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What is the proper quilting stitch for FMQ - Sewing Machines

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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.


Posted on Jan 04, 2017


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Posted on Jan 02, 2017


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Tl2000 and it is skipping stitches while quilting. I have changed the needle. I used needles 14 16 & 18 I have cleaned the machine. When I sew seams I have no problems.

Have you changed the type of needle--top stitch, embroidery, microtex? Sometimes that will help. Also, my skipped stitches occur in FMQ because the fabric is moving too fast for the machine speed or I have a jerky movement. It helps me to try slowing down the fabric movement or speed up the machine and practice making smooth, consistent movement. I've never done FMQ with a needle larger than an 80/12, so you might try a smaller needle to reduce the fabric grabbing the thread.

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Oct 31, 2017 | Sewing Machines

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How can I machine quilt on the necchi 3204fb do I need special attachments

There are a lot of accessories available for free motion quilting. However, in reality, FMQ can be done with a darning foot (usually included with your machine). Of course, you can opt to purchase a multitude of FMQ presser feet for your machine, ie open darning foot, clear foot, hopping many quilting rulers. The only other change is to drop the feed dogs. From there, it's just a lot of practice, practice, practice. It helps to practice drawing FMQ designs on something like a blackboard or whiteboard that can be erased and used multiple times. The idea is to get your movement smooth and consistent--muscle memory--like you used to do when learning how to write in grade school. It may also be helpful to have some gloves that will grip the fabric since your skin will become dry from constant contact with the fabric and begin to slip. There are special "quilting" gloves for $$ or you can try some cheap rubber gloves from the dollar store or rubber garden gloves.

How to Practice FMQ

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Or, you can do straight line stitching with a walking foot, which is easier than FMQ. But you would need to purchase a walking foot for your machine.

Just search for free motion quilting. There are tons of web sites, videos, and classes.

Oct 24, 2017 | Necchi Sewing Machines

1 Answer

How to Free motion quilting on Janome 1600P QC

Be sure to use a darning foot (or free motion quilting foot).
Use a brand new sharp needle, ie top stitch, embroidery, or microtex work well.
Check that the thread, needle, and fabric are compatible--Caution, the needle eye should be the right size for the thread weight.
AVOID old or bargain bin thread!
Be sure to drop or cover the feed dogs.
If your machine has it, use the needle down feature.
You may need to adjust the tension for FMQ--I have to tighten the bobbin tension a little to keep the bobbin thread below the quilt surface (so I bought a special bobbin case and set the tension for FMQ and that's all I use it for.)

Lots of web sites that talk about how to free motion quilt. Then, it's PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! I use a portable white board and draw free motion designs on it (while watching TV, etc.). The idea is to get it fluid without jerking, jumping, speeding up or slowing down, etc. When your hand and brain are able to work smoothly, then you can probably do free motion quilting. Practice on scraps of fabric and batting (preferably the same kind you will be working on). Cut up some 14 inch squares of fabric and batting and draw designs on them and see if you can stitch them. Some advice: don't watch the needle...look at where you are going in front of the needle. Don't expect perfection to happen overnight. Many quilters have been FMQing for years and still make mistakes. (I've made a few quilts and my stuff still looks less than professional, but it's all mine!)

Free Motion Quilting with Janome 1600P sewing discussion topic...

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Jul 23, 2017 | Janome Sewing Machines

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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 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 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

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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.

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Jan 11, 2017 | Sewing Machines

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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!

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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.

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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

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