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Thread: Ruler quilting

  1. #11
    UN-Biased

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    Default Re: Ruler quilting

    You put top stitch 100/16 not free motion quilting. Do you know what the needle size be for free motion

  2. #12
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    Default Re: Ruler quilting

    No mine is a high shank. Janome memory craft 8200qcp horizon. Good machine if only I can get this right

  3. #13
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Ruler quilting

    Quote Originally Posted by ding View Post
    You put top stitch 100/16 not free motion quilting. Do you know what the needle size be for free motion
    Free motion quilting puts a lot of stress and pulling on the needle. I usually get the best results if I increase the needle size one size higher for free motion quilting. So if the correct needle size for the thread is 80/12 if I was free motion quilting I would increase the needle size to 90/14.

    However, I have never free motion quilted with a thread weight thicker than 40 weight. It may be that you don't have to keep increasing the needle size above a certain size. After all the bigger the needle the bigger hole it is making. Safest to have both size needles on hand and see which one makes your machine happy.
    Stash Treasure Acquisitions Beyond Life Expectancy. My stash keeps me STABLE, oh yeah.... and dark chocolate.

  4. #14
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Ruler quilting

    There are rulers for long arms, they are 1/4" thick. Westalee makes rulers for domestic machines, they are thinner. Don't use the thinner ones on a longarm.

  5. #15
    The Guild President

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    Default Re: Ruler quilting

    Top stitch is a type of needle. It is used for free motion quilting. So Denise is saying to look for a 100/16 needle. If you can find one that says Top Stitch that is even better. I am not sure if your needles use different terms in the UK.
    Debbie

  6. #16
    Shiny Thimble

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    Default Re: Ruler quilting

    I use rulers a lot. I started with the Westlee rulers starter pack. There are lots of you tube videos to get started. Also follow Angela Walters which is also a great place to start. Have fun!

  7. #17
    Applique Angel

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    Default Re: Ruler quilting

    I am using the ruler foot on my Janome 6700 and in my experience the problems with skipped stitches are often caused by a to large distance between the foot and the fabric. When I am adjusting the height of the foot most of the time it works fine. Actually I am only quilting with the ruler foot, so I can change between ruler work and free motion whenever necessary
    Good luck !
    Find me on Instagram @auntie_uli

  8. #18
    Batting Beauty

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    Default Re: Ruler quilting

    I didn't realize how long this was until I went back to look after hitting the post button- Holy Cow!

    Generally, sewing machines make the best stitch sewing in straight line front to back, and best when sewing forward, with a slight degradation in reverse. Sewing sideways, or differing much from the designed direction will cause problems. It can be dealt with with some changes in technique. The cause of this is mostly the needle design and how it fits in the machine.

    For a stitch to be formed, a loop (in the top thread) is created by the lag when the needle has reached the bottom of the stroke, and when it begins to take up the thread on the upstroke. This loop is engaged by the bobbin race hook and locked with the bobbin thread. Anything which upsets the loop size, position, and timing of the loop, and stitch quality suffers- maybe even skips.

    Needle size is important. Obviously you need a needle sized to the thread being used, but there's more to it. As Denise SM mentioned- a larger needle will deflect less (important) but there's more. A larger needle will have a larger eye as well as a larger groove in the rear. The groove is where the thread "hides" as the needle is being pushed through the fabric on the down stroke. This reduces friction on the thread so a proper "loop" is formed for the hookup of the top and bobbin threads.

    When you change directions (sideways and around curves) from normal, the loop is mis-formed and you may have problems. Generally the cause is the thread being pulled out of the groove as the needle penetrates the fabric. It can affect the size, timing, and position of the loop so the race hook won't engage the top thread for a proper stitch, and sometimes it misses (skipped stitch) altogether. Larger needles prevent this to a degree- larger hole in fabric reduces friction on the top thread, while the thread can "hide" better in the bigger groove.

    Why do "Topstitch" needles seem to work better? They are designed with a special shank shape, larger and longer eye, and a deeper and longer groove. This assists with reducing friction on the top thread as the needle penetrates thicker fabric layers, allowing for a "proper" loop for interlocking of the top and bottom threads.

