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Thread: Bogging down my sewing machine

  1. #1
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    Angry Bogging down my sewing machine

    My mother-in-law came over last Saturday to help me set up my quilt. It is about queen sized. When I tried to do a straight (ha ha) stitch in the ditch my sewing machine acts like it is going to die. My stitch length is on the longest setting, but it is still stitching so close and tight that it took me a day to rip out a row that I messed up. I have a card table set up beside me to try and help hold the weight of the material, and I have tried to sew faster, slower, medium and nothing seems to help. Do any of you have any suggestions? Has anyone else had this problem?
    I really want to finish this quilt soon so I can begin another project
    Newbie Jamerz

  2. #2
    Senior Member Up4BigChal's Avatar
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    Are you using a walking foot? It sounds like there is too much pressure on your quilt??
    Your signature ID: 54489-296-2CF6E9BBE4DB9B078ACCB9FB17BC3416

  3. #3
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    Are you using a walking foot?

  4. #4
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    Is the sewing machine sewing OK if you are not working on the quilt?

    I have to support the front of the quilt also, so that the machine is not trying to pull up all that weight. I usually sew with one hand under the quilt, in front of the machine, lifting the quilt slightly. I stop and start frequently to readjust the quilt.

  5. #5
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    My machine has done that a time or two and each time my thread has been caught on something that didn't allow it to feed properly. If you haven't already you might try re-threading. I hope you have it figured out soon and that it is nothing $$$$.

  6. #6
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    You did not mention what kind of sewing machine you are using. If you are not using a walking foot perhaps you can increase the foot pressure on your machine. Check your machine manual for the instructions. That might help you.
    Sweet Caroline

  7. #7
    Senior Member Digitizingqueen's Avatar
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    I totally agree with the walking foot recomendation it helps feed the layers of your quilt whin sewing- also dont push or pull on your fabric ...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by gailinva View Post
    Are you using a walking foot?
    I am using what my manual calls a general purpose foot ?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caroline S View Post
    You did not mention what kind of sewing machine you are using. If you are not using a walking foot perhaps you can increase the foot pressure on your machine. Check your machine manual for the instructions. That might help you.
    Singer Stylist free arm model 534.
    My mother-in-law gave it to me for my birthday a few years ago. It was her mothers.

    I also have a montgomery ward machine that was my mother's high school graduation present I believe. No new machine here!!!
    i took my mom's in to a repair shop before I started sewing with it a few years ago and told the repair guy that i wanted to learn to sew and do simple quilting, he said that these old machines can do everything a newer one can do as far as straight stitching and they hold up better ??

  10. #10
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    Have you tried a smaller throw away piece? You know a small quilt of the same thickness? Have you changed the tension? Does your sewing machine need a tune-up? Do you have an ironing board ? Set it up on the other side of your sewing machine so the quilt has support? Do you need a new needle? Maybe you need a break....Start a new project and walk away. Give it a few days then try again. If all else fails go buy new fabric. It works every time.

  11. #11
    Super Member Caroline S's Avatar
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    OK. It sounds as if you need to find out if a walking foot is available for your machines. Do an Internet search for your machine model and walking foot. I am sure a walking foot will solve your problem. Keep us posted on your search. You might also post on the Wanted to Buy section of the QB for a walking foot.
    Sweet Caroline

  12. #12
    Super Member Val in IN's Avatar
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    I agree that the walking foot is probably the fix. A queen sized quilt is going to be heavy and bulky, you need to support as much of it as possible on tables.

  13. #13
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    You absolutely need a walking foot like prior posters have said.

  14. #14
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    Have you made sure the feed dogs are up?

  15. #15
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    Is your machine set into a table or on top? If it's on top, all of the quilt must be up on your table or it won't feed. A big quilt is too heavy for a machine to sew and feed. As Buckeye Rose mentioned, on straight stitching your feed dogs remain up. Are you using a high loft batt? That will make it harder to feed also. Your very brave for attempting a Queen size on a domestic machine. I've only done a twin so far.

  16. #16
    Super Member butterflies5518's Avatar
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    Mine will do small stitches as well if not using the walking foot - I too had to play nice with Mr. Rip.
    Quilting makes me happy!..

  17. #17
    Super Member wolph33's Avatar
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    walking foot is the answer- makes a world of difference
    http://www.etsy.com/shop/Upnorthcrafter

  18. #18
    Super Member quiltinghere's Avatar
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    I agree that a walking foot will help the 3 layers walk (move) with the aid of the feed dogs. Without the walking foot the quilt is just hanging around not going anywhere because the feed dogs can't move it all by themselves.

    Walking foot shouldn't be that costly for an older model machine... Good luck will be watching to see if you get it 'walking'!
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    My GOAL is to ALWAYS ENJOY EVERY STEP of the quilting process....

  19. #19
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    An earlier post mentioned to tighten the footntension, I think i would try loosening it a click or two and also invest in a walking foot, also called an even feed foot. You will love it! Along with all the other info here you will do fine.
    peace
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

  20. #20
    Super Member JUNEC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by neece View Post
    Have you tried a smaller throw away piece? You know a small quilt of the same thickness? Have you changed the tension? Does your sewing machine need a tune-up? Do you have an ironing board ? Set it up on the other side of your sewing machine so the quilt has support? Do you need a new needle? Maybe you need a break....Start a new project and walk away. Give it a few days then try again. If all else fails go buy new fabric. It works every time.
    That's what I would do - try a sample piece the thickness of the quilt you are trying to quilt

  21. #21
    Super Member CorgiNole's Avatar
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    I've noticed in practice pieces that the size and weight does affect stitch size. A walking foot should go a long way to fixing that problem. Also providing support for the weight of the piece as you feed it into the machine will help. I've been experimenting with ways to support the quilt. Leah Day rigged up an interesting system from the ceiling for one of her recent projects.

    Cheers, K

  22. #22
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    I think it is a walking foot problem. A general foot is not going to feed the fabric thru properly. Because you have older machines, you may have to do a little research to get a compatible walking foot, but I know they ARE available.
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

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