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Topic: Help with darning foot (free motion quilting)  (Read 2347 times)
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« on: July 26, 2009 12:46:09 PM »

I have one of these darning feet for my old Singer: http://sewingonline.co.uk/feet/singerfeet/embroidery-foot.html
It can be used for embroidery or freehand quilting. Unfortunately I don't have any instructions for how to use it, but I found this movie clip (with another kind of darning foot, but still maybe used for the same things): http://www.singerco.com/support/videos/Quilting_Darning_Embroidery_Foot.html
In that movie the foot kind of moves up and down with each stitch (it seems), but mine doesn't, and I don't understand how it could, given its design. Is it supposed to move up and down and if it is, what is it I might be doing wrong? The foot can also be attached higher or lower, and I tried some different hights, but don't really know what's right.

Hmmm... I am not a quilter (which is probably obvious to everyone by now  Cheesy) so I need all the help I can get. Any info on this kind of darning foot would be very much appreciated! Thank you!  Smiley
« Last Edit: August 01, 2009 01:00:39 AM by gavagai » THIS ROCKS   Logged
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2009 11:57:15 PM »

I guess the main thing I want to know is what the spring is for in this darning/embroidery foot. The spring works so that if you pull the "ring" down it goes back up again, but does the ring ever come down? and in that case how/when? I just don't see the purpose of it (but I am sure there is one and would love to find out).
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2009 12:33:46 PM »

I can't see the pic or the movie atm, but the foot itself shouldn't move.

Most free motion feet are just open so that the needle has more room for play and you can see what is being done. 

The idea behind freemotion is that the foot doesn't put much pressure on your work so you have the ability to move the quilt around on its own and direct the stitches in any direction.

Make sure you have the feed dogs down when you try to free motion (the teeth on the bottom plate under the presser foot that moves the fabric forward).

I'm guessing the spring is just so the foot can self-adjust pressure on the fabric.
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2009 09:17:47 PM »

The bernina free motion foot does have a spring, IIRC, but the ones I have for both my machines don't.
« Reply #4 on: July 29, 2009 12:46:13 PM »

My understanding is the same as BattleAxe says: That the spring is there to allow the foot to adjust to different fabric thicknesses.
« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2009 12:55:00 PM »

Thank you for your answers. But the thing is that I don't see how the spring on this foot could help adjust to thicker fabric. As it looks the ring is on its highest position to start with, so it couldn't go up if the fabric is thicker. It can be pushed down, but then I would have to hold it myself while sewing, which seems a bit weird. I don't know if I manage to explain what I mean, but if you look at the picture in the first link I wrote in my first post, maybe you see that the "ring" is kind of locked in its position and can be pushed down, but not up... Hmmm....
« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2009 01:01:10 AM »

I fixed the links in my first post. Should work better now. Anyone?
« Reply #7 on: August 01, 2009 09:47:40 AM »

Ok I've analyzed both.  This foot looks like it is supposed to be used with the pressure foot in the up position. As the needle comes down it lowers the foot - which would be the job of the spring.  That is why it is up now.  The machine itself would bring it down each time it stitches.
« Reply #8 on: August 01, 2009 12:57:44 PM »

Second the opinion of the poster above. Looks like a good foot.
« Reply #9 on: August 01, 2009 02:33:32 PM »

You do not want to use the foot - or any foot for that matter - with the presser foot lifted. When the presser foot is lifted the upper tension is disengaged and it will wreck havock with your thread. Those oh so common thread nests on the back side of your work will be the result.

In the video you can sort of see a silver "bar" that looks like it might connect the foot to the needle bar (just to the right of the foot). I believe that is what is making that foot move up-and-down. I would guess it is similar to the Bernina walking foot which you can see in this blog post .

With the foot you have I would guess maybe that spring/wire somehow relates to the needle bar. When you attach it to the machine does the screw on the needle bar somehow come into contact with that spring/wire? Trying to remember where the needle bar and screw would be on the Singer I don't really think that is the case.

My Bernina quilting foot #29 and darning foot #9 (I use both for quilting - depending which one is closest at the moment) have spring but they don't do anything unless I sew over a thicker area. When quilting usually the foot just barely - if at all - touches the fabric but when I get to a spot that has lots of seams it "lifts" a bit so that I can still freely move the quilt around. It is quite possible that is the purpose of the spring/wire on your foot.

I'm not really sure what you mean by
The foot can also be attached higher or lower, and I tried some different hights, but don't really know what's right.
except that maybe it is because the screw that tightens the foot is smaller than the oval shaped opening that slides over the screw. In that case I suppose you could tighten the screw with the slight variation of pushing the foot up or down while tightening the screw. Generally you would want the foot to just barely touch the fabric - if the spring/wire doesn't push up the foot when going over thicker spots make sure the foot just barely touches the fabric at the thickest spots on the quilt.
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