More Ruler Work Woes

I wrote in January that I was having problems with ruler quilting on the tumbling blocks mini.

Fabric bunched up in front of the ruler foot
Ruler foot problems 1

At that time the problem was pressor foot pressure — try as I might, I was unable to get the pressor foot to lift enough to allow the quilt sandwich to move. I was using MonoPoly in the needle and Invisafil in the bobbin and it’s possible that tension issues might have contributed (although I had used those same threads with the walking foot quilting and had no problem at all).

Today I was quilting En Bourgogne and decided to try some ruler work on the B blocks. This time I am using Gütermann polyester in both needle and bobbin. I made a test run at the edge of the batting and the foot moved easily — I didn’t take a photo, unfortunately, and I pulled out the thread before starting on the quilt itself. Confident that the previous problem had resolved, I made a start on one of the blocks in the middle of the quilt. The result was … not good.

Ruler work tension issue - June 2019
Ruler work tension issue – June 2019

(Please click through to see the large photo)

Apart from the issue of moving the quilt while keeping the ruler still (which caused uneven stitching) and the extreme difficulty in getting the foot over seam allowances, the tension was way off — the bobbin thread was being pulled right through to the top. And yes, I double-checked that the pressor foot was down while I was quilting (it’s not easy to tell with the ruler foot). I’m pretty sure that I’m using the correct option within the ruler work menu — it’s a thin cotton batting with not much puffiness, as you can see from the walking foot lines I quilted earlier.

Ruler work setting
Ruler work setting

Has anyone had similar issues with the Janome 9400 or 9450?

I’d take it back to the shop where I had the upgrade installed, but they’ve moved since January and, while the technicians are the same, all the front staff have changed and I’m not confident that there is anyone there who has actually used this machine.

2 thoughts on “More Ruler Work Woes

  1. Is your ruler foot factory or purchased later? It could be the ruler foot is made wrong. Also instead of setting your machine to ruler work, set it to something like FMQ. At the top of your machine there should be a dial marked 1, 2, and 3. Makes sure the presser foot has the least amount of pressure. I never tried ruler work with my janome 9000. I never understood how you were supposed to scootch the fabric and the ruler in-unison. Good luck!

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    1. Thank you so much for commenting! Unfortunately, this machine is all electronic — all adjustments to tension and pressor foot pressure are electronic and reset to default whenever the machine is switched on. And I can’t use a “normal” FMQ stitch and just drop the feed dogs because then the foot won’t lift at all (I tried). The foot (marked OR) is the one supplied by Janome in the set which accompanied the software update, so it should work.

      I really hate machines sometimes.

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