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Thread: FMQ and dropping the feed dog

  1. #1
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    Question FMQ and dropping the feed dog

    I am fairly new to quilting. I have done stitch in the ditch and a few simple diagonal lines on square blocks. I would like to try FMQ. I have a table runner that would be a good place to start-after LOTS of practice. I use an older Singer machine that does not allow me to drop the feed dog. How do I deal with this? Someone told me to tape a note card over the feed dog. Wouldn't that create a very rough surface pretty quickly as the card becomes full of needle holes?
    I appreciate any suggestions you can provide. Thank you, in advance, for your help!

  2. #2
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    You would cut a little hole for the needle before taping it on. Or you can set the stitch length at 0 and it should work just fine. Or you can buy a cover for your machine that screws into the bed. It should be cheap enough from eBay. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Some fmq with the feed dogs up. It works fine but it's not good for your machine over time.
    Got fabric?

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    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I would probably tape a piece of vinyl over the feed dogs -- slipperier than a notecard. With this method of covering the feed dogs you *must* set your stitch length to 0 so the feed dogs don't move. And as misskira noted, you make a small hole in the covering for the needle.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo View Post
    Some fmq with the feed dogs up. It works fine but it's not good for your machine over time.
    ????? How's that? I learned in a class from someone who has been doing it this way for a couple of decades.

  6. #6
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Yes, some people find it easier to FMQ with the feed dogs up. A lot depends on the specific machine and quilter.

  7. #7
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I read an article about sewing machine dos and don'ts. It explained why it was bad but I don't remember the details. I'll try and find the article.
    Got fabric?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    Would frog tape work? It is painting tape that is easy to remove without hurting yor machine. It is silicone coated so it is slick enough for fmq. Just a thought.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tashana View Post
    Would frog tape work? It is painting tape that is easy to remove without hurting yor machine. It is silicone coated so it is slick enough for fmq. Just a thought.
    Good thought, but since the underside is sticky I think the feed dogs might chew it up a bit. Maybe not though.

  10. #10
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    I heard using an old credit or Atm card works better than tape or cardboard
    Retta97

  11. #11
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    For older machines I always recommend to cover the feed dogs if they don't lower. I use a piece of thin plastic. Cards will work if in an emergency and I can't find the plastic. Also on older machines to dial the stitch down to 0 so the feed dogs don't move. I don't want those dogs chewing on the bottom of the quilt.
    I know some don't drop the feed dogs and leave them moving and it works, but I want to disengage as much of that mechanism as possible and make the surface smooth. I have found that in some cases because of the printing process that the color/dye can be scratched off the lining. Better to be safe than disappointed. Just punch a hold in the card or plastic. I had a case one time when a student brought a featherweight in and the cover to the bobbin was left at home. We just taped a card over the area and it sewed fine.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Termi's Avatar
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    If you can dial the stitch length to 0 that would be the best way I think.

  13. #13
    Senior Member quilter711's Avatar
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    Yes, stitch length to zero with feed dogs up! Some older machines will work better for fmq this way. Leah Day's website has lots of info. and designs for fmq. Good luck and practice!
    quilter711
    Nancy

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