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Thread: Free motion quilting

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Sturbridge, Ma
    Some set stitch length to 0 and others dont. Some lower feed dogs and others don't.
    I prefer to lower the feed dogs then they don't scratch the back side of the quilt. I don't understand why some are so adamant about lowerig and not lowering.
    The reason some give for setting stitch length to 0 is that disengages the feed dog mechanism and less wear on that part of the machine. Quilters find different ways of doing fmq and work to find the best method for themselves.
    If you don't lower the feed dogs and leave the stitch length as set on the machine then the dogs will be pulling the fabric one way and you are pulling or pushing the quilt the other. I believe leaving them up will cause the bottom to drag and not be easy to slide under the pressure foot. So for me the safe way is to lower the feed dogs and leave the stitch length where it is set on the machine. And......either way your stitch length is determined by the speed of your machine and the speed in which you move the quilt. I try and recommend working to a stitch lenth about what the normal sewing would be or just a bit longer. I try for an even length of about what a 3 setting on your mcahine would be. I believe you need the slightly longer stitch length to accommodate the additional thicknesses the batting adds to the quilt. Tiny stitches make the quilting stiffer and hold the layers more tightly together and can cause some dimensional appearance not suitable to the design. I also find the longer stitches gives me more freedom in motion of moving the quilting around. I also find that students are more satisfied with their work and learn faster when the stitches are longer. They ask why their motifs are not smooth and even and in most cases it is because they have very tiny stitch length and when they strive for longer stitches their work improves.
    Last edited by Holice; 11-27-2012 at 01:14 PM.

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    I set out again to FMQ last night and it looks lovely! Now that I realize that I do control the stitch length I am being carefule to be consistent. Thanks for the info. I do not have a cat to blame, just a husband!

  3. #13
    Senior Member happyquiltmom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    NE Indiana
    Ditto what Holice said. I have a machine that I use only for FMQ, a vintage Bernina 830 Record.

    My DH and I both blame the cats for things we don't want to admit to. Heehee

    Curator of an 1889 Singer model 27 Fiddlebase Treadle, a 1951 Singer Centennial Featherweight, a 1956 Singer 401A, and a 1982 Bernina 830 Record.

  4. #14
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    dallas tx.
    Blog Entries
    Poor, poor, husband!

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