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Thread: FMQ help! The plastic foot broke; can I FMQ without it?

  1. #1
    Power Poster oksewglad's Avatar
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    FMQ help! The plastic foot broke; can I FMQ without it?

    I was sewing away and came to a nice stop and noticed the oval shaped plastic foot on my Bernina that I use for FMQ was crooked. When I touched it part of the plastic fell off and now there's no nice hole for my needle to go and of course no pressure on the fabric as I FMQ.
    The question is: What would happen if I try to FMQ without using any foot? Is it possible and what would the results be if it is?
    No I did not "hit" the foot with the needle. My machine's about 10 yo so maybe the plastic has degenerated. I have to finish some projects before the end of the week and don't want to run out of town to get a new foot.
    Looking for any thoughts on this. Thanks in advance.
    Don't worry spider.
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    I donate quilts to the AAQI.

  2. #2
    Senior Member shnnn's Avatar
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    they make a needle with a spring in it - not sure what would happen if you used a regular needle and no foot, I would think you would need to be very careful not to snap the needle while pulling the fabric through... sounds kind of scary

  3. #3
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    FMQ without some kind of foot is usually not very successful. The spring neegle, in my experience, doesn't do a good job either. Useful only in emergency. Well that is what you said you have.......
    Do you have a darning foot for your machine? It really needs foot that doesn't set tight on the surface of the quilt.
    The spring needle and the separate spring that you can attach around the needle were developed for "thread painting" or perhaps darning. I have provided them for class but was not satisfied with the results.

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    yes, there are many feet you can use and if you put the presser foot down, you can do it with no foot.... there are lots of 3rd party feet out there, just look carefully at your feet, are they shaped like 'shoes' or 'boots'.... all the 3rd party feet are designed for one or the other, high or low shank...

  5. #5
    Power Poster oksewglad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holice View Post
    FMQ without some kind of foot is usually not very successful. The spring neegle, in my experience, doesn't do a good job either. Useful only in emergency. Well that is what you said you have.......
    Do you have a darning foot for your machine? It really needs foot that doesn't set tight on the surface of the quilt.
    The spring needle and the separate spring that you can attach around the needle were developed for "thread painting" or perhaps darning. I have provided them for class but was not satisfied with the results.
    Thanks for the info. It is my darning foot that has the broken plastic. I kind of figured that the foot needed to be in place to get the FMQ to work right. Just looking for alternatives until I can run to Bernina shop.
    Don't worry spider.
    I keep house
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    I donate quilts to the AAQI.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Kat Sews's Avatar
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    If you can release the presure on your foot, you can use another foot. My old Kenmore dosen't have a darning foot and I use it with an embroidery foot for FMQ. With no foot you will probably get skipped stitches or no stitches.

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    I've tried FMQ with no foot, and I wouldn't advise it. The stitching ends up terrible

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kat Sews View Post
    If you can release the presure on your foot, you can use another foot. My old Kenmore dosen't have a darning foot and I use it with an embroidery foot for FMQ. With no foot you will probably get skipped stitches or no stitches.
    i know this sounds this way, but the majority of the machine embroidery in the world is done in 3rd world countries with NO FEET at all.... having the presser foot down is the key... the tension you put on the quilt sandwich is plenty... just try... what have you got to lose?

  9. #9
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deemail View Post
    i know this sounds this way, but the majority of the machine embroidery in the world is done in 3rd world countries with NO FEET at all.... having the presser foot down is the key... the tension you put on the quilt sandwich is plenty... just try... what have you got to lose?
    I agree. Having pulled my quilt out from the machine when the FMQ foot was still in the down position I can attest that the amount of pressure on the fabric is very minimal. I think (and I could be wrong) that the 'foot' part of the foot is there for A) safety, and B) a visual aid.

    As long as the upper part of the shank is intact (ie the spring and the arm that sits over the needle screw to make the foot "hop"), then as long as you are CAREFUL and don't put your fingers in there ... in a pinch I'd try it until I could replace the foot.

