Hopping foot slipped too low


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I think my hopping foot has slipped too low. When the needle is at its lowest point a business card will slip under the hopping foot from behind but not from the front. There is also a clacking noise as the needle gets to the bottom and starts back up again.

I bought my Millie new in 2004 and do not have a manual. I've researched on the forum about moving the hopping foot up but cannot seem to find a hole in the needle bar area to insert a screwdriver to turn any screw.

Any help would be appreciated.

I've looked but cannot find a place where I can download the maintenance manual. Is it available online?

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There is a black cap on the front side of the machine above the hopping foot area. Pop the cap off. There is a screw there that you turn to raise or lower the hopping foot. You will need a long screw driver. It will also help to take off the back cover so that you can see in there a little. I had a hard time finding it to begin with. Oh and if I recall correctly your hopping foot has to be in the down position to have the screw showing. Hope that helps a little.

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Heidi, I went to look at that area of my Millie and there is no black cap anywhere I can find. There are 4 black screws at the front of the machine but I think they have to do with the handles.

There is a hole on the right hand side between the light switch and the tension mechanism where a long screwdriver might fit through and reach to where the "take up" arm for the needle and hopping foot is. I tried to put a screwdriver in there but was not able to find a notch to put it in -- of course I couldn't see it, I was just doing it by feel.

Thank you for your thoughts though -- please let me know if anything else comes to mind. I have a quilt on the machine I REALLY need to get done.

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I took the maintenance class earlier in the month and following is a quote from the manual that I received:

"The access hole for the hopping foot clamp is on the right (tension) side of the machine. Depending on the age of your machine, you may have a small black plastic cap in the hole (newer machines) or just a small access hole. If you have the plastic cap, use a small screwdriver or your finger nail to pull the cap out of the access hole.

If you shine a flashlight in the access hole, you can see the screw when the hopping foot is at it's lowest position. With the smaller access hole, you will need a long skinny screwdriver to loosen the screw.

Losen the clamp srew, and twist/pull the foot down until it is resting on business card (or 4 sheets from a sticky note pad) - make sure the foot is centered on the needle, then tighten the clamp screw back up again. For most thin battings, one business card is the best setting to have the hopping foot at - for thicker battings, you can go up to 3 or 4 business cards, but no higher than that - or you'll have problems with stitch quality! It is best to have the foot as low as possible - you'll be able to feel the machine drag if it is set too low, otherwise, the lowr, the better!!"

My note from class: When moving business card under foot, when 1 business card height then you should have resistence!. If you are flat lining when quilting left to right then the hopping foot is too high.

There are pictures in the manual and the hole or screw is NW of the tension knob, at about 11:00. Hope that helps. Let us know if you are successful, or if you still need help.

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You have found the right hole for adjusting your hopping foot - the newer models have the fancy black cap.;) You will find it easier to find the screw if you remove the plate on the opposite side of the head (the same side as the bobbin winder). Once you have the plate off, that will let light in to that area. Then shine a flashlight into the hole to see the orientation of the screw - but like Heidi says, the hopping foot needs to be lowered as far as it will go in order to see or reach that screw. Once you've got the screwdriver in the hole, you won't be able to see the screw - you might need to reach in from the other side and find the screw by "braille."

Turning the screw will release the clamp that holds the hopping foot. Adjust as necessary, then tighten the screw again - maybe also by "braille." Be sure that the hopping foot if the right height - and that it is centered on the needle.

Hope you get things taken care of!

[Ooops - looks like Carmen beat me to it!!]

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I have a 2006 Millenium and I used to be very scared of adjusting the hopping foot. I now know how to adjust the hopping foot.

First of all, you have to be at the front of the machine. On the right side of the machine right behind the handle, there is a black plastic cover the size of a quarter, pop the thing out, then get a skinny long flat screwdriver and adjust the hopping foot (I use flashlight to find the screw inside). DH helped me do this and some figuring out because I am mechanically challenged

Anyways, hope you get it fixed.

I now refer to my manual whenever I come accros any trouble before I call Amy or Dawn.

Corey

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Place the needle bar in the lowest position (the hopping foot will be in the lowest position also) and use the hole you described only newer machines have the cap. The screw that holds the hopping foot in place is not straight in but at a bit of an angle. It is a challenge but possible. When we were dealers several of the dealers complained that it was hard to adjust, than the hole was made larger and capped with a plastic plug.

Use a flashlight to view through the hole to see the position of the slot in the screw.

You will need a good quality sharp flat bladed screwdriver that fits the screw.

Hope this get you going.

John

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You guys are awesome! (Which of course has been evident about this forum for years). I'll acquire a longer skinny screwdriver and brush up on my braille and tackle after church.

I have got to get one of those maintenance manuals. Fortunately my machine has been so reliable it hasn't been much of a problem since the first year or so when it was mostly "user issues."

Thank you so much! I'll let you know how it goes.

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Also, one last thing to add. I have discovered that all business cards are no created equal (thickness-wise). So where Amy used 1, I need 2 if I use my business cards and on up from there. So if you try one, make sure the hopping foot is not 'pushing' the fabric along. If so, you may also have a thinner business card. ;)

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Well, I got the hopping foot height adjusted. Thanks for all the info.

Now..... I still have the "clack" sound whenever the needle starts back up again. It's in that area of the picture above, but I can't see two things touching each other that don't normally. It sounds a little like what the hopping foot touching the base might sound like but I've got a piece of batting there so I'm sure that's not it ---- and I've not heard it make that sound until yesterday morning when I was getting ready to start quilting.

It makes the noise if I have it running or if I turn the fly wheel to have it make a round.

Thoughts anyone?

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Ok . . Now I REALLY feel STUPID! Kueser as soon as I read your post, I remember changing the needle yesterday morning and so I checked --- yep! in was in backwards!

You all have been so sweet and patient to help me. Maybe someone else can learn from my lunacy. I know I have!

At least I learned how to raise my hopping foot, it really was too low!

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

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Well, after reading the posts, I realized that my hopping foot was a bit too low. I thought my machine should move easier and I think it did when I first got it, but possibly the hopping foot wasn't tight enough or it worked loose. Anyway, I got my screwdriver and thought I would give it a shot without taking the plate off the other side and I hit it dead on. How lucky is that ???? I turned just a bit to the left and the hopping foot released down. I used 2 business thin cards as the guidline, centered the hopping foot and tightened the screw again. I never removed the screwdriver once I got it in the groove of the screw! :) I did some test sewing along the edge of a practice piece and it seems to work just dandy............no drag! I felt like I was forcing the machine when using templates/rulers and the QS tracing templates and had a hard time making a neat turns, etc. Will play more tomorrow and see how it goes. Thanks for all the great information!

I am stitching out a sampler of the QZ designs I have so I can see the stitched out patterns and see how they might work where I want them. That will be a good test of the hopping foot. Maybe I can do feathers now !!!!

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Hopping foot height should be .030 inch. I use a feeler gage. (From an auto parts store or store that sells tools.) This way you don't have to worry about the thickness of business cards which vary. I may address this issue in my next column in "On Track" magazine. All IMQS members receive it with their membership. www.imqa.org

For you that do not know I write a Tech. article every other issue.

John

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