I have the 9500 and it is a fantastic machine. I do use it for fmq with the needle in the left position like it is for embroidery. I also adjusted my plastic darning foot like Leah Day says, so I could see the stitches better. I get better stitches with feed dogs up, though like you, I dislike doing this. My manual makes no mention of fmq, but there is an auto darning stitch that works very well. Wish I could help more. PM me if I can.