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This archived content is from Mary Wilkins’ sewing and quilting message board “Sew What’s New,” which was retired in August 2007. It is being provided by “Sew What’s Up,” which serves as the new home for many members of “Sew What’s New.”
From: KY Quilter
Date: 10-31-2004, 03:54 PM (1 of 7)
I have pieced a couple of quilt tops, but I am ready to machine quilt my first one. I have a walking foot attachment, but the top and bottom are trying to pucker. I am straight stitching -- should the feed dogs be used? I have read where you should disable them if you are doing free motion quilting, but what about straight line stitching? My Singer Quantum XL-3400 does not have a feed dog knob to raise and lower them. Do I have to buy a throat plate to cover up the dogs? Any info or comments would be greatly appreciated!
User: KY Quilter
Member since: 10-30-2004
Total posts: 1
From: MaryW
Date: 10-31-2004, 05:34 PM (2 of 7)
Hi and welcome to Sew Whats New.

I think I would cover the feed dogs with a couple of pieces of masking tape to make things go more smoothly.
owner/editor of Sew Whats New
User: MaryW
Member since: 06-23-2005
Total posts: 2542
From: susies1955
Date: 10-31-2004, 08:11 PM (3 of 7)
What is recomended is when using a walking foot the feed dogs are up and when doing free motion they are down.
Did you pin baste it well?
Try it with them down and see what happens I guess,
northern NY
User: susies1955
Member since: 11-07-2003
Total posts: 124
From: beachgirl
Date: 10-31-2004, 08:43 PM (4 of 7)
If your doing straight line quilting you need to have all 3 layers pinned or tacked down so you won't get puckers. Use the walking foot with the feed dogs up. If you are doing free motion quilting you still need to have your layers together good but don't use a walking foot as you need the feed dogs down. You use the darning or embroidery foot. Those feet don't touch the fabric when the lever is down. You guide the fabric your self. Put a hand on each side of the fabric & keep it not tight but taunt. It takes practice.
User: beachgirl
Member since: 08-31-2004
Total posts: 615
From: woodywoodpecker
Date: 10-31-2004, 11:11 PM (5 of 7)
This maybe way out in left field, but when ever I do any kind of quilting I reduce the pressure on my pressure foot, sometimes as low as 1 ( on a scale of 0 being on pressure and 4 being the most pressure that can be applied). It seems to stop the scooting of the fabric for me. Mind you I also pin fairly heavy(I use safety pins) and of course start in the center and work out. Hope this may help you, and oh yes I have the feed dogs up unless I'm going to do free hand stipple or something like that.
User: woodywoodpecker
Member since: 11-07-2003
Total posts: 242
From: plrlegal
Date: 11-01-2004, 12:47 PM (6 of 7)
KYQuilter I have a Quantum 3400 and I had to buy the cover plate for the feed dogs. The masking tape Mary suggested won't work because the points of the feed dogs are sharp and they shred the masking tape. I also had to buy the darning foot/quilting foot as one didn't come with my machine. That is the only thing I don't like about the 3400 is there is no mechanism provided for dropping the feed dogs. However, in its defense, I don't think that particular machine was designed with quilting in mind and it does absolutely gorgeous embroidery stitches.

User: plrlegal
Member since: 05-19-2001
Total posts: 318
From: lilac
Date: 11-03-2004, 10:57 AM (7 of 7)
Your feed dogs should be up when you are using your walking foot. There is always the possibility that your machine may need some service but I would assume that they method of basting the layers is what needs the help. I like the curved safety pins better than anything else and they should be between 2-4" apart. Try to pin in areas you know you are not going to quilt. This is easy if you mark your quilt top first!

Bottom line is stick to it and it will get easier.

You may also want to try out some of those decorative stitches to tie your top with. The instructions on the batting bag/box will tell you how closely that needs to be done. I will also say that on my old singer machine many of my decorative stitches had the habit of coming undone much to my dismay. I don't have that problem on my new one.

Dropping the feed dogs is for free motion quilting not with a walking foot.

I agree with the above post that some machines are better suited at some tasks than others. Used to have a singer and when that broke got a viking.
User: lilac
Member since: 07-07-2002
Total posts: 102
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