Sunday, September 6, 2015

DIY: make a Free Motion Quilting Practice "Machine"

So, here is the FMQ practice machine. It's made up of a 1" diameter PVC pipe about 24 inches long, two right angles that go down to the feet and then two end caps. I didn't use any glue and got the wrong size end caps so I ended up taping them on instead of pushing them over the ends of the T-connectors. There is a very short piece of PVC between the right angle and the T-connector. Measure how tall you want your device and cut the size according to that height.

The pen holder is two hose clamps and a hose connector. Put the larger hose clamp around the horizontal pipe, and the smaller should be inside the larger as in the picture below. The hose connector then gets clamped inside the smaller hose clamp and you push the marker inside. I used a rubber band around the marker so I could get it inside but it would still be snug. Because the rubber band snugs the marker, but doesn't make it immobile I can adjust it up or down to just meet the surface I'm writing on. I tried a piece of paper, but it's not smooth enough. I had an extra 3-ring binder hanging around and the front of it with the extra plastic where you can slip in a piece of paper for the cover is perfect. I could print up designs and put them in there to practice on.

Here is a close-up of the pen holder in the center of the bar.
The hose clamps cost about $1.50 each and the gray connector was about $.70.
Below are pictures of the parts I used, except for the PVC pipe. The diameter you get determines the size of everything else. Hope this was clear. If it wasn't and you have questions, just comment and I'll try to answer them.


Hose clamps: choose sizes that will fit around
your horizontal pipe and the hose connector for the pen.

Hose connector. Make sure the interior
 is large enough for you marker.

Here is what the 90 degree piece looks like. It's used
to connect the long horizontal  bar to the legs.
End cap for the base. This makes'
the foot of the device a bit longer so more stable (I think.)
T-connector for the base

I've been sewing, just not quilts

I have been sitting at my sewing machine and doing stuff, just not piecing or quilting. Our church's feast day is coming up and my husband is the director of religious education. His signature clothing is a Hawaiian shirt (I counted last week and he has about 30 I've made.)

We decided it would be fun if I made him a shirt and in a different colorway made one for our pastor. He is rather conservative in his dress, so we found a Hawaiian print in black, white and grey with just a bit of blue that also came in bright blue.
My husband has an intern, and I offered to make her a blouse, she accepted. We also have an associate priest, so I also am making her a shirt in the same blue fabric. I've got the two women's shirts almost done. One just needs buttons and button holes. The other needs some alterations and buttons and button holes and it will be done. I've adjusted the pastor's shirt so it will have a neckband he can put his collar on. I was also going to do something about the sleeves and armholes to make them closer fitting, but changed my mind. This is supposed to be a casual clergy shirt :-).

I have also been working on my free motion quilting skills. Mostly watching videos and collecting various patterns folks use. While I searching the net I found a very cool device designed for practicing FMQ on a sit down machine. Unfortunately it is no longer for sale, but it looked simple enough to make. So I did. Just some PVE, tape and pipe clamps. A rubber band, dry erase marker and the white cover of a notebook that I can slip a printed page into.

I made a short video showing how I use it. You can check it out. I'll do another post to show how I made it later today or tomorrow.

I'm linking to Judy's blog. Go see what others are doing.



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