Whenever I visit our stores and mention freemotion, it strikes fear in the hearts of many a quilter. Freemotion is like anything new, practice, practice, practice, read back in Liz’s blog for information online. And have the right tools!
I always like to demonstrate the different feet for freemotion that are available. The one that has been around since the beginning of Janome is the P2 foot. It has various names, Darning, Pogo, Spring, Quilting and Stippling foot. Its available with a highshank for the 6600, 7700, 95/9700, 10001 and 11000 for example. And low shank machines, which would be all the rest! If you’re not sure ask us or your Janome dealer.
You have a choice of an open toe or a closed toe. Which one you use, depends on what you’re working on. I choose the closed toe when working with a quilt that has lots of seams or a project that has things sticking up, like netting, lace or applique. You wouldn’t want the foot catch! The open toe of anything is a favourite of quilters, so its easier to see where you are going. The P2 foot has a bar that sits on the needle screw and as the needle goes down into your fabric, the presser foot goes down, holds the fabric, then ‘springs’ back up again when the needle comes up. With this foot there is no need to adjust of the foot height, just remember to put the presser foot down, unless you have a machine that beeps at you and won’t go with the presser foot up.
The newest freemotion foot comes as a convertible freemotion set. It consists of a foot holder and 3 ‘feet’. An open toe, closed toe and a clearview foot. Its available for high and low shank machines as well. The clearview foot, is perfect for echo quilting as it has lines, 1/4″ apart to help follow previous lines of stitching. It has a large base to really help flatten down seams and ‘bits’ before you get there.
And you can use a zigzag stitch as well with this foot. With this set, it is necessary and important to adjust the height of the foot in relation to your fabric as the foot does not spring up and down. Lower the presser bar and using the adjustable round nut on the right side of the foot, lower the presser foot right down to your fabric till its just grazing your fabric. I like to lower the foot until it squishes the fabric and then raise it up just until I am able to move the fabric underneath. If the presser foot is too high the thread will shred and eventually break!
I have been doing more free motion, since being introduced to Leah Day, 365 days of quilting. I love watching her videos and she has a great voice to listen to. She puts it all into prospective quilting an entire quilt, one block at a time.
Get out some of your stash, create a quilt sandwich and play. I also heard that a glass of wine and some chocolate help as well.
PS While I was preparing this blog, I had visitors. Lincoln loved the Memory Craft 12000. Had to share, very cute!