Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Ruler foot for Berninas: A Tutorial

I shared my technique of combining the ruler toe from the Janome Convertible Free Motion Frame Quilting Foot Set with the Janome Convertible Free Motion Quilting Foot Set more than two years ago in this post on Quilting Tools. It was quickly followed up by my most popular post ever, Quilting with Rulers on a Domestic Sewing Machine. It's been such a great technique for achieving smooth lines and curves when free motion quilting. Since it involves Janome feet, Bernina owners (and other who can't use the Janome feet) have been so eager to find a way to use this foot or an equivalent foot.


Through my work with Top Anchor Quilting Tools, Betty Bland put me into contact with Reneah Rafferty, a Bernina Educator who has made the following tutorial to use the Janome foot on Berninas! Yay!

I know we've had a few creative souls who have tried to make it work before, and I admit wishing I had tried harder to figure it out before now, but I am a Janome girl, so I would not have figured out that the compatibility issue could be fixed with the computer settings.

Update: Looks like the new Bernina long arm machine will have interchangeable feet with the domestic Berninas, including the ruler foot. Though there may be some software updates needed to use the long arm's ruler foot on a regular Bernina or some creative settings adjustment, like Reneah has done below. I have no idea when the long arm's feet will be available for purchase, especially separately from the long arm. we just keep getting closer to having ruler feet for everybody!

Update to the Update: Since the thickness of any ruler foot can cause the top of the needle bar/clamp to hit the top of the ruler foot, ALWAYS put the foot in the lowered position before lowering the needle! This applies to all ruler feet and machines at this writing (8/4/15) and is the reason why Bernina is not recommending the use of their new ruler foot for the long arm to be used on the regular Bernina machines. In my opinion, this isn't a big issue as long as you can discipline yourself to lower the foot before lowering the needle.

She did this tute with her Bernina 880 and promises to check other machine going forward from here. Many thanks to Reneah and Bernina for this information.

(If you have a different brand of machine that still doesn't have a suitable foot for ruler work, don't despair. I have some information in the works for you too!)

So here's Reneah:

The following are the steps I needed to do to set my Bernina 880 for quilting ruler work.

Copyright Reneah D. Rafferty, Inc. 2014


Accessories You will need
The following feet and accessories are needed.

Copyright Reneah D. Rafferty, Inc. 2014
Bernina 77 foot
Step 1:  Purchase the Bernina 77 foot which allows you to add another company’s shank and use that companies specialty feet. 

Step 2:  For the Bernina 880, I will be using the below, Janome Convertible Free Motion Quilt Foot Set for HIGH SHANKThis can be purchased at your local Janome Dealer.  The Janome Convertible Free Motion Shank I like because there is a spring to the right and screw that allows you adjust the height of the foot or the distance from the foot to the quilt.






Convertible Free Motion Quilt Foot Set (High Shank) Part # 202001003


Step 3:  Also, from a Janome Dealer you will need to purchase the Convertible Free Motion Frame Quilting Feet for 1600.  These optional feet can be used with the Convertible Free Motion Quilt Shank.  The ruler toe foot is a perfect height for the ¼” rulers.   It actually looks like a hopping foot that the long arm machines have.   With most domestic home sewing machines, the free motion foot is thin and you have to worry about the foot sliding under the ruler or template and possibly breaking a needle.  Per the instructions on the package attach the ¼ inch ruler foot to the Janome Convertible Free Motion Quilt Shank.

Convertible Free-Motion Frame Quilting Feet for 1600P Series
 Part Number: 767434005
Step 4:  Attach the Convertible Free Motion Quilt Shank to the Bernina 77 Adapter. 
Copyright Reneah D. Rafferty, Inc. 2014

Step 5:   Attach the Bernina foot 77 to the machine. If your machine is in a cabinet, drop the machine down so it is flush within the cabinet or use the tray that came with the machine.

