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Thread: Sigh--free motion machine quilting questions

  1. #1
    Super Member
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    I bought a cover for the feed dogs and tried it today. If the foot is down I can't move the fabric at all--so I sewed with the foot up--and then there's thick bobbin threads all along the stitching--so that's out.

    How do you do it :?: :?: :?:

  2. #2
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    Do you have a spring (darning) foot?

    If you can, release or lower the pressure on the presser foot.

    It is harder to do free motion quilting with the feed dog cover (instead of dropping the feed dogs) because it does reduce the space between the presser foot and the plate, making it harder to move the quilt.

  3. #3
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    Karla...you have to use the correct foot along with the plate that covers up the feed dogs. Mine is called a "darning or embroidery" foot. It could be called a free motion foot or something similar. This foot will go up and down over the fabric, but will not go down so far that it will hold the fabric in place ( do you know what I mean?) You have to put the foot down lever down or you will end up with all those nasty bobbin thread (like you already found out).

    Good luck..you can do it! (My hubby had to figure out the way to do it and show me :oops: Thank goodness he's so darn smart!)

  4. #4
    Senior Member Lisa's Avatar
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    Karla I just want to encourage you not to give up. I had the same problem with my bobbin thread until I realized I needed a darning foot, it makes all the difference in the world. I'm lucky that I can drop my feet. Keep working on it until you get it going right for you and then practice, practice practice. I just finished my first stippling quilt after practicing for hours on smaller pieces and it is a whole new ballgame when you put a full size quilt under the needle. I did a horrible job, several, numerous places where my stitches were too close together and the next thing you know they are too far apart. I have points!!!!!not a good thing on stippling but I am still so pleased just for the fact that I have that experience under my belt now, I knew that it would be imperfect and that it will be for awhile until I have better control. But I want you to keep at it because it is so fun and rewarding! Get that foot and get going! Good luck!
    Lisa

  5. #5
    Super Member Minda's Avatar
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    Karla, don't give up. As Cathe said, be sure to lower the foot pressure to be able to move the fabric. Free motion quilting does take a lot of practice and each machine is different. Keep trying and keep asking questions.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the encouraging words. I have to find the right foot! Maybe I have one. :? Are they a standard with machines? I never think I'll find something that will fit my old girl. What do they look like?

    I want to be able to quilt some of my smaller stuff. I have 5 tops piled up now. :roll:

  7. #7
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    If you can't find a foot for your specific machine, try it with just the needle, make sure you put the lever down though so it's not going to snarl the bobbin threads. Sometimes you can get just a spring rather than a full foot...hopefully there's something easy & not too pricey out there for you to practice with.

  8. #8

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    Barnbum,,,,Like Cathe said try the spring on the pressure ft, If that dosen't work, then remove the ft. I have an ole industrial singer (my second machine) that I take the ft off of, and it works great. Just remeber you don't have to move the fabric as fast as the machine is going. Relax your neck and upper arms. Heres a pratice thing I did to get my control of fabric. Take some scraps and make them like mini quilts, draw circles and swirls on them and pratice by following those designs on your scraps, it helps in learning your control and the movement allows you to get the feel of how to move the fabric. Just DON"T GIVE UP, Barnbum your one savy lady and you will have it in no time. I'll be waiting to see your work.......

  9. #9
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    Practice, practice, practice. When I first started free motion quilting I used a 9inch square with batt and backing and practiced by trying to write my name. Yes, a spring loaded foot and feed dogs down is what I do. I relate it like trying to play the piano. You need to get the rythum going. Good Luck Marge

  10. #10
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    Bum, try using something like a business card taped over the dogs enstead of the cover, the darning foot has an arm that goes over the needle screw so that it raises when the needle does and that's when the fabric moves. Remember, it takes more motor, less motion, and like we always say " LOTSA PRATICE" good luck

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