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What is the proper quilting stitch for FMQ - Sewing Machines

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  • Sewing Machines Master
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Straight stitch. Doesn't matter what stitch length you set. The stitch length is determined by how fast or slow you move the fabric in conjunction with the sewing speed of the machine. FMQ means that you manually move the fabric, so the feed dogs are disabled and a darning or FMQ presser foot is installed on the machine. The darning or FMQ presser feet have shorter shafts than other feet, which allows space for you to manipulate the fabric.

Search the internet for Free Motion Quilting. There are tons of web sites and videos available.

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Posted on Jan 04, 2017

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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CANT QUILT WITH MY JUKI TENSION PROBLEMS


Okay, you've tried a lot of things. The question is this: is the thread snapping (where abouts in the path), or is it shredding at the needle? Here are a few more:

Remove the top thread, ALWAYS RAISE the presser foot, and rethread from the beginning.
Try different thread--perhaps a polyester thread like Isacord or Aurafil. (AVOID old or bargain bin thread.)
Try a different kind of needle (brand new needle!)--like a top-stitch, microtex, or embroidery. The top stitch needle has a larger scarf that will better protect the thread if shredding is the issue. (I use a special bobbin case that I've increased the tension for Isacord thread and I use the same thread in top and bobbin.) I also decrease the top tension a tad so the bobbin thread will not pull to the top. You may need to install brand-new needles several times on one quilt when they get dull.
Usually an 80 or 90 needle will work for FMQ through a fabric/batting sandwich.
Check that the needle's eye is the appropriate size for the thread (also a cause of shredding thread).
Set the upper tension at the midway point perhaps a bit looser for FMQ (this tension will probably need to be tweaked for your particular machine due to wear and age).
Use an FMQ foot and drop the feed dogs. A Supreme Slider (avlb on the internet) is very helpful in helping move the quilt while doing FMQ.
Work at a moderate but steady pace. I find a faster speed while FMQ gets me into trouble...like spots I can't get out of, overlapping stitches, or outside the quilt edge.

FWIW, I still get some skipped stitches with FMQ. Usually, it happens when I move the fabric too fast, especially around a curve. I have a tendency of speeding up while going around a curve that will cause skipped stitches or eyelashing.

I'm also wondering if there is something to do with the fabric and/or batting you are using...like is it Batik? Batik is very tightly woven and presents some particular challenges. The type of batting could be more dense, making it harder for the needle to penetrate the sandwich. Also, pulling or stretching the fabric can cause skipped stitches.

Basic Maintenance Tension Skipped Stitches

Here What to Do if Your Sewing Machine is Skipping Stitches

10 reasons for skipped stitches

If you see no improvement in your machine's stitching, you may want to have it serviced.

Good luck!

Apr 28, 2017 | Juki Sewing Machines

1 Answer

How do I set 8900 for free motion quilting? D4S mode and QB-S foot


To do free motion quilting on most machines, install a darning foot or free motion quilting foot, drop the feed dogs, set the machine to straight stitch. (Because FMQ requires you to manually maneuver the fabric, stitch length is moot.) If your machine has the feature, setting it to Needle Down will also help. When you stop sewing, the needle will stop while penetrating the fabric. This prevents you from accidentally moving the fabric while trying to adjust before sewing again.

Free Motion Quilting Beginner Tutorial 1 of 4


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Jan 11, 2017 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Janome 1600P DBX


You need to drop the feed dogs, install a darning or free motion quilting foot (make sure the presser foot is lowered). Because you will not be using the machine to move the fabric, the stitch length selection is of no importance. Make sure the stitch width is set to zero. You should test FMQ on a scrap quilt sandwich of the same makeup of your project, ie quilt fabric with batting sandwiched between. The upper tension should be set so that both threads meet in the middle of the quilt sandwich. Because it is FMQ, some extra adjustment may be needed.

Once the tension is where you want it, you can practice FMQ until you can move it smoothly in conjunction with the machine speed.

Practicing on a white board with erasable markers is a handy way to learn to move smoothly. The most difficult part of free motion quilting is learning to move the fabric smoothly. Do NOT lack for practice as that is the only way to improve. Those people who make it look simple have been doing it for years!

How to Free Motion Quilt on Regular Sewing Machine

Free Motion Quilting for Beginners Part 1 Video from Sewing with Nancy

Free Motion Quilting

Learn How to Free Motion Quilt Stippling

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Oct 31, 2016 | Janome Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Is there a setting to quilt freehand?


Are you asking about free motion quilting (FMQ)?

