I bought a walking foot /quilting set attatchment for my older Kenmore sewing machine model 158.17821. It says on the box that it fits vertical machines. should i return it for the set made for horizontal machines?? My shank is high and my presser feet snap on. Thanks for your help.
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Re: I bought a walking foot /quilting set attatchment for...
I think it depends on your shank and everything I see on your model says low shank not high. I would double check that, a vertical is one that the bobbin does not just drop in, you open the front & take out the case and put your bobbin in and a horizontal is the one that you just open the the plastic slide on top of your machine and put it in. Take your manual in with you to Sears and let them help you get the right one.
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Quilting with a walking foot is technically (IMHO) not free motion quilting. With a walking foot, the feed dogs are still activated so they can work in conjunction with the walking foot to (hopefully) prevent wrinkles in the fabric sandwich. Quilting with a walking foot is more suited for stitching in straight lines or stitching in the ditch. In this mode, you would not pull or push the fabric as the machine should do that.
FMQ Free Motion Quilting requires the operator to manually move the fabric sandwich under the needle. There are some sewists who do not use a presser foot, however, if you value your fingers, it would be best to use, at a minimum, a darning foot. Darning feet and free motion quilting feet are shorter than a regular presser foot so it does not make contact with the feed dogs or the needle plate. The space between the needle plate and darning foot is what allows a sewist to maneuver the fabric. Usually, the feed dogs are lowered when performing FMQ, but there are some sewists who don't. It's probably a matter of preference.
Most older sewing machines included a darning foot in the accessory kit. Newer sewing machines may have several presser foot options for FMQ. In addition, there are many FMQ presser feet available on the market that can be ordered to fit your specific machine, ie Big Foot. Nancy Notions Trusted by sewing enthusiasts for more than 3 decades
There are a wide variety of FMQ presser feet, some have springs so they "hop" on the fabric, some are metal, others are clear plastic, some are full circles, others are not round or may be open toe. There are also special presser feet that have a thicker base made for FMQ with rulers--the thicker base helps prevent the ruler from slipping under the presser foot and being struck by the needle.
There are tons of tutorials for FMQ. Just as there are many different methods, the right method is the one that works best for you. There are also lots of rules, but rules are made to be broken, so don't let someone else squelch your creativity. Quilt to please yourself.
Above all, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE. I have a small whiteboard that I practice drawing designs. Muscle memory will make FMQ easier. There is also the need to get a comfortable sewing speed along with the speed at which you move the fabric. If you are breaking needles, your fabric movement is probably too fast for the sewing speed. Also, practice moving the fabric while keeping the sewing speed consistent.
Good luck! Remember, those awesome FMQers didn't learn it overnight. Many have been doing it for over 20 years, so don't be overly critical of yourself. You'll see improvement with every project you complete.
The walking foot replaces the normal pressure foot on your machine. There is a screw on the left-hand side of the pressure shaft that holds the ankle (if your Necchi uses snap-on feet) on the shaft. Loosen this screw until the pressure foot (or the pressure foot/ankle combination) comes off. Now slip the walking foot on where the other foot came off and tighten that screw. You're ready to go!
You have to unscrew the screw for the presser foot first. The walking foot will then fit. Use the same screw to attach the walking foot. Before you insert the screw, take the white handle on the walking foot and slide it on the screw arm for the needle. Now tighten the screw.