|Free Machine Quilting |
Free Machine Quilting is achieved by dropping the feed dogs (or covering them with a special plate) and fitting a darning or quilted foot to the machine. By dropping the feed dogs the machine loses the ability to move the fabric under the foot, and the stitch length setting is of no consequence.
Free machine quilting involves producing a stitch by simultaneously running the machine and moving the work around. Imagine the work surface to be a piece of paper and the machine needle to be a pencil. Instead of moving the pencil to draw, move the 'paper' allowing the needle to draw on the quilt surface. The darning foot leaves a gap between the plate and the foot through which the work can move easily.
The length of the stitch is determined by how quickly or slowly the machine is moved, combined with how fast the machine is run. Running the machine quickly and moving the work slowly results in small stitches. Running the machine slowly and moving the work quickly results in longer stitches. The aim is to find a combination that produces a recognisable stitch length.
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