Friday, March 29, 2013

Needle UP? Needle DOWN?

That is the question.  Having a needle up/down option on your sewing machine makes the job of sewing so much easier.   Once you have the needle up/down option, you can never have a machine without it!
This is the needle up/down on my machine.

When I'm quilting on a piece, if I stop the machine to rest for a moment, the fabric or project can't shift on me if it is set for needle down. Then when I start sewing again, I carefully begin stitching slowly, working up gradually to my regular speed.  If well done, the starts and stops shouldn't show!

When quilting, I like to set the machine for needle down.
When doing free-motion embroidery, I guess it really doesn't matter whether the needle stops in the up or the down position. The starts and stops aren't as visible.

Piecing, is nice when the needle stays up. After each seam is finished, the needle is up and the pieces may be easily removed from the needle area and threads clipped. When I attach bias binding, I like the needle down.

If the project is applique I usually choose to have needle down. If I have to pivot at corners, or have smooth curves, it's nice to have it set down.
Especially when pivoting is necessary at corners, I like the needle to stop down

If you are sewing on a new machine, take the time to notice which way your prefer to set your machine for different tasks.  Then when you begin sewing for the day, set your needle position accordingly.

Caution:  I'd like to leave you with one caution on this subject. Never leave the needle in the fabric or project for long periods of time.  If you are finished sewing for the day, make sure the needle is up.  Should the fabric get pulled away from the machine it won't tear or rip your project.

Hockey project update:  I'm spending time each day doing the embroidery and applique on my Hockey Garden quilt. I still need a good suggestion for a title!  Any ideas?

Ann Fahl  


Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

Great tip Ann...something I've never thought about. keep them coming. I just bought a new machine...Baby Lock Melody....I have a Baby Lock Tempo. I love both of them!!!! But there is even a difference in how they quilt...which I hadn't thought about I am new to FMQ; a hand quilter who took the challenge last year...and enjoyed it thoroughly. So; now I am getting used to this new machine....getting stitches as I want them
But it's good for the brain....right???? lol

annieQ said...

It is a challenge to adjust to a new machine, no matter how much you wanted it in the first place.

imquilternity said...

Agree, agree, agree! The minute I got a machine with this feature I knew I was sold for life. It makes sewing soooo much easier!

Robbie said... my needle/up/down feature and my knee lift!! Use them all the time!!! But then I drive with two feet too!!

Nina Marie said...

omg isn't this the truth. I recently had to switch back to my old machine since my new horizon was having the tension adjusted and it was crazy trying to get used to sewing again without all the bells and whistles we take for granted these days. love love my needle down function - as well as all the others - especially my auto thread cutter!

annieQ said...

Oh yes, thread cutters are wonderful too.