Things went much better today while doing the FMQ excercises. I got most of my tension issues worked out once I put the setting on "Woven Heavy". If your machine has settings like this, use it. I completely forgot this last night. DUH.
I set my machine speed to a lower setting so I can keep better control. My Topaz has 4 speed settings. My Janome 6600 has three; turtle slow, slow and Speedy Gonzolas which get really annoying for FMQ. The Topaz has far more regular speeds which are more managable for detailed work.
I also realized that Patsy starts at the top. I find that harder as you can't see where you've been. If I start at the bottom and work my way up, I don't get locked into a corner. I did try it from the top after some confidence built in, but I still find working from the bottom up easier.
I did pretty good at the first stitch-outs. The further I got, the easier the loops were to make. Then I got to the suns. Oh..this isn't pretty. I'm sure that it's not that bad, but the rays wouldn't go straight and they looked like dejected flowers. I just started cringing.
I got to the next chapter on linear designs. Ohhh, this is way hard. Finding entrance/exit routes gave me a headache and I kept messing up. Now the designs themselves aren't bad, it's the backing yourself into a corner that was killing me.
If all else fails, print out the charts from Patsy's site, stick one on top of the sample and stitch it out:
This makes a lot more sense now. It's not hard but I still need to learn to visualize space better. The rest of the designs are far more complicated than my brain can take right now. I'll do them another day.