I have been participating in SewCalGal's Year of Free Motion Quilting and have been very frustrated. My FMQ was like throwing darts at a wall and expecting them all to come out in some semblance of shape and form - impossible.
I kept thinking there must be something I could do to make things better? I was able to slide my little finger between the quilting foot and the sandwiched quilt - even in the down position of the shank. Looking at videos online, it seemed like the foot didn't squish the fabric as in regular sewing, but it also didn't look like they had as much wiggle room.
So this afternoon I looked at the quilting foot, and decided maybe if I just tweek the arm that fits over the nut on the shank, it would allow it go down closer to the fabric. Unaccustomed to dealing with mechanical elements, I just went ahead and twisted that little bugger upward. And then I did it again. And once more for good measure.
Wha-la! Success! Now it comes to just above the fabric, allowing the quilt sandwich to glide around the sewing area, but also giving me more control over where the needle comes down. I AM SO HAPPY!