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Thread: FMQ do you the foot pedal or not?

  1. #1
    Super Member meyert's Avatar
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    FMQ do you the foot pedal or not?

    I have always used my foot pedal when I FMQ (I say "always" but I have only been doing FMQ for 9 months or so). I heard somewhere that some people do not use the foot pedal that they use the On/Off button and adjust speed with the speed control. Last night I tried that for the first time, and wow it was different. I only did a little bit, but I am thinking I will finish my quilt without the foot control. I am wondering if anyone else does the FMQ without the foot pedal and if there are things I should look out for. Any tips or warnings?

  2. #2
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    I don't believe I have that option on my older Bernina.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  3. #3
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    I prefer to have my hands free so I use my foot pedal.

  4. #4
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    I've tried the on/off method but haven't used it enough to get comfortable with it. It's a little bit like cruise-control on the car... you really need to keep alert on those curves! Have fun playing with it, and hopefully you'll have more perseverance than me

  5. #5
    Super Member Doggramma's Avatar
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    Oh my gosh, I would never use the on/off button (just me!). I pushed it once accidentally and it made me panicky. I like to be in control with my foot pedal.
    Lori

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  6. #6
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    I like my foot pedal and my knee controller on my 401.

  7. #7
    Super Member meyert's Avatar
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    no tips huh? sounds like I tried something really different! Well I like having my hands free too, but I can hit my stop button with my thumb and keep my hand on the fabric. Whether that means I have big hands or just a different machine I don't know. I don't change the speed once I start, I just continue at the same speed so what that seems to do is keep my stitches the same length (or at least much better than when I use my foot pedal)... something that some of you can do with your foot pedal no doubt, but my stitches are all crazy and different. I will do some more tonight and then after that I may decide that I hate it
    Last edited by meyert; 12-19-2014 at 08:17 AM.

  8. #8
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    I use vintage machines and I have a cabinet with a knee controller that I love. I much prefer it to a foot controller. I have better control over my speed and stitches whatever kind of sewing or quilting I'm doing.

    Cari

  9. #9
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    I have used on/off when fmq. I am a relative newbie to quilting having only taken an interest in quilting since 2009 and my "proper" machine being a janome 6600p last year for christmas after using a modern featherweight machine in case it was a passing whim. I like using the on off button because for me, it takes care of keeping the speed of the machine constant. I don't know if I would do it different if I had learnt with a machine without the off/on button ?

  10. #10
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    ​I tried it but couldn't get used to it. Too many years using the foot pedal I guess.

  11. #11
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    I can't imagine using the on/off button because I need to have both hands in place and ready to quilt when the machine starts. I learned to FMQ many years ago before I had a machine with an on/off button.
    Pat

    Pfaff 7510, Viking Mega Quilter, Viking Quilt Designer II, Singer Treadle

    http://craftypat.blogspot.com/

  12. #12
    Super Member sewingsuz's Avatar
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    I just wish I could get half good at FMQ.
    Suzanne
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  13. #13
    Super Member meyert's Avatar
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    kindleaddict63 - thank you for your response. I was starting to think that I must have just dreamed that someone said they use the on/off button. Plus I am using a Janome 6600P as well. I did a little more this evening, and I think I am liking it for just the reason you said... consistent speed. With the foot pedal I can really get going too fast. (I can't drive 55)

  14. #14
    Super Member meyert's Avatar
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    sewingsuz - just keep practicing... I don't think I do very well myself. I just consider it all practice. Plus when I do the Quilts for Kids kits that is wonderful practice. I want the quilts to be nice for the kids, but I don't think the kids will notice my stitch length or wobbly lines

  15. #15
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    I really need to practice more. I usually do a lg meander stitch & am trying to stretch a little. I have had the on/off button on my Janome & also on my new Bernina but it always startles me when I use it. I runs much faster than when I use my foot pedal. I have been doing some sort of sewing for over 40 years & always used the foot/knee pedal so the button is something I need to practice more as well as using the open toe embroidery foot so I'm not turning the whole quilt to outline. These last few months have been a learning time for me.

