Sunday, July 12, 2009

First I could, then I can't!

I could do Free Motion Quilting, and then I can't!

Yeah, it was a shortlived excitement. Read on to find out why....

Yesterday, I spent the whole day at Sakura learning how to master free motion quiting, Yup! FREE MOTION QUILTING! Finally I managed to attend class at Sakura!

I didn't think I could do it (FMQ) but I was pleasantly surprised that I actually could do it once I was taught the right technic by Kelvin.

I have to say that it was still not that easy to do FMQ and I have lots to practice before I could actually master it, but I came home feeling amazed and couldn't believe it that I could actually do it in the first place after wanting to learn how to do it for the longest time! LOL!

First of all, we had to learn how to do 9 basic stitches - scribble, zig zag, loops, waves, scallops, corners, pebbles, spirals and flames. They look easy, but they weren't, but once you get the technique right, it was almost a breeze, though I needed a lot of practice before I could get my curves to look like curves, and my corners sharp. The hardest to do, for me, was the pebbles.


Next was the stippling, the one which I have been wanting to do for the longest time among all the many FMQ stitches!

Before we were allowed to work on the machine, Kelvin made me scribble on pieces of paper first. I thought it was going to be easy as I always scribble and doodle when I am in a meeting that is long and boring! LOL! *blush*

It wasn't, actually, to scribble the way the stippling effect is to look like. I have habits which I could not get rid off when I started scribbling. I tend to make sudden and sharp corners, and tend to repeat waves in a boring line, instead of making it meader. OK, I am getting too technical! LOL!

Anyway, these are my scribbling on paper.


And here is the final effect on fabric.


Kelvin said that it is not too bad, though not of a presentable quality. *blush* I am an architect and I could not even `scribble' using the machine that is of presentable quality? LOL! How embarassing can that be? LOL!

I, however, was amazed that I could even scribble and do FMQ in the first place! I have been having so much trouble trying out the FMQ stippling effect for the longest time, and to get to what I did yesterday, I surprised myself! It was unbelievable! LOL! It was above my own expectation! LOL! *grin*

However, my excitement was shortlived when, after dinner, and this morning, when I tried doing it again, they didn't come out as nice as when I was doing it at SAKURA. It felt quite easy when Kelvin was looking over my shoulders and perfecting my moves when I was doing it in class, but, when I came home, for some reason, I just could not move the fabric as easily. It didn't glide like it should, and I was using the same calico fabric that Kelvin had given me to practise on.


I just couldn't understand it. My stitches came out all short. My curves came out sharp, and my biggest frustration was that I just could not get the fabric to glide across the machine under the needle. I just could not figure it out! Uurrgghh!



What could I be doing wrong? Zarina, you think you know what is it that I am not doing right? All the settings are the same.

It couldn't possibly be the machine as I actually brought my own Janome to the class. This is so that I can be sure that I know how to do FMQ on my own machine and not becuase it was a BERNINA (Sakura only sells the BERNINA).

I was able to do the FMQ well on my Janome, so BERNINA's BSR (BERNINA Stitch Regulator) has nothing to do with making the stitches look even. Zarina was right about the fact that once you know FMQ, you can do it on any machine with ease, and not necessarily on the expensive BERNINA.

I am also wondering if the height of my dining table has something to do with my not being able to do the FMQ well as I tend to lift up my shoulders to push the quilt through the machine. It gave me a shoulder ache and my movement of the quilt became constrained. The table at Sakura was 28 inches. My dining is 30 inches high.

My hubby had just helped me cut off 2 inches off my small table which I usually use for sewing. Thanks, Dia! Hugs!

I am going to give the FMQ another practise tonight. Wish me luck!

BTW, as I was in the middle of class, who should drop by but Tini and Paul!

Tini came to take a look at the BERNINA 830 (you buying it, Tini? *wink*) and wanted Kelvin to do a demo of it. However, Kelvin was not too keen then, one, because he was running a class, and two, because he said that to do a demo of the 830, he would need at least an hour to show all the possibilities that the 830 can do to give it justice for the price that it is being sold for. He couldn't give Tini the full attention if he is running a class.

Tini, he said to give him a call so that he can set up a time to do a demo for you. If he does, do tell, ok, because I might want to join you too! LOL! *wink*

Yesterday was like a meeting of friends, when in the morning, I met Tini and Paul briefly. What did you buy at Sakura, Paul? In the afternoon, when I came back from lunch, who should be in the shop, but Niza and Rozita! I couldn't recognize Niza (how embarassing! *blush* Sorry, Niza, it's been so long!), but I recognized Roz immediately!

Gosh, it's been so long that I last met both of them! It was good to see both of them again! We chatted awhile before I had to resume my classes and Roz and Niza wanted to do some shopping at Sakura.

They left soon after that, and I noticed that Niza had bought some cottons. Another new project, huh, Niza? *wink*

I hope to meet up with Niza and Roz again soon. Roz said that she might be interested to join the Sun Bonnet Sue class too which I am organising with Corine as the teacher. I need to work out the details first though. Will keep all those who have signed up posted once I have worked out the details with Corine.

8 comments:

Barbara said...

I tried some stippling a couple of days ago and it's the pits! I tried it on a placemat prior and it didn't turn too bad, so I gathered some confidence from You Tube and tried it on an actual quilt.

Lo and behold it wasn't turning out right but I kept at it thinking that I just need get into the groove somehow ...

But it just didn't jive with me so I had to spend some very valuable time unpicking all that stippling and opt for the tried and tested stitch in the ditch :)

Because of my inability to get those meanders right, I'm consoling myself with some beyond stippling quilts, take a look here:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/891714@N20/pool/

Barbara said...

Hmmm ... you got me thinking ...

1. Different machines used in the shop and your home?

2. Did you lower the feed dogs on your home machine?

Za said...

HI BJ!

It couldn't possibly be the machine as I actually brought my own Janome to the class. This is so that I can be sure that I know how to do FMQ on my own machine and not becuase it was a BERNINA.

I was able to do the FMQ well on my Janome, so BERNINA's BSR (BERNINA Stitch Regulator) has nothing to do with making the stitches look even. A friend was
right about the fact that once you know FMQ, you can do it on any machine with ease, and not necessarily on the expensive BERNINA.

And, yes, I did lower the dogfeed.

Zarina said...

Nik, I usually do a short 5-10 minute practice before I start any stippling. The last time we had classes here with Roselin it happen to me too! So I ended up on paper practice first then back to the fabric. It's something about how our mind forgets from time we get from class to home although we can visualize it but our hand and brain thingy don't jive. Try on paper first then on to the fabric. Once you get a hang on it you can do short practices on scrap fabric before the real thing. I just finished FMQ on a baby quilt last nite. Had to practice first b4 the real thing. With FMQ, it's lots of practice. Like riding a bke kiddo! hehehe - ina

Zarina said...

But once you get your FMQ rgiht, it stays with you (just like riding a bike).

I guess Kelvin is giving the beginners class? I'm waiting for the intermediate class where we can do feathers (which would complete my FMQ dream).

Zarina said...

Nik, do the trapunto with feathers!!! me mami jarum!!! kahkahkah!-ina

busymum100 said...

Nik,

Don't forget me for the Sue Bonnet class ya?

aniza said...

Nik, projek mmg la byk, time yg running off... M glad that roz decided to stop over at kelvin n eventually met u there. Hope to see u again more often... Btw keep practising yr fmq... M beginner too