    I think safety is the biggest issue ... so BE CAREFUL. We don't want to hear any 'needle through the finger' stories!!
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  10. #10
    Power Poster oksewglad's Avatar
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    Oh you folks come so quick to give aid and sound advice. DHMom, I'll give it a try. OBTW, I have a "needle through the finger" story of my own and I was straight stitching. SOOO I know all about keeping the fingers out of the way! Thanks everyone, I really appreciate it.
    Don't worry spider.
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    I donate quilts to the AAQI.

  11. #11
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Don't do it. It's simply not safe and the end result will be poor.

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    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    OKSGlad ... sorry, I really have no "good" suggestions!
    My only thought would be that you could give it a try on a test piece (new Mug Rug?) and see if you'd be happy.
    Though I know you well enough to know that you probably won't be!!

    The END SOLUTION ............ don't buy a new foot ... get a new machine!!!!!!!!!!!




    Yes I knew you'd love that ...... and so will DH!
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    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
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    Super Member Sandee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holice View Post
    FMQ without some kind of foot is usually not very successful. The spring neegle, in my experience, doesn't do a good job either. Useful only in emergency. Well that is what you said you have.......
    Do you have a darning foot for your machine? It really needs foot that doesn't set tight on the surface of the quilt.
    The spring needle and the separate spring that you can attach around the needle were developed for "thread painting" or perhaps darning. I have provided them for class but was not satisfied with the results.
    Can you show the needle/foot you use? I am now confused because the foot provided with my Janome 6500 sounds like the one you say isn't right.

  14. #14
    Power Poster oksewglad's Avatar
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    Name:  images.jpg
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Size:  2.2 KBHere it is. Part of the "hole" broke off. Everything else is intact.
    Don't worry spider.
    I keep house
    casually.
    ---Basho
    I donate quilts to the AAQI.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Candace View Post
    Don't do it. It's simply not safe and the end result will be poor.
    honestly, this is the way we did it in the 70s and 80s when everything was done by moving the material... no machines with built in embroidery... the closest they came was the rudimentary line stitching with arrows, hearts, flowers, etc..... and by the 90s, we had a few alphabets built in... I took machine embroidery in adult night school. We were taught thread painting, applique, satin stitching (which is the ONLY thing we did with a foot on, and 'writing'.... it not only can be done but is done all the time.....and in every class, there was at least one person who forgot to put their presser foot down for a minute... you know immediately, because it doesn't want to sew... presser foot down and go..... single line quilting is much easier than some of the techniques we were taught...

  16. #16
    Senior Member Dandish's Avatar
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    I've seen some quilters (Leah Day, for one) "modify" their FMQ foot (like the one above) by cutting out the front third of the oval for better visibility. I also have a metal FMQ (janome) that is made with a gap in the front part of the oval (so it is open). I have seen videos of it being done with no foot at all, but haven't tried it myself. I'd say take it for a try and see how you do.

    Here's the video of how Leah modifies the generic FMQ foot. The part where she clips the plastic oval begins at about 4:50 into the video, althoug it's worth it to watch the whole thing.

    http://www.daystyledesigns.com/freemotionfoot.htm
    Last edited by Dandish; 01-23-2012 at 09:13 PM. Reason: Add link

  17. #17
    Power Poster oksewglad's Avatar
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    This reminds me of the machine embroidery I did back then; can't remember how I did it though. Vaguely recalling using a spring hoop and you're right deemail no foot, just the needle and the pressure foot down. Thanks for reminding me, so will see what happens.
    While looking up the foot on line I noticed ones that were all metal. Anyone have experience with those types? What do you think the advantages would be other than not breaking (duh, got that one!)?

    Thanks dandish!
    Don't worry spider.
    I keep house
    casually.
    ---Basho
    I donate quilts to the AAQI.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Dandish's Avatar
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    http://www.daystyledesigns.com/freemotionfoot.htm

    Here's Leah's modification - the part where she clips it starts at abotu 4:50 into the video.

    I don't know the advantage of the metal feet - although that's what I use. Mine is actually shaped like a curcle with the opening to the front. I have used the generic hopping feet too, although that was before I learned the nice modifications.

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