Free Motion Quilting on a Domestic Sewing Machine


Free Motion Quilting on a Domestic Sewing Machine

For those are interested in Free Motion Quilting on a home sewing machine.

Members: 360
Latest Activity: Jan 1

QuiltShopGal's FMQ Challenge

This group is intended to help encourage and support members on their journey to learn and improve their free-motion quilting skills. We do not judge, but love to see what you have created, as well as try to answer questions.

While I've hosted many prior FMQ Challenges, that are now over, there are still plenty of tutorials from FMQ Experts that are still available for you to learn/improve your FMQ skills.

Discussion Forum

Fall 2017 - FMQ Challenge

Started by QuiltShop Gal Nov 1, 2017. 0 Replies

Just kicked off another challenge, sponsored by Martingale.  This challenge runs thru November 2017 and is based on two FMQ tutorials where you can do one or both.  Each will help you learn/improve…Continue

A Challenge For 2017

Started by Regina Hyatt. Last reply by Denise Lawrence Apr 6, 2017. 4 Replies

Anyone interested in doing a challenge? Reviewing the ones in the past, it looks like it's been quite some time. Maybe something Holiday related?

The Ultimate Quilting Challenge - Summer 2016

Started by QuiltShop Gal Jun 16, 2016. 0 Replies

Just kicked off the three events. Everyone is invited to join the fun this summer.  You can create a project of any size, any style, even consider FMQ on an UFO.  For more info: …Continue

November FMQ Challenge

Started by QuiltShop Gal Nov 26, 2015. 0 Replies

This is the last weekend to work on your November FMQ Challenge, which showcases the very talented Sarah Vedeler. There are also plenty of options to enter.  …Continue

Comment Wall


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Comment by Leslie Johnson on December 21, 2017 at 8:20pm

Thanks to the members who gave me tips on solving my forward motion FMQ.  I do have a hopper foot and like it much better that the other one that came with the machine.  I have almost gotten the problem solved but not quite.  It looks much better on the front but you can still tell its not right by looking on the back now.  Better that than the front!  After the holidays I'm going to take it in and see if the tension discs are the problem.  I do think I feel some drag on the thread in that area.  When its really bad, I just skip that area and go back and fill it in after turning the quilt.  Much easier than turning it every 3-4 inches.

Thanks again, Leslie

Comment by rogue quilter Queen of the WIVSP on December 4, 2017 at 12:04am
just as you need to be 'sogned' in to the mqp site to utilize the 'send message to group' link in upper right corner of page.
...and i forgot earlier, to welcome you to the group! :))
Comment by Riana Noyes on December 3, 2017 at 6:53pm

As to posting questions, if you're new on site...remember you need to be " signed in" before you can comment anywhere on MQP ☺

Comment by Riana Noyes on December 3, 2017 at 6:50pm

Leslie, l learned to fmq when this group had monthly lessons posted from pros by SewCalGal ( aka Quiltshop gal). I now teach a group each season here in Fla. ( snowbird). I find many of my students have your problem.  It will come in time...meanwhile, the simple solution is to turn the project and go any way but forward. If you have a hopping foot, l find it easier to match the tempo of the machine with your hands than with a floating foot. Your machine's tension is not going to change within moments all by itself just because of direction change... it could be the drag of the quilt's weight. Try to get most of the weight on the table, and leave a loose " puddle" near your hands ...trying to pull up the weight of the quilt up off your lap adversely effects forward stitching.Here's an experiment to try ( on a scrap sandwich) , set up the machine as you normally would, feed dogs down, and stich in various directions. Next, try stitching with the feed dogs UP, and stitch length set at zero. Some folks find they have better control that way.

Comment by rogue quilter Queen of the WIVSP on December 3, 2017 at 2:37pm
i agree w quiltshop gal ..this forum, like many mqp forums, are not as frequently commented in as the ufo or swap groups. and when a message to group is sent using the contact box in upper right of page, as indicated, it goes to email inboxes & not to the comment wall here on site. would like to see pics of issues you are having ..would be easier to respond. i am not as profficient w my fmq on domestic machine as i used to be, skill level drops w lack of doing :)). and deffinitely my skills not on par w quiltshop gal, that said, last full size quilts i did, i experienced a lot of difficulty w tension changing, needing to be reset every hour or so of stitching. sometimes more frequently. finally took machine in to repair guy and he completely disassembled upper tension unit & rebuilt it. problem solved. it works like a dream. i had bought the janome 1699pq fr cl used, tho she told me she had never used it. repair guy said "typical story" fr a cl seller. he said that after a few thousand hours of sewing, the thread creates grooves in the tension plates of the tension assembly. he cleaned the plates w emery cloth to remove grooves and it now works fine. nxt time tho, i'll need to replace those plates. just a thought for you ..
Comment by QuiltShop Gal on December 3, 2017 at 11:27am

I'm responding to a message from Leslie Johnson who shared:
I just joined this group hoping to find an answer to a problem I'm having. It doesn't look like there has been a lot of activity here but I'll give it a shot.

I've been working on a quilt that has a star and I'm outline quilting the points and doing small curls around the star. It's been going great, especially the curls, except for the straight lines going forward. I can stitch going left, right, diagonally, and curl around with no problem. Backwards is ok, but the forward stitching has the top thread laying flat on top of the fabric sandwich. It looks awful and it will surely snag.

Any suggestions? Of course I've cleaned my machine, changed needles, tried different thread. I even had my husband smooth off a burr on the throat plate (which did help some but not a lot.) Help! And thanks in advance.

My Response:
First, Leslie, this group has never been all that active, but was originally created during an FMQ challenge where many participants were not on Facebook and this forum was proposed as another place participants could connect. Unfortunately, it isn't as robust a tool. For example, while I received an email with your comment I can't find it on this wall to easily respond to.

With response to your problem, I think most when learning FMQ have problems switching directions (e.g. left vs right tends to not be as easy both ways). But over time and practice, it gets much easier. If I understand correctly, you have that mastered but are having problems when you go forward. A couple of things I can think about: 1) tension could be a culprit, 2) speed (listen to the hum of your machine and try to think about your speed, does it change at the point where you are having a problem?, 3) Are you pushing/pulling your quilt sandwich more at this point?

Comment by Riana Noyes on October 31, 2017 at 8:56pm

                                                                     On my latest project, l tried a new technique. I fused on the appliques, sandwiched the wall quilt, then seed don the appliques ( raw edge) while quilting. Worked very nicely...and l didn't have 2 rows of sewing around the appliques like l did when l sewed them down, then also quilted around them. A cleaner, crisper look.

Comment by Riana Noyes on July 10, 2017 at 6:36pm

Wilma, did you find some rulers? Westalee has quite a few available for domestic machine use.

Comment by Deanna Davis on May 10, 2017 at 1:19pm

Riana ~ thank you for that. I have been looking too as I am doing the ruler class online, but had no idea .. :)  

Comment by Riana Noyes on May 7, 2017 at 7:02pm

Wilma,  has nice ones with peg handles on them...good for use with a domestic, or with a machine in a frame. They' ve also just come out with a clear ruler foot! You can chose from high or low shank.


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