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Thread: FMQ Foot: Hopping vs Gliding

  1. #1
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    FMQ Foot: Hopping vs Gliding

    Friends, I have discovered a whole new world of frustration and now I think I understand better why others are frustrated with the look of their FMQ. I do have a question at the end, so please bear with me

    I recently bought a used Janome Horizon 7700 because I've dreamt of a bigger throat for years now. I still love my little Janome Magnolia 7318, but we simply don't have room for a longarm or a sitdown mid/longarm, so a big throat machine was what I knew I'd have to get. Great deal too!

    So I've heard from many about how the Janome Convertible FMQ foot is awesome, glorious, made of fluffy dream clouds, everything, and it came with the 7700 so I was super excited to try to FMQ on it. I just finished sandwiching a baby quilt for a friend's incoming baby so I started getting the 7700 ready. My 7318 has a hopping foot and I've felt pretty good about my stitch quality and length, and I've quilted many quilts on it from baby to king.

    Boy was I ever unprepared for the difference between a hopping foot to a gliding foot. The tension was terrible on my first test sandwich and I didn't realize it at first because I was thinking: gee this feels really weird, maybe this is one of those "sensitive" machines that doesn't like glue basting?? I'm in so much trouble if it won't let me glue baste.... Why is it making that sound? Why does it feel so odd?

    When I flipped it over, there were eyelashes everywhere. It was terrible. I could rip a stitch on the back about 3 inches away and just pull the thread straight out. Turns out the auto tension is bad news bears when FMQ and the gliding foot is very particular about the height it's set at. Great. Test sandwhich #2 turned out better, so I gave it a go on the baby quilt.

    I broke thread about 4 times in the first 5 minutes. I haven't built a foam insulation topper for the 7700 yet but you bet that's first on my list once there is time! The extension table simply doesn't provide enough space. Using books and boxes around the extension was better but still not great since the quilt still catches on the corners of books. Frustrating.

    Ok so here's the worst part: I've always heard people talk about how difficult it is to get consistent stitch length on their machine and I didn't really have this problem. Chalked it up to: 7318 is mechanical, simpler machine, maybe that's what made the difference for me. No! I think it's the hopping vs gliding foot! The gliding foot on the 7700 means there is absolutely no resistance when I'm moving the quilt under the needle. For me, that means sometimes the weight of the quilt in front of me is much harder to control and I can't move my hands smoothly (I've heard about putting a pillow in the lap to take the weight of the quilt, but I couldn't try that since our 2 year old was in the room with me). I also had to reposition my hands much more often. With the hopping foot, it provides a little bit of resistance - enough that I can actually let my hands get more than 6 inches away from the needle and still have control over the quilt. With the gliding foot, it was like trying to guide a slippery eel that was wriggling away from me! My stitch length was wildly inconsistent and boy is that ever frustrating to see.

    I knew there would be a learning curve going to a new machine, I just didn't realize what the problem(s) would be and boy it sure seems like it's going to take forever to learn how to use this foot. I've ordered a hopping foot for the 7700 so hopefully that works better In case it doesn't:

    Has anyone gone from a hopping foot to a gliding foot, and other than practice practice, how did you overcome it?

  2. #2
    Super Member Sneed's Avatar
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    Wish I could help you, but I am not familiar with a gliding foot. All I have is a sitdown Sunshine 16 and a hopping foot. From the sound of your experience I think I'll stick with what I have. So sorry for all of your problems. It really can take the joy out of the finishing process.


    "Making a Quilt and not showing it is like writing a song and not singing it..."

  3. #3
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sephie View Post
    Friends, I have discovered a whole new world of frustration and now I think I understand better why others are frustrated with the look of their FMQ. I do have a question at the end, so please bear with me

    I recently bought a used Janome Horizon 7700 because I've dreamt of a bigger throat for years now. I still love my little Janome Magnolia 7318, but we simply don't have room for a longarm or a sitdown mid/longarm, so a big throat machine was what I knew I'd have to get. Great deal too!

    So I've heard from many about how the Janome Convertible FMQ foot is awesome, glorious, made of fluffy dream clouds, everything, and it came with the 7700 so I was super excited to try to FMQ on it. I just finished sandwiching a baby quilt for a friend's incoming baby so I started getting the 7700 ready. My 7318 has a hopping foot and I've felt pretty good about my stitch quality and length, and I've quilted many quilts on it from baby to king.

    Boy was I ever unprepared for the difference between a hopping foot to a gliding foot. The tension was terrible on my first test sandwich and I didn't realize it at first because I was thinking: gee this feels really weird, maybe this is one of those "sensitive" machines that doesn't like glue basting?? I'm in so much trouble if it won't let me glue baste.... Why is it making that sound? Why does it feel so odd?