Copyright Reneah D. Rafferty, Inc. 2014

Supreme Slider-When you are doing free motion quilting there is a lot of strain on your arms and shoulders to push and pull the quilt under the machine.  In order to help the quilt move easily, I use the Supreme Slider on the machine.  A Supreme Slider is made of 100% Teflon which is very slippery and allows the fabric move smoothly.  This is important for domestic sewing machines.  Place the white side up.


Setting up the Bernina 880 Machine
The following are the settings that I found that would work with my Bernina 880 machine.  Each machine may be slightly different, but this will give you starting point or a guide to start by.
1.      Select stitch number 1 in the Practical Stitches
All screen shots property of Bernina of America  Copyright Reneah D. Rafferty, Inc. 2014

It will be necessary to trick the machine to think we have a different foot on the machine.  Press the foot icon on the left of the screen.  As shown in the next picture, it is 1C. 


3.      Select the, the darning which foot 9.

All screen shots property of Bernina of America  Copyright Reneah D. Rafferty, Inc. 2014

4.      Close the window.
5.      If you would like, you can lower the feed dogs.  Personally, I leave them up but adjust the stitch length to zero.  The zero stitch length keeps the tension in tack but doesn’t allow the fabric to move.  Much like having the feed dogs down.    This will be an individual preference. 

 
 


All screen shots property of Bernina of America  Copyright Reneah D. Rafferty, Inc. 2014

6.      The needle position will need to be moved over to the right so that the needle is in the center of the ruler foot.  Press the right arrow button on the machine for the needle position 5 times.  It will show as the below with the 9 foot.




7.      Presser foot pressure will need to be adjusted.  With the machine default settings, the foot will press on the fabric not allowing it to move freely.  This setting is one that will not be set in stone and is an individual setting depending on the thickness of the quilt and your machine.   I am working with muslin on the top and bottom with Warm and Natural batting.  Press the Pressure foot icon on the machine.  Press the “–“ sign until you reach at least a -20.  Depending on your project thickness, you may need to go to -25 and also adjust the screw on the Janome foot so that the foot just lightly touches the fabric.  On a scrap piece of quilt sandwich, test to make sure that the fabric moves freely under the foot when free motion quilting.  You don’t want the foot too high.  This will cause the fabric to flag and you may experience skip stitches.

All screen shots property of Bernina of America  Copyright Reneah D. Rafferty, Inc. 2014


8.      The last setting that needs to be made to the machine is the deactivating the hover feature when the needle is in the down position.  Press the setup icon on the right toolbar.  

9.      Press the plus on the Sewing Settings icon.

10.  Press the plus on the Programming Function-button/Function icon.

11.  Press the plus for the Press Foot Position with Needle Stop Down icon.

12.  Press the first option that will not allow the foot to rise when you are not sewing and the needle is in the down position.  Remember we adjusted the pressure foot pressure in a previous step with the Janome foot shank adapter.  The foot will be raised slightly in this position.

All screen shots property of Bernina of America  Copyright Reneah D. Rafferty, Inc. 2014

13.   Press the “X”.

You are now ready to do ruler work with your Bernina 880 as a sit down machine.    The templates I highly recommend and have had success with is Top Anchor Quilting Templates.  Their website is http://topanchorquilting.com/

All screen shots property of Bernina of America  Copyright Reneah D. Rafferty, Inc. 2014
Back to Amy:

There it is folks! I hope this helps you to set up a ruler foot for your machine. This may not work exactly the same across all models but should be fairly similar. Leave Reneah questions in the comments and I'll do my best to get her to answer them. She reads this blog, so she may answer directly.

66 comments:

  1. I have a Bernina 440 QE and Im hoping this will also work with that machine, could you ask Reneah if this is the case. Thank you

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    1. In case you don't see Reneah's comment below, she's going to check it out for you. Thanks Reneah!

