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Basic newbie quilting question

Basic newbie quilting question

Old 01-30-2018, 08:00 PM
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Default Basic newbie quilting question

I see references to "darning" or "quilting" attachments for free motion quilting. I intended to use the standard foot on an antique Singer 66, same for piecing the quilt top. What advantages are there for useing the special foot?
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:19 AM
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Hi there- you need a foot with an opening for FMQ. They are usually round with an open or closed toe. But you can't FMQ without one.
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Old 01-31-2018, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by SusieQOH View Post
Hi there- you need a foot with an opening for FMQ. They are usually round with an open or closed toe. But you can't FMQ without one.
Thanks.
I've seen the attachment with the large loop. Tell me the purpose, why does a standard foot not work?
Yeah, I know, I'm technical!
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Old 01-31-2018, 11:34 AM
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A standard foot works for piecing I high is regular sewing. The free motion or darning foot is for quilting with the feed dogs dropped or covered. You can then move the fabric in any direction to quilt various patterns.
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Old 01-31-2018, 11:38 AM
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Originally Posted by SusieQOH View Post
Hi there- you need a foot with an opening for FMQ. They are usually round with an open or closed toe. But you can't FMQ without one.
No, you don't. It depends on the machine.
A hopping, or darning foot, is usually used with the feed dogs lowered or covered so you are controlling how fast/slow the fabric is moved. The foot raises off the fabric for a second with every stitch to make it easier to move the fabric. The shape of the foot makes it easier to see where your stitches are being laid down.
But it's not an absolute must to use a darning foot for FM work. I know several quilters who use the normal straight stitch foot on their vintage machines. I have one 15 class clone that does beautiful FM work as long as I don't put a darning foot on her. I don't even drop the feed dogs. Since her presser foot pressure spring is worn out it doesn't matter. I just set the stitch length to zero and quilt away.

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Old 01-31-2018, 01:17 PM
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I darn on my Singer 201 treadle using the normal standard foot. I haven't quilted on this machine since I use my fancy Bernina 440QE when quilting. However, I know the treadle would do a fine job. The stitches are perfect. I loosen the tension on the pressure bar until my fabric moves freely under the foot. I don't even drop the feed dogs. When I patch my husband's jeans I can go between several seam layers of denim to a single layer and there is not even a hiccup.

I also use the 201 treadle to do free motion embroidery. When embroidering, I use the technique suggested in the manual; remove the foot altogether and place my fabric tautly in an embroidery hoop. The work is wonderful, it is hard to tell the right from wrong side just by looking at the stitches. Those old machine are marvelous!

To answer your question, I think the darning/embroidery foot might give a better view since it wouldn't obstruct as much of the fabric. But, I don't even know if that foot would work with my old Singer 66's and 201's; I haven't tried it.

Last edited by JudyTheSewer; 01-31-2018 at 01:22 PM. Reason: answer Mr. Stitcher's question
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Old 01-31-2018, 03:56 PM
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Thanks everyone. I'm convinced enough to try one of my Redeye 66 machines with the standard foot. This is all a long time away, I'm just in the research-learning mode now.
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Old 01-31-2018, 05:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Mr. Sticher View Post
Thanks everyone. I'm convinced enough to try one of my Redeye 66 machines with the standard foot. This is all a long time away, I'm just in the research-learning mode now.
The only way to find out what a particular machine likes is to play around with different feet and settings. Have fun with it and report back what you figure out.

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Old 02-01-2018, 06:56 AM
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The main difference between the two feet is that the standard foot, when lowered, "clamps"the fabric to the feed dogs so that they can move the fabric with each stitch. The darning foot or FMQ foot is slightly raised from the fabric (at least the one on my 401 is, which is my only experience) so that the fabric can be moved. To use the standard foot, you would need to reduce the pressure on the foot so that you can move the fabric. You would also have to disable your feed dogs by lowering, covering them or setting your stitch length to 0.

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