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Hey Y'all,
Who prefers free motion quilting vs. in the ditch on your HSM? I prefer in the ditch just because it is easier to handle the massive quilt. I have done free motion on one quilt and it was a mess....nesting, uneven stitches....I just couldn't manuever the quilt like I wanted to. But free motion quilting can be so beautiful....does anyone have any tips....p.s. I don't like to quilt as you go...tried it once but it didnt satisfy the quilter in me...lol!!

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Replies to This Discussion

Denise, I always like to know what books other people find helpful. 

Sometimes I just need to look at pictures to give me inspiration, and when there is a graphic of how to quilt it that comes with it, all the better.

I like straight line quilting with my walking foot.  I know the more you do FMQ , the better you are supposed to get. But I just don't like battling all the bulk on my HSM.  And the quilting part is my least favorite part of the quilt project.  I need to learn to love it and not just look at it as the final thing to do and then I am done with this quilt.  Well almost,  there is the binding,  but I like the binding piece and sewing it down by hand.  I think that may be my favorite part,  because I know it is almost finished.  

Sherri, I too like to do binding.  I find the handwork part of it to be relaxing.  I showed a quilt to my friend Lynn, who is a longarm quilter.  She was surprised that none of it had been done with FMQ.  As soon as I finish hand stitching down the binding, I will upload a pic of it.

Sherri, I could have written your comment.  I'm still struggling with FMQ, and still don't love the quilting part of the projects.  But the binding............I like it a lot and I think it is because it means I've accomplished something.

I am like Janet, I really enjoy hand stitching the binding down, I find it so soothing and good doing watching TV.
I have just dropped off my quilt to the LAQ not prepared to struggle with a large quilt. I find it so hard on my shoulders and neck. I will do a baby crib quilt, but FM stippling.
I do Thread painting, of small landscapes etc. which kind of free motion stitching on the sewing machine. I love to do that and it doesn't bother my neck as they are small pieces.

What has helped me with struggling with the larger quilts is now having a Pfaff with a 10" throat area.  I can't get over how much easier it is to quilt just with a few extra inches.  I have 2 fairly large tops that I really can't afford to pay someone to quilt for me so I'm just going to have to grit my teeth and do them myself.  What I struggle with the most is the basting of the 3 layers.  That just about does me in.  But I have too much time & money tied up in these already to not get them finished.

You have to post them Janet when you have them done.
I have a UFO I have finished the blocks and contemplating whether to do them FMQ a block at a time then join them. This will have to be my fall project.

I know some people are able to do that & make the joins look nice & neat, but the one time I tried it I was very unsatisfied.  Of course, that was a long time ago so maybe now it would be easier for me to do.  One of these large ones was a Carol Doak paper pieced mystery quilt so you have to assemble the entire top.  That one is a king sized so I dread the thought of basting it.  

I am not a  free motion quilter either,,, for the reasons you mention... MY  stitches  do not stay uniform, ( I don't have a fancy stitch  regulator on my Janome)  But the whole cumbersome  thing of dealing with all that quilt... I have done it on much smaller pieces  like baby quilts or place mats..  But for larger  quilts,  lap size and beyond,   I do  walking foot quilting... I took a Craftsy class on  walking foot quilting that has helped me a lot to try different things with my walking foot.  The class is called Creative Quilting with your walking foot... or something to that effect... Anyway the last few quilts I have completed I used a series of straight and gentle curves up and down on the quilt... But  even with this method, I am inclined to  send anything larger,   bed sized, to the long arm  quilter. 

I have started quilting a top made from blocks I received in an internet exchange around 2002 or 2003.  I just feel like I'm in such a rut when it comes to the quilting.  I'm sure a lot of that has to do with the fact that I have made lots & lots of quilts over the years, but I look at these blocks and just get stumped.  I did manage to get the center block & the surrounding sashing strips quilted so at least that is a start. 


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