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  2. Patiently waiting for Brother info.
    Much thanks for sharing.
    Janie

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    1. Hi Janie! Don't miss Reneah's reply to your comment below. I do agree with her that many of the Brother machines ought to be able to use this foot with a few tweaks. I just don't have enough experience with them (especially the newer, high-end machines) to tell you for sure. I do know that the Brother machine that is the Janome 1600 equivalent (straight stitch only, 9inches to the right of the needle) can definitely use these feet and the ruler toe.

      Tell us the model # and maybe Reneah can figure it out. I am also going to try out the Janome FMQ sets on the different machines that come into the shop I work at and see if we can get more options for folks.

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  3. Yay! Can't wait to try this on my 750!

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    1. Belinda, I did have this working on the 750 for a customer at the store. If you need help give a shout.

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  4. Janie, You can do this with the brother. Which one do you have? When I had done sew club, I did it on a Brother Dreamweaver. It took a High Shank BUT, not all Brother's take high shank, some take the low. Let us know the model, and possibly we can help you out.

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  5. Belinda, It should be about the same with the instructions. Just make sure you do the adjustment for the Pressure foot pressure. You should be ok. Amy opened up a whole new world for me. :)

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    1. :0) Amy Johnson: world opener! I like it! Makes me laugh! I'm just a curious quilter.

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  6. Sally, Let me check at the shop tomorrow on one of the 330 or 530 Bernina's which shank you will need to buy.

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    1. That was going to be my question too, so thanks ladies. Could I get an answer too?

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    2. Marly, I think we may have overwhelmed Reneah with questions and models, especially as she works at a busy dealer right before Christmas. She's a busy gal. I will try to do a summary post in the future with her answers for whatever models she's been able to work with. Sorry I can't answer your questions since I don't work with Berninas.

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  7. This is fantastic news and a great tutorial. I have an 820. Thanks SEW much!

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    1. You’re quite welcome! It’s so fun to share this with you.

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  8. This is great information. I am going to order the foot set and the 1600 feet from amazon right now!!! Thank you Amy and Reneah!

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  9. Another Bernina gal here, and I'm very excited about this news. Her's the challenge for Reneah -- I have a rather old Bernina -- the 1530 -- which I absolutely love for free motion work. Can Reneah find out if I need the high shank or low shank adaptor? I will be eternally grateful.

    Diane

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    1. Let me research this and get back to you on this.

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    2. I would be interested to know, as well. I also have a 1530. Thank you for your help!

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  10. Thanks for this.Can't wait to try it out. I've seen the templates on the http://topanchorquilting.com/ website, but where did you get the ruler, please?

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    1. Hi Bren, Here's the link. http://topanchorquilting.com/collections/templates/products/eight-point-star-rotating-longarm-quilting-template-4-inch For the feet, you will need to contact you local Janome dealer, I gave the product number for you when you call them. The Bernina adapter obviously, needs to come from a Bernina Dealer. Let us know if you still need help.

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    2. Bren, the ruler shown above is from Top Anchor as Reneah has responded above. The technique can be done with any long arm ruler, these are 1/4 to 3/8 inch thick. Not rotary cutting rulers.

      My favorite basic rulers are the Fine Line Rulers by Accents in Design; see the link on my right sidebar or www.accentsindesign.com They offer a good grip both in the hand and on the quilt top.

      I love the ingenuity and creativity of the Top Anchor rotating templates/rulers! They yield unique shapes such as stars, dahlias, and more. They can also be used without the rotating anchor post as a regular ruler to utilize their shapes in other 'out-of-the-box' ways.

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    3. Thank you so much. All ordered; feet, adaptor, three templates and the Fine Line rulers. Christmas presents for myself!

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    4. That's fabulous! Merry Christmas to you!

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  11. I wonder if folks know they can try these rulers out with whatever foot they've been doing free motion with to start with. I don't mind my feet "hopping" and it only took a short time to get the hang of using the rulers with my darning feet on any of my vintage machines.

