Free Motion Quilting on the 8900 QCP

Snow day on Friday = free time to learn how to FMQ on my new machine.

Five different darning feet, 3 broken needles and a few choice words later, I finally figured it out.

Learn from my experience.


  1. Stitch DS4 is when you use the foot with the interchangeable heads.
  2. Stitch DS1 is when you use a traditional style darning foot.
  3. Use your straight stitch plate.

My favorite foot is the open toe attachment on the adjustable darning foot (the one with the 3 heads).

To make a long story short, I got the best results with a 90/14 topstitch needle, using my blue bobbin case and leaving the feed dogs up. I also stitched at a medium speed. For 50 wt thread, I left it on auto tension and foot pressure = 5.

Yes, you read correctly, I did not drop my feed dogs. I merely covered them with my Supreme Slider. If you do this, the machine will switch back to a DS1 stitch (which is fine), but make sure to set your stitch length to zero.

Leah Day quilts with the feed dogs up. For me, it had the effect of being like a built in stitch regulator. Can’t explain why, but the stitches were more even with the feed dogs up rather than dropped.

Can’t hurt to give it a try!

P.S. Have a traditional hopping darning foot that you want to make work for you? Check out Leah Day’s post on how to modify your darning foot.