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advice please/ free motion quilting

advice please/ free motion quilting

Old 07-28-2015, 07:53 PM
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Default advice please/ free motion quilting

I'm hoping to find advice about free motion quilting. I used to use an old Brother machine and for the most part it worked nicely. I was given a Viking "Lily" that is computerized and have made several art quilts with it. But, it doesn't move smooth as butter, like I've seen other machines move. The feed dogs are down, yet no matter the speed, it has a slight "ker-chunk" feel to it. I recently had it serviced and it is running fine, but when I've watched videos online, I can tell that those machines are moving without any drag whatsoever. I'm wondering if I need to upgrade to a better machine? If so, what price range/or machine would be good?

Last edited by JustBobbysgirl; 07-28-2015 at 08:07 PM.
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Old 07-28-2015, 08:43 PM
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Each major brands have good machines and you need to decide how much you want to spend. I love my Bernina 440 but it was about $3000 a few years ago.
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Old 07-28-2015, 08:59 PM
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I'm willing to save a little while, if that is what the problem is. I guess that is my main question, is the slight clunky feel from an inferior machine, or is it my user error? I've been free motion quilting for several years now, so I'm thinking maybe it's not "just me". My thoughts are that the machine shouldn't drag at all.
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Old 07-28-2015, 10:38 PM
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Try spraying or rather polishing the area where the quilt goes, as it may be this surface may be sticky to the fabric.
now adays plenty of machines on the market juki do a range which are not too pricey but janome brother and others also offer excellent workhorses.
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Old 07-29-2015, 03:31 AM
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Did you take it to a Viking service/dealer? If so check with them & see if you could take a quilting class. My viking dealer offers many classes and when having any issues I've found that's the best way to deal with it. They see what problem you are having and either teach you what to do differently or what you may need to make it better.
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Old 07-29-2015, 03:50 AM
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What exactly do you mean by 'drag'? If the needle isn't out of the fabric yet and you try and move it, it will catch. This means that you are moving the fabric too quickly, or running the machine a too low a speed. If it's physically dragging on the machine bed, polishing it or using a super slider may help. And finally, Viking makes a hopping foot. I would see if it is available for your model. There is a special setting you have to use with it and I'm not sure if the Lily has this available.
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Old 07-29-2015, 04:30 AM
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Can you take pressure Off the presses foot? This helps the material glide smoothly Just remember to mark where the mark is so when you do regular sewing the pressure is correct
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Old 07-29-2015, 04:51 AM
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I usually find drag is cause by no support for the weight of the quilt hanging over the edge of a table. I bought my Bernina 1530 for under $1,000 and back in the 90s. My baby won me many awards for my quilts when I was in competition. I am still piecing and quilting with her.
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Old 07-29-2015, 10:49 AM
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By "drag", I mean it feels like it stops for a very small fraction of a second. When I took it to my quilt shop for service, afterward I tried to show one of their teachers what I meant. She said that it is running fine. I am using a super slider and it doesn't look like the needle is catching. I bought a free motion foot that was for the viking. When I've used my old Brother machine, it doesn't do this. But that machine is a much lower quality machine.

I just tried lowering the presser foot pressure. It feels about the same. The stitching is smooth, but if you watch my hands, it looks as if they are vibrating. Wondering if it is just the quality of the machine? Maybe I'm being too picky?
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Old 07-29-2015, 11:22 AM
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You might want to save up for a Juki to do free motion quilting (about $1,000). Not every machine is going to be perfect for FMQ. It may just be that the Viking you have is great for other things, but not so great for FMQ. The Juki is great for piecing (has no zigzag or decorative stitches) and for FMQ.
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