!

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  19. I have issues with the speed of the needle and my hands too. My other issue is that I have a cheap old Kenmore that doesn't have a down position on the needle so I have to make sure I stop where it can hold the fabric. Yours is coming along well!

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  20. You do great! The speed thing is always a difficult issue, setting it so it doesn't go too fast is a great tip, but you need to think of the foot pedal like you do the car accelarator! And yes, you do take your foot off that one too! It is all about the practice, and you've done brilliantly, it;s ok to stop and see where you are, it's not a race :)

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  21. They look great! For me, FMQ is all about setting my foot at a certain speed and then thinking about where I'm going next. If I can get a consistent motion going, then I'm good to keep going. Oh, and I can set me needle to always stop in the down position and that helps me feel better about taking my foot off the pedal.
    But honestly, yours look great!

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  22. I didn't have the right word for mine until I saw yours...sausages. Of course they are! Who cares? We're just here to practice, to get the feel. If we learn a little something each week, we're progressing. I think what you made looks great and I can't wait to see where you are next week! Keep stitching!

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  23. I'll put the BBQ on and we can have sausages and sand worms.

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  24. If they are sausages, at least they are chipolatas, not bangers! but I don't really think they look sausagey. You have nice even drops. And I like your loopy pattern too.

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  25. Oh I found this so funny. I did a fmq class a few years ago and I was the class dunce. I could not link the hand, foot, eye thing together with moving the quilt. It was a total disaster and it floored me how all these other novices were just acing it. And I could not get my head around taking my bloody foot of the pedal. That did not compute at all. So thank you for making me feel a bit more normal and may I highly recommend the Bernina Stitch Regulator! Works wonders for this complete klutz!

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