Leapt before I looked

Old 03-16-2020, 03:24 PM
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I bought a Westalee ruler foot for my 401 before I remembered that the feed dogs don't drop. Is there any reason I couldn't just remove the feed dogs temporarily while I work on this quilt?

I have a 301 that would be a better candidate, but haven't figured out if I can make the cradle removable. That way, I can switch machines and use the same cabinet for all my slant shank machines.

bkay
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Old 03-16-2020, 04:21 PM
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The feed dogs drop on my 401, although "technically" they don't drop, but the plate raises. You switch the lever in front by the pillar of the machine, it says throat plate position.
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Old 03-16-2020, 05:26 PM
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Hi bkay - looked at a few videos of the Westalee system and I can see how maybe? raising the throat plate (which is how the 401/403 and 500/503 "drop" their feed dogs) may not be preferable. I would consider just taking the feed dogs off. The Chapman midget ratchet and some of the bits are ideal to get under there and take the feed dogs out when the throat plate is off...they make a sewing machine repair kit too. Also I'd be sure to use the straight stitch throat plate "AK3" too (unless you had occasion to zig zag with that system)
That said I've had a pretty good time darning with the throat plate raised to the darn position, and wonder if this wouldn't work for you also.

Matt
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Old 03-16-2020, 05:54 PM
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Try setting stitch length to 0 and place your supreme glider over them. This is what Leah Day suggests on her website blog, my machines all can drop feed dogs so I have not tried but should work.
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Old 03-17-2020, 03:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Three Dog Night View Post
Try setting stitch length to 0 and place your supreme glider over them. This is what Leah Day suggests on her website blog, my machines all can drop feed dogs so I have not tried but should work.
This works - it's what I used to do when I sewed mainly on a Singer 401J
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Old 03-18-2020, 06:36 AM
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I couldn't get the stitch length to set to 0. I kept trying to find 0, but at every setting, the feed dogs kept moving. It's a 401a. So, I removed the feed dogs (I'd forgotten what a pain that is.). That worked, but as soon as I tried it, I realized that ruler foot quilting wouldn't be a quick thing to learn, plus, I haven't bought the supreme slider yet.

So, I decided to just use my walking foot, as I've reached the "just finish the darn thing" place with this quilt. Of course, while putting back the feed dogs, I dropped one of the screws. I tried all kinds of tools to reach it, but finally decided I would have to take off the bottom to get it out. My brain had stopped working, so just put everything away for the day. And, as usual, as soon as I put everything in a box for this morning, I realized I just needed a magnetic screwdriver.

The machine needs a good cleaning and oiling, so I'm going to remove the bottom anyway after I get the screw out.

As an aside, I realized that buying that ruler foot for any slant shank machine was a less than brilliant idea. As far as I know, none of them drop the feed dogs.

bkay
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Old 03-18-2020, 08:06 AM
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My dad had an expression, "Quit before you break something." I am glad you put it off. Sorry this is such a pain, bkay.
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Old 03-18-2020, 07:58 PM
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You can leave the feed dogs up when free-motion or ruler quilting. I do it all the time. It kind of gives me a rhythm.
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Old 03-19-2020, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by quiltedsunshine View Post
You can leave the feed dogs up when free-motion or ruler quilting. I do it all the time. It kind of gives me a rhythm.
Thanks, Annette. I'll try that when I finish this darned quilt (it's been a learning experience). I was going to use the ruler foot to stitch in the ditch, as it seems like it would reduce the amount of times you have to stuff the quilt through the harp. Using the walking foot just takes a lot more stuffing. Hopefully, I'll get this quilt ready to bind before this day is over.

Thanks again.

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