I'm new to art quilting and just bought the workshop free motion quilting. I've learned everything I need to know except for one thing. On the video Susan drops her foot so that it sits on the fabric. If I use my darning foot on my Pfaff machine I have to lower the foot but it is still a long distance from the fabric, which makes it very difficult to control where I'm going. Am I doing it correctly? If I drop the foot on the material I have to pull the fabric to get some movement. Which is the right way?
yes you drop the feed dogs to do free motion sewing.
in normal sewing, with the feed dogs up, the machine will feed the fabric through, by gripping it between the feed dogs and the presser foot. but when you drop the feed dogs, the machine no longer feedsthe fabric. instead, you must move the fabric under the needle. but the nice part is that now you can move the fabric in any direction (free motion!!)
you MUST lower the presser foot lever when sewing, in order for the needle to engage the bobbin properly - even if you don't use any presser foot at all (for some specialty sewing). so always lower the presser foot lever - whether doing regular sewing with feed dogs or free motion without feed dogs.
the darning foot is made to move up and down - when the needle is raised - the darning foot is up - this lets you move the fabric.
when the needle is down (thru the fabric) - the darning foot is also downn - closer to the fabric - to hold the fabric down and allow the machine to make a nice stitch.
so the darning foot moves up and down with the needle as you sew.
when you are just looking at it stationary - the needle is probably up and so is the presser foot. (even with the presser foot lever lowered)
some machines (check your manual or ask the dealer for help or find a good quilt shop) will allow you to adjust the pressure of the presser foot. so when working on a thin quilt top, you can make the presser foot sit closer to the fabric. and when working on a sandwiched quilt with batting, you can move the presser foot higher to allow for the thickness of the layers to move under the presser foot without dragging.
Thanks, I understand now how it works and I really enjoy doodling along. I think the best way to learn is practice a lot now.
whatever you do dont take your eye off the needle for a second as I did and the needle went through my fingertip complete with thread..owwww! Hey but at least I didnt bleed on my quilt that would have been bad! My finger is ok now as it healed quick but wont do that again in a hurry! all in the name of art.
A good idea is to practise on fabric postcards too. I am pleased as have learnt to sew around material to make leaves and define the outline of birds and its not so overwhelmng like a huge quilt can be..
I have a Pfaff machine and bought a free motion foot for it a couple of years ago. It didn't work at first, because I dropped it all the way down like I would for normal sewing. I could not figure it out, but finally went to a Pfaff shop and asked the lady there how to work it--she showed me that there's a mid-point you have to lock the foot in, which isn't easy to find unless someone shows you. This leaves the free motion foot about 1/8" above your fabric and it works great. I would recommend finding a Pfaff shop where they are familiar with free motion sewing and have them show you--I don't think I could explain it in writing here. Good luck, once you figure it out, you will love FM on your Pfaff!
Lorraine, I have a few practical questions: what do you use for the writing side of the postcard and how do you adhere it to the tiny quilt? And, how much postage do you put on it?
i received your question on my email, which was meant for Lorraine.