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  1. #1
    Shiny Thimble

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    Dec 2016
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    Default Free Motion Quilting

    I have a Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.0. I've had it for several years but have never tried the free motion quilting feature. I practiced some yesterday. The stitches seem OK on the bottom but not on the top. Not sure if I should adjust the tension. If so, looser??

    I'm using the sensormatic feature. I dropped the feed dogs. But I think I saw some post SOMEWHERE where the person said they did not drop the feed dogs when using this feature. My project is a very small one ---- some holiday banners so I only need a little bit of of quilting in a pretty small area.

    Any suggestions on the tension adjustment or other advice is appreciated. Thank you.

    Vicki

  2. #2
    Quilting Guru

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    Nov 2014
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    Default Re: Free Motion Quilting

    I have no advice for you but others will be along for that. I just want to say "welcome" to the forum! You'll make great friends here and get lots of knowledge.

  3. #3
    The Guild President

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    Dec 2015
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    Default Re: Free Motion Quilting

    You don't have to drop the feed dogs. Setting you stitch length to 0 will disengage the feed dogs.

    As for your stitches, FMQ takes time and practice. It may just be that your hands are moving too slowly. Good luck.

  4. #4
    Missouri Star

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    Jan 2013
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    Default Re: Free Motion Quilting

    I have the same machine. I drop the feed dogs and use the sensormatic feature. Tension self adjusts. FMQ takes lots and lots of practice. Mine will never be perfect and not because of the machine. You just have to work with it.
    I believe Swedish Leo has the same machine and she does gorgeous FMQ work.

    Check this thread out for some of her wonderful work
    http://forum.missouriquiltco.com/showthread.php?t=67487
    Last edited by Iris Girl; December 27th, 2016 at 07:54 PM.
    Iris Girl = April = fabric, Fabric FABRIC!!
    Time spent with cats is never wasted.
    Sigmund Freud

  5. #5
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Free Motion Quilting

    Quote Originally Posted by Iris Girl View Post
    I have the same machine. I drop the feed dogs and use the sensormatic feature. Tension self adjusts. FMQ takes lots and lots of practice. Mine will never be perfect and not because of the machine. You just have to work with it.
    I believe Swedish Leo has the same machine and she does gorgeous FMQ work.

    Check this thread out for some of her wonderful work
    http://forum.missouriquiltco.com/showthread.php?t=67487


    Thank you very much!

    Yes I have the PFAFF quilt expression 4.0 and I do all my fmq on it.

    I drop the feed dog and use the sensormatic feature. As stated the machine does have automatic tension control.
    I took me awhile to get along with my machine but now it works great.

    The way you describe the stitches, it sounds like you need to make you hand and feet move in better sync.

    Make a practise sandwich with the same fabric and batting as the desired quilt you want to quilt.

    And try to move your hand faster when you put your foot down and slow down you hand when you lift you foot up.
    Hope you get what I am trying to explain.

    Leah Day has great video tutorials on fmq and Our Jenny made a good one with Rob from Man Sewing.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2bffXf4PQU

    Best advice is practise , practise and practise. And only look at the finished project from a distant!


    God, Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
    The stash to make a quilt to help me cope,
    A quilt to give to comfort those I love in times of hurt, fear and uncertainty.
    And the courage to keep on sewing when life itself seems held together by a single thread of hope.

  6. #6
    Applique Angel

    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    St Joseph, Missouri - about 50 min from M*.
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    Default Re: Free Motion Quilting

    Patsy Thompson has great free youtube videos for beginners, as do Amy Johnson and Leah day. They all 3 give great instructions with fabulous visuals. Practice some every day and be patient. It takes some time (about 40 days or 40 nights worked for me) but when the eye-hand-foot coordination clicks, it is a lot of fun and can be beautiful results.

  7. #7
    Beginning Stitcher

    Join Date
    Sep 2016
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    Victoria BC Canada
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    Default Re: Free Motion Quilting

    I have a Pfaff Performance 5.2 and am also new to Free Motion Quilting. My machine does not allow you to have the feed dogs up when you select the free motion option (I know Leah Day recommends having them up but she has a different machine). I had a friend over to teach me and we had trouble getting the tension right. There is no bobbin tension setting on my machine either so only the top thread can be altered. We lowered the tension and it was ok. When I asked the instructor at my local sewing machine vendor, she said there are usually a couple of issues if the automatic tension isn't correct: 1. You should use a jeans no. 16 needle for FMQ; 2. check that you have threaded the machine correctly; 3. Make sure the bobbin is loaded correctly. These seem like little basic things but do help. I have found the Leah Day videos and those of the Crafty Gemini that are on FMQ to be very useful.

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