I must have viewed at least 20 youtube videos about machine quilting. Only one mentioned changing the throatplate from a zigzag to a single stitch. Just wondering if you have found this to be helpful.
Another video was doing free-motion quilting and she said to leave the feed dogs up. This is contrary to every thing that I've ever seen and heard! However, her video only showed her doing a straight line. Odd! I would have liked to have seen her do a stipple stitch with the feed dogs up.
One of the videos said to lower the stitch length to zero. I don't remember hearing that one before either. Is that necessary when you've dropped the feed dogs?This message has been edited. Last edited by: CA Lori,
I'm no expert but whether to leave the feed dogs up or down seems to be a matter of personal preference. When you change the stitch length to zero, the feed dogs go up and down but NOT back and forth and won't advance the fabric. You determine the length of the stitch by the movement of your hands.
The single hole plate supposedly keeps the fabric from being pushed down into the hole. Try it both ways and see which you like best.
I would suggest going to Leah Day's website. I think she is an awesome FM quilter. Check out her section that is titled "The Free Motion Qulting Project" listed in Chronological Order where she has created over 300 FM designs. She has great videos showing how to make each one. Her whole site is FULL of wonderful information.
When I have FMQ'd on my sewing machine, I've used the only throat plate I have (zigzag) and it's worked well. I've used minkee, fleece and lots of cotton backings and never had issues. I've done loose designs and tight micro stippling and feathers and the throat plate/fabric getting stuck in the hole hasn't been a problem at all. My Tin Lizzie midarm has a single stitch hole and that's fine too.
FFG answered the feed dogs well. Traditionally, they don't need to be used with FMQ. They would be dragging the fabric in one direction while you're trying to move it another. Some quilters like the extra friction the feed dogs provide. I prefer them out of the way. No reason to add wear and tear on my fabrics nor to damage the feed dogs. Since the stitch length determines how much the feed dogs travel front to back each stitch, you're saving more wear on the machine's parts if you set that length to zero.
Recently, I saw or read that someone used sponges instead of gloves to help control the quilt sandwich while quilting. I haven't tried that method, but I dislike gloves. It sounds like a terrific idea!
Give it a try and come back with questions. We're happy to help.
since i've only used my throat plate that lets me zig zag stitch when FMQing, I'd be afraid to put my single hole plate on. but i guess you could. but why? it's not necessary at all. sometimes advice isn't always right.
I've switched to the single-hole throat plate when doing free motion and like it better. No chance for the fabric to get pushed down into the space and it moves smoother over the surface. And Yes, I noticed a difference.
I use a single hole needle plate and I do prefer the feed dogs up and helping,I also turn the stitch length to 0. It does not drag my fabric it is terrific for me. It is a personal preference whether you lower the dogs or not and sometimes your machine dictates. Actually it was our Boziea who shared with me the setting she used and dogs up and I did that way from then on because it worked and I don't get eyelashes or skipped stitches.I also use a topstitch needle Size 14 or larger.
May "In Michigan"
Posts: 9343 | Location: Michigan,up North,the west side of Perfect | Registered: Sep 14, 2004
I've accidentally left my feed dogs up several times and notice no difference. As Leah says: improve your fmq with practice, practice, and practice more. I made four identical wallhangings last week. By the time I finished tge quilting on #4 I really liked what I was doing and wanted overs. On 1, 2, & 3.
I have a Bernina Activa 130 (got it in 2000--I sure do miss my old Singer Touch & Sew though!). It doesn't have the needle down feature, so that's kind of a nuisance.
Hopefully, I'll get to quilting my three table runners sometime this week. I'm going to try a sample of stippling with the feed dogs up, which I had no idea could be done. Right now I'm not too crazy about my practice sessions with the feed dogs down. My biggest decision is how to attack the project--where to start and where to go with my stitching. The runners consist of two rows of five 8" squares plus a 2-inch border and it's got about 24 safety pins spaced about the size of a fist apart.This message has been edited. Last edited by: CA Lori,
Another trick I've used rather than gloves to help grip my fabric - I buy rubber shelf liner at my dollar store and cut into squares, rougly 3". I use these squares to help me guide the fabric - my hands don't slip.
Posts: 510 | Location: Oregon | Registered: Aug 19, 2004