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Thread: Help! I can't use a foot pedal

  1. #26
    Junior Member RainydayQuilter's Avatar
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    I have a machine that has the start/stop button and speed control. I use that option so much, I don't even know where my foot control is. This is my go to machine I use for quilting, not piecing. The speed control is consistent giving me better results when FMQ. I don't know if you can consider a new machine right now, but test driving one with this feature would give you an idea if this might be a solution.
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  2. #27
    Super Member Teacup's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slbram17 View Post
    The machine referenced has really good reviews and runs less than $150. I believe you can get free shipping to your door at walmart.com, just in case you might be interested.
    Serita
    I have this machine, great little machine with lots of nice features for the price. There are reviews on the QB if you do a search, and also others online. The start/stop button works great. You can set the speed you want to sew then use then button on the front of the machine...no pedal at all. This machine is great for piecing. It's also lightweight and you would be able to move it easier than some machines. HOWEVER, the harp is small. If you are actually wanting to quilt your projects, you won't be able to manipulate very large pieces. If you need a machine with a bigger harp, I'm sure there are other machines with the start/stop button, but probably also more $$.

    http://www.amazon.com/Brother-Featur...rother+cs6000i
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  3. #28
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    Hi, there is something called a Byte or bite switch for machines that can be installed, Im not sure how it works, but it helps to make the machine run without pedal. You might want to also call the manufacturer of your machine, and ask if they have anything available?
    XOXO

  4. #29
    Super Member Gannyrosie's Avatar
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    What about having someone mount the foot pedal to the side of the cabinet if you are sitting the machine on a cabinet. They make some very heavy duty velcro in which i think if a small wooden block about 1inch by 7 inches mounted on the side of the machine at knee height, then put heavy duty (industrial type) velcro on the pedal and attach to the wall sitting on the block you could have a knee control. Just a thought and very easy to do.

  5. #30
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    Some of the newer computerized machines have a "Stop/Start" button. While this is mainly designed for machine embroidery, it can also be used for regular sewing and quilting. As a matter of fact, when took a machine quilting class, the instructor suggested that using the stop/start gives the user a better stitch than can be achieved with the foot pedal. While this might not be an "inexpensive aid" as you requested, it might be a possible solution.

    I, too, commend your determination to keep on quilting. Good for you! Please let us know what works out for you.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by izzybelle View Post
    Thanks to everyone who has graciously commented on my situation. My biggest problem is that I have no "real" control below my midsection--I have no balance or am not capable of controlling my butt, knees, or even back. Keep the ideas coming tho-that 's how I've solved my problems in the past-just keep trying. (My stubbornness has allowed me to do some great things in the past 20 years that I've had this disease--and I refuse to give up now!!)
    My sister is in a wheelchair from a spinal cord injury. She too, has used the machine with the foot pedal on the table. I understand how this is limiting. Short of buying a new machine with the start/stop option, which sounds very nice, maybe you can mount the foot pedal on a board, then fix it to the wall in line with your shoulder so you can lean into it. This way, you will still be able to see what you are working on, and use both hands to control your quilting. Stay stubborn, and you will master this.

  7. #32
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    I have a babylock with a stop/start button on the machine that would probably work for you. It also has a knee lift for the foot if you would be able to use that. It's optional. (I never use it). There are some machines, probably in the eight to ten year old range that you could find at a reasonable cost that would provide these options. Check out e-bay and your local quilt shop.

  8. #33
    Super Member Weezy Rider's Avatar
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    I've seen some wheel chairs that have attachments or controls built it and on. Is that what you have? If so, is there a place where you could attach a small board with velcro for the pedal to use with your forearm? If not, see if someone can reverse engineer a pedal safely. Maybe a toggle switch for on off, and a dial knob for speed? It would have to use the same plug ends for the machine.
    We re-engineered the wiring in my Spitfire. I simply had rows of toggle switches on the dashboard. The law stated everything had to work (it did), the law didn't state HOW. So a good EE might be able to work something for you.

    Some colleges are interested in projects for the handicapped. I remember the Air Force Academy demonstrating a sled for the handicapped so they could enjoy skating and hockey. Developed as a research project.
    Last edited by Weezy Rider; 08-26-2014 at 04:40 AM.

  9. #34
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    Perhaps you could trade in your foot operated machines on one which has an ON/OFF switch which is usually situated just above the needle.

  10. #35
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    I have a brother 9000SE that I paid $140. for on e-bay from a dealer in AL (others here have mentioned their name in the past, to early brain not fully engaged. It as the needle up/down, and button with slider for speed control so no foot peddle needed, so you can go really slow and as fast as you want. Great for piecing but you would have to GAYG as harp space is small. Have some vintage machines for that. Bought it for the 80 stitches, something my older machines didn't have but only have room for one set up so that is it at the moment.

  11. #36
    Super Member teacherbailey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by izzybelle View Post
    I really could use some ideas! I have MS. Through the years I have lost the ability to use my legs, so I'm in a wheelchair. I have a Sears Kenmore and a Juki TL 2000 which I love. I'm able to piece my blocks by setting the foot pedal on the counter by my machine and use my elbow as my "foot". Works fine, no problems. Until recently I could put the pedal on the ground and quilt my layers to my satisfaction, but now I can't even do that. Does anyone know if there is an inexpensive aid to help me? Or, if there is anyone out there able to quilt in a different way without the use of your feet?
    When I first started sewing, I used the foot pedal with my right hand and guided the fabrics with my left. Takes a little practice with that left hand but it wasn't hard, and I felt like I had more control with hand on pedal than with foot. I made several quilts this way! See if that works for you. Good Luck!
    Mistakes are just opportunities to invent a new quilting technique!