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    1. What newbies have to be worried about is the foot hopping under or on the ruler. You can break a needle and possibly throw your machine out of time. With the foot the same thickness of the ruler and not "hopping" all you need to do is slightly press the ruler against the foot. Just a thought. :)

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    2. Yes, I have always said that this Ruler technique can be done on a regular free motion/darning foot, but you have to be very careful to not let the ruler pop under or over the foot or disaster may result. I definitely don't recommend using regular rotary cutting rulers for this technique.

      There are also a few hopping type ruler feet out there for Juki and the sit-down long arm machines. It's not the hopping that's the issue for ruler work.

      But so many people have found they love these non-hopping feet. They certainly are quieter too!

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  12. I bought the feet, followed all the steps on the tutorial but I can't get the foot high enough for a sandwich to move freely. I have a B780. Do you have any ideas of what I can do to make the ruler toe work? Thanks so much for all the work you have put into to helping us use a ruler toe on our Bernina's.

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    1. I will pass your comment along to Reneah. I haven't a clue when it comes to Berninas. Can you change the settings for presser foot pressure any more to get the foot higher, either through the computer or manually?

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    2. Hi, What setting do you have for the pressure foot pressure on your machine? Also, did you adjust the height of the foot using the screw on the right of the Janome foot? Let us know.

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    3. I set the pressure at -25 and adjusted the height of the foot so it was a high as it could go. When I put the pressure foot down the ruler toe was firmly down with no way to move the sandwich freely.

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    4. Color me stupid! I wasn't able to make this work initially because I used adapter #75 instead of #77. Once I used the correct adapter the Janome foot works great on my B780. Thanks so much for the instructions. Ruler work is so much fun!!!

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  13. HI, Amy -- I'm the gal with the Bernina 1530. Has Reneah had an opportunity to find out if I need to order the high shank adapter or the low shank adapter? I really appreciate all your time and effort on this project -- I can't wait to see if I can get it to work for me.

    Diane

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    1. I’ll pass your comment along to Reneah. Thanks for checking back.

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    2. I don't work until tomorrow and we were out of stock with the feet. So hopefully, we will have them in tomorrow. I won't respond until late at night. ;)

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  14. question for Reneah - I'd like to know if the 5.5 plate for 9 mm machines (i.e. the one for the 8 series) can work in this scenario [i.e. if the 5.5 plate is selected - will the needle move over enough to be centered even with the 5.5 plate on????] I tried to email you on this but had not received an answer - so now I am posting here. I have everything necessary and can confirm this fits on the 8 series - but I would like to know your opinion about the plate.

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    1. For all viewing this post and the comments, Reneah advised, that the 5.5 mm plate for 9 mm machines WILL WORK. This is not yet an endorsement for anything other than the 8 series at the moment. It is my feeling that the 5.5 method will result in greater stability of the fabric on the bed. You MUST set the machine's security program so that it knows the 5.5 plate is on the machine, and you MUST move the needle over per Reneah's instructions. Although she didn't say so, I would advise to NEVER auto thread your machine with the ruler foot on. Consider it a no-no foot for auto threading like the walking foot, ruffler, leather roller and so on...........

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  15. Hi Amy, and Reneah, Thanks for all your input on the ruler work on domestic machines. Can the Bernina 860 (new version) be set up to work with the Janome foot too?

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  16. Question for Reneah - I have a Bernina 830 and an adapter foot from a prior Bernina. How can I tell if it is a #77 high shank? There is no foot number on it.

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    1. Is your machine the 830 Record?

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    2. No, it is the computerized 830LE not the older model.

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  17. Another question for Reneah. I was at my local Bernina dealer yesterday and she was telling me about the new Bernina long arm machine that she will be selling soon. She mentioned that the Bernina long arm will have interchangeable feet with regular Bernina machines, and my heart skipped a beat. Reneah, have you had a chance to see the ruler foot for the Bernina long arm machine? If the wait for the 97D foot is any indication it will probably be awhile before the long arm ruler foot from Bernina is available to order separately. But i would love to know if you've seen it yet, and if you think we might be able to use it on our Bernina DSMs. I bought the #77 adapter yesterday and I'm planning to get the Janome foot for the time being, but I really would prefer to have a Bernina ruler foot if one becomes available. Thanks so much for this tutorial!

