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Thread: Stitch Regulator Advantage?

  1. #1
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    Stitch Regulator Advantage?

    Iíve never used a stitch regulator for FMQ, and it seems like the difference would be night and day Ö so is it? Iím thinking of on a DSM, but I imagine the same applies to longarms. For those of you who have tried FMQ both with and without a regulator, how much did it help? Does it help more when youíre a beginner, but then later on when youíre proficient you donít really need it (but I would leave it on anyway I imagine)?

  2. #2
    Super Member luvstoquilt301's Avatar
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    I bought a very old HQ16 that did not have the regulator. Not every stitch is exactly the same size but I do not make show quilts. Once the quilt is washed and dried it makes no difference at all.

    Friends tell me after a while they "outrun" the regulator. I am not quite sure what that means but I quilt fairly quickly on my HQ. They ended up turning it off.

    That being said--I do not do pantos. I just quilt free from the front of the machine. I think it is very helpful with those.

  3. #3
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    The only one I have tried is a Fabric Mover stitch regulator... and it was cumbersome because you had to stop and re-position the opening so often. The stitches looked lovely though.... it was also very pricey for my Husqvarna.

  4. #4
    Super Member Watson's Avatar
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    I got a stitch regulator with my used Tiara. I tried it when I bought it and never have used it since. Having to re-adjust it under the fabric, keep it a certain distance away from the needle and listen to it beep when I went too fast wasn't pleasant. I'd rather wok on keep ing my stitches even as I can myself.

    Watson

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    Thanks for the replies, Watson, ThimbleBug and LuvsToQuilt. I expected people to like them and maybe even gush on about them, and it's interesting that the replies so far are not enthusiastic. I welcome more opinions and experiences.

    There might be a shop where I can try one out, but it's not near me. I would definitely want to try one out before buying, but I might be as well off practicing more, as Watson said. I'm not looking for quilt show quality, I just don't want anything that's really off (those inch-long stitches that I sometimes get when I stop and start and the quilt sticks).

  6. #6
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I can't speak for DSM or sitdown machines but as far as a LA is concerned, I wouldn't be without a stitch regulator. But I learned using one and only quilted without one in a classroom setting. Speaking only for LA I think a SR reduces your learning curve considerably. You can focus on movement and technique and not worry about keeping your stitch length consistent. The quality of the stitch regulator makes a huge difference as well. Many lesser quality ones and after market ones could very easily be more of a distraction/hindrance than help.
    The base SR that came with my innova was great but I upgraded to the lightening stitch early this year and wow what a difference. It is super responsive, I no longer get a slightly longer stitch when going from a dead stop into a quicker motion, I have a much larger selection of stitch lengths from a basting stitch all the way up to something like 20 SPI for micro work and the regulator controller is now on the front of my machine head instead of at the back. I love my lightening stitch!

  7. #7
    Super Member Doggramma's Avatar
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    I love the stitch regulator on my Bernina longarm. Prior to the stitch regulator, my stitches were bigger and uneven. After a couple years (when I started quilting without the stitch regulator) I was finally getting some decent stitches, but the stitch regulator makes perfectly sized stitches. It's possible to go too fast for the regulator to keep up. When that happens, it will keep beeping and it's annoying and you can turn off the beeper. You're kind if defeating the purpose then. It's made me slow down to a reasonable pace, though, and after using one now for over 5 or 6 years, it's made me a better quilter I think.
    Lori

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  8. #8
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I think I would like a machine with a SR but I never used one. I use to be better at stitch length being more consistent. I FMQ more often but doesn't seem to my liking as much. I am older and my body is too. Who knows?
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  9. #9
    Super Member quiltedsunshine's Avatar
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    A Bernina with a stitch regulator, is OK if you're not in a hurry. They only go 800 to 1000 stitches per minute. When you compare that with 2400 stitches per minute on a longarm, that makes a huge difference.

    I love the stitch regulator on my HandiQuilter, but I do alright without the stitch regulator on my little Bernina.
    Annette in Utah

  10. #10
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    Long arm yes its lovely. DSM it can be jerky when your hands are faster than the regulator if you don't have consistent speed it makes the iregulator have jerky looking stitches. When you change speed. If you have consistent speed your stitches will look nicer without a regulator imho so its not worth the money for a domestic. Haven't touched mine in forever
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

  11. #11
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    interesting thread--just at a Machine quilters today and the program was on using rulers on domestic or sit-down machines--and some tips with LA. The presenter is experienced in using domestic, sit-down and LA and said that while she insists on a SR for LA, she doesn't even suggest you buy one for a domestic or sit-down as the process if very awkward and disruptive to the "zen" (her words) motion you develop with practice on them. Interesting thought process.