  16. #16
    Super Member Cybrarian's Avatar
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    I took a class with Jean Ann Wright at the Quilt show in Raleigh, NC last summer (she is a great teacher!) although the class wasn't on FMQ she talked about using the start and stop for FMQ and said it takes time to get used to it, but will greatly improve your FMQ if you stick with it. When several of us said we didn't think we could do it-she said take your foot pedal off your machine so you have to use the start /stop button. I haven't had a chance to work on this yet, but I want to get better by using this method.
    Last edited by Cybrarian; 12-19-2014 at 10:10 PM.
    “Come to me all you who are weary and I will give you rest”~Jesus

  17. #17
    Super Member Knitette's Avatar
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    As a relatively new quilter, the first time I FMQ'd it was with the on/off button. I like it because you can really concentrate on getting an even speed with your hands without having to think about your foot pedal. When I upgraded to another brand without an on/off button, I missed it so much I upgraded again. This time I not only have an on/off button, but I can also stop my machine by tapping the foot pedal too.
    Lang may yer lum reek. (I'm a knitter - hence - 'Knit-ette'. Confuses a lot of people!)

  18. #18
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    I tried with the on/off button but I just wasn't comfortable with it. Too much of a panic to keep pace. I need to go slow to start off evenly and I pick up the pace on curves and really slow down for bubbles and going over lines. I did much nicer work and enjoyed it more when I decided tho try to keep my speed paced to my hands.

  19. #19
    Super Member donna13350's Avatar
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    I could never get the hand/foot coordination right with the foot pedal...the on/off button changed my life! I went from a so-so quilter, to being able to do much more intricate designs. It gave me confidence to try new things. I love the speed control, too..nothing to worry about but where your design is headed! If something happened to my machine today, I'd buy another one tomorrow with the stop/start button..no going back for me!
    Also...no more tension in my shoulders ...I can sit so comfortably now that I don't need to use a foot pedal.
    Last edited by donna13350; 12-20-2014 at 03:38 AM. Reason: additional info

  20. #20
    Super Member donna13350's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by meyert View Post
    sewingsuz - just keep practicing... I don't think I do very well myself. I just consider it all practice. Plus when I do the Quilts for Kids kits that is wonderful practice. I want the quilts to be nice for the kids, but I don't think the kids will notice my stitch length or wobbly lines
    That's how I started out, I bought a bunch of cheap baby panels and just went for it. They are very simplistic looking back, but I learned a lot and got a lot of practice in!

  21. #21
    Senior Member Reba'squilts's Avatar
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    I use the on/off switch all the time. I have been doing FMQ for a year now and find that it works better for me. I adjust the speed and go. I have to be constant with the movement of the quilt. Of course I have to be constant when using the pedal! Just works better for me.

  22. #22
    Senior Member PghPat's Avatar
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    I just can't believe this board!!!!! No matter what I need help on it seems it pops up at just the right time. This morning I posted the following:

    Dag nabbit....one of these days I am going to get the hang of this...LOL. I ALWAYS use my "start/stop" button on my Janome 6600. This might be a dumb question but can I/do any of you use the S/S button when you do Free Motion Quilting?

    I need all all the help I can get. Thank you! Pat

    Then when I came on to look for answers someone referred me to this active post. Thank you all so much for the input. I agree with those of you that like using the Start/Stop button. I have never used my foot pedal since I got my machine in '09. I have made several attempts to FMQ - always with the S/S button but thought maybe I should be using the pedal - UGH! I do lots of Stitch In The Ditch with no trouble but haven't gotten good enough with the FMQ to feel comfortable doing it on a quilt. I guess it is like they say - practice - practice - practice.

    I am off to do that right now (with my S/S button...LOL. I just love this board - everyone is so helpful and so willing to help everyone else.


  23. #23
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    Thank you so much for starting this thread. It is something that I have always wondered about (using the start/stop). I use my button all the time so when I do use the foot pedal it takes a while getting adjusted to it and then I have to use it bare or stocking footed so I can feel like I have some control. It is fun to see how we all have different methods to try and achieve the same end result.

  24. #24
    Super Member wendiq's Avatar
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    I have tried to use the off/on button, but I panic when it doesn't shut off as soon as I think it should. So I use the foot petal because I think I have more control. I'd like to have some lessons on using the off/on button but for now, I think I'm too set in my ways and use the foot control.

  25. #25
    Super Member fivepaws's Avatar
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    Well, I will try the on off button again but really prefer my foot pedal. Since I have used a foot pedal for 60 years, guess it is hard to teach an old dog new tricks.
    All my grand-children have paws.

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