Learn How To Use A Walking Foot
What Is A Walking Foot
Also known as an even feed, a walking foot is a common, attachable sewing machine foot that is very much under used. Once you see it in action, or use it yourself, you’ll appreciate how handy it can be. It has multiple uses for many different kinds of sewing projects. Even if you’ve already tried one or own one, be sure to continue reading how many different ways there are to use this jewel of a device!
Learning how to use a walking foot is easy once you understand what a helpful tool it can be. Basically, it helps to feed the top layer of fabric at the same rate as the feed dogs move the lower layer. When you have multiple layers of fabric, or are using thick fabrics, it’s very easy for the layers to shift and slide around. You may also find when you get to the end of your seam, it’s difficult to keep your edges even. Learn more about walking foot quilting with this Guide to Easy Walking Foot Quilting.
The beauty of using a one is that it helps to keep the weight of multiple fabrics moving along evenly. Whereas a regular pressure foot will just let the top layers slip where they want. That can cause the fabrics to stretch and create a lot of stress on your hands.
Many sewers appreciate the way it can tackle and control thick seams when using heavy fabrics. Lots of quilters use one to maneuver multiple layers when finishing their quilts. But this versatile tool has so many more uses.
When To Use A Walking Foot
When Should I Use A Walking Foot
Initially you’ll find the best time to use your walking foot is when you’re working with layers of fabrics that may slip or stretch. It can better control fabrics from stretching or shifting than your standard pressure foot. Below are the necessary items you’ll find helpful when using a walking foot.
Basic Machine Quilting Supplies (affiliate links)
Even Feed Walking Foot for Quilting: https://amzn.to/3FxKUJM
Quilting Gloves: https://shrsl.com/3l42k
Schmetz Quilting Sewing Machine Needles #11: https://amzn.to/3fqeJ4p
All sewers appreciate how well they work for difficult to sew fabrics such as vinyl, suede, leather, and laminated fabrics. It also works great on very light fabrics such as tulle or gauze. Thick fabrics such as velvet, minky, faux fur, canvas, upholstery fabrics, or multiple layers of heavy fabrics are a breeze to sew with one.
They also a quilter’s best friend. While many quilters use it for quilting straight or curved lines, there are a multitude of ways this took can help improve and speed up your quilting results.
They can also be used for quilt assembly, basting, binding, applique and even decorative stitching. Plus, you’ll be amazed how easy joining batting pieces together can be with this handy accessory.
Is A Walking Foot Worth Buying
Not just Yes, but absolutely YES! All sewers can benefit from using a one. Most quilters initially purchase a it because they are so incredibly helpful when finishing a quilt. But they are also very versatile tool for any sewer.
Machine quilting is so much easier with a walking foot. It keeps the quilt sandwich layers moving together which eliminates bunching or pleating on the quilt back. While it does a great job on straight line quilting, it may also be used to quilt curves. Longer gentle curves work best and look beautiful. Plus you can use a decorative stitch as long as your walking foot allows for wider stitches, which most usually do.
But don’t stop there! It is fantastic to use when sewing your binding, too. Sewing binding onto the quilt sandwich involves lots of fabric layers that may shift or pull where they shouldn’t. Using one keeps those top and bottom layers moving at the same speed and right in line where they should be. I even use mine to finish off my binding with a decorative stitch for a more interesting finish.
How To Use A Walking Foot
What Stitch To Use With A Walking Foot
Any forward motion stitch you would normally use will work well. Keep in mind their feed dogs only move forward and are not meant to sew in reverse.
They are perfect for topstitching light or heavy weight fabrics. Choose your preferred straight or decorative stitch, select a nice weight topstitching thread, and you’re ready for a fantastic finish. You’ll find it does a wonderful job keeping all your fabric layers together while you sew. That means you won’t have any unwanted bunching or pleating as you sew. This method is great for finishing off your quilt binding, too!
Use One For Applique Quilting
Another way to use a walking foot is for machine applique. It moves across the layered fabrics smoothly and can manage medium to large curves easily. Smaller curves may require a bit of starting and stopping to adjust your needle placement, but it can be done.
The advantage is how well it works with decorative stitches, such as the buttonhole or blanket stitch. This is an ideal way for sewing an applique quilt.
Circle Quilting With A Walking Foot
When you learn how to use a walking foot, you’ll be ready to do all kinds of creative quilting including this beautiful circle quilting design on your next quilt. Circle quilting is much easier once you learn these basic steps that you’ll find in this video quilting tutorial.
Are you looking for machine quilting techniques for beginners? This tutorial will show you some practice steps to get you started. Knowing how to use a walking foot will give you so much more confidence in your quilting. Machine quilting circles with one is a perfect way to finish off your quilt with a beautiful quilt design. Watch and see how easy it can be.
Finishing A Quilt With A Walking Foot
Why Use a Walking Foot for Rag Quilting
Originally, I used my walking foot mostly for rag quilting. It keeps all the thick layers moving together and sews smoothly with nice even stitches, which is especially helpful with blue jean quilts. Before using a walking foot, my rag quilt layers would always be uneven at the end of the seam. Now they all finish beautifully as you can see in this video.
Now that I’ve used my walking foot in more ways, I find it indispensable for quilting. This simple tool makes sewing multiple layers much easier, quilting designs finish smoother, and using decorative stitches on my binding looks wonderful. I encourage you to give it a try. You’ll be glad you did!