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feed dogs - any feedback///knowledge?

feed dogs - any feedback///knowledge?

Old 10-09-2010, 04:25 AM
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first time I have heard of this...now I need to figure out how to lower the feed dogs - quilts using a sewing machine - either lower the feed dogs and guide the fabric by hand (free-motion) or set the feed dogs up let the machine guide the fabric (machine-guided).

question...if I have a walking foot do I need to worry about the feed dogs?
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Old 10-09-2010, 04:27 AM
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I believe with feed dogs that the feet need to be up as it is part of the system of moving the fabric thru.
Free motion in order to get the fabric to move where you want it doing things like circles, feed dogs need to be down.
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Old 10-09-2010, 04:49 AM
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If you are using a walking foot, you must have the feed dogs up or you loose the benefits of the walking foot which is to have the top and lower layers feed equally through the machine. Some people even leave the feed dogs up during FMQ just to help somewhat with moving the fabric around.
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Old 10-09-2010, 05:02 AM
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The walking foot uses a combination of the feed dogs up and engaged, moving the bottom layer along, as the walking foot is "stepping up and over" on top to allow the top layer and batting to move along with the bottom layer; then the foot comes back down and the machine makes a stitch. This allows you to make essentially "normal" lines of stitching through the thick layers with minimal shifting.

The feed dogs lowered position is used with FMQ or free-motion quilting so that you can move the quilt around freely as one layer as you stitch.
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Old 10-09-2010, 05:07 AM
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Scowlkat your baby is so cute.
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Old 10-09-2010, 05:13 AM
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carolaug - you need to check the manual for your machine to see if you have the ability to drop your feed dogs. If you cannot, you may have a flat plate in your attachments to use for covering them...and some folks use tape or paper to cover them if they cannot be lowered.
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Old 10-09-2010, 05:16 AM
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Thanks!!!! You all have been very helpful...checking my manual. The manual is horrible...love the machine, not the manual. It's one of the new Kenmore machines
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Old 10-09-2010, 07:19 AM
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Check your model number online for a manual. My machine came with a booklet of about 6 pages but I found a 90 page manual online.
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Old 10-09-2010, 08:33 AM
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You don't have to worry about dropping the feed dogs if you use a walking foot. It needs the feeddogs up, just as with regular presser feet.

Lowering the feed dogs is done for darning and free motion quilting. However, some people actually find it easier to FMQ with the feed dogs up so it can be optional there too.

For machines where the feed dogs cannot be dropped (older vintage machines), people cover the feed dogs when they don't want them in use. There are actual feed dog covers, but they can also be covered with a notecard and some tape to keep it in place; the needle makes a hole in the notecard.
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Old 10-09-2010, 08:57 AM
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I always wonder about the quality of the free motion quilting with the feed dogs engaged. Appears to me that the feed dogs are pulling your bottom fabric one direction while you hands are trying to pull the fabric in another.
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