Saturday, March 16, 2013

Struggling with FMQ

I've finally started to try out the Free Motion Quilting feature(s) of my machine - after 2 years of ownership!  It's been one headache after another so far.  I think part of the problem was that my machine has two (countem' two!) different free motion settings and two different feet.  The machine came with a plastic free motion/darning foot that works with the Sensormatic free-motion setting and there is another metal foot that can be purchased (and I did) that works with the spring free-motion setting.  Or at least that's what I think... I may have them backwards again.  Too confusing!

Messy Pebbles - First attempt!
After trouble shooting multiple times with Linda Z's (the shop where I bought the machine) I thought I was good to go.  I had changed needles, thread, tension, settings, etc...  I tried it out today and was still having issues.  First it was a tension issue - the thread was too loose on the back.  Then I changed the thread to my new fancy Aurifil thread which helped some, but I was then getting some skipped stitches and thread breakage.

I quilted a portion with various sized pebbles, and kept thinking it would get better or I could hide the super-obvious skipped stitches, but after a bit, I gave up.

Skipped stitches

More skipped stitches

Even MORE skipped stitches!

Pickin' out the stitches...
I ended up picking out all the pebble FMQ (Grrrr....) and decided to straight-line stitch, once again, since that is all that seems to work right now.  And of course this quilting was to finish my Madrona Rd. challenge quilt that I have been putting off for months (and I'm supposed to have it done for my quilt guild meeting tomorrow!).


deelish10 said...

oh my what a mess. I stiples a king quilt for my first quilt, egads, new machine, big ideas, but I had issues but nothing like yours!

Jenny Squawk said...

Are you sure its all skipping of Stitches? Very common to lose it a little when starting out. Slow down your hands, speed up the machine. Also rethread the machine and check that the bobbin and top thread pull at the same tension.

Patricia said...

Free Motion Quilting takes a lot of practice. Start with simple straight lines, up & down, left to right. Then move to wavy lines, writing your name etc. Give yourself at least 6 hours of practice at say 20 minutes a day for a few weeks. Slow hands fast needle will help the loops on the back and breaking threads. You'll get there a little at a time.

Crafty Turtle said...

I'm practicing practicing practicing, Hooray! Thanks for all the words of encouragement and advice!