Question about Sewing Machines
A darning foot for free-motion quilting.
Choosing free-motion machine quilting for advanced projects Free-motion machine quilting requires some practice to master, but the following description will give you a brief introduction. Plenty of books are available devoted entirely to this subject.
Free-motion quilting is beautiful for fancy quilting patterns, with decorative possibilities limited only by your imagination. You can use it to create graceful curved designs and floral patterns, as well as the basis for stipple quilting by machine.
To do free-motion quilting, you need a special presser foot called a darning or free-motion foot. This type of foot has a rounded toe that travels just above the surface of the fabric, as shown in Figure 3.
Figure 3: A darning foot for free-motion quilting.
Because you feed the quilt through the machine manually, free-motion quilting requires you to disengage your machine's feed dogs:
With free-motion quilting, you do not need to adjust the length of the straight-stitch on your machine at all. The speed at which you are sewing combined with the speed at which you move the quilt around under the needle determines the stitch length. This is why practice is so important before attempting a large project in free-motion quilting.
After inserting the darning foot and disengaging the feed dogs, thread your machine and bobbin as you would for straight-line quilting. Place the quilt under the presser foot with one hand positioned on each side of the quilt, 2 inches or so from the presser foot. Use your hands to guide the quilt in the necessary direction under the darning foot.
If your fingers feel dry, or if you are having trouble moving the quilt under the machine because your fingers are sliding on the fabric, cover the first and index finger of each hand (four fingers in all) with a rubber fingertip from the office supply store.
Slowly begin stitching, taking two or three stitches in the same spot to secure the thread at the beginning. As you stitch, move the quilt, guiding it with your two hands, so that the needle follows your marked quilting lines or designs. Keeping the machine at a steady speed, move the fabric slowly and smoothly so you don't end up with gaps or overly long stitches. Slow and steady is the key here!
Free-motion machine quilting takes some time to master. Start on small projects, such as pillows, placemats, or wallhangings, before progressing to larger projects. Stipple quilting is a great first-time use for free-motion quilting because you are not required to follow a set pattern. Instead, you learn to maneuver the project under the darning foot and get some much-needed experience.
Posted on Sep 28, 2009
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Posted on Jan 02, 2017
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