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Thread: free motion quilting

  1. #1
    Senior Member starlite's Avatar
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    I have a singer confidence quilting machine and need to know how to adjust the tension because I'm getting loops on the bottom. No place in the manual does it explain free motion quilting. Thanks Janet

  2. #2
    Super Member Mamagus's Avatar
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    Ramp up the tension on the top thread. That's what works for me.

  3. #3
    Senior Member starlite's Avatar
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    should I be using a special foot also I still get loops

  4. #4
    Super Member Mamagus's Avatar
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    There is a special foot called a darning foot or freemotion quilting foot. There is a spring on the shank of the foot. You have to either cover the feed dogs or drop them.

  5. #5
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I had a rats nest with my Pfaff under my backing the other day and found out that the needle lifter had to be pushed into a specific position. Don't know if the Singer has some requirements like that.

  6. #6
    Senior Member starlite's Avatar
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    The problem is that the owners manual does not tell me what to do for free motion quilting and being I'm new to this I have no idea where to start. I keep getting loops on the underside of the material. Any help for this newbe would be great.

  7. #7
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    For free motion, you need a foot that "hops". This is usually a darning foot. You don't actually need to drop the feed dogs for free motion; some quilters find it easier to move the fabric if they leave the feed dogs up.

    If you haven't already, take all the thread out and re-thread the machine. Make sure the presser foot is up when you do this; otherwise the thread may not seat correctly in the upper tension discs.

    Does the machine make good stitches when you change back from free motion to regular stitching?

  8. #8
    Senior Member starlite's Avatar
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    yes it sews just fine after I try free motion. I thought I had to leave the pressure foot up to free motion.

  9. #9
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I have a Juki TL98E, I use a darning foot, Lower the feed dogs, set stitch length to 0, raise pressure on pressure foot, set upper tension to 1 and go to town. I wear garden gloves W/ rubber nubs on them, makes moving quilt easier. I start out with a practice quilt sandwich to make sure everything is working right and looking right. This works for me, I hope it helps you out. Make little adjustments to the tension setting until it looks the way you want it to. Always practice on a quilt sandwich to make sure all is well. I hope this helps you. :D :D :D

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jingleberry
    I have a Juki TL98E, I use a darning foot, Lower the feed dogs, set stitch length to 0, raise pressure on pressure foot, set upper tension to 1 and go to town. I wear garden gloves W/ rubber nubs on them, makes moving quilt easier. I start out with a practice quilt sandwich to make sure everything is working right and looking right. This works for me, I hope it helps you out. Make little adjustments to the tension setting until it looks the way you want it to. Always practice on a quilt sandwich to make sure all is well. I hope this helps you. :D :D :D
    great answer !

  11. #11
    Senior Member starlite's Avatar
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    Thanks for the help. I will just practice practice practice!!! :D

  12. #12
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    I would think leaving the pressure foot UP is what is causing your loops... Good luck!

  13. #13
    Senior Member starlite's Avatar
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    It seems that it is hard to move the practice fabric around when I leave the pressure foot down. It might be that I am not used to the feel of fmq.

  14. #14
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    Generally its...feed dogs down (or covered over)...pressure foot down and using the "darning" foot or "hopping" foot....
    It does feel strange until you are used to it.

  15. #15
    Senior Member starlite's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the help. I get alot of good tips from all of you. This is a great place to go for help
    Again thanks for all your help Jan

  16. #16
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    Do you have thin .. very thin... batting in your quilt? Some machines just don't have good space between the foot and the bed of the quilt. I've taught freemotion for over 10 yrs and have seen a lot of machines. I can sit at some where people are having trouble and know that the machine is just not made with enough space.

    you might take it into a store or service place with your quilt sandwich and have them try it since they know what it is supposed to feel like. The fabric should FREELY move.. you should not have to pull or tug it at all..when it's not running you should be able to easily move your quilt. I have a few youtube videos showing me quilting.. you can see how easy it should move

  17. #17
    Senior Member starlite's Avatar
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    could you please pass the u tube that I could visit on to me that would maybe be helpful to me thanks again

  18. #18
    PatSloan's Avatar
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    you can see one on my website.. then click to see my other youtube videos.. you can tell how I"m moving the fabric and if your fabric is not moving easily then your foot is too low... might have to buy a generic foot that will give you more space

    http://patsloan.typepad.com/quilters...sign-wall.html

  19. #19
    Senior Member starlite's Avatar
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    Thankyou Pat you have been very helpful
    Jan

  20. #20
    PatSloan's Avatar
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    no problem! When I wanted to learn to freemotion yrs ago I found it so frustrating until I realized my machine just was not made for it. Once I upgraded machines all the problems went away! I also was able to take my workshop I taught and put it into a book. I do a LOT of quilts each year so I never get rusty.

    i highly recommend that once you correct your tension you keep quilting every week.. even if it's a small thing.. that way your brain learns this new technique!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mamagus
    Ramp up the tension on the top thread. That's what works for me.
    Sorry, but what does ramp up the tension mean? higher number? Thanks

  22. #22
    Super Member jljack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starlite
    The problem is that the owners manual does not tell me what to do for free motion quilting and being I'm new to this I have no idea where to start. I keep getting loops on the underside of the material. Any help for this newbe would be great.
    Be sure you have dropped your shank. I had a huge rats nest, and realized I had not dropped the shank before I started....I learned a hard lesson..took me hours to take it out.

  23. #23
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by starlite
    yes it sews just fine after I try free motion. I thought I had to leave the pressure foot up to free motion.
    That may be the cause of the loops. The presser foot always needs to be in the down position when sewing (except on the machine someone mentioned that has a special position for fmq -- not typical of most machines). You need the presser foot up when you thread the machine, so the thread settles into the tension discs correctly. However, you have to remember to lower the presser foot when you sew, including fmq.

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