Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Making My Sewing Machine Free Motion Friendly!

There she be!
My perfect little sewing table, one my husband made over 20 years ago.
While I quilt my larger projects on our 6' dining table, this one has been perfect for this space and for all my everyday sewing needs.
Except for one!
Free. Motion. Quilting.
Over the years, I have allowed my imagination to throw up so many obstacles to this basic quilting skill!
I thought I had to be able to drop my feed dogs...or I thought I needed to cover my feed dogs, etcetera, ad nauseum!  Well guess what! 2018 is my year to learn FMQ!
 2 days ago, my sweet sewing table took a little trip out to the shop!
And looky what happened!
My very handy, and extremely handsome husband cut into the table and created a shelf/drawer space for my machine to sit in!
I wasn't supposed to show any pics of the underneath, but look how tidy those cords!
 One obstacle down...machine is now flush with the surface of the table!
But what about those pesky feed dogs? 
Look at em just sticking up there like that!!!
It just so happens that my husband  (did I mention he is the "Fix-It-Up-Chappy"?) had already found a solution to this little conundrum one random morning last November or December...
and it involves these little plastic washers that came with my Kenmore, for under the thread, I guess, on the spindles.
Oh yeah! It is about to get really good you guys!
Check this out!
1. Remove cover plate.
 Like so.
See the holes where the screws just came out of?
There are 2 on my machine.
 2. Place washers over the holes.
 3. Replace cover plate.
Ooooh, looky there!
Those feed dogs have virtually cowered in submission!
I have tested it out, and I think the very slight rise in the cover plate will be okay, it is very smooth...we shall see.  At least it is a doable place to start!
The only thing I still lack is a darning foot...and it is on order!
 Enter a most timely Quilt Along led by the talented Jessica Skultety of Quilty Habit
and hosted monthly at the Central Jersey MQG blog! It is open to everyone, not only guild members! Thank you!!!!!
Central New Jersey MQG FMQ QAL
I have my fabrics pulled and 2 more weeks of January left to make my first Fat Quarter FMQ theme! 
Also, a big THANK YOU to Bernie/Needle and Foot for bringing this super fun looking, relaxed QAL to my attention at the beginning of this year! It has really helped catalyze all this progress in my sewing situation!!!!

Seriously crushing on my FMQ prospects! 
Linking up with Beth at Main Crush Monday (I know I'm late, but the linky is still open!)
and Lorna at Let's Bee Social!


Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

Exciting possibilities Sarah! I've never sewn with a machine flat to the table like yours is now but I'm sure it will make all quilting easier (and maybe all stitching). Clever trick to move above the feedogs! You can buy a sliding/slippery plastic flexible mat - Supreme Slider I think it's called - it may prevent any problems with the raised cover plate if necessary.


anna said...

you can get a Supreme Slider or some heavy weight vinyl from Joann's to go over your plate to help with the hump.

Chris K. said...

Even with a perfectly flat surface, a Supreme Slider is practically essential. I've been using a cheaper option from Amazon; search "XL Teflon Craft Mat." You'll have to make your own needle hole. I'm sorry to say the price has gone up $10 since I bought it, but it's still cheaper than a Supreme Slider.

Nicole said...

Your table looks wonderful. Best of luck with the FMQ! I've tried many different things to see what works best for me. I FMQ with my feed dogs up and a stitch length of 4!!! (Instead of dogs down and SL 0). I've had quilts juried into shows and won awards on those quilts. So again, do what works best for you! Try all the things.

Anonymous said...

I also FMQ with feed dogs up ... I don’t find much difference between up and down. Have fun!

Bernie Kringel said...

You are making good progress! I haven't done my January FMQ project yet either. I have a simple Janome and the feed dogs don't lower either. But I just leave them up and set the stitch length to zero. Try all of these things and see what feels best for you. Very smart to make that drop in your sewing table. Mine is similar and it is much easier to quilt with that flat surface. Here's to FMQ-ing in 2018!!!

Emma D. said...

Oh my gosh! I’m so happy I found this blog post! Thanks for sharing this idea because I just got this same exact machine and it came without any accessories. No extra feet, no feed dog plate, etc.

This hack is neat!! But, having said that, do you know what feet would fit it? I only have Singer feet and attachments and I’m not sure they are interchangeable.

SarahZ said...

EmmaD, I hope you enjoy your machine as much as I have loved mine over the years! This machine is a “high shank” machine, so look for feet of that configuration...I just got a “universal” darning foot for mine, and the other foot I use often is a zipper foot. I would also recommend trying to locate a manual, as I refer to mine often...if you have trouble finding one, contact me via email...I would be happy to send you photos of the pages for oiling, proper threading, etc! (and I hope you get this comment, because I couldn’t respond via email, darn it, no-reply-blogger!)