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Thread: Should I have to push my walking foot?

  1. #1
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    Should I have to push my walking foot?

    So I'm quilting my very first quilt—yay! I just got my walking foot today and it seems to be doing fine on test fabric, but when it comes to moving the actual quilt through (it's a throw size... I was a little overambitious) it seems to 'catch'. I have to push the quilt to keep it from stitching the same spot over and over, and the stitches it's making are tiny and irregular even with stitch length cranked up to 5. Is this normal? I'm making sure the quilt isn't snagged on anything and I'm supporting the weight so I don't think that's what's stopping it. My impression was that with FMQ you have to push and steer the fabric, but with a walking foot the machine should 'pull' everything through for you. Help!

    Edit: I'm working on a Brother CS6000—is it possible that it just doesn't have the power to move something so sturdy?
    Last edited by larkitecht; 05-14-2017 at 03:42 PM.

  2. #2
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    Are the feed dogs working and is the walking foot engaging? They should come together like a clamp and move the quilt along.

  3. #3
    Power Poster lynnie's Avatar
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    i have to nudge mine along too
    put off till tomorrow what you can do today, and if you procrastinate long enough, you may never have to do it.

  4. #4
    Senior Member jokir44's Avatar
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    My question too about the feed dogs being up and the forked arm being attached correctly. Also is the presser foot lowered all the way? I've been guilty of all kinds of operator errors so I know how easily you can forget to do even the simplest things.

  5. #5
    Senior Member geevee's Avatar
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    Are you sure it's attached properly - with the little arm hooked into the needle bar?

  6. #6
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    The feed dogs are definitely engaging, they grab my test fabrics just fine and pull them. Presser foot is lowered. The little fork is on the needle bar. I'm starting to think my presser foot might be putting too much pressure on the quilt—I can see the feed dogs trying to pull, but it just doesn't budge until I give it a good shove.

  7. #7
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    I had one walking foot that had one bar that sat over the needle screw. The next foot had more like a fork that straddles the screw. When I first put on the fork type I just had it sitting on top of the screw. It did not work that way.

  8. #8
    Junior Member shadoh's Avatar
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    I'm not familiar with the brother machine but if properly installed and the feed dogs up you should not have to tug the fabric it should move along itself and sounds like something wrong if the stitches are not even. I use a long stitch length when quilting.

  9. #9
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    The weight of the quilt has to be supported. Try lifting the quilt in front of the machine, so that it isn't having to pull all that fabric. A walking foot is strong, but not strong enough to pull the weight of 40+ inches of fabric with no assistance!

  10. #10
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    What needle type and size are you using? What thread are you using? Stitch length?

    Is the quilt level with the bed of the sewing machine? . You mentioned that it works on the smaller sample size but the issues happen when working on the actual quilt .It sounds like you are getting drag on the quilt.

    What speed are you using to quilt? If you can, slow the machine speed button.

    Try a Topstitch needle in the 9/14 size.

    Is the quilt level with the bed of the sewing machine?

  11. #11
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I agree with lifting up the quilt in front of the presser foot, so you are "feeding" the quilt to the presser foot from above. It does not take much extra weight to prevent a walking foot from feeding.

  12. #12
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    Is it hanging up on thick seam convergences? If so, you need to loosen your foot pressure.

  13. #13
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    Sometimes I use a longer stitch with the walking foot.

  14. #14
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    Is your test fabric the same thickness (ie two layers of cotton plus the same batting)?

    Are you wearing gloves so that your hands have a good "grip" on the fabric and you're not adding extra effort to keep your hands from slipping? If your hands are slipping, that creates 'walking' problems.

    What stitch length are you using? Try increasing it . Loosen the foot pressure a tad. Also what size needle are you using? If it's too small (or dull) it'll struggle to keep pace.

  15. #15
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    ​Can you reduce the pressure on your foot? If the batt is high loft that might help.

  16. #16
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    You say the fork is on the needle bar. Explain this. The fork should be between the needle bar, not over.

  17. #17
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    You also might have to lessen the pressure on the foot. On my machines you have a knob directly up from your needle. Less pressure will work better, just turn the knob until the feed dogs can move the fabric along.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  18. #18
    Super Member tesspug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jennifer23 View Post
    The weight of the quilt has to be supported. Try lifting the quilt in front of the machine, so that it isn't having to pull all that fabric. A walking foot is strong, but not strong enough to pull the weight of 40+ inches of fabric with no assistance!
    I think people don't take this into consideration enough. Several pounds of fabric and batting could be pulling against that little foot and those tiny feed dogs.
    I promise not to buy any more fabric until I see something I really like. Or it's on sale. Or I think it might match something.

  19. #19
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    Engage your feed dogs. They pull the fabric on the bottom. The Walking foot will help the top fabric. Everything goes thru the machine!

  20. #20
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    Lots of great suggestions mentioned. Did you have a chance to try any of them yet?

  21. #21
    Senior Member Kath12's Avatar
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    Are you using the correct walking foot for your machine? I have several machines that are different makes (Brother, Viking, Singer, New Home) and the foot is not interchangeable. For example, I can't use my Singer walking foot on my Brother machine.
    Kathy Stewart from IA
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  22. #22
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    Lengthen the stitch?

  23. #23
    Super Member MaggieLou's Avatar
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    Can you adjust the pressure of the pressure foot? My older Kenmore has an adjustment that reduces the pressure on the pressure foot when sewing over thick or heavier weight fabrics.
    Margaret

    "If the devil could dance in empty pockets, he'd have a ball in mine."

    Life is a coin. You can spend it any way you wish but you can only spend it once.

  24. #24
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    Thanks for your advice, everyone! I think y'all are right about it being drag from the quilt. I'm lifting it up more and making sure it's level with the presser foot and that has been helping. It's probably just a matter of me needing to get used to something new. :P I think adjusting the presser foot pressure would help a little too, but alas my machine doesn't have that option.

    My quilting so far isn't as lovely and neat as everything I see on here, but practice practice practice! Like my FIL says, if I end up with a quilt at the end on a first attempt, I'm doing pretty good...

  25. #25
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    Have a look at this little video on your machine, maybe there is something there to help you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7nR9t3i0sSw

    It looks like they have 42 videos on your machine, might be worth watching ? https://sewingmastery.com/brother-cs6000i/
    Last edited by thimblebug6000; 05-15-2017 at 07:00 AM.

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