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Thread: sewing without a foot

  1. #1
    Super Member mike'sgirl's Avatar
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    sewing without a foot

    I saw a lady on Youtube that was showing how she embroiders and sews applique without a foot on her machine. I don't mean for this to be a thread to bash her, just want to know others thoughts on this technique.

  2. #2
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    dangerous, is the first word that comes to mind. that's not bashing, just an observation.
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

  3. #3
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Ditto on the Dangerous comment!


    Another thought ... what is she accomplishing by not using a foot?
    Aren't our machines designed to function with a foot?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
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  4. #4
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    It was a technique used back in the days before we had the fancy feet. There is even a needle with a spring surrounding it that was used. the technique is the forerunner of thread painting. You used an embroidery hoop.

    And you are correct about it being dangerous.

  5. #5
    Super Member Greenheron's Avatar
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    I thought this was going to be an inspirational post. Just didn't know why lacking a foot would be a big problem. (BTW I did embroidery without a presser foot or a free motion foot for a while--keep your fingers outside the hoop folks.)
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 04-25-2013 at 10:54 AM.

  6. #6
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Not something I'd even consider since I've gotten my finger 'needled' with a foot on. I'd be even more of a clutz without a foot!

  7. #7
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I've done it and amazingly didn't sew my finger. In some ways it is easier because you can really see where you are going.

  8. #8
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    My Singer 328K we bought in 1962/1963 shows doing this for monagrams, in the manual. Just keeping your hands away from the needle will make it quite a bit safer. It is not that you need a ffot on the machine. You just must have the presser foot lever in the down position.
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  9. #9
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    I saw some amazing embroidery done without the foot on youtube. It looked like an old Singer and the man doing it was embroidering on silk with silk thread. Absolutely incredible!

  10. #10
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I gave it a try years ago to do some machine embroidery, I had my best luck when I used a stabilizer under it. Using and old fashioned hoop was also a big help. I traced on to the fabric with a light pencil mark the areas of design. I did get a free motion foot when they became available..

  11. #11
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I have never tried it, looks pretty scary!

  12. #12
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    I've done it on small pieces for thread painting, no accidents but not for the faint of heart. I LOVED it cause nothing obstructed my vision and there was no foot to catch my basting threads.

    I know I've seen video's of industrial sewing without feet ... an environment where speed was a factor. Some were current and foreign (no OSHA to worry about) other video's or photo's that were taken here in the states were much older (pre OSHA or H&S in Britain). All of them were specialized where the same motion was repeated piece after piece.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

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    Super Member quilts4charity's Avatar
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    My mama used to do monogramming for us using this technique....she is a brave lady....LOL, but she did nice work!!!!!

  14. #14
    Super Member Weezy Rider's Avatar
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    I have the Singer book that has all that tapestry and lace. First electric driven machines.

    If you used a spring needle for thread painting, you were supposed to use a hoop. There were instructions on how to cut a notch in the wooden hoop, and how to wrap so fabric didn't slip. Like FMQ, the hoop could be large enough to fit the throat of the machine. I still have some old books with this technique along with cutwork.

  15. #15
    Super Member mike'sgirl's Avatar
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    She did use her own octagonal hoops that she has developed. She is using a modern machine. My first thought was dangerous as well, but she does beautiful work and her hands are well away from the needle. I would worry about breaking a needle and it flying at me! Thanks for all the thoughts. I was just curious what others would think.

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    Super Member blahel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa_wanna_b_quilter View Post
    I've done it and amazingly didn't sew my finger. In some ways it is easier because you can really see where you are going.
    You can also see the needle going into your finger..lol
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  17. #17
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    I have the foot that is a spiral made out of wire. I have used it to embroider and it works fine. With any sewing, just be careful.
    The joy of the Lord is my strength.

  18. #18
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    We all have our areas of expertise - I bet this one takes a lot of practice.

  19. #19
    Super Member DOTTYMO's Avatar
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    I saw this done on paper using the needle to perforate a pile of paper for templates. Hope this makes sense.
    Finished is better than a UFO

  20. #20
    Junior Member Retiredandquilting's Avatar
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    If you girls all want a laugh, I saw this and wondered why this woman was sewing without a foot. I am thinking she must be using the knee option to make the machine run. I wondered what happened to her foot. Then I wondered why all of you thought that running the machine with a foot was dangerous. After reading about 4 posts, I finally understood that she was running the machine without a presser foot. I guess I watched to much about the Boston Bombings. I am an idiot!
    Sue In Bloomfield, NY

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa_wanna_b_quilter View Post
    I've done it and amazingly didn't sew my finger. In some ways it is easier because you can really see where you are going.
    I took a class years ago on free motion embroidery. As others have said, you keep your hands on the hoop and they are nowhere near the needle. In many ways it's like FMQ as you move the fabric in the hoop around and you are not guiding the fabric near the needle. It is really a neat way to embroider.

  22. #22
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    Some of our most beautiful embroidery we buy in stores is made in the Youctan by women using the old treadle sewing machines without a presser foot. I just stood and marveled at what they were doing. They lived in a little hut with no electricity. Their machines set by the door so they could get light. Then on Sat they were allowed to take them to the town square and sell for almost nothing. Then we complain because our machines won't do all the work for us. Sorry for sounding off but I was blown away just watching them.

  23. #23
    Super Member Mornigstar's Avatar
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    So thankful you talked about this as I have some Mexican clothing and I really wondered how they could do all that because I realized it was not done by hand. Think I saw the "footless" method years ago but now it seems like a dream. I have a treadle sitting here that needs to be used but also an electric embroidery machine.



    Quote Originally Posted by helenquilt View Post
    Some of our most beautiful embroidery we buy in stores is made in the Youctan by women using the old treadle sewing machines without a presser foot. I just stood and marveled at what they were doing. They lived in a little hut with no electricity. Their machines set by the door so they could get light. Then on Sat they were allowed to take them to the town square and sell for almost nothing. Then we complain because our machines won't do all the work for us. Sorry for sounding off but I was blown away just watching them.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retiredandquilting View Post
    If you girls all want a laugh, I saw this and wondered why this woman was sewing without a foot. I am thinking she must be using the knee option to make the machine run. I wondered what happened to her foot. Then I wondered why all of you thought that running the machine with a foot was dangerous. After reading about 4 posts, I finally understood that she was running the machine without a presser foot. I guess I watched to much about the Boston Bombings. I am an idiot!
    Idiot here, too? LOL
    Mavita - Square dancer and One Room School Teacher

  25. #25
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    When I started to embroider with my machine, I didn't use a foot. I used a regular embroidery hoop (like for hand embroidery ) so it did keep my fingers out of the way, but we didn't have "embroidery " feet then and it worked just fine.

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