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Thread: FMQ

  1. #1
    msawicki64's Avatar
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    Ok, got another question. I am practicing FMQ with some small square sandwiches and when I lower my darning foot it appears that there's not much room for the quilt to move freely. I brought one for my specific machine. I kept it up instead of lowering to see if I could still quilt but not so successful. Also I noticed on the back of the quilt instead of tight flat stitches theres loose loops around the thread not sure what I'm doing there. I set at zero, tension at about 4. Any suggestions? Thank you.

  2. #2
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    There is supposed to be a gap between the foot and the sandwich. This allows the sandwich to move freely.
    Yes, the presser foots needs to be lowered, I have forgot and ended up with a mess on the back of my quilt :oops: :lol:

    Bring your bobbin thread up to the top before you start quilting. Hold onto both threads while taking your first stitch or two :D:D:D

    Can you post a picture of what the bobbin thread is doing? Sometimes it is easier to diagnose a problem if we can see it :D:D:D

    Are the loose loops all over the back? Or just when you are starting out?

  3. #3
    Super Member LindaM's Avatar
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    The foot has to be down so your tension will work - that's why you have loops on the back.

    Does your machine drop feed dogs or have a plate to cover them? That will allow you to move the sandwich under the needle.

  4. #4
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    You didn't say what brand of machine you are using. I have a Pfaff and it has a "middle" position for the foot so that it doesn't ride on your quilt and still isn't fully up. If you have an owner's manual you might see if it gives instruction for setting up for machine quilting.

  5. #5
    msawicki64's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. I should have metioned that yes I do bring up the bobbin thread. I have a kenmore. The feed dogs don't lower and I know it came with a cover because I looked on the box at what it came with and it said a cover but this machine was given to me some years ago and I never really used it until recent since I've discovered I love quilting. I took the advise of covering them with tape and or business card but again when I lower the foot it is very difficult to manuver the sandwich through and it bunches up as I try to gently feed it through with my hands. I will send a pic at the stiches so you can see the back. Thanks for you help. I really appriciate it.
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  6. #6
    msawicki64's Avatar
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    It makes sense to have to have the foot lowered to prevent the loops in the back but having to lower the foot causes problem running sandwich through. I'm determined to get this right but need help to figure out prolem. thanks again.

  7. #7
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    One thought is that maybe your darning foot isn't on properly? I did this once.

  8. #8
    msawicki64's Avatar
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    it's on right. It's a low shank and only goes on one way with metal clasp around the shank with a screw that keeps it in place. I'll keep messin with it. I may even take a picture with foot down while quilting and have daughter take picture so you can actually see what it looks while in process of quilting. thanks. Off to church now.

  9. #9
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    Yes. Please send picture of foot.

  10. #10
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    and move your quilter slower too. too fast and you can get large stitches.

  11. #11
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    Some thoughts...

    Do you have an adjustment on your machine that controls the pressure on the foot? Loosening that may help. And be sure your feed dogs are lowered. Is there a spring on your darning foot? There should be a little bar or something that likely is positioned over the screw that holds your needle in. I had to bend that part on my darning foot so that it would lift the foot higher on the upstroke so that I could easily move the quilt sandwich.

    Also, how thick are your quilt sandwiches? What type and how many layers of batting are you using?

    A picture of the foot would be helpful in trying to give you good advice here.

  12. #12
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    I was thinking same things as AzWendyG. Both of my machines have an adjustment for the amount of pressure of the presser foot. And to make sure that the "arm" is placed over the screw for the needle. And the degree of loft for the batting.

  13. #13
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    If the dogs do not lower and you have to put card over them then that does take up precious space to allow the sandwich to move freely. Try a thinner card or tape. "Eyelashes" are caused by moving sandwich too fast. Smaller one will disappear when washed but not the larger ones. But----- Sound like a good excuse to get new machine where the dogs drop!!!!!!!!!

  14. #14
    Super Member kateyb's Avatar
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    I don't use the darning foot, I can't see what I am doing as well. I use the embroidery foot for my embroidery machine. It is more open. The down side is I can only use my embroidery machine for FMQ.

