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Thread: Quilting Foot Question

  1. #1
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    Quilting Foot Question

    Newbie Post: I have just started free motion quilting and ruler foot quilting. I collect vintage machines, so have a few I'd like to try. So far I have not been too successful with my Singer 15-125. I have had more success with my Singer 201-2, but would also like to try my Singer 15-91. There is a foot made specifically for the Singer 15-91, so does it matter which foot I use? I am finding that the ruler foot, which fits my modern machine, does not leave enough space underneath for easy movement of the quilt on a vintage machine. I have seen that there are feet made especially for particular models, so my question is this: other than looking for the shank height, high, medium, low, or slant, does it matter if you don't get the specific foot for that machine? I would love to hear what others use and why one foot is better than another.

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    Both the 201 and the 15 (and the 66) are standard low shank machines. The specialty foot for the 15 should work fine on any low shank machine.
    The 15-125 is the 15-91 in a different coat. Not that there aren't differences between machines of the same model, there definitely are. It would be interesting to know if those differences are primarily due to one having been a well used and maintained vsm.
    For advancing that quilt sandwich under the foot, try a Davis Vertical Feed treadle. It has a high/low lever for thickness of material under the foot.

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    I am wondering the same thing about the 15-125 and 15-91 as I was aware, too, that they have the same inner workings. The top thread on the 15-125 ravels at the needle after a few minutes, so it could be something wrong with it. I did check the tension before starting, and it makes a lovely stitch when in regular sewing mode. Could be user error. I haven't heard of the Davis Vertical Feed treadle. I will look into it. Thank you.

  4. #4
    Super Member leonf's Avatar
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    Welcome ebell Have you replaced the needle? One burr can tear stuff up.

    Bad pic, but it is a Davis VF. Note the absence of feed dogs.
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    My greatest fear is all of my family standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" he was.

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    Super Member quiltedsunshine's Avatar
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    Hi Ebell,

    I've just taught a ruler work class this morning. We had a few different machines in the class. And some of the students bought ruler feet off ebay, and we couldn't get them to work. They were supposed to be "low shank," but when we compared them with the Westalee "low shank," they were definitely taller, and squoze the fabric, too tight.

    In another class, we had a student with a ruler foot that was chromed plastic. It, too was too high. So we went to grind it down a bit, which is when we discovered that it was plastic. Yikes!

    It really is worth getting the Westalee foot. They're $48 and come with the 12" arc ruler. But you get a good quality foot, and it will work like you want.

    I've found that polyester thread behaves better than cotton thread when doing free-motion or ruler work. Probably because it has some stretch, and cotton doesn't.
    Annette in Utah

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    Thank you so much. I have looked into the Westalee foot. It is good to hear that it does function well. I haven't seen too many reviews out there on it. I was concerned about spending that amount if it was going to be like some of the others that I already have, that don't work well. I will need to decide which machine is going to be my main FMQ machine before I make the purchase. I am deciding between my 301, 201-2, and 15-91. If I choose the 301, then I will need the slant shank. I am still learning about FMQ, so I am trying to make the best choice. Your information about the thread is also noteworthy. I have a lot to think about and a lot of practicing to do. Thank you for taking the time to reply to my post.

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    Thank you for sharing.

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    Super Member quiltedsunshine's Avatar
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    One more thought. It makes a big difference which non-slip pad you stick onto the back of the rulers. I put Handi-Grip on mine, and there is 99% no slippage.
    Annette in Utah

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    Thank you.

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    Member PatriciaPf's Avatar
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    For what it's worth, I have read many times that the 15-91 is preferred for FMQ because it has an oscillating hook and the thread flows beautifully from the bobbin without obstruction. This is not the case with the 201-2 in which the thread must make a 90 degree turn from the bobbin to form a stitch. The 301 requires a special darning-type foot and, if I am not mistaken, it must be used after one of the thread guides is removed as it will interfere with the foot otherwise.
    Nothing succeeds like success.

  11. #11
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    Model 15 is a favorite for FMQ, but you should not disregard the vertical bobbin machines. Over the years I have seen several individuals dedicating a 201 to FMQ, and doing fine work. My guess it's all about getting tension and handmovements right. On the web I have seen people set up model 66 for various quilting work, removing the feed dogs since they don't drop; fames, FMQ, with modern quilting feet. Someone I know swear her Pfaff 30 compares favorably to any machine, 130 too. Flatbed models in cabinets have their advantages, but I have seen some quilt on their freearm model and never even thought about getting a different machine for the job. Part of the job is to get to know a particular machine, and I'm sure the machines you already have a ideal for the purpose.

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    Perhaps you can help me with the difficulties that I'm having with my 15-125 when I try to FMQ? It seems to tangle at the needle. I test the tension before I drop the feed dogs, and it stitches beautifully. When I try to FMQ, it works fine for a little, then tangles at the needle. I have the stitch length set to zero. I am not sure what I am doing wrong. Any suggestions?

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    Thank you Mickey. I am trying out 3 machines at the moment, to see which I like the best for FMQuilting. I am currently liking the 201-2 as I am having difficulty with my 15-125. The thread tangles after a bit. I am not sure what I am doing wrong. I have threaded it correctly for a normal straight stitch, test it out, then drop the feed dogs, and move the stitch length to the zero mark. Is there something that I'm missing?

  14. #14
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    Im not sure really, basic things to check can be taking the tensioner appart to clean it, making sure there's nothing wrong with the needle, burr in the needle plate, cleaning the bobbin case, race and hook,... I have had issues with bargain thread a few times (bumps and unevenness in the thread and snapping). When you have lowered the feed dogs, the stitch length position should not matter. If the machines are newly required and they have been in storage for a while, it can be worth it to oil them tentatively the next few days, spending some time detecting all oil points, maybe checking and greasing the worm gear behind the hand wheel.

  15. #15
    Super Member Irishrose2's Avatar
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    I have the Westalee slant shank ruler foot for my 301 and I do not have to remove any thread guides.

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