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    1. I don’t know if Reneah’s had a chance to check it out, but it’s my understanding that the feet will be interchangeable between the longarm and domestics! Very encouraging. But as you say, it will probably be a while before you can order the foot, since it’s a new product.

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    2. No I haven't seen the new foot. My understanding is the sit down Bernina is due out in May. I like the Janome Convertible Adjustible foot as I can also tweak the pressure a bit with the foot.

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  18. I have the newer 830 and would like to know if this will work on it?

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  19. I have the Bernina Virtuosa 153 - would love to know if this setup will work for my machine

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  20. Quilting in the South, I put info up for Virtuosa 150,
    http://kaknitter.blogspot.com/2015/01/january-2015-coming-to-close.html

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  21. Oh WOW I'm SO EXCITED to have come across this blog page!!!! I have a Bernina 780 and need confirmation on the following: purchase foot #77 (Bernina brand), Janome Convertiible FMQ for HIGH SHANK, and Janome FMQ Feet for 1600P #767434005. SO, these feet are adaptable for ruler work on my Bernina 780?

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    1. Lucy, I have a 780 and this set up works perfectly! Ruler work is so much fun. I highly recommend the Fine Line rulers as well.

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    2. OOH! Thanks Dr. M! All I have to go on is what Reneah said in the tutorial so it's fabulous to get this kind of feedback.

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  22. I've scanned the posts but didn't see a reference to confirm if this will work with the 550QE?

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  23. I have the 730E. It boggles my mind that you need a high shank foot AND the adapter. Please somebody...confirm.

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    1. Trudi- I'm not able to confirm this as I don't have access to these machines, nor at this late date from the original post, is it likely that anyone else will respond. However, Bernina is coming out with a ruler foot for its longarm that is also usable on regular Bernina machines. It will be available in April according to the Bernina educator I talked with at the AQS Lancaster show. Given the time frame, I'd wait and try the new foot.

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    2. Yes...I heard they are coming out with the foot but will it be a non hopping foot?

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    3. From what I saw at the show, it will not be a hopping foot unless the presser foot bar itself hops.

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  24. Hi Amy, I've been reading your recent blog with great interest re ruler quilting. I have not seen any mention of Elna machines. I have the Elna Excellence 720 and have just received my Fineline Ruler and I desperately need a foot for my machine now. Can you please give me any info at all about what foot I should get? I am in South Africa so would have to order and have it shipped.

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    1. I’m not sure about older Elnas, but they have been made by Janome for quite some time now and can use all the same feet from what I understand, plus Elna has the same feet for their elna machines as Janome. So you could do which ever Covertible FMQ foot set that fits your machine, plus the frame quilting foot set and have the same ruler foot that I adore. OR you could use the Westalee foot, which is good and typically more economical if you don’t have the convertible fmq foot set already, since it comes with some rulers.

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  25. I have a Bernina 1130 that I purchased in the '80s. Will any ruler feet work on this machine?

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    1. I'd look into the westalee foot for a Bernina

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    2. this was a long-time-ago-asked question ... is there a response? my 1230 is very similar to the 1130 above .... darlene

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  26. Hi I have an Elna excellence 660 I can't seam to find out which foot I need for ruler work can anyone help me

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  27. Hi I have an Elna excellence 660 I can't seam to find out which foot I need for ruler work can anyone help me

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    1. Click through the "shop" button at the top of this blog page, check out the FAQ's there and if you still have questions, send me an email and I'll get you set up.

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  28. great ideas here ... i have an OLD bernina 1230, is it possible to get this to work on my machine?

    thanks so much for all the responses in these comments .... darlene

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    1. Darlene, at this point your best option is a low shank Westalee foot and the #77 adapter.

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