  12. #37
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    Don't know if this would work but I have a kidney shaped board made to lay across the arms of my chair. I use it to hold my books when reading. You might be able to lay it across your lap and put the feed control on it then use you elbow. I can some what understand you flustration since my husband spent 30 yrs in a wheelchair. He worked out many things but never got close to my sewing machine.

  13. #38
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    I hate to say buy a new machine, but that might be the answer. My brother i-nnovis 1000 has three different ways to sew. besides the foot petal there is a knee lever and a start stop button on the machine itself. I'm sure some of the other higher end machines offer these features also. Good luck. I too admire your efforts.

  14. #39
    Super Member Farm Quilter's Avatar
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    I don't have either of your machines, but on my Janome, if I unplug my foot pedal, there is a button right above my needle that I can push to start and stop my machine...do either of your machines have that? If you have to use the pedal, could you use your shoulder? Yes, it would involve having someone make a stand that you could put one wheel of a wheel chair on to hold it steady, but you could strap your foot pedal to a board that sticks out like a flag so you could use your shoulder to depress the pedal. Having it so a wheel chair would sit on it would sit on the base would give it stability so you could push against the pedal without having the structure run away from you. If you live anywhere close, I'd build it for you!

  15. #40
    Super Member quiltingeileen's Avatar
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    My Janome has a start and stop button. A couple of friends that have had knee surgeries used the button method and liked it so well have not gone back to foot pedal.

  16. #41
    Super Member sparkys_mom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyffer3 View Post
    I know you probably don't want to invest in a machine, but my brother cs6000i has an option that if you unplug the foot you can use a button to start/stop sewing. I have used it on a couple of occasions when I've had leg cramps.
    I have a Brother CS6000i but it doesn't appear to have the start/stop feature. The machine I have was very inexpensive - under $200. How do you know which one to get? I also have a Janome 7700 with the start/stop feature. It was a lot more expensive.
    Pat

  17. #42
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    I'm thinking a rod somehow connected to your foot pedal that you can control with your mouth or chin. If you affix the pedal to the arm of your chair, could you run an angled rod up toward your head to use your chin or mouth? Would that be comfortable? I'm not sure. I wonder if there is a miniature foot-pedal-like switch that you could bite? Just a thought

  18. #43
    Super Member Kitsie's Avatar
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    Thanks for the link! I looked for any reviews but as yet have not found one. I wonder if this is a new item? Anybody used or tried it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mouskalollie View Post
    I can relate to this They make after market knee controls -- http://www.sewingmachinesplus.com/705W.php Maybe that would be of some help?
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  19. #44
    Super Member Evie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pyffer3 View Post
    I know you probably don't want to invest in a machine, but my brother cs6000i has an option that if you unplug the foot you can use a button to start/stop sewing. I have used it on a couple of occasions when I've had leg cramps.
    I don't have the Brother, but my Singer Quantum LE (more than 20 years old!) has the same feature. It just keeps on stitching until you push the button again. Maybe your machines do the same thing.

    I truly admire you for hanging in there!
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  20. #45
    Super Member GrannieAnnie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jo C View Post
    Have you contacted the MS Association? They have lots of ideas on how to adapt everything imaginable.
    Now, there's a good idea!
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    U N T I E

  21. #46
    Senior Member izzybelle's Avatar
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    That is so generous of you Farm Quilter!! I love my machines, and can piece with no problem. I am quilting a queen sized quilt now and using the Juki as it has a larger harp space. Right now I'm trying to use my chin, maybe that will work. If not, I'll try the shoulder. Thanks to everyone for some awesome ideas!!!
    Cathy

  22. #47
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    I have the same Juki and I use a Grace sure stitch regulator on it. I've never used the foot pedal. This would be your besr option as the regulator can be mounted wherever you need it to be. Once turned on you have to push the button to stop.

    Quote Originally Posted by izzybelle View Post
    I really could use some ideas! I have MS. Through the years I have lost the ability to use my legs, so I'm in a wheelchair. I have a Sears Kenmore and a Juki TL 2000 which I love. I'm able to piece my blocks by setting the foot pedal on the counter by my machine and use my elbow as my "foot". Works fine, no problems. Until recently I could put the pedal on the ground and quilt my layers to my satisfaction, but now I can't even do that. Does anyone know if there is an inexpensive aid to help me? Or, if there is anyone out there able to quilt in a different way without the use of your feet?
    True4uca

  23. #48
    Super Member buslady's Avatar
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    WOW! Great helps on here! The light dimmer switch looks like it would be a GREAT start!
    Onalee Rose
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  24. #49
    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by izzybelle View Post
    I really could use some ideas! I have MS. Through the years I have lost the ability to use my legs, so I'm in a wheelchair. I have a Sears Kenmore and a Juki TL 2000 which I love. I'm able to piece my blocks by setting the foot pedal on the counter by my machine and use my elbow as my "foot". Works fine, no problems. Until recently I could put the pedal on the ground and quilt my layers to my satisfaction, but now I can't even do that. Does anyone know if there is an inexpensive aid to help me? Or, if there is anyone out there able to quilt in a different way without the use of your feet?
    Years ago I had an old machine that someone had mounted the foot feed into the cabinet so that it could be run by a knee movement instead of with the foot. Maybe someone could do that with yours?
    If you always do, what you have always done, The results never change. Change is the wings you give yourself.

  25. #50
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    GrannieAnnie--your idea of mounting the foot pedal to a table leg is such a great idea. I could think of the knee pedal that my mom used to have on her Singer and I know some brands have that now---I can see the pedal on a table leg but maybe that is too far from Izzybelle's leg but possibly another leg attached to the sewing table.

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