New to FMQ

ritaweedaJanuary 29, 2011

I've only done small samples of FMQ and am hesitant to do a serious piece, but don't want to keep putting it off forever. I have just finished a top and as usual have come to the place for quilting decisions. It's all the same block design, I call it a cross patch, with sashings between all the blocks. (I posted a photo of it in a recent previous post on January projects.) I've looked at it several times wondering what to do with it. Then I happened to turn it over to the backing and was looking at that. It is a flannel all-over yellow with different color bands of swirls and butterflies in different colors. What I was thinking was, what if I turn it over and FMQ following the butterfly designs instead of doing something on the top? Have any of you ever done this?

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Yes, I quilted with the backing side up along the lines of large maple leaves on a quilt for my brother in law several years ago. It worked great and helped me with the FMQ because I had a line to follow. Try it!


    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 4:33PM
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It's a process used by lots of people. They just trace what they've used as backing and quilt it backing side up. So, you wouldn't be doing anything unusual. It's also a great way to practice when you're rather new to it. One common teaching technique for FMQ is to use a large print and you trace the figures.

We're excited for you. We'll love seeing your project.

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 6:24PM
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Quiting a back design was just mentioned as a way for beginners to do FMQ. I read it n the new McCalls Quilting mag. There were other suggestions as well. Jayne

    Bookmark   January 29, 2011 at 7:20PM
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Great idea!!!!!!! BUT the backside of my FMQing still needs work so I'll stick to the top lol!!!!
I really need to practice more and I am better.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 1:13PM
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OK, I'm gonna try it! But of course now I have to flip it over, pin-baste it on the back and then take the ones out that I pin-basted from the front now, but that's life. Hope this works, but I have a feeling with this being my first try at a large quilt it might prove to be a good way to start. I guess there's nothing unusual about thread and tension that I have to worry about sewing on the other side?

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 3:59PM
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Should all be the same settings. No difference except you have to be aware of piecing seams and bumps catching on edges of feed dog plate and so forth. Sometimes it doesn't ride as smoothly as a single piece of backing would. Just take it slow and easy and you'll be fine.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2011 at 4:12PM
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When you machine quilt a large quilt, on a regular sewing machine, do you start in the centre of the quilt, like you would if you were hand quilting? I can't imagine trying to roll up all that fabric to fit and still have room to move your fabric around while quilting. Any tips would be helpful.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 10:10AM
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After pin basting the sandwich, I sometimes tack it all down first by sewing a few main FMQ seams across the quilt following the overall plan. A few seams that make an X or something like that hold it all together better. Then I go in and start in the middle and work out one side at a time. This smooths it all down well. I stretch my backing very tight - many don't believe in that - so I don't have any puckering problems anyway. Getting all that bulk manageable is the biggest problem and each of us develop our own way. Having your machine on a large dining table, or surface to hold the bulk as you work, helps. Even just setting up an ironing board next to you at the same height is more work surface. Everyone's work area is different so I can only say what works for me.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 10:36AM
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