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Thread: Feed Dogs: Up or Down

  1. #1
    Junior Member pyffer3's Avatar
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    Feed Dogs: Up or Down

    Hi all!. My first quilt was completely hand sewn/quilted. Now I am ready to quilt my second quilt using my new sewing machine (Brother CS6000i I got after Christmas-$145.99 on Amazon). I have used the Elmer's glue technique for basting the layers - whoever thought of that is an absolute genius! I had flashbacks of kindergarten! Anyway, my questions are these....
    I have a walking foot. If I use that do I keep the feed dogs up or down while sewing? Next question. I made a strip type top and want to basically stitch in the ditch using black thread (blacks/whites for strips) that will show through on the white backing....which I want. Can I use a zig-zag stitch for a little more decorative look with the walking foot?
    thanks for any advice!

  2. #2
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    With a walking foot you want the feed dogs up. They move the fabric from the bottom, the walking foot moves it from the top. You can use decorative stitches if you want, as long as your walking foot will accommodate the wide stitches. (Mine will; I think they all do.)

  3. #3
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    My Viking walking foot needs a plate change to be able to do decorative stitches. Check yours carefully before trying.

    Feed dogs alwayzs up for walking foot. Fabric feeds from both top and bottom to get an even feed.

  4. #4
    Member reneaunoel's Avatar
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    I have a walking foot for my Kenmore. Keep the feed dogs up (engaged), so the top and bottom feed at the same pace! mine will also accommodate the width of the decorative stitches. That said, if you are straight stitching, this will work wonderful, but it's MUCH more difficult to do curves with. Maybe long arches would be ok to do, but designs (daisy, circles, etc.) will be very difficult to control. AND never use the backstitch,or a decorative stitch that used a backwards motion. The walking foot just doesn't do backstitch, it's only a go-ahead device (like flip-flops on your feet, try walking backwards!) No matter what you do, I'm thrilled that your ARE doing it! Explore, enjoy and share with your friends!

  5. #5
    Super Member patchsamkim's Avatar
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    For quilting with your walking foot, you will want your feed dogs up.
    For FMQ, some machines you have to have the feed dogs down, or covered, and other
    machines you can leave the feed dogs up...gives better control....I do that when I am doing
    some quilting....like certain patterns...but for overall FMQ, it seems to work better with the
    feed dogs down.

  6. #6
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    You cannot use decorative stitches on the brother with your walking foot. Refer to your manuals stitch chart as to what stitches you can use, it is very limited amount. Your feed dogs need to be up.
    Brother XL-3500i, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D

  7. #7
    Junior Member pyffer3's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the advice. I have checked my book it does say I can do either a straight stitch or a zigzag....so that is okay. I don't know why I am so nervous about starting the actual quilt. So far I have cleaned my sewing room. Rearranged my small fabric stash. Eaten lunch. Started some laundry. I got the walking foot attached and have practiced the stitch on a piece cut from the quilt when I trimmed it. It works just fine. I have rolled the quilt on one side getting it ready to sew on the machine......why am I procrastinating? The worst that could happen is that I don't like it and will have to rip out the stitches, right? I guess any "first" time at anything can cause hesitation. I am so glad to have this board to "talk" to others about this!!! LOL

  8. #8
    QM
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    Super Member QM's Avatar
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    If you are that nervous, do a potholder first. Good luck.

  9. #9
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by reneaunoel View Post
    ...AND never use the backstitch,or a decorative stitch that used a backwards motion. The walking foot just doesn't do backstitch, it's only a go-ahead device (like flip-flops on your feet, try walking backwards!)...
    Some walking feet won't go backwards, but some will. The one made for the Bernina goes both directions.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewmary View Post
    My Viking walking foot needs a plate change to be able to do decorative stitches. Check yours carefully before trying.

    Feed dogs alwayzs up for walking foot. Fabric feeds from both top and bottom to get an even feed.
    I just got the new interchangeable walking foot's new foot. It's the stitch in the ditch made to use the decorative stitches. It was great; the center guide kept me straight and I love using the fancy stitches to put the binding on. They will be more secure and look nicer as well. I think their new walking foot is great and they are constantly coming out with new interchangeable feet to go with it and to be able to go in all directions is also great
    Judy

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