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Thread: Question about free motion quilting and getting your fabric to move smoothly

  1. #1
    diogirl's Avatar
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    For whatever reason, my fabric isn't moving smoothly when I disengage the feed dogs and use my darning foot.. is there a way to make it move more smoothly.. i was thinking about a dab of vegetable oil rubbed on the plate under the needle?? would that work?

  2. #2
    Super Member kwhite's Avatar
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    NO OIL!!! try to use waxed paper to wax your surface. Plus if you want to try it you can tape waxed paper or freezer paper shiney side up to your surface and see if that helps any. They make a comercial teflon type surface cover but I think they are rather pricey. I have not tried one.

  3. #3
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    Car wax, works good, the kind you rub on.if you use a spray, be sure to spray it on the rag away from the machine. buff it in..and you should be ok!

  4. #4
    Super Member kwhite's Avatar
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    I bet that would work well. Thanks for the thought.

  5. #5
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    I've read about two methods: Johnson's paste wax and clear vinyl sheeting bought at the fabric store or tablecloth.

    I use the clear vinyl sheeting on my old Singer which doesn't have its own cabinet, so I build up my dining room table with books and lay a cardboard cutting board with a hole for the machine on top. The vinyl goes over the bed of the machine and the cardboard. I use the paste wax on my vintage Bernina and the formica of its cabinet.

    Both methods work well for creating a slippery surface, however, I find the paste wax more convenient for bobbin changes.

  6. #6
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    The wax is the stuff!!! I use paste wax on my machine bed and the table top and it makes it good and slickery. Also I take all of the tension off of the presserfoot bar when I drop the feed dogs.

    As far as the foot, I use the same foot I use when I sew my quilts. I have never tried to use anything else like a darning foot or a FMQ foot.

    Billy

  7. #7
    JJs
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    get a pair of 'rubberized' gardening gloves from walmart - you'd be amazed how EASY it is to move that quilt sandwich around with them....

    less than $4 a pair

    forget the ones with the little ditty-dots, use the rubberized

  8. #8
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I'm going to try the wax tip. It sounds wonderful. I use quilting gloves all the time and love them. They make a huge difference.

  9. #9
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I just ran across an old article by Diane Gaudinski, and she mentioned that the foot should "bounce" with each stitch and that you should be able to move the quilt sandwich when the foot is down. She said that the foot on some machines may not allow this, and to try the embroidery foot, the quilting foot and the darning foot to see if one was better than the others. She also mentioned adjusting the pressure on the foot if you have a machine with this adjustment. With thinner batting, the pressure may need to be increased; with thicker batting, it may need to be decreased so that the quilt sandwich can be moved when the foot is down.

  10. #10
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    some quilters have waxed their machine!!
    sometimes it's the batting, sometimes the fabric.
    I've done it with feed dogs down and up. actually took a class and we left them up. but I've encountered problems off and on. i don't change my tention at all, nor stitch length. you shouldn't have to do that. the movement of the quilt determines the length of stitch.
    try holding the quilt better and quilting in smaller areas. slower but may work better.
    good luck.

  11. #11
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    sometimes if the quilt is very big and heavy the weight itself will keep it from moving around smoothly. if this is the case, you'll have to experiment with different maneuvers of body/quilt (such as holding the quilt over one shoulder) while you sew.

  12. #12
    Super Member ScubaK's Avatar
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    I cover my surface with a vinyl tablecloth and it lets the quilt slide around...
    k

  13. #13
    scrappy_quilter's Avatar
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    ya'll are just wonderful - what great tips ... I will try them too I am learning how to stipple on my machine.

  14. #14
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    I have one of the teflon sheets and it does not help at all. Also, it makes changing the bobbin very difficult! Hope this helps.


  15. #15
    Senior Member Nita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by butterflywing
    sometimes if the quilt is very big and heavy the weight itself will keep it from moving around smoothly. if this is the case, you'll have to experiment with different maneuvers of body/quilt (such as holding the quilt over one shoulder) while you sew.
    Yes, the weight of the fabric causes what is known as "drag". They are a bit pricey, but if you can afford to buy a quilter's table where your machine is resessed below, making the throat plate flush with the table, that does alot to eliminate drag.

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