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Feeddogs up or down?

Tips, Suggestions, and General Discussions about quilting by machine.
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Feeddogs up or down?

Post by sewbug » Thu Jul 05, 2007 8:21 am

I know it's the rule to have the feeddogs down when you free motion quilt but I found if I leave them up, my stitches are even and no skips. Why? I don't know.

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Re: Feeddogs up or down?

Post by Oasis » Thu Jul 05, 2007 8:26 am


Do you use the darning foot or no foot or the regular foot?

I really want to try the free motion but not sure about it. I have been reading the debate of "UP or DOWN" with feed dogs. I guess I just should just jump in and try it for myself. Just need a little uniterrupted time. LOL
Have Fun,
Linda S / OASIS

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Re: Feeddogs up or down?

Post by Leetec » Thu Jul 05, 2007 8:39 am

I use the free motion foot and I keep the feed dogs up. it seems to work best for me, and my hands don't get as tired as fast.

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Re: Feeddogs up or down?

Post by sewbug » Thu Jul 05, 2007 8:40 am

I use the 'darning foot' some machines now list it as free motion quilting foot. I would think it would be too dangerous for me to use no foot at all, my fingers would be sewn to pieces. It does take practice and you will get frustrated with thread breakage, knots, and skipped stitches. One thing that helped me more than anything was to not be afraid to push the foot pedal all the way down. You can't go slow speed on the machine. That doesn't mean you can't go slow moving the fabric though.

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Re: Feeddogs up or down?

Post by Evie » Thu Jul 05, 2007 8:59 am

I've never tried it with the feed dogs up. But, try testing with different types of fabric and thickness. I imagine if the "sandwich" is really thick, you would want the feed dogs down. If really thin or slick, feed dogs up. Let us know how it turns out. We can all learn from it.

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Re: Feeddogs up or down?

Post by calicopuzzle » Thu Jul 05, 2007 9:36 am

I would think the wear and tear on your machine would be a factor about the leaving the feed dogs up...my Juki instruction gives instructions to put the feed dogs down when using the free motion foot. You will be causing drag on your machine with moving the fabric in the opposite direction the feed dogs are moving.

The pace of the stitch is up to you the quilter. As practice is a factor, you can learn how to quilt at a slower pace and move the fabric in the same manner to produce the size stitches you are looking for....just takes alot of practice.

Jumping in and trying it is the best idea. But be good to your machine in the process.

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Re: Feeddogs up or down?

Post by CindyB » Thu Jul 05, 2007 9:51 am

I forgot to put my feed dogs down when I free motion quilted some of my stockings that went to Iraq - it didn't seem to make any difference, BUT I don't know how it would work with a larger project. I used my darning foot/free motion quilting foot.

The big thing with free motion quilting is to GO SLOW - or I've also heard it said go as fast as the needle is going.

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Re: Feeddogs up or down?

Post by dforseth » Thu Jul 05, 2007 2:56 pm

I put my feed dogs down and was taught fast on the "gas" slow "steering wheel".

Debbie Forseth

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Re: Feeddogs up or down?

Post by quilterliz » Thu Jul 05, 2007 4:47 pm

I was taught feed dogs down, but haven't tried the feed dogs up method.

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Re: Feeddogs up or down?

Post by gardenquilter » Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:25 am

I was taught with them down however after reading an article about leaving them up I tried it and found I have more control I use a darning foot - I only do my art quilts on the small machine - not about to put silk flowers on my long arm

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