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    I have a BERNINA 550 with a stitch regulator foot. I love it. I can FMQ without it, but when i’m tired or distracted, it keeps my stitches looking nice.

  13. #13
    Power Poster Annaquilts's Avatar
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    I have lightening stitch on my Innova longarm and it is worth every penny. I don't outrun it. I can turn it on or off. Originally I learned to stitch without it.
    Anna Quilts

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    I had an add on stitch regulator on my Bailey mid arm, and it was hit and miss. The biggest problem was the machine itself did not have a high end stitch speed, so even with the regulator, it was really easy to move the machine faster than it could stitch so you'd still get uneven stitches.

    My HQ came with one, and I've never had any problems with it. Every once in a while I do turn it off for microstitching. I love that I can set it in precision mode (starts and stops exactly how I move the machine) or the other setting where it will continue to stitch at a very slow speed (you can adjust it) when you stop moving. This allows for me to take an extra stitch at corners when changing directions, and it also stops the jerky start/stops.

    I've played a bit on sit down machines with them, and didn't like them near as much. Some seemed to be not near as responsive so you'd always get a bit of larger stitches when starting to move.
    My name is Cathy - and I'm addicted to old sewing machines and their attachments.

  15. #15
    Super Member Yvonne's Avatar
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    I have a Bernina domestic sewing machine with a SR and I've not looked back. I will only piece my quilts on a Pfaff with the dual feed and I only quilt on the Bernina with the SR. I know what works for me and I stick with it! I can quilt without the SR but not as easily done or as consistent! Try it in the shop first. It only took me a couple of minutes into a test run to know that I wanted the SR.
    Sew much fabric! Sew little time!

  16. #16
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    As far as I know, the Bernina is the only DSM with a true SR, the BSR. I have the 440QE, and learned FMQ with the BSR. When I got a longarm (Innova) I bought it with the standard SR, and it did a great job. While it was possible to move your hands too fast with the Bernina and outrun the SR, that didn't happen at all with the Innova's SR. Last year I upgraded the Innova SR to Lightning Stitch, a much improved SR that wasn't available yet when I first purchased the Innova. There are differences in the ability of a SR to provide even stitches when you start suddenly, make jerky movements, or go in and out of points. Innova's standard SR is good, but Lightning Stitch is even better. It's a pricey upgrade, but well worth it IMHO.

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    Thanks, dunster. That is a very enlightening post. I will print and save that.
    I have the BSR and learned to FMQ with it on my Bernina 440QE. I have tried to do it without the BSR a few times, but it was a disaster. Yes, sometimes I move so fast that the BSR cannot keep up with me, but most times it does just fine. I tried meanders of different sizes and was amazed at how easy it was and how nice it looked, even if I did cross over the threads a few times.
    Mavita - Square dancer and One Room School Teacher

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    This is MHO: I am not in a speed race to see how fast I can go. That mind-set (for me) takes away the fun of quilting. I just plod along, enjoying watching my field of accomplishment grow larger. No one has a stop-watch timing me, so I just enjoy the task at hand.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Kwiltr's Avatar
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    While it seems like a must have item, without it you will eventually learn to quilt with a very nice self regulated stitch length. It takes practise but it is surprising how well one can do without a stitch regulator. My sit down machine wasn’t regulated but my Longarm is. My goal is to actually go unregulated on my Longarm too at some point as a stitch regulator has its own draw backs.

  20. #20
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    So far I've been happy with the SR on my Baby Lock Coronet. I'll see what happens with more practice/experience.

  21. #21
    Super Member rryder's Avatar
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    I've never had a stitch regulator on either my domestic machines or my HQSweet16 (which is a sit down - move the quilt machine). I have tried the stitch regulators for various sit down machines, including the Innova sit down, the Bernina sit down long arm, the HQ, etc. and didn't like any of them. I also tried the BSR on the Bernina domestic machines and hated it-- didn't get any better quality with the BSR than without and found it rather annoying because it just seemed to interrupt my flow. Everyone is different and some folks love the BSR and also the stitch regulators for the sit down quilters. Best thing to do is to go to a show and try them out to see what you like.

    Rob
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  22. #22
    Senior Member Kwiltr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rryder View Post
    I've never had a stitch regulator on either my domestic machines or my HQSweet16 (which is a sit down - move the quilt machine). I have tried the stitch regulators for various sit down machines, including the Innova sit down, the Bernina sit down long arm, the HQ, etc. and didn't like any of them. I also tried the BSR on the Bernina domestic machines and hated it-- didn't get any better quality with the BSR than without and found it rather annoying because it just seemed to interrupt my flow. Everyone is different and some folks love the BSR and also the stitch regulators for the sit down quilters. Best thing to do is to go to a show and try them out to see what you like.

    Rob
    This was me, exactly

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