FMQ Quick Tip–Throat Plates

ThroatPlate.LKennedy002Good Morning, Quilters!

Recently, I was stitching along and my quilting just didn’t seem right…

The needle had a hard time penetrating the fabric and I thought I had a dull needle.

The real culprit:  I had the wrong needle plate!

Most machines come with a zig-zag needle plate.  The hole is wide enough for the needle to create zig zag or decorative stitches.

However, this is not the BEST choice for Free Motion Quilting or for normal piecing.

The BEST choice is a single hole throat plate.  It supports the fabric better and allows the needle to penetrate the fabric more readily.

This leads to better stitch formation–in other words…PRETTIER STITCHES!

Single Hole Throat PlateOnce I realized the error…

Everything was better.Single Hole Throat PlatePretty stitches!

Hope YOUR stitches are happy today!


PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of Lori Kennedy at The Inbox Jaunt and are intended for personal use only.  Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to The Inbox Jaunt.  For all other purposes, please contact me at  Thanks!

27 thoughts on “FMQ Quick Tip–Throat Plates

  1. I had the reverse situation wondering why my machine was sewing a straight stitch and not the stretch overlock stitch I was expecting to see. I’d forgotten I’d been using the single hole throat plate for my quilting. Thank heavens the Bernina 710 has a security program that automatically limits the stitch width so you don’t break needles.

  2. I noticed your mention of a single-hole throat plate in your Craftsy video and didn’t know why. I change back and forth so often between piecing and decorative stitching that I always just leave the zigzag throat plate in. Thank you for explaining it and I will give that a try today! BTW, I haven’t done a review of Divide and Conquer yet but it was so good, and I will be watching it numerous times–then a review. I just have three projects with deadlines. Good job, Lori.

  3. Unfortunately, my feeds don’t drop – there’s a plate to cover them, and it’s a zig-zag plate. I’ve read several places that a straight-stitch plate is the way to go with FMQ. I may need to see if I can design my own plate!

    • Sally, seems to me you could just use your single hole plate and cover the area with a Supreme Slider…I know a few people with your same situation and that’s what they do…

    • Sally, you might try setting the stitch length to zero for FMS. Another quick fix for covering the feed dogs is to punch a hole in the center of an old credit card and then taping it to the needle plate – I’d still set the stitch length to zero for this option as well.

  4. I did not know this but I am wondering if this is what is making my needlle seem “lagging” in the material when I am FMQ! I don’t have one of these plates so I am going to get one.

  5. I had never even thought about that effecting the stitch with FMQ! Like the comment before I seem to get some “lagging” too… Excited to try this!

  6. On my older Singer machine it has a plate to cover the feed dogs but it has the large opening. Instead I decided to use the single hole plate and not cover the feed dogs and use a supreme slider and the stitches are so much better.

  7. That plate is also great for piecing, especially when you’re starting on a triangle point…the large hole plate tends to suck that point right down into it…

  8. I totally agree that having the single hole throat plate makes a huge difference in the stitch quality for straight stitching and FMQ in my Pfaff. Unfortunately, my Pfaff does not warn me if I have forgotten to change the throat plate and decide to zig-zag….I have broken many needles – slow learner 🙂

  9. One of the best purchase ever for my Janome. The owner of the shop actually tried to talk me out of it but so glad I persisted. An expensive treat but so worth it!

  10. I use the single hole for Piecing and free motion. Also love that my Bernina 880 has the security feature to prevent sewing with the wrong plate or foot.

  11. I have a Janome 8900 and it came with 2 plates. There is a sensor that alerts you if you have the single needle plate installed and select a zig-zag or decorative stitch, which saves the broken needle. I really haven’t “used” the single needle plate to FMQ, but will give it a whirl! THanks. (MAYBE I will do better). Note – if you are using a supreme slider….use some blue painters tape and secure it to your table….I had to unsew mine from the back of a quilt, and wasted the $$$ on the purchase. Since then I have invested in one by Benertex and I love it.

    • When I first began to FMQ, I purchased the Slider. My Janome kept telling me to raise my feed dogs even though I had a free motion apparatus attached, so I did. The feed dogs ripped my slider all up. I had to cut that area out. FMQ wasn’t working for me (I wonder why) so I switched to my walking foot and straight stitched a grid in the quilt I was working on. BUT not before my walking foot picked up my slider and ran away with it. What a mess. And an expensive one at that. Now I know I only have to hit the start button twice and the message goes away. I continued to use my slider as much as I could until today when it totally ripped in two. I’m really interested in the one from Benertex. Could you please give me a little detail about why you think it’s better and why you love it so much? Is it bigger?

      • Oh Margaret! How frustrating! I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry for you–because it sounds like something that would happen to me! Argh!
        I have never tried (nor heard of) a Benertex slider, but I will look into it now. I like the Supreme Slider because I can really tell a difference with my quilt gliding when it’s on…I have had a problem with the sheet moving too–so I use painters’ tape to hold it in place. I have cut a larger hole in my Slider as well.
        Let me know what you think of the other slider if you get one.

      • Lori, I just watched Rob Appell from Man sewing (Free Motion Basics) He is using this:
        “Sew Slip Multi Purpose Sheet by Gossamer Designs” It’s 12 x 18 and only $27.95 at the Missouri Star Quilting Co. The Supreme Slider is 11 1/2 x 8 and sells for $32.95. You can view it in the video. I just ordered one. Hope this helps everyone. What a great deal.

  12. Sally, you might try setting the stitch length to zero for FMS. Another quick fix for covering the feed dogs is to punch a hole in the center of an old credit card and then taping it to the needle plate – I’d still set the stitch length to zero for this option as well.

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