    When I flipped it over, there were eyelashes everywhere. It was terrible. I could rip a stitch on the back about 3 inches away and just pull the thread straight out. Turns out the auto tension is bad news bears when FMQ and the gliding foot is very particular about the height it's set at. Great. Test sandwhich #2 turned out better, so I gave it a go on the baby quilt.

    I broke thread about 4 times in the first 5 minutes. I haven't built a foam insulation topper for the 7700 yet but you bet that's first on my list once there is time! The extension table simply doesn't provide enough space. Using books and boxes around the extension was better but still not great since the quilt still catches on the corners of books. Frustrating.

    Ok so here's the worst part: I've always heard people talk about how difficult it is to get consistent stitch length on their machine and I didn't really have this problem. Chalked it up to: 7318 is mechanical, simpler machine, maybe that's what made the difference for me. No! I think it's the hopping vs gliding foot! The gliding foot on the 7700 means there is absolutely no resistance when I'm moving the quilt under the needle. For me, that means sometimes the weight of the quilt in front of me is much harder to control and I can't move my hands smoothly (I've heard about putting a pillow in the lap to take the weight of the quilt, but I couldn't try that since our 2 year old was in the room with me). I also had to reposition my hands much more often. With the hopping foot, it provides a little bit of resistance - enough that I can actually let my hands get more than 6 inches away from the needle and still have control over the quilt. With the gliding foot, it was like trying to guide a slippery eel that was wriggling away from me! My stitch length was wildly inconsistent and boy is that ever frustrating to see.

    I knew there would be a learning curve going to a new machine, I just didn't realize what the problem(s) would be and boy it sure seems like it's going to take forever to learn how to use this foot. I've ordered a hopping foot for the 7700 so hopefully that works better In case it doesn't:

    Has anyone gone from a hopping foot to a gliding foot, and other than practice practice, how did you overcome it?
    Dont have your machine but my ruler foot doesn’t hop and it takes a minute to get it adjusted at just the right height to pick up the bobbin thread. You might also try leaving feed dogs up and setting stitch length to zero. No need to cover feed dogs. Sometimes that helps tension. I glue baste too and don’t think that is the issue. Good luck and report back!
    Alyce

  4. #4
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    No experience with your machine but I prefer my non hopping ruler foot to FMQ, over my hopping foot. If you can set the speed on your machine, try going slower with the gliding foot. Use needle down so you can stop and reposition your hands and the quilt frequently. If you are trying to FMQ without Machinger gloves or similar, the gloves really do help to move the quilt for FMQ.

  5. #5
    Super Member Watson's Avatar
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    With the gliding foot you have to be much more careful of how high it is set from your material in order to get a good stitch. It should just skim across the fabric. There is a screw adjustment that allows you to raise and lower it.
    I find with the hopping foot it sort of "tells" you when to move, in a jerkier way. With the gliding foot, you may find with practice you get nicer curves and circles. Just be sure there is no drag on your quilt and as Tartan says, use your needle down to hold the quilt as you reposition.

    Watson

  6. #6
    Super Member IrishgalfromNJ's Avatar
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    I have had a Janome 7700 for 4 years. I, too, wanted a larger throat on my machine. I started using the Accufeed dual feed foot, fell in love with it, and I do all my quilting with straight lines. I haven't tried to do free motion quilting with this machine. Maybe someday I'll have some time to play with it.
    Everyone can't be Irish, somebody has to drive.

  7. #7
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    Thank you, yes. The tension issues are no longer the problem - it's the age old problem of no stitch regular and wildly inconsistent stitch length. I did adjust the screw to have the foot gliding over the top to the point that (again) I sometimes now have the problem of getting stuck on bulky intersections (didn't happen with the hopping foot!). I also do have Machinger's gloves. I took the tension off Auto and have it set to something that works now, so the tension is mostly fine now.

    Did anyone else find there was a huge learning curve going from hopping foot to gliding foot? Because I didn't have problems making smooth curves before and now I do. So many new issues

    Tartan, great reminder to go slower. I do prefer to go faster since I think the curves are smoother a little faster but maybe I'm just going too fast. Didn't help that the design I chose (loop inside a loop) was All curvy! Why do you prefer the gliding foot? I'm the opposite right now!
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 04-08-2019 at 03:26 PM. Reason: shouting/all caps

  8. #8
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    I started out using a hopper foot, but I always seemed to have lurches and stitch length issues. So I bought a generic hopper foot and modified it to be a glider, as Leah Day (I think) showed how in one of her videos. I do a little better with it, but I, too, have problems getting over thick seams. You just have to find the happy medium between foot height, tension, speed, needle size, and …..phase of the moon, maybe.
    You are braver than I am, trying to FMQ with a loose 2 year old in the house. Kudos to you!