If so, you need a darning foot of some type (a foot that does not press the fabric to the sewing surface).

You need to drop the feed dogs (or if your machine does not have that capability, a feed dog cover that probably came with your machine and set the stitch length to zero).

Then, add lots of PRACTICE!!! I like to draw designs on a white board with an erasable white board marker... The more fluid you can become, the better experience you will have with FMQ.

Free Motion Quilting Beginner Tutorial 1 of 4

How to Free Motion Quilt on Regular Sewing Machine

START HERE

Free Motion Quilting

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Sep 29, 2016 | Sewing Machines

3 Answers

Trying to free motion quilt with darning foot. No directions in small manual. Does any know if there is a user guide for all that this machine can do.


General instructions for using a darning foot to FMQ:
Put in a new needle, install the darning foot, then be sure to DROP the feed dogs. Then practice on a scrap quilt sandwich (made up of the fabric and batting you plan to use on your quilt). (You may need to readjust the tensions if your top or bottom threads are popping through to the other side.) If you've not FMQ'd before, practice, practice, practice. You need to get your brain in tune with your hands (much like you did in elementary school learning to write). It even helps to get a white board and practice making FMQ designs with erasable white board markers or a pencil and paper pad. A FMQ instructor told us that it takes 50-60 times before your brain and hands develop the coordination. The more you do it, the better you will get. When FMQing, practice moving your hands as smoothly and consistently as possible. If your hands jerk, your stitches will sew it. Also, practice using a consistent machine speed for even stitching.

Mar 29, 2015 | Sewing Machines

2 Answers

Which foot do I use for quilting


a quilting foot or buy one with a round hole in it great

Mar 09, 2015 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Do i have adjust tension when free motion quilting on janome 6125


No but need free motion foot, FMQ is A bit of an art, slow hands and even stitching. Doing a class is a great way to learn as stipple quilting looks great but takes practice.

Feb 28, 2015 | Janome Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Why when i put the feed cover on i cant move the fabrice at all there is no room between the foot and the cover. i am trying to quilt together my quilts. thank you brenda g


I'm assuming your machine has a little plate you put over the feed dogs rather than a knob which disengages the feed dogs from moving to do free motion embroidery or something.

If this is the case there probably isn't enough room for your quilt sandwich under the foot.

You could try using a free motion embroidery foot rather than the regular foot with the feed dogs up and see if that allows you sufficient movement.

It would look like this:
10_25_2011_5_08_51_am.jpg


It may take some practice still to get a smooth stipple if that is the effect you are going for.

You may find some other ideas on quilting websites to get around this problem or in a Yahoo group for quilters. I've only ever quilted in straight stitch using my walking foot so it feeds the quilt smoothly for me, never tried FMQ.

Oct 24, 2011 | Brother XL-5130 Mechanical Sewing Machine

1 Answer

Cannot machine quilt without the thread breaking and/or shredding. I've change needle, thread type and size and tension on my fabric.


If the thread is shredding and breaking, there is an incompatibility of your needle, thread, and fabric. Could be old, bargain bin, or poor quality thread--does the thread have little "hairs" of thread lint sticking out of it--that's probably not good quality. Look for fresh, good quality thread. Try a brand new needle--a sharp if you are sewing woven fabric. Make sure the thread is not too big for the needle eye. Sometimes, a top-stitch needle or embroidery needle will work well on FMQ. (A top-stitch needle has a longer scarf which helps protect the thread during the multiple times the needle penetrates the fabric before the thread forms a stitch. Shredding means the thread is getting worn out before it forms a stitch. A piece of thread penetrates the fabric 10-20 times before it forms a stitch.) Could also be a snag somewhere that is damaging the thread.

Sewing Needle Troubleshooting Guide

SCHMETZ Household Needle Chart

Most FMQ instructions say the upper and bobbin tension should be the same, however, I find my machine works a bit better when the bobbin thread is just a little tighter than the upper thread. Then the bobbin thread does not "pop" up on the top of my fabric quite as much. It's probably something you will just need to experiment with in getting used to your machine.

P.S.--when threading your machine, make sure the Presser Foot is ALWAYS RAISED so the top thread will seat properly in the tension disk. Failure to do this will cause thread barfs (usually referred to as thread nests or bird nests) under your fabric. Also, before beginning your FMQ, ALWAYS PULL the bobbin thread to the top of the fabric, then hold both thread tails gently in your left hand while you slowly take the first couple of stitches.

How and Why to Bring up the Bobbin Thread

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Mar 01, 2017 | Brother Sewing Machines

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