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Thread: I'm new and I am trying free motion quilting... with problems...

  1. #1

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    Hello Everybody!

    I am very new to free motion quilting and very interested. It looks beautiful and like a very fun art I'd like to try. I've research, watched, read, etc, etc but I am stuck. I finally got my embroidery foot but I can't seem to make things work. I have a Singer Ingenuity 7436 and I got my darning foot on Ebay. I found out from Singer they don't make a darning foot for my machine so I had to get a generic one. Even though the one I got said it was for my machine I think it's wrong. Here is what is happening...

    I drop my feed dogs, set my stitch length to zero, start the first stitch, pull up my bobbin thread and hold it, then I try to make a few stitches and nothing takes. The machine acts like there is no fabric there, no stitches are formed. My machine does a great job of punching holes through my fabric sandwich but not a single stitch catches the bobbin thread. I have tried different threads, changed my tension, and used different needles. I am working with a 100% cotton fabric sandwich (cotton-batting-cotton), not on any projects. I though I should practice first before I try to make something.

    I have done a bit more research today and I think I know the problem but I wanted to ask you ladies first. My embroidery/darning foot sits about 1/4" above my fabric and does not have a spring that goes up and down. Could this be my problem??? It seams the foot stays 1/4" above the fabric the whole time I am trying to sew. This in turn makes my fabric come up a little while I am trying to sew. Where does your darning foot sit while you are sewing/stippling???

    Thank You!
    Elayne

  2. #2
    Power Poster dkabasketlady's Avatar
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    Hi and welcome from the sunny state of Florida!!
    I can't help you with the problem as I'm a hand quilter, but I'm sure someone will come to the rescue!!!

  3. #3
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    Welcome, waving from Indiana, USA

    sorry I can't help you but someone on here will be able to, good luck!

  4. #4
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    Still waiting to try this , hope you get your answer . then when I try if I have the same problem I will know how to fix it :thumbup:

  5. #5
    Junior Member grandma1's Avatar
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    Have you tried changing the stitch length off of zero
    using 5.0 on top and 4.o on the bobbin.

  6. #6
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    I am new to Free Motion Quilting also. There is a thread talking about it . The ladies were talking of using a "walking foot" Now I am not sure what the difference is but am to understand that it keeps the fabrics from slipping as you sew.
    I will be posting my efforts tomorrow to show what happens using a regular sewing foot. I love the front. Ha ha But the back *blinks* O my
    O well lessons learned. Will be a while before I can get me
    a "walking foot"
    Try practicing with a regular foot if you do not have a
    walking foot.
    Happy sewing.
    Hello and welcome from Utah * waves *
    Sandra

  7. #7
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    Is your presser foot in the down position? It's easy to forget when you are fiddling around with different attachments.

  8. #8
    Super Member Vanuatu Jill's Avatar
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    Hi from Southern California-sorry I can't help, I am a hand-quilter too. Someone is sure to help here, though

  9. #9
    sam_98's Avatar
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    Make sure your pressure foot lever is down. Then move the fabric a little. I have only started and am still practicing, but I too pulled the bobbin thread up to top. Hold both threads as you bring sewing. My machine doesn't pick up bobbin thread when I try to stitch in place to lock the stitches. But start moving the fabric, and the stitches work fine. You might have tried moving the fabric, so this might be of NO Help!!! Someone mentioned a walking foot. My understanding is you do NOT use it for FMQ, but works great for doing straight line machine quilting, but not for the free motion quilting. BTW the machine I have been using is a Singer from the 70's. Ready to get back to use my Pfaff!

  10. #10
    sam_98's Avatar
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    Typos abound.... "As you begin sewing......" and I am new to FMQ, not quilting. Also typing with iTouch isn't as good as with computer keyboard.

  11. #11
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    Sam_98 made a correct statement when describing the difference between darning foot and walking foot: the darning foot is used for FMQ and the walking foot is used for straight line or for very, very gentle wavy lines.

    twinstitches - it sounds like you've been trying the correct things - it's not normal for the pressure foot to stay a quarter inch above the fabric when the pressure foot is down...it should drop down to about the top of the quilt "sandwich", but not push into it too far. Is it possible you have a high shank machine and purchased the foot for a low shank? if so, this would keep the foot too high. I'm not familiar with your model of machine, so you may have to check to see which one you have. Check out this link to find out how to tell.
    http://www.clotilde.com/pages/which_foot.html

    Regarding the stitch length - putting it on zero was correct - that gives you more control of the stitch when you FMQ.

    Don't have any other ideas for now, but will keep thinking.

  12. #12
    Super Member kwiltkrazy's Avatar
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    Are you forgetting to put down your presser foot? That sounds like that's what it is.

