I feel it necessary to say there are many people who are more experienced than I am at this. I am going to do my best to cover all the little bits but if I don't cover something then please ask. You can email (contact me tab above) me or leave a comment on this post.
I will link to some great websites for further help at the bottom of this post. The best advice I can offer you is to practice, practice, practice!
This first video talks about stabilizing your quilt. Not everyone does this step and it can be bypassed but I don't like fiddling with those basting pins so I don't skip this step. The choice is yours.
The next video shows you how to set up your machine and your space (yes, the candy corn is necessary).
The basics in the above video are:
- Machine Set-up
- Gloves (I mention Machingers here)
- Space around machine
- Practice Pieces
This next video show the basics behind starting and stopping. Again, there are many ways to do this but my favorite is to start and stop off the quilt top. This stops you from having to bury the threads (because they are either cut off when squaring your quilt or they are under the binding).
In this next video you will get to see me break a needle....all in the name of you learning. This one is short (due to the needle breaking). Just after the video are I have posted the up close pictures so you can see the different results (besides the obvious).
|Decent stitch length and consistency in the stitching|
|Notice the tiny little stitches. This is acceptable but not as good as above but better than the alternative below.|
|Due to the needle breaking I didn't get far but see those big stitches (especially around the curve) if the other stitches were good and one or two were like this then it would be called skipped stitches...more on that tomorrow.|
I am including the following video even though it is some terrible video tapping (a videographer I am not). It covers what to do when your thread breaks. Ignore the bad shots and try to get the information I am trying to share.
Just in case you forgot....you must practice! While the skills are easy enough, they still require practice to improve them. It is kinda like learning to walk. You will never be able to run until you can walk. Then once you start walking, it take a while before you are running a marathon (many years). Do you get my point? Practice, Practice, Practice!!
This next video is "the money shot". The majority of this video is simply me stitching. I thought it might be good for you to hear the sound of the machine (speed) and see the movement of my hands. When you are FMQing it is important to get a good rhythm between the two (machine speed and movement of hands).
The final video shows the finished block and a couple of "blurbs" due to thread breakage while trying to stitch. If that happens to you do the following:
- Ensure you hands are moving at the same pace as your needle. (going too slow can cause thread breakage). One way to check this is to stitch in a straight line to see if it makes a difference. It's easier to keep a good rhythm in a straight line.
- Try a different thread (some machines prefer certain threads).
- Try rewinding your bobbin (every once in a while you will get one that winds funny and that make a big difference when FMQ).
- Try a different needle.
I realize there is a great deal of information here and I hate that I had to break it up over so many videos. Here are a couple blogs/website you really should check out and please don't forget the key to good FMQing....practice, practice, practice!!
Oh Frasson!: Free Motion Quilting
Leah Day: Free Motion Quilting Project (there is a great deal of information here - be careful can be overwhelming)
Crazy Mom Quilts: Free Motion Quilting
I hope I have helped if only in a small way. If you were paying attention, you are aware that you need to practice. Cindy from Fluffy Sheep Quilting is hosting a Free Motion Friday. Check it out and maybe link up with her. Another great idea to improve in FMQ is to join along with SewCalGal in her Free Motion Quilt Challenge. I am going to do my best to participate in this one every month. Hmmmm....I may have to venture out of my swirls and meandering....Uh Oh! practice, practice, practice what I preach...hehehehe
Tomorrow I will do a follow up post about potential problems and what to do to fix them. This post was just getting too long.
Please email me if I can help in any way. I would be glad to try or at the very least, I will direct you in the right direction for the help you need (at least we can hope). Have a great day!