This post contains affiliate linksIf you make a purchase Generations Quilt Patterns will get a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Free motion quilting: Darning foot doesn't work

by Sharon
(Riceville, TN)

I just got a foot to do free arm quilting on my Janome sewing machine. I am having trouble getting it to work.

I have set it on the darning setting and dropped the feed dogs, but I can't seem to get it to take more than one stitch at a time.

I am very frustrated!



First double check that the foot you were sold is indeed the one for your machine.

That's pretty elementary, but for my Viking D1 the part numbers are really long and everything has a code instead of clearly labelled machine models that the foot works on. The store clerk could have easily grabbed the wrong presser foot by mistake.

Tips for installing your presser foot... that it works properly.

Is the arm in the proper position?

From your description of the problem, check to see that the arm of the free motion foot is on top of the needle clamp screw on the right hand side of the needle.

That way the foot rises up along with the needle bar.

If that arm is under the needle screw it can't go anywhere. And in fact it will cram the foot down onto your quilt sandwich so that you can't move it to make a stitch.

Is the needle clamp screw long enough?

When I buy my free motion quilting feet (yes, I have worn several out) they come with a longer screw so that there's room for the arm. I leave the longer one in all the time because there's no functional reason to switch back and forth between screws.

Does your machine require certain 'free motion quilting' selections?

Finally, if this is your first free motion quilting, check your manual to see if there are any 'free motion quilting' selections to make on your particular model.

Both 'Free Motion Quilting' and 'Q sensor foot' must be selected before I begin free motion quilting on my Viking D1. Your Janome may have similar requirements.

A good sewing machine dealer is a helpful dealer...

If none of these suggestions work, then take the machine and the foot back to where you bought them (if you can) and ask them to show you how to install the foot properly. If they are a good dealer, they want satisfied customers and should be happy to assist.

I hope this helps to solve your problem. It is so frustrating when you are ready to quilt and your machine just won't cooperate!

Readers, especially if you have a Janome machine, please share your suggestions by using the 'Comments' link on this page. Thank you!


Julie Baird

Comments for Free motion quilting: Darning foot doesn't work

Click here to add your own comments

by: Catherine

Hi, have been having all sorts of trouble screwing on my foot - your answer helped me sort out what I was doing wrong! Thanks!

~Glad to be of help!


darning foot doesn't work
by: Anonymous

Thank you so MUCH! I finally figured it out. It was the way it was screwed onto the machine. It was a bit cock eyed and wouldn't let anything move correctly. Now I just need loads of practice.
I appreciate your answer. It helped.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to GQP's Quilting Forum.

Click here to go to the Home Page

Search This Site

This post contains affiliate linksIf you make a purchase Generations Quilt Patterns will get a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support.

Quilt patterns, books and kits to tempt you!

Click any of the images or links below for more info...

Awesome Ocean Pattern
by Elizabeth Hartman

Fold-N-Stitch Wreath pattern
Fold-N-Stitch Wreath
by Poorhouse Quilt Design

Farm Girl Vintage
by Lori Holt

Gypsy Wife
by Jen Kingwell

Enhance your
Fabric Resource Center
aka 'Stash'

Click on the images to go to for more choices.

Click here for MORE
Kaffe fabrics

Click here for MORE
Batik fabrics

Subscribe... STASH Talk,
our free newsletter.
Simply complete
the form below...

E-mail Address
First Name

Don't worry...
Your e-mail address is
totally secure.

I promise to use it
only to send you
Stash Talk.

Help your quilting $$$ go further...