  9. #9
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    Sounds like to me the hopping foot is a better choice. They are all I have , I am use to it.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  10. #10
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    Yes, I thought the same thing about your two year old. I have a hard time concentrating without any little ones around these days.

  11. #11
    Senior Member carol45's Avatar
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    I also modified a hopping foot to glide on my Brother Innovis 4000D machine. I use both hopping and gliding, but I think I slightly prefer the gliding. Haven't had the types of issues you're describing.

  12. #12
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    I don't own a Janome 7700, but do have 8900 SE, and numerous other Janomes. I took the 8900 out of the box, didn't even change the factory needle. Looked up instructions in my book that came with the machine. Followed the directions, plugged my machine in and FMQ a small test sandwich. It was perfect, to my surprise. Then I took the same machine that weekend to a FMQ Bootcamp.....put in the needle the teacher told us to bring, threaded with beautiful new thread. OMG, immediately had issues with broken thread, eyelashes on the back, and then, a broken needle flying in my face. The teacher came over, she wouldn't figure it out.....then I turned my thread spool to the side and saw writing....it gave me a totally different needle size for that thread. Changed the needle and it worked perfectly. Needle and thread have to be compatible. Also, make sure your pressure foot bar is down! Another student had that issue. Gliding is good, but you still need some pressure....test that and the other issues mentioned, and try again. Also there is a Janome yahoo group for 7700.....members love to share information

  13. #13
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    I have had a 7700 for at least 6 years. I haven't had any similar problems, sorry, so I'm not sure if I can help. I will say that right out of the box, my quilting looked pretty good without changing anything (but my quilting level is intermediate, at best). I have had the best results using a poly thread (Isacord, Glide, etc.) in the top thread and Bottom Line or So Fine in the bobbin. Adjusting the foot height, especially if I had bulky seems, made a difference. I use Organ needles, because I believe they also manufacture the Janome needles, and I get good results with them. The best thing I did was to use the insulation foam to build up the area around my machine. I used duct tape to edge the foam, and covered it with vinyl from Walmart. I did buy the blue dot bobbin case, which I have never felt the need to use, so that was a waste of money for me. Good luck with your machine. I absolutely love mine.

  14. #14
    Super Member Rose_P's Avatar
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    I can't really say that I've seen that much difference between a hopping foot and a gliding foot, though I haven't used a Janome. Loops on the bottom could be from a variety of causes. The first thing I'd try is put on a regular or zigzag foot and try sewing a line on a scrap of fabric. If it's still making loops, that would rule out your quilting foot as a source of difficulty. Maybe the bobbin thread missed the tension? Sometimes my machines will do that sort of thing only because there is lint under the bobbin case. Recently I had similar problems that turned out to be caused by a rough spot on the edge of a plastic bobbin. The thread would catch on it and then pull loose, and of course that varying stress broke the upper thread several times before I figured out the cause.
    “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.” ~Maya Angelou.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member JanieW's Avatar
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    I have a Janome 9400. I use a purple tip needle and single hole throat plate , gloves, and the blue dot bobbin case for fmq. I much prefer the gliding foot to the hopping foot. My machine has an fmq setting that automatically puts the foot at the correct height. I don’t know if your machine model does that. My Pfaff QE 4.0 that I used prior to my Janome had both gliding and hopping and I didn’t like the hopping foot.

    I’m sure you know this, but it’s important that there is no pull on your quilt .

    As Watson mentioned I think you get smooth curves with the gliding foot.

  16. #16
    Junior Member stitch678's Avatar
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    I teach fmq on domestic while in Fla. in winter. My students bring their machines, so l notice the different feet and machine combos. Most do way better with a hopping foot...but when it comes to ruler work, they need to learn to use gliders. There's often 1 or 2 machines that have issues ( including my own Janome 6500. Oddly enough, my 8900 Horizon does well!) The main reason, l believe, is the height adjustment.Set it too high and it skips, too low and it " grabs" the sandwich. Often , l find a nice height, only to get hung up on seam intersections. I suggest you stick with a hopper, as it helps with the rhythm of the machine while stitching. By the time you're ready for ruler work on your new machine, you will have become more familiar and comfortable with it, thus giving you confidence. You likely already know how important managing the quilt is while doing fmq, as you've been at it a while...but it wouldn't hurt to set your ironingboard or low table to your left to keep the quilt from dragging up from your lap.

  17. #17
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    Wow... I had the exact opposite experience to you. I loooove my gliding foot! I can finally get consistent stitch length and smooth lines. I'm sorry yours is giving you trouble.

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