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Thread: Help with FMQ on a 301A

  1. #1
    Super Member SherriB's Avatar
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    I just picked up my 301A from the Singer repair person. It just needed a good cleaning and the bobbin winder wheel replaced. (I have had it for a while but just never got it to the dr. for a check-up.) It sews like a dream, the straightest stitch I have ever seen.

    Now if I can just figure out how to FMQ, I will be one very happy quilter. I know how to lower the feed dogs, but I can't get it to make a stitch. The needle moves great, but the top and bottom threads don't form stitches. I have a fmq foot that fits slant shank machines, but it just doesn't work right. It is all plastic.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated!!!

    I will be taking my Rocketeer in next for a good oiling and check-up.

  2. #2
    Super Member cctx.'s Avatar
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    I have a 301A and I use it for FMQ a lot!
    Okay I read that you know how to lower your feed dogs and that's located under your long bed towards the outside corner not facing you. There's a metal part that screws ( that protrudes in that area) that screw is for lowering your feed dogs. Turn that screw all the way to the opposite direction until it will not give. With that action your feed dogs are now lowered. And use a Singer needle only, not a Schmetz because these little machines WaNt their particular needles. Use a good thread, I've been using the Connecting Threads and my machine loves it.

    When you get ready to piece your blocks, do not forget to screw that piece back to it's original because then you will not be able to move a stitch.

    I got my FMQ foot from SewClassics, the less cost efficient one is going to challenge you and give you headaches.

    I hope this helps!

  3. #3
    Super Member cabbagepatchkid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SherriB

    I know how to lower the feed dogs, but I can't get it to make a stitch. The needle moves great, but the top and bottom threads don't form stitches.
    Hmmmm......Can you form a stitch when you are straight stitching? Maybe the repair man absentmindedly put the needle in backwards.

  4. #4
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    Make sure you are threading the needle from right to left (ask me how I know that one) and make sure the presser foot is down- easy to forget that one too. Drop the feed dogs, put the stitch length lever on the middle line and then try. If that does not work, take the darning foot off, raise the feed dogs and put on a regular foot and try to sew a regular seam- maybe the bobbin is backwards (gee, I sure made a lot of mistakes when I set up my 301 to FMQ!)
    Good luck- I love FMQ on my 301. I have that plastic darning foot and it works fine on mine. Just thought of one more thing... when I put that foot on my machine, I thought it didn't line up right- it actually -did- once I had put the presser foot down.

  5. #5
    Super Member SherriB's Avatar
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    It does a beautiful straight stitch. It just will not stitch when the presser feet and feed dogs are down.

  6. #6
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    Some questions to try to narrow it down:

    Did you use basting spray? Are you practicing on a "sandwich" of quilting cottons over cotton batting? Does the batting contain polyester?

    Are you using a universal or ball point needle? Is the flat side of the needle on the left and is it threaded from right to left?

    What size thread are you using in the needle and what size needle are you using?

    You'll probably love FMQ with this little machine once you figure out her eccentricities. :)

  7. #7
    Super Member SherriB's Avatar
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    I am using the thread and needle that the sewing repair man put in. I tried a sandwich of solid color cotton and warm and natural. I tried the plastic darning foot and it just wouldn't work.

    I know I will love this machine for straight stitching. I ordered a 1/4 inch foot from April's 1930 store and can't wait to get it.

    thepolyparrot, is that a Rocketeer in your avatar? I have one and it will be going in for a check up soon. The thread keeps breaking after a few stitches.

  8. #8
    Senior Member quilter711's Avatar
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    Just wanted to check in with you! You have to move the fabric yourself when you FMQ. Are you doing this? It sounds like you have the machine working correctly.

    Nancy

  9. #9
    Super Member SherriB's Avatar
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    When I have the plastic foot on, I can move the fabric but the top thread and bobbin thread will only form a stitch every so often. I have long pieces of thread between stitches. When I have a regular presser foot on, I can't move the fabric without tugging very hard, and this is with the feed dogs down. With the feed dogs up, it sews the prettiest straight stitch.

  10. #10
    Senior Member quilter711's Avatar
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    When you start to FMQ, both threads need to be on top of the fabric! Re-thread the top thread and check the bobbin thread is in the slot of the bobbin case. This is just to make sure something was not missed. Keep us up to date on what is happening!

    Nancy

  11. #11
    Senior Member quilter711's Avatar
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    Just thought of something else! The darning foot has an arm that has to rest on the needle bar screw.

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