  15. #15
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    Does your foot "hop" up and down as you quilt? If you have a darning or quilting foot on I think it should and if it doesn't maybe it isn't the right foot or is't on correctly.

  16. #16
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    You might find this helpful. She talks about the problems you're experiencing.
    http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.c...-or-speed.html

  17. #17
    Junior Member ruthrec's Avatar
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    I bought a cover for my little Kenmore Jr, I think at Hancocks. It's just a little plastic gismo to cover the feeddogs that don't drop. Google the Kenmore with your model and see what you come up with. I don't use it any more since I have my Janome.

  18. #18
    Super Member lalaland's Avatar
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    To be honest, I don't change the tension on my machine when I FMQ, I use my embroidery foot (which is probably the same as the darning foot), I don't adjust the tension, I do drop the feed dogs, and I do bring the bobbin thread up to the top.

    The loops happened when your machine is going faster or slower than you are moving your fabric around. You have to find the speed that is right for you. If your machine is running at a slow pace, you must move your fabric at a slow pace. If your machine is running at a fast pace, you must move your fabric at a fast pace. Once you find your comfort level, your stitches will be even and non-loopy on the back.

    To practice, I use the prequilted fabric. There's usually a piece or two really cheap in the remnant bin at the fabric store. I use contrasting thread so I can see my stitches clearly.

  19. #19
    msawicki64's Avatar
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    Ok. I took out my feed dogs and all else that is required and it appeared to be a bit better except still getting loops on bottom. I know I will have to do much practice to improve and also since I have an old machine it's probably not as forgiving as the more newer models with better features but I'll keep chuggin along. I have a couple pics I'm attaching so you can see my machine and the darning foot. Thanks again.
    Attached Images Attached Images



  20. #20
    Senior Member leakus's Avatar
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    I had that problem the other day and I solved it adjusting the tension. Dealers don't recommed to adjust the bobbin tension but I had to because I couldn't just fix it by changing the needle tension.
    If what you are showing is the back of your quilt then your needle thread tension is too loose (or your bobbin thread tension is too tight)
    Before changing anything, saw a straight stich on the sandwich to see if the tension is fine, then continue trying with the darning foot and tensions.
    Good luck!

  21. #21
    msawicki64's Avatar
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    Thanks, also went online and found the cover that belongs with my machine so I'm ordering that so I don't have to remove the feed dogs everytime i quilt. Also I saw a turtorial where the woman used a sewing silicone on her surface to make it more slippery and she used an extention table and sprayed that too to make it move more freely so I'm going to try that too. Just want to be able to quilt my own quilts if I can. So expensive to send off and doing straight stitch to sew together is ok but might as well learn this too for experience and fun.

  22. #22
    Super Member kwiltkrazy's Avatar
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    The eye-lash looking loops are caused by going around the loops too fast, you either have to slow down your hand speed or increase you foot speed. You need to adjust your tension.

  23. #23
    Super Member kwiltkrazy's Avatar
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    It is looking much better, just having issues with hand/foot speed coordination. Keep practicing, you'll get it.

  24. #24
    msawicki64's Avatar
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    Thanks for the encouragement. I will do that.

  25. #25
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    The feed dogs are not the reason for the problem you are having. You need to adjust your tension. Start with the standard tension. If your machine works fine sewing a straight line with the regular foot, switch to the darning foot and try again without changing the tension. The secret here is to sew very fast but move the fabric slowly. You will learn to achieve even stitches, but while you are learning they may not all be the same size. Is OK. It takes time. If at the same tension it doesn't work, adjust your tension little bits at a time. Make sure you have a nice sharp needle and good quality thread. With your machine I wouldn't try anything smaller than 40 wt. Fine threads don't work well on all machines.

    Also, I may get in trouble for saying this, not every machine works well for FMQ. I can say this from experience. I had a Kenmore and no matter what I did I got eyelashes on the back. I had 3 different feet and sometimes I couldn't do it with one, switch feet and the other one would work well for a little bit. It was completely unpredictable. When I switched to an older Bernina I can say that I achieved good FMQ. What I am trying to say is not to put all the pressure on something you may be doing wrong. It may just be your machine.

    Keep trying but don't change more thna one thing at a time, otherwise you will never know what fixed the problem.

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