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Thread: Uneven stitches with walking foot

  1. #1
    Super Member kim_s's Avatar
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    Just wondering if others have this problem? I have 2 machines. An old Viking 6570 and a new Janome AQS. Both have nice and even stitches when piecing but everything goes haywire when I use a walking foot. Both walking feet I bought specific to the machines so they are not generics. I have attempted adjusting the upper thread tension but that doesn't help. Not sure if I want to mess with the bobbin tension...The Viking was serviced about 1 1/2 years ago and the Janome is less than a year old.

    I always sew at the same speed to try and keep the stitches more even. In the past I always did SITD so the stitches were not so visible but now I am doing more freehand designs on the quilt tops so everything shows!

    Anyway, if you have any suggestions or solutions I would be most appreciative.

    Thanks!
    Kim

  2. #2
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    What do you mean by "in the past I always did SITD so the stitches were not so visible but now I am doing more freehand designs onm the quilt tops so everything shows!"

    In the beginning you talk about the walking foot. Are you doing "freehand" designs with the walking foot.

    need some clarification.

  3. #3
    Super Member miss_ticky2's Avatar
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    If you're trying to do freehand designs (Free Motion Quilting?) you don't use a walking foot. You need a FMQ or darning/hopping foot. Sounds like FMQ is what you're trying to do.

  4. #4
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    can you show us a photo or two of the project? that will help us understand more accurately so we can help. :-)

  5. #5
    Super Member candi's Avatar
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    As somone already mentioned if you are trying to quilt free motion curves, cricles and what not, you need a darning foot, the walking foot won't do it.

    The walking foot can do straight lines and easy small curves...but you have to stop and turn the quilt and not move it while the needle is going to get consistent stitches. Hoep this makes sense.

    If you are just doing straight lines and you are getting uneven stitches, check to make sure that you walking foot is installed properly...there is an arm that needs to fit on a screw.

    Hope this helps.

  6. #6
    Super Member kim_s's Avatar
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    Sorry for the major confusion. I am not doing any FMQ. If you SITD you can hide the stitching within the ditch of the blocks. But I am using a walking foot to stitch on the quilt top, out of the ditch, so the lines are very visible.

    This is all straight line stitching, no curving, etc.

    The walking feet on both of my machines are installed correctly.

    If I set my stitch length for 3 I don't get consistent stitches of 3. The Viking walking foot is older so maybe it does not work as well as it once did. The Janome, being newer, is a bit better, but still has the inconsistencies.

    Since this doesn't happen with a regular foot I am wondering if it could be tension issues.

  7. #7
    Super Member clem55's Avatar
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    make sure the pressure bar is down, and stays down. I was doing something thick with mine and the fabric was bunching up in back and pushing the bar up.

  8. #8
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    i do curves with mine and it works well. i quilt slowly and move my quilt to the right and then left as i go along.
    do you have a shop you can go to and show them how your feet do?

  9. #9
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Are you yanking your fabric through, maybe unaware of it? You shouldn't have to be pulling on it as that will distort stitches. Also, you may want to try lowering the foot pressure on your machine if you've got the capability to do so.

  10. #10
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    It may just be the weight of the quilt pulling on the needle area. I did a quilt on my embroidery machine some time ago and every once in awhile the design wouldn't match exact when the end was joining the beginning. I found out that the quilt was fighting against the machine by getting caught in the front or back.

    Just make sure there is enough 'give' when feeding the quilt through and see if that helps.

  11. #11
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    I'm a pusher. I tend to shove quilts through the machine and it gives me uneven stitches every time. I have to remind myself to let the feed dogs work and support the quilt weight so they can work.

  12. #12
    Super Member grammy Dwynn's Avatar
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    The weight of the quilt can mess up the stitches. Is your surface flat?

    Before I got my sewing table, my quilts would get caught on my acrylic table. Now with a nice flat surface things go smoother. I just have pay attention sometime when most of the quilt is toward me, I put it over my shoulder and not in my lap.

    Good luck

  13. #13
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    Rethread both top thread and bobbin and make sure bobbin is wound correctly. Are you using same thread on top and bottom? Practice on sample to make sure stitching is good. Also there is a "top Stitching" needle that is longer than regular needle. It is good to use if your quilt sandwich is thick. I even use it on fleece to make sure needle is going down far enough to pick up thread from the bobbin. Only adjust the bobbin tension as a very last resort!

  14. #14
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I agree with the others that typically when using a walking foot and you are getting uneven stitches its because of the weight of the quilt is creating a drag , and the quilt will not feed at even intervals/stitch. Make sure you have some slack in the quilt sandwich and support the weight so it can feed evenly.

  15. #15
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    Maybe this link might help you.Good luck!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ox8qRhWF3CI

    or search for 'Sewing Machine Pressure Settings for Machine Quilting' by crazy shortcut quilts

  16. #16
    Senior Member thseabreze's Avatar
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    I would make sure I had the correct needle size, for the thread size you are using. I learned a major lesson from this.

  17. #17
    Junior Member lynnsv's Avatar
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    It has alot to do with the weight or drag of the quilt. Believe it or not, if you put the quilt over your shoulder, it reduces the'drag/pull'

  18. #18
    Power Poster Homespun's Avatar
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    Have you adjusted the pressure?

  19. #19
    deema's Avatar
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    I'm a puller. My quilt tends to not feed properly because I'm pulling on one side or another. I find my stitches are nicer and more even when I let my machine do its job. I'm working on it. lol The machine is designed to do it...I'm just not designed to let it. :lol:

  20. #20
    Super Member koko's Avatar
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    I have a Viking machine that has a pressure foot dial and for normal sewing it is supposed to be set at 4. When using the walking foot for quilting it is supposed to be set at 2.5. It makes a world of difference. I also lengthen my stitches just a tad too so I get nice even stitches.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa_wanna_b_quilter
    I'm a pusher. I tend to shove quilts through the machine and it gives me uneven stitches every time. I have to remind myself to let the feed dogs work and support the quilt weight so they can work.
    I am the same way. If I slow down I get better results

  22. #22
    Senior Member echobluff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Candace
    Are you yanking your fabric through, maybe unaware of it? You shouldn't have to be pulling on it as that will distort stitches. Also, you may want to try lowering the foot pressure on your machine if you've got the capability to do so.
    That was my thought too...

  23. #23
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    Because of the way the walking foot is built, when going over a thicker seam, it will catch or drag, causing smaller stitches. Watch and see if that is when your stitching changes, if so, slow down on the seams. Once in awhile, I find it necessary to slightly lift the pressure foot to allow it to advance going over certain seams. Hope this helps.

  24. #24
    Super Member IBQUILTIN's Avatar
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    If you are trying to fmq eith a walking foot, you will never get your stitches even, it is only for straight seams. You need either a free motion foot or a darning foot.

  25. #25
    Member quilt gram's Avatar
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    Can you adjust the pressure on your pressure foot?

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