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Thread: Feed dogs and the 1/4" seam

  1. #1
    Super Member redstilettos's Avatar
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    Feed dogs and the 1/4" seam

    Okay, I have issues sewing a decent 1/4" seam. When I place the fabric to the needle, the 1/4" mark only hits the left feed dog, not the right, so it "pulls" funny.

    Is this normal? I just think the fabric would feed better if both sides of the dog were feeding at the same time.

    Thoughts?

  2. #2
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Interesting. What brand and model of machine do you have? Can you move your needle position?
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
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  3. #3
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    What foot are you using on your machine? There are different ones with the 1/4 inch guide that help with those pesky seam allowance issues.

    Can you show us a picture please?

  4. #4
    Super Member quiltsRfun's Avatar
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    I had that problem with my 1/4 inch foot so I experimented with different feet and needle positions until I found what works for me.

  5. #5
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    I had the same problem with a newer machine with the wide feed dogs. Drove me nuts. I found a foot that was wide enough to fit over both feed dogs with the needle moved to the right that gave me the 1/4" inch. It was the plastic foot that came with the machine that I never thought to use. I still wonder why a plastic foot in with all the metal ones.
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  6. #6
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    Bonnie Hunter loves the old straight stitch machines because the feed dogs are right under the foot. On newer machines the 1/4 foot can cause the problem you are having. If you can move your needle position that might help. You might also try Bonnie Hunter's seam guide trick on the right side of the machine bed to give you a fabric guide. She uses a command strip and a section of a plastic card stuck her machine bed. If you go to her site, it is under Best Machine Guide Ever I think.

  7. #7
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    I like my plastic foot! I can "see" through it to help line up, etc.

    Like many others my 1/4" seam is perfect if I line up my fabric just at the left edge of the right feed dog. so far with the IDT on my Pfaff it isn't a problem but I certainly would prefer if both feed dogs were in use!
    Last edited by Kitsie; 07-06-2018 at 08:09 AM.
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  8. #8
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    The plastic foot that was with my metal feet is white, not clear, plastic. If you use your machine primarily for piecing be sure before you buy one you can get a 1/4 seam with both feed dogs under the foot.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
    Being cheap is not a badge of honor.
    My heroes are working people, paying their own way, taking care of their children and being decent human beings.

  9. #9
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onebyone View Post
    The plastic foot that was with my metal feet is white, not clear, plastic. If you use your machine primarily for piecing be sure before you buy one you can get a 1/4 seam with both feed dogs under the foot.
    the white plastic foot is Teflon for sewing vinyl, plastic etc. But you can use it for anything!
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
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  10. #10
    Senior Member lyric girl's Avatar
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    A 5.5 mm machine would fix that problem.

  11. #11
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lyric girl View Post
    A 5.5 mm machine would fix that problem.
    Most newer machines have the 7 mm for larger decorative stitches. Even the ones promoted for quilters. Something I didn't really think about. Unless it has a 1/4" foot that fits over the feed dogs it is a frustration. My old trusty Bernina is still going strong with the 5 mm width.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
    Being cheap is not a badge of honor.
    My heroes are working people, paying their own way, taking care of their children and being decent human beings.

  12. #12
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I don't have that problem with any of my machines.
    Another Phyllis
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  13. #13
    Senior Member TheMerkleFamily's Avatar
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    Only have that problem on the Janome 8900 with the narrow 1/4" foot - just as others have mentioned, once I put the larger/wider foot on, to fully cover the wider feed dogs, the problem is gone! I also am consistent in using a 'seam guide' to the right of the presser foot to ensure I line the fabric up correctly - without it I find my stitching gets a little wavy.

    Curious what machine you have?

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    When "Mrs. Santa Claus" gave me permission to buy my new machine at the International Quilt Festival last year, I was over the moon for several weeks. My first purchase after that was a 1/4" foot. Mine is wider at the back so the feed dogs make contact with the fabric, but it tapers toward the front so that the seam comes out perfect -- perfect being a relative term, though, since I am often in so much of a hurry that it is "approximately" a 1/4" seam. Ha!

    The foot is a metal one and allows only a straight stitch, but that it what it is for anyway. No more having to tape a piece of paper to the machine bed!!
    Sometimes I try to act "normal," but it gets boring so I just go back to being myself.

  15. #15
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    I had that issue on the first few quilts I made because I used the only sewing machine I had back them. My original singer 327 which is a mechanical zig zag and had no option to move the needle for straight sewing. I put some post it notes on the stitch plate to guide me but had to be careful because I was only able to keep the fabric on the left feed dog. I have since expanded my herd
    Alyce

  16. #16
    Senior Member lyric girl's Avatar
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    You can also use a single needle needle plate which helps.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Fizzle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redstilettos View Post
    Okay, I have issues sewing a decent 1/4" seam. When I place the fabric to the needle, the 1/4" mark only hits the left feed dog, not the right, so it "pulls" funny.

    Is this normal? I just think the fabric would feed better if both sides of the dog were feeding at the same time.

    Thoughts?
    Hi Red. I also have that issue. Bernina 770. But if I use the 57 or 97 feet it does help. Also using a leader piece of fabric. I just got The Ideal Seam Guide. Going to try that also. I understand what you are saying and these answers really don’t address that particular issue but every little thing we do helps... We thought the wider stitch would be so awesome, didn’t we!
    Hope all is well with you! !

  18. #18
    Super Member rusty quilter's Avatar
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    Had the same problem with my 770QE. It was not till they came out with the 97 foot, that my seams would be 1/4". I was pretty frustrated that I had to buy yet another expensive Bernina foot, to try to resolve my problem. It just seems like for the money we paid for those machines...this should have been addressed when they were designed.

  19. #19
    Super Member Aurora's Avatar
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    I have found that if I line my fabric up with the right outside edge of the feed dogs, I get a perfect 1/4" seam on my Viking 6440. I gave up on a 1/4" foot, the guide was too flexible. I also use painters tape to extend the length of my guide line. My original 1970's Viking included a 1/4" foot that also works great. I used it to place that tape marking location.
    Aurora

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  20. #20
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    If you take off your presser foot, you will find that there is another feed dog right behind the needle. That is what helps guide the fabric when the right feed dog doesn't connect.
    Mavita - Square dancer and One Room School Teacher

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