I just finished Leah Day's Crafty class about free motion quilting. She uses an open toe darning/hopping foot to free motion quilt without putting the feed dogs down (she covers them with a Supreme Slider). She also is using a Janome 7700. She says the stitch quality is almost always better with the feed dogs up, but covered.
I have a Janome 12000. I experimented with using both the free motion feet that just snap on and the darning foot that came with the machine. I couldn't figure out a way to use the free motion feet without the feed dogs down. When using the darning foot, I couldn't figure out a way to adjust it so it was higher above the quilt. I'm thinking the convertible free motion set that I can buy might work better. Anyway, I didn't notice much difference in stitch quality; but felt slightly that maybe it was easier to stitch with the darning foot because the fabric didn't move quite so easily.
I'd like to know which feet, people free motion quilt with. Should I follow what Leah Day says on our machines?
And Jim, do you and your wife an opinion? Thanks.
She would not leave the feed dogs up while covered, as the feed dogs will drag on the covering. Either cut a hole for the feed dogs or drop them. The hopping foot is great when there are a lot of seams to go over. Since it is hopping from the needle movement you cannot adjust the height and you don't need to. To do free motion with the feed dogs up, pick stitch #1 instead of the quilting stitches.