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Thread: FEED DOG QUESTION

  1. #1

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    I almost feel embarrased to ask this question, but how do you drop the feed dog for stippling or machine quilting? I think I have heard if you can't (or don't know how) you can put a piece of masking tape over the feed dog. Any ideas for me? :D

  2. #2

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    I think it depends on what kind of machine you have. You should be able to find it in your manual if you can drop the feed dogs and how. I have a Bernina and there is a square button you depress at the side of the machine; same side as the on/off button.

    I too have read that a card over the feeds dogs works but have never tried it. I think I saw on Alex Anderson's Simple Quilts a lady that said she quilted with the feed dogs up.

    Judy

  3. #3

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    I'd be embarrased to mention the machine I use however, the feed dog switch is actually right under the panel that the fabric runs across. I had to remove the compartment on the front... the same one to remove my bobbin... to find it.

    as a note I'd be embarrased to mention the machine.. but no embarrased to show pics of my quilts. :)

  4. #4
    BarbC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judy Gail
    I think I saw on Alex Anderson's Simple Quilts a lady that said she quilted with the feed dogs up.
    I do that. The feed dogs on my machine don't stick up much at all... and I have found it easier to do straight line quilting with them in tact. Now I haven't really done much free motion, except to practice. With that I need to cover them. Barb C.

  5. #5

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    I have tried stippling with the feed dogs up and found it to be ok,not supposed to be the done thing I know but it was something I read on another quilting site one day and decided to give it a go.
    Dianne :D

  6. #6
    Jezebel George's Avatar
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    Sibble, what model of sewing machine do you have?

  7. #7

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    Thanks, everyone!
    I'll try some of your suggestions and look more closely at my machine to see if I can find a button. I have a Singer, but it's one of the cheaper styles with no decorative stitching or "bells and whistles".

    Thanks again.....

  8. #8
    BarbC's Avatar
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    [quote=Sibble] I have a Singer, but it's one of the cheaper styles with no decorative stitching or "bells and whistles".[quote]

    Those basic machines work fine! I have a very basic Brother that has no bells and whistles and I have made many a quilt on it. This year I have pieced 11 tops and quilted 7 of them on my "cheap" machine and they turned out great!

    Barb C.

  9. #9

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    One thing you could try is to put your stitch size to 0. Then the feed dogs won't move at all when you are doing free motion quilting. I do that even when I lower my feed dogs - I think it saves wear and tear on the machine.

  10. #10
    Boo
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    Excellent tip, Jeans! Why didn't I think of that? :lol:

  11. #11

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    My machine comes with a button to drop the feed dog, but if yours dosen't, Your right, use a piece of tape to cover the feed dog, I have stippled the last three quilts I've done, I love the visual effect as well as the the feel of the stippling. Let me know how it goes? Have you stippled before? If not remeber, pratice, pratice, pratice. Thats how I learned.

  12. #12
    Super Member Knot Sew's Avatar
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    What is stippling? :roll:

  13. #13

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    Stippling is free motion quilting, You drop your feed dog and move the fabric around as you sew, If you have a machine that goes by just pushing a button, you press the button and move it around, the idea is to make curves kind like a jig saw puzzle piece. don't cross over lines just curve and wind around. You hold the fabric snuggly and move it around. You work in small areas at a time. Thats how I was taught 2 yrs ago, I have since learned that its about finding the speed that is comfortable for you as you do this. At first it did'nt look the way I was taught, So I almost gave up. But I was told do this for maybe 30 mins every day for a week and you'll get the hang of it. And BINGO, I did, and it did, I've seen it done on vests and pillows and quilt. I love the visual effect, I use it alot when I do echo quilting, then I stipple in the blank areas.
    Also think about this it's Free Motion quilting, it's about being your own artist and creating what You like. You do not have to have a push button machine, you can do it with a pressure foot as well.

  14. #14

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    Did you use masking tape to cover the feed dog? Someone mentioned setting the thread count to "0"....tried that and didn't work. I used some thin cardboard over the feet....perhaps too thick. Explain a little more how you stippled w/o lowering the feet... Tx

  15. #15

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    I had to drop my feed dog, because I could'nt stipple with it up. When I said you can use the pressure foot, I meant the pressure foot on the floor, Have you removed your throat plate on your machine, the piece that goes over your feed dog? Is there a way to drop the feed dog from inside there? Have you looked in the manual? Also try this web site for maybe some better ideas then I can offer. www.valeriehearder.com/information.htm. Or if that dosen't work, go to your closest book store and go into the craft section and check out their quilting books to see if they have any info, or your library . I've done this many times to get the info I need and I'll sometimes research before I jump in.I hope I've helped some, Don't get frustrated,

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sibble
    Explain a little more how you stippled w/o lowering the feet... Tx
    I drop the feeddogs now but used to machine quilt with them up. On some machines there is a dial on the left-hand side that controls the pressure on the feet, in other words, how closely the foot hits the feeddogs. Try decreasing that pressure. I had a Viking and put it on "2" (I am not talking about the thread tension dial.)

