What is a Walking Foot and How Do I Use It?
Of all the sewing machine feet, the most versatile has to be The Walking Foot. The Walking Foot is a mechanism for feeding the workpiece through the sewing machine as it is being stitched. It doesn’t look like other sewing feet. It is big and has an arm that attaches to the needle bar to tell the sewing machine to pull the fabric through at the same rate it is pulling the bottom fabric.
Most have three interchangeable soles. The Standard or basic Sole is used for attaching most fabrics. It is good to use for fabrics that have a give to them. It also has a ¼ inch marking that makes it perfect for attaching narrow seams on slippery fabrics. The Quilting Sole is open and has better visibility while keeping layers from slipping. The Edge-Stitching Sole is just right for edge stitching quilt pieces or top stitching. For quilting, the Walking Foot is essential for straight line quilting and increases accuracy when sewing long seams and attaching quilt bindings. Here are three ways to use The Walking Foot for quilting.
If you regularly quilt on your home sewing machine, straight line quilting is the best place to start. Straight line quilting without a Walking Foot can result in puckers on the back of the quilt or that the top has been dragged to one side instead of being centered. To fix these problems you will have to pick out the stitches and star over. Using the Walking Foot will prevent this from happening as it pulls the fabric from the top and feeds evenly through your machine. All three layers will work under the same rate if your quilt is basted properly.
Long seams occur more often in quilting. A regular presser foot does not move the fabric from the top and feeds the fabric slightly uneven. In long seams, this uneven feed can become an issue and cause tucks and ripples in the fabric. Use the Walking Foot to help fabrics feed more evenly and for sewing sashing and borders into quilt tops. Use pins to encourage an even feed with the Walking Foot. This will create the best results.