    Needle size- Obviously the needle must be large enough to accommodate the thread size being used. And we know larger needles perform better in general, for the reasons stated above. But what size? Generally, one size larger than recommended for "normal" stitch is enough. Sizes over 90-14 in a "topstitch" are a bit difficult to come by, especially Titaniums and Chromes. This is when you switch to a "Jeans" needle. It's more readily available in 100-16, and 110-18 sizes.

    Ding- The needle size for ruler work and FMQ is the same. Both use a sewing direction different than the norm, and the needle requirements will be the same.

    Ding- You mentioned when moving "sideways" your stitches appear to be a straight line. I take this to mean "no definition in the stitch." Correct? It's a tension issue created by all the factors mentioned above, but also by thread size- mainly the size mismatch between top and bottom threads. Assume a 30 wt. top, and a 50wt. bobbin thread- the thinner and more flexible bobbin thread will penetrate the thicker layers more, and not provide adequate tension on the top thread to give definition to the stitch, so the top thread just floats along without penetrating the fabric. If you could- which you can't on a top bobbin loading-automatic tensioner design like your Janome, you would increase the bobbin tension. Your option is to loosen the top tension to allow the thread to penetrate the layers better. Also, changing to a heavier bobbin thread, which is more "rigid" will help to balance the tension better. My feeling is that the max difference is one thread size between top and bottom, but with equal sizes the stitch balance will be more defined, especially when stitching offline.

    Thread type- Polyester is generally smoother and "slicker" and helps eliminate some of the problems caused by friction on the thread. Some cottons move through the fabric better than others. You need to do a little testing with brands and types to see what gives you the best result. Some thread brands (poly and cotton) are smoother than others. You will notice this as you pull thread through the needle. Some will feel "notchy" and others will be smoother. The smoother the better.

    Fabric movement. In FMQ and ruler work we all can pretty much be smooth and time the movement of the fabric in relation to the needle position. A change of direction is the problem. The fabric doesn't seem to glide as well, and we are not as smooth. Stitch length is all over the place, and timing suffers resulting in improper loop form- so stitch quality suffers. You gotta find that speed.

    Just a couple other things-

    Auntie Uli mentioned the foot height relative to the fabric. For controlling that "loop" there needs to be enough tension on the quilttop to keep it from lifting (jumping) as the needle is going up/lifting. Problem is as the foot is lowered it makes moving the fabric a bit more difficult, especially going sideways. To help with this the fabric needs to glide over the bed with the least friction possible. The slicker the better. Some use wax on the bed and table. Others, a "Supreme Slider" or equivalent. Find what works best for you.

    Another issue is the hole in the needle plate. A normal zig-zag/general sewing plate will have a larger, wider hole. There is a tendency for the friction of the needle to push the fabric into the needle plate hole. This of course messes with the loop and the timing of the stitch. If a straight stitch, or FMQ plate (small round hole) is available for your machine you might try it. However needle plates are expensive for the top loaders especially. I use a Supreme Slider and punch a small hole for needle penetration. The Slider serves two purposes now.

    It really takes a book to bring this to light. Hopefully I've been clear and concise enough as to not lose anyone. Acceptable FMQ and ruler work is a balance of many things. It takes practice, skill and adhering to general sewing principals (as above) to make it all work. I've come to the conclusion that some are just gonna be better at moving the fabric under the needle, and I'm OK with that.
    Last edited by oldmanquilts; September 24th, 2019 at 08:54 AM.
    You gots to risk it to gets the biscuit-

  9. Thanks MSN, Grey Lady, Claire Hallman, Granny Fran thanked for this post
  10. #19
    Batting Beauty

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    Default Re: Ruler quilting

    A couple other things I forgot-

    Gloves- quilting gloves (Machingers is one brand) assist with moving the fabric smoothly without causing excess friction between bed and fabric.

    Needle condition- check your needle for straightness and check the tip for burrs. Pull the needle through your fingertips. If you feel the slightest burr, or snag, that needle is ready for the "sharps" container. Also, I've found that since I spray baste, that sometimes the adhesive will stick to the needle, and inhibit thread movement trough the eye. Ti needles are best for reducing the formation. Chromes work well too. Even with those I wipe the needle when necessary with a bit of WD-40 on a rag.

    Finally, cleanliness. Keep that bobbin area clean!
    You gots to risk it to gets the biscuit-

  11. Thanks MSN, Grey Lady, Granny Fran thanked for this post
  12. #20
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Ruler quilting

    Wow! Lots of good info! Thanks!
    Vonnie

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