    The walking foot is used basically for straight stitching, or stitch in the ditch, and feed dogs are up, the free motion foot does meandering and things like that and is used with the feed dogs down. I hope this helps. Also try this sight http://daystyledesigns.com

  13. #13
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    One other thing that is always suggested for stitch problems...rethread the machine, including the bobbin. Since you were able to pull up the bobbin thread on the first stitch, I don't see how this would make a difference, but worth a try.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by twinstitches
    I have a Singer Ingenuity 7436 and I got my darning foot on Ebay. I found out from Singer they don't make a darning foot for my machine so I had to get a generic one. Even though the one I got said it was for my machine I think it's wrong. ... My embroidery/darning foot sits about 1/4" above my fabric and does not have a spring that goes up and down. Could this be my problem??? It seams the foot stays 1/4" above the fabric the whole time I am trying to sew...
    Elayne, I checked on the Singer website and they do make a darning foot for your machine...which is what you need for FMQ. Not sure why the guy told you they didn't make one.

    Also realized that I didn't specifically address your question about the spring not being on your foot...I do have a spring on mine, so if yours doesn't, that could be the problem.

    http://www.singerco.com/accessories/...roduct_id=1406

  15. #15
    Junior Member scrappycats's Avatar
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    did you make sure that the spring lever is above the needle holder? This little lever looks like a straight piece of metal sticking towards you when facing the machine. It has to be positioned above the needle holder so when the needle goes up and down, the foot will go up and down.

  16. #16
    Gal
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    Super Member Gal's Avatar
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    As I understand it, a walking foot is for straight lines or very gentle curves, and it helps feed the fabric through the machine,eg.(feed dogs up) and free motion quilting is more like embroidery where you work on a small piece at a time, (feed dogs down) with an embroidery type foot, they are two different ways of working, have I got this right? I am still learning!

    Gal

  17. #17
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    You got some good advice from other posters. I'm wondering if you have the correct foot for the machine.

    My Viking machine came with a stationery darning foot, but I didn't have much luck with it. I prefer the spring FMQ foot. You might want to look for one to fit your machine. This is what mine looks like:

    http://www.sewingstyle.com/viewproduct7d29-2.html

  18. #18
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gal
    As I understand it, a walking foot is for straight lines or very gentle curves, and it helps feed the fabric through the machine,eg.(feed dogs up) and free motion quilting is more like embroidery where you work on a small piece at a time, (feed dogs down) with an embroidery type foot, they are two different ways of working, have I got this right? I am still learning!

    Gal
    Yes! Bye golly!!

    The darning foot still has to be lowered for it to work though. If you have a foot tension adjustment I would loosen this also. It'll assist in moving the fabric easier.

  19. #19
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Some darning feet have springs, some don't. It is a personal preference. The ones that came with my Singers didn't have a spring. I purchased one that does and I really like it. It has a clear foot and is a generic :D:D:D

    I have to agree with the others...I have forgot to put down my presser foot and then it won't stitch :wink:

  20. #20

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    Hello All and Thank you!

    There is a lot of advice here and I am trying it all. Here is some pics and I think I might just try ordering a spring darning foot. This might help! Thank you all for your time and effort, I am not giving up!!!

    Side View
    Name:  Attachment-77540.jpe
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    My foot leaver is in the down position
    Name:  Attachment-77541.jpe
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    My everyday all purpose foot
    Name:  Attachment-77542.jpe
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Size:  39.6 KB

  21. #21
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    Elayne, on your side view photo it appears that the foot is not fully seated on the arm coming out of the machine. If you look at the part where the screw is inserted, you should be able to see that the part of the foot held by the screw is farther away from the "Post" at the top than at the bottom. This results in the foot part not being parallel with the surface of the machine. Can you see what I'm talking about? Resetting that so that the foot rests snugly against the post may change part of the problem with your foot sitting so high...

    I noticed that the feed dogs are up and in place in the photos and should be down for FMQ...but you indicated that you knew the difference so guess you put the foot on just for photos.

  22. #22
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    I meant to mention that if you're going to try another generic foot I really like on called the "Big Foot". It has a much larger plastic foot piece to cover more area of the fabric and is slightly dome shaped/curved so the curve part is on the bottom and helps smooth the top fabric of a sandwich out so you/I have less chance of puckers or twists in the fabric. It also does not catch on pins like the really small feet do. I've found it at several LQSs but it's also online...I think Nancy's Notions has it, but haven't seen it at Joanns.

  23. #23

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    Hello There,

    I think I know what your saying and I checked it. It is still sitting in the same position as when I took the pic and the darning foot arm is resting on the screw for the needle and it is still sitting a little slanted. I can't pull the darning arm towards me anymore, it's as far as it can go. Is this what you meant? I will take all the help I can get. I have a weird feeling a got a defective one.

  24. #24
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    It was hard to see where I was going with the darning foot which came with my Janome MC4800. I ordered an open-toe darning foot very reasonably from:

    http://www.sewingmachinesplus.com/sewing-feet.php

    and it made a great difference. (I'm still not perfect, but much better at FMQ.) Their site shows you, with pictures, what kind of presser feet you need and if you still have questions, they were very helpful to me by phone. I have now ordered four different presser feet for little more than the local dealer wanted for one.

  25. #25

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    Here is a new pic with the shank screw tightened and when I manually lower the needle the darning foot still stays 1/4" above the plate. It doesn't lower at all.

    Here is the needle when lowered, the darning arm stays put. See U on my computer behind my threader! Wave!
    Name:  Attachment-77665.jpe
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    Attached Images Attached Images

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