SewCalGirl. Each month I have picked up some tips. I was a little late posting about the April lesson and it was my last post, but when I looked at the video for Leah Day's lesson I really could not wait to try some of her suggestions. I was particularly interested in her suggestion to NOT drop the feed dogs, but to bring the stitch length to zero and try your free motion quilting with the feed dogs still up. Her reason for this is that free motion quilting is somewhat hard on the home machine and they are not really designed to sew in this fashion, something I have been told by my local sewing machine dealer. She feels dropping the feed dogs also disengages something else in the machine that is necessary for balanced stitching.
I gave it a try with sample two, the railroad track pattern, and really could not tell that much difference. I think my bottom line is going to be if I am having trouble with balanced stitches in my machine quilting for whatever reason, thread, humid weather, dry weather...whatever, I am going to try leaving the feed dogs up and see if that helps on that particular quilt. She also described a little product I have not ever heard of, Little Genie Magic Bobbin Washers. I did not have access to these but would be very interested if anyone has used them in a Bernina and if they thought it reduced bobbin thread problems such as bird's nest.
Leah Day's website is wonderful, she also is sponsoring a free motion quilt project or quilt along that gives machine quilters of any level of experience lots of practice.