Learn When To Put Your Feet Dogs Down When Machine Quilting on Your Home Machine Using A Ruler Foot

Updated: Aug 5, 2019

Some of the time I have the feed dogs up, even when using free motion quilting.

I feel it gives you some resistance on your home machine and it helps give you more control when machine quilting using a ruler foot. Especially if quilting straight lines.

It is just like a run away longarm.

In the old days we hung weights off the sides of our loosy goosy longarms...like little sandbags, lowered the fabric so it drug on the lower arm and tightened the wheels. It gave us more control. That is the same with free motion quilting on a home machine with the feed dogs up.

In this video I do both, having the feed dogs up for straight stitching and then putting the feed dogs down when curving around the ruler.

It made a bit of difference. You can see I re-position the curved Terry Twist ruler. I was afraid that you may not be able to see the stitching if I stitched sideways. And if you think about it your arms don't get as tired moving front to back than side to side.

Try it, move both hands together about 10" apart from side to side.

Now move them together 10" apart front to back. Do you feel the difference in your back and neck muscles?

When you move side to side you are using twice as many muscles quilting in your neck and across your back as you do moving your arm side to side. Could this mean we are exercising as we machine quilt, even though we may be sitting down??? Hmmm

I hope you enjoy this video. After machine quilting at a long arm for 20 years it is true joy to share the "sitdown side of quilting" :)

And I cannot help but share these daily little "ah ha" moments at the home machine. I am discovering so much. I will always stand at my long arm...just got another quilt in today. But for now, felt that as I figure things out it will make your quilting life more fun and relaxing, plus it gives us more time to be creative.

So here it is....be sure to comment and let me know what type of ruler foot you use.

After you watch the video which when you click on it, another window will open. Be sure to read the rest of the blog before you go :)

Click on the image or here to watch

I am sure you may have a thought or two on this.

I am preparing to do another video and you are welcome to go to my comment form here and let me know what would help you the most machine quilting right now. It doesn't matter what machine type.

#rulerfoot #machinequilting #homemachine

Be sure to comment below.

206 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All



Have been happily sewing since the age of 3, as soon as my grandmother could put a needle in my hand. Sally Terry Designs began in 1999, instructing machine quilting, quilting for others, authoring books, and helping all piecers and quilters with creative patterns, techniques and classes they love.




What's New


Customer Reviews


About Sally


 (C)1999-2021  All Text and Sally Terry(R)  LLC Brand Products and Images (we've been in business 21 years)
Terry Twist is a Registered Trademark of Sally Terry Brand Products.
 As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.