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Thread: Free Motion Quilting

  1. #1
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    Free Motion Quilting

    I have a Brothers SE 400 embroidery/sewing machine. I did not know that it did not come with a quilting foot for free motion quilting. I read online where some people said that it would be possible to free motion quilt with a embroidery foot; well I tried that on a piece of scrap material and that was a nightmare. I tried changing the tension, but I still did not have the control I needed to control the quilt nor did the embroidery foot hold the material down in place. Has anyone tried quilting with a embroidery foot? Or do I have to surrender and buy a quilting foot?

  2. #2
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I have a different brand of machine, but when I look at my embroidery foot, it's a tiny bit shorter (?) than the other feet. I think it's designed to have a bit of play in the fabric and so it doesn't get hung up on areas where the embroidery is very dense. I think a free motion/darning foot or hopping foot is a good investment.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
    Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

  3. #3
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    I have the SE 400 and bought the quilting foot online. I did not like it because it's open, rather than rounded and would catch on the edges and other threads. I do use my embroidery foot for FMQ. It won't hold the fabric down, but the quilting foot didn't either. That's all part of FMQ. It takes a lot of practice to learn to control the fabric movement.

  4. #4
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    Before I purchased a quilting foot, I did manage to do FMQ on my old Kenmore with a regular foot. What I did was to drop my feed dogs, lighten up the pressure on the pressure foot slightly, set the stitch length to zero and just start sewing. Should you decide to get a quilting foot for your Brother, be aware that they have different kinds. I have the Brother PE400 embroidery/sewing machine and my local Brother dealer sold me the incorrect one. When I got it home I compared it to the drawing in the Brother manual (why don't they have photos!!!) and discovered the error.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  5. #5
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    A FMQ foot does not hold the fabric down. It is desighned to "hover " above the fabric so the sewer is in control of the fabric and the quilting. Also you need to drop or cover the feed dogs so nothing is grabbing the fabric. I do not have a embrodery machine so I do not know if that foot would work. FMQ is fairly easy especially meandering and stippling but all FMQ takes practice so you can get feel /control of the quilt top. Practice makes improvement.

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    what would you recmnd I put the tension on? I think it is on 4. Do I just use a straight stitch? I am so anxious to learn this method; it seems to much quicker than quilting each block. I am so excited when I see other pictures posted online; can't wait to add mine!

  7. #7
    Senior Member skowron5's Avatar
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    You need to lower or cover your feed dogs. You have to play with the tension so the bobbin thread doesn't show. I use around 3. Make sure your stitch length is 0 as you are making the stitch size as you move the quilt.

  8. #8
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    Actually you do NOT have to drop your feed dogs to free motion quilt. You should experiment and see which way your stitches look better! See this article by Leah Day. http://www.daystyledesigns.com/doiha...myfeeddogs.htm

  9. #9
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    Invest in the darning (FMQ) foot. You will be glad you did. It will eliminate many of your problems.
    Some drop feed dogs and others do not. I recommend you drop them or cover them. Everyone works different ways but the recommend way by 1000' of quilters is drop and proper foot makes better FMQ Why struggle with something that may or may not work. My time is worth more than the investment.

  10. #10
    Super Member Helen S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by craftycancer View Post
    what would you recmnd I put the tension on? I think it is on 4. Do I just use a straight stitch? I am so anxious to learn this method; it seems to much quicker than quilting each block. I am so excited when I see other pictures posted online; can't wait to add mine!
    All machines are a bit different. When FMQ, practice on scrap "sandwiches" of layered backing, batting and top fabric. That will help you adjust the tension for your project, too. When FMQ, hold the sandwich down firmly on the bed of the machine as you move it, and keep your hands somewhat close to where you are stitching, being cautious of the needle. This will give you a lot more control. You'll also want to practice at moving at a slow but steady speed so your stitches come out similar in size. PRACTICE and practice some more!
    Being skinny isn't easy, so I gave up and opted for being sexy instead. (aunty acid)

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