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Be sure to have a darning foot or free motion quilting foot (this presser foot is shorter in height so when you lower it, it will not press the fabric to the feed dogs). The foot must allow space under it so the fabric can be manually moved.
The last step is to lower the feed dogs so they are not interfering with your manual manipulation of the fabric.
To do free motion quilting on most machines, install a darning foot or free motion quilting foot, drop the feed dogs, set the machine to straight stitch. (Because FMQ requires you to manually maneuver the fabric, stitch length is moot.) If your machine has the feature, setting it to Needle Down will also help. When you stop sewing, the needle will stop while penetrating the fabric. This prevents you from accidentally moving the fabric while trying to adjust before sewing again.
You need to drop the feed dogs, install a darning or free motion quilting foot (make sure the presser foot is lowered). Because you will not be using the machine to move the fabric, the stitch length selection is of no importance. Make sure the stitch width is set to zero. You should test FMQ on a scrap quilt sandwich of the same makeup of your project, ie quilt fabric with batting sandwiched between. The upper tension should be set so that both threads meet in the middle of the quilt sandwich. Because it is FMQ, some extra adjustment may be needed.
Once the tension is where you want it, you can practice FMQ until you can move it smoothly in conjunction with the machine speed.
Practicing on a white board with erasable markers is a handy way to learn to move smoothly. The most difficult part of free motion quilting is learning to move the fabric smoothly. Do NOT lack for practice as that is the only way to improve. Those people who make it look simple have been doing it for years!
Most sewing machines have the ability to drop the feed dogs for darning or free motion. Look for a sliding lever. It can be located in the back or the front of the machine. Usually directly behind or in front of the needle.
Yes, the tension setting for 'free motion' and for 'sewing' is the same AND there must be tension; otherwise the top thread will form huge loops on the underside and eventually totally jam. Also make sure that the presser foot is down ... it is often easily left up as the 'free motion foot' disguises it.
The stitch length is irrelevant in free motion as the stitch length is determined by how fast the fabric is moved by the operator while maintaining constant speed (or close to constant).
A couple more items to check: make sure that the 'feed dogs' are either lowered or covered (depending on your machine model) AND that the 'free motion foot' is installed correctly.
Enjoy free motioning.
with the lettering mode, there should be a code number you program in for each letter, number and for a space as well.
Stippling is usually done by free motion stitching with a special foot so its not actually a stitch pattern, just a straight stitch that you form into the stippled pattern by moving the item as it is stitched.
The Designer 1 usually has a very nice free motion stitch using the V1 stitch. It should pull only slightly to the rear so that no bobbin thread shows while doing free motion embroidery. Upper tension may be increased for balanced stitch when stippling. If your machine doesn't sew with the regular stitches with the teeth up, and it's properly threaded, the thread must be dragging on the bobbin case somewhere. First get the machine sewing a straight line, then try V1 again.