    Judy

  17. #17
    dae
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    Do not use the regular sewing foot. You can use an embroidery foot, or quilting/darning foot with circular hole. I have even done it without any foot. MANY years ago I used a little spring device that fit over the bar by the needle that cost $1.(!) I didn't know at that time that my OLD Singer had a way to drop the feed dogs, but I covered them with tape. I darned LOTS of my kids socks that way, before I ever thought about quilting, and it would have worked the same way. I have stippled several quilts now. Just takes PRACTICE!! Don't give up! I still like my 55 year old Singer in a cabinet better than the machines that don't have a large flat working area.

  18. #18
    Boo
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    Okay, and now a word from mommy Boo. Please do not stipple without a foot!!! The chance of puncturing your finger is very high. I worked a few years in the ER and believe me, the girl that is sitting at the registration desk doesn't want to see a needle sticking out of your finger! You do realize that once it goes in and bends, someone has to take it out. Consider the other patients who will cringe at the sound of your scream. They have feelings too.

  19. #19
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    my sister works at Sears (repairs sewing machines) and a lady brought her neighbor in sewing machine and all because she had sewn her finger but they sent her to the hospital and would not let my sister raise the needle. Too much liability.

  20. #20

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    My machine has a button on the back to drop the feed dog. What kind of machine do you have? Do you have a manual with it? Check in there to see if they have a section on it? It mite be located underneat the throat plate. If not try the tape, but I suggest using wide scoth tape, It is slicker then masking tape and therefore easier to slide around your fabric for stippling, As to where masking tape has a rougher top texture making it more of a strain to move your fabric around.I personaly have never stippled with the feed dog up. Let me know how it goes.

  21. #21
    Super Member ConnieF's Avatar
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    Hello Ruthie, Stippling is a freehand motion where you sew in as I teach like puzzel pieces, and you never cross a line of stitching. That takes a lot of practice but is addddddicting. The biggest thing is to breath. You can't do it if you don't breath. LOL There is stippling where you can cross the lines like stars or curlie q's or spikes and so on. It is used to make turpunto stand up real small or larger just to quilt a whole quilt.
    Hope you can get the picture here. Sorta hard to explain... happy quilting.
    Connie :lol:

  22. #22
    Suz
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    Sibble,
    I let my feeddogs up but have lessened the pressure on my presser foot. One of my machines has three settings, another has a "bolt-like" post that can be turned to tighten or lessen the pressure.
    You can test the pressure by putting your presser foot down and then attempt to lift it by hand from the back of the foot. Obviously, if it is difficult to lift, you will need to loosen same. Because you have three layers going under the needle the machine will require a bit more space, thus lessened pressure in order for your project sandwich to flow.
    To cover your feeddogs, I would hesitate to use any kind of tape over them owing to the possibility of the tape residue getting into my machine guts and gumming it up. I have heard of taping a credit-card like card over the feeddogs.
    Ask me to clarify if this is not clear and helpful. Blessings, Suz

  23. #23
    Member allets's Avatar
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    You don't have to drop the feed dogs. I have stippled on a Brother, Bernina and a older Singer that doesn't have a way to drop feed dogs. The main thing is to use a darning foot or a universal Big Foot. These let the material ride above the feed dogs when the pressure bar is lowered and the feed dogs actually help control your movement. You can set your stitch length to 0 if you want but it doesn't effect your stitch length, they are controlled by the speed you move your material in relation to the speed of your machine. If you move your material slow you will have little stitches, if you move it fast you will get big stitches. Practice until you have the right rhythm between the movement of your quilt and the speed of your machine. Practice does it. Good luck.

    Stella

  24. #24

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    I have a Brother and it has a plastic disc that snaps over the feed dog.
    I have also straight line quilted with the feed dog up. Works pretty well.
    I'm new at quilting and sewing. Just been retired and starting out. Really enjoy it. :)

  25. #25
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    If you are just starting to stipple and are tense about crossing over the lines as you go, then print a stipple design on a large piece of paper, take the thread out of your machine, lower feed dogs and follow the stipple lines on the paper with your needle. This will get your hands, arms and movement into the stipple motion. Practice this, then practice on fabric. Place a stipple design sheet under some light fabric, draw the lines on your fabric and then go to the machine and follow the lines. Once your hands, foot and eye can follow the lines, they will remember that motion when you are free motioning later.

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