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Free motion quilting with the feed dogs up?

I read a wonderful article by Leah Day who quilts with her feed dogs up.  This is interesting to me because I have so much trouble with free motion and having my feed dogs down.  I am going to try this and report my progress back to you'll.  Here is the link for her article http://www.leahday.com/art-dropfeeddogs/

If you free motion with your feed dogs up, please let me know if you like it better than with the feed dogs down.


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Comment by Quilt Man on June 1, 2014 at 8:52am

Hey Yawl,

I know it took a long time to get back with you.  Sorry about that but I've been busy trying to relocate to another state.  However, I have been quilting with my feed dogs UP and stitch length set to 0 and it has made a world of difference.  Thank you Leah, and thanks to all who responded.  :-)

Comment by Dona Coffey on February 8, 2014 at 9:55am

I kept them up the last thing I machine quilted (you do have to set the stitch length at 0) but I thought I had better tension on it.

Comment by AidaCJ/NH on February 6, 2014 at 6:07am

I FMQ either way - I have a Janome Horizon (7700) as long as I am using the darning foot.

Comment by Lindsey Ray on February 5, 2014 at 4:43pm

I couldn't have the feed dogs up, because I am truly a free motion quilter.  In other words, I often don't move the fabric away from me, about 50% of the time, I'm moving the fabric toward me so I can see where I've been, rather than where I'm going so I don't sew over my previous stitching line.  I don't have any problem with tension unless I go too fast, or don't have a new needle.

Comment by Carol Ann Hinton on February 5, 2014 at 2:18pm

Frankly, it never occurred to me to free-motion quilt with the feed dogs up!  I use a Super Slider, and I'm afraid the teeth will shred the back of this somewhat expensive teflon sheet, in addition to perhaps moving IT under the needle.  But I agree with Pam that having the feed dogs disengaged seems to affect the thread tension.  Hmmm ...what to do?

Comment by B J Elder/WA on February 5, 2014 at 9:38am

I have a machine that I can adjust the degree of up/down and use that a lot.  I mostly have the dogs down, on my other machine, when I quilt with it.  

Comment by Janet/MO on February 5, 2014 at 7:54am

I too fmq with my feed dogs up.  I signed up to take one of Leah's classes through Craftsy.  I haven't had time to do the lessons yet, but she gives some great pointers. 

Comment by Amanda Best on February 5, 2014 at 7:44am

I am still pretty new to free motion quilting, but I do leave my feed dogs up the whole time and it seems to work pretty well.

Hope it works well for you!

Comment by Mary Boyd/MT on February 5, 2014 at 7:38am

The only time I quilt with the feed dogs down is when I do a free motion stipple stitch...I also use my embroidery foot with the free motion stipple pattern.  If I just do a straight stitch I leave the feed dogs up!  Either way, I usually only quilt small quilts like baby quilts table runners etc. on my small machine. I will have to read the article!  Have a good day!

Comment by Pam/NY on February 5, 2014 at 4:24am

Thank you for this article...I have problems with my tension when the feed dogs are down, this may solve my problem!

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