It seems to me that not enough time, effort, blog posts, etc. has been dedicated to the humble walking foot. It is as though the walking foot is the “ugly duckling” of the quilting world. It is often overlooked for it’s more well known cousin the “free motion” foot, quilting foot, hopping foot or darning foot (whatever you want to call it.) Probably because we are all in awe of the beautiful results that can be achieved at the hands of a master long arm quilter. A lot of quilters I know seem to think that the only thing you can do with a walking foot is to SID (stitch in the ditch,) and that truly amazing quilting can only be achieved through free motion or computerized quilting. I’m going to prove them wrong by giving you lots of ideas on how to use your walking foot on a REGULAR domestic sewing machine to quilt your own quilts.
What is a walking foot?A walking foot can look rather big, clunky and complicated. The only thing complicated about it is putting it on your machine and once you figure it out, it’s really not that hard. A walking differs to a regular sewing machine foot by having an additional set of teeth, a bar and a big rear end.
Why a walking foot?A walking foot is awesome for quilting and everyone should own one! The extra teeth work in sync with the teeth (feed dogs) of your sewing machine. They help to grip things better and feeds thick materials more easily through the machine. It also helps the quilt layers feed evenly through your machine because it is actually feeding the top layer as well as the bottom layer. A walking foot won’t get you out of basting but it will be a huge help in minimizing puckers. Sadly, a walking foot will not solve your issues about having a machine with a small throat. However, when I first started quilting I found that quilting with a walking foot was easier than free motion because the machine was moving all the layers for me. It was easier for me to focus on just one thing instead of all the various steps that go into free motion.
Attaching the walking foot:The biggest mistake when using the walking foot is not attaching it properly. The key is to make sure that the bar of the walking foot is over the needle bar.
The “L” bar:The “L” bar is just a guide to help you quilt without having to mark your quilt tops! Think of it as the edge of your sewing machine foot, except it’s repositionable! You can set it narrow by pushing it in towards the walking foot.
Let me know if you have any questions whatsoever. It’s hard to explain things with still pictures but I have no way of doing video posts (not that I want to put myself out there!) The only way you are going to learn is by asking questions if you don’t understand something. I’ll do my best to answer them all, I’ll at least pretend to know what I’m talking about! My husband always says that if you say anything with authority people will believe you even if you don’t know what you’re talking about :)