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Feed dogs aren't working on my Husqvarna sewing machine

by Isabel Hodgins
(Bangor, N. Ireland)

Stitch length setting<br><br>Click on each thumbnail below for a larger image<br><br>

Stitch length setting

Click on each thumbnail below for a larger image

Isabel inquires...

My machine doesn't feed material through, just bought it on ebay and don't know if it does that or do you have to ease along as I have to.

IF not, what's wrong and can I fix it?

Julie replies...

Your feed dogs should be doing the work pulling the fabric through your machine, you should be simply guiding it.

Since they don't seem to be doing their job, three possibilities come to mind to check.

In the photos above, I've used the setting on my Viking Design I to illustrate the controls. I assume that if you don't have a Designer I that they look different on your machine. Click on the thumbnail photo for a larger image.

Stitch length

Double check that the last person to use the machine didn't have the stitch length set to '0' (above left). That would prevent the feed dogs from moving. Quilters, including myself, set the stitch length to '0' to save wear and tear on the mechanical parts during free motion quilting (FMQ).

Feed dog position

Grab the instruction manual and locate the control for positioning them (above, center). Again, if the last thing the previous owner was doing was FMQing, they would have been lowered. On my Designer I, the control is located on the center bottom of the arm. (see right)

FMQ settings

If neither of the previous suggestions work, check the manual (again) to see if there's a FMQing setting (above, right) on the sewing machine that might be engaged. If there is one, it may be controlling the position of the feed dogs, too.

An outside possibility would be that the presser foot pressure is set too high. Again, the manual will tell you both where to locate the control (if your machine has one) and what the average setting should be.

Readers, as always, your suggestions are most welcome. Please share your experiences using the 'comments' link below.

Isabel, if these don't work, I'd take the machine in for a quick look-see with a repairman. I'm not sure how long you have to return a machine from an ebay purchase if it's not working right.

Comments for Feed dogs aren't working on my Husqvarna sewing machine

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Feed Dog Issue
by: Anonymous

I had the same problem. I took the back off and in the bottom behind the feed dogs there is a shaft and a plastic wheel. The wheel had come off - I think the machine was dropped at some point. Once I got it back on, it needed to be synched into cycle. I was able to do this, but you might want to take it to a dealer.

Good Luck!

Feed dogs
by: Sheila Clark

Thank you, Julie.

I had not seen the video. I think it inspired me, what I was failing to do was click off the option I used for free motion.

In other words, neither of the options, free-motion NOR free-motion spring action can be checked in order to sew regular stitches!

I really appreciate your time & help!


From the Editor: You're back in business! Go Team Sheila!!!

There's quilting to do!


Designer Ruby Deluxe Feed Dogs
by: Anonymous

Thanks, Julie.

I do have the publications on techniques. No help. The help in the machine itself says to select a regular stitch and the feed dogs will come up, it doesn't happen.

I appreciate your looking into it.

From the Editor: I feel so bad that you're having this problem.

I'm assuming you've already seen this video on YouTube about moving the feed dogs up and down.

Maybe a silly question...Once you've switched the stitches, have you taken a couple of stitches.

With my Designer, when I change anything on it, the machine doesn't change until I engage with the foot pedal and take a few stitches.

If only it would be this simple.

Fingers crossed for you.

~ Julie

Feed dogs won't lift after using free motion feature
by: Sheila Clark

I have a Husqvarna Designer Ruby Deluxe and when I have finished free motion work and hit another stitch to go back to regular sewing the feed dogs do not lift and the free motion icon remains highlighted. I took this in last year for the same problem and they said that Free Motion was set in settings. I have looked everywhere in settings and do not see where this is set in settings.

I only get the box that has me pick between free motion and the free motion spring setting.

I have tried every stitch on the machine to get it to lift the feed dogs and let me get back to regular sewing.

Please give me some magic!!!

From the Editor: I'm not familiar with the Ruby, however, I did find this in the manual.

Click here to go to an online version of the Ruby manual and then scroll down to page 45. (The page number is at the bottom of each page. The instructions for free motion quilting setup are there.

Does this work for you?

I wish I could be of more help!


Julie Baird

Dog feet
by: Anonymous

My fabric moves around with feet down. I have to keep ahold of the fabric to keep it moving in line.

Do I need to replace the feet or just bite the bullet and have an expensive repair man fix it.

From the Editor: Unless there's a control for the presser foot pressure, i.e. how hard the presser foot presses down on your fabric, I fear this is a trip to the repairman.

I wish I had better news.

~ Julie

Feed dogs out of alignment
by: Nonnie B

My feed dogs are out of alignment and rub on the plate making an awful squeaking sound. Is there a way I can adjust their positioning?

From the Editor: Without seeing the machine for myself, I'd recommend a trip to the repair shop to know for sure.

~ Julie

by: JC

I have a Husqvarna Viking 6690. Had problem with my feed dogs suddenly not feeding; checked everything, all adjustments were correct.

Found the post about the lint, Voila!! Working fine now.

Had a little problem figuring out how to get the plate off, found the tiny thing to push in the corner of the bobbin area but it didn't pop the plate, just sorta released it. So I used my heavy duty magnet (which picks up dropped pins for me)and that worked.

A little cleaning, a little WD-40 and my Viking is running like new.


From the Editor: So glad it was an easy fix!

~ Julie

Feed dogs stuck in the bottom
by: Lettie White

My 1100 Viking feed dogs are not moving up or down. The machine sounds are working I think it was jammed on the last use when threads bunched up.

What can I do?


From the Editor: If you can't get at what's jamming them, then it's a job for the sewing machine repair person. That's what I'd do if it was my machine.

~ Julie

Possible Fix
by: Anonymous

I have seen this same problem so many times and it costs a lot to take it in to fix the problem when all you have to do is take off the needle plate and clean between the feed dogs.

For some reason that is one area people do not clean the lint out of. I have fixed so many machines that the only problem was the lint was so packed in between the feed dogs that they could not come up far enough to pull the fabric through anymore.

There is only about a 1/16 or 1/8 inch space between the feed dogs but they need to be cleaned out so they can come up and grab the fabric.

Try that, it sure sounds like it might be the problem.

Good Luck!

From the Editor: Great share! Thank you!

~ Julie

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