Many sewers and quilters swear by their walking foot. It’s an incredibly versatile tool that can be used for a variety of sewing projects, but it’s especially helpful when working with multiple layers of fabric. The walking foot helps to evenly feed the fabric through the machine, which prevents bunching and unevenness. It’s also great for quilting projects, as it helps to keep the fabric layers from shifting or moving out of place.
Using a walking foot is relatively simple. First, make sure that the presser foot is properly attached to the sewing machine. Next, attach the walking foot to the machine, making sure that the “feed dogs” are properly aligned beneath the presser foot. Most walking feet will come with instructions on how to attach it to your sewing machine. Once it is attached, you will use it just like you would a standard presser foot. The biggest difference is that you will want to use a straight stitch or a zigzag stitch when sewing with a walking foot, as this will help to prevent the fabric from bunching up. You can also use a walking foot for free-motion quilting, though it does take some practice to get the hang of it.
A walking foot mounted on a large throat quilting machine is a quilter’s dream. It is usually used for quilting, but not only for that. It is one of the most useful pieces of sewing equipment you could have, and there is a whole host of dressmaking tasks and sewing projects that are made so much easier with a walking foot. Here are some examples:
- Sewing through multiple layers – If you are sewing through multiple layers of fabric, a walking foot can be a lifesaver. It will prevent the fabric from bunching up and becoming uneven, and will make the whole process a lot smoother.
- Working with difficult fabrics – fabrics like denim, leather, and vinyl, as well as fabrics with a pile, such as velvet or fleece, can be difficult to sew, as they tend to be thicker and more slippery. An even feed foot will help to move the fabric through the machine evenly, and will also prevent it from slipping or bunching up.
- Pattern matching – If you are working on a project that requires pattern matching, a this type of foot can be a huge help. It will keep the fabric from shifting or stretching as you sew, which will make it much easier to get a perfect match.
Yes, you can use a walking foot for regular sewing projects. Some sewers just leave their walking foot on their machine permanently, unless they need to do a very specific task, like a rolled hem.
When not to use it
There are some tasks where a walking foot is not necessary, and can even make the task more difficult. Here are some examples:
- Sewing a rolled hem – A walking foot can actually make it more difficult to sew a rolled hem, as it can cause the fabric to bunch up. If you’re just doing a rolled hem on a straight edge, it’s better to take off the walking foot and use a standard presser foot.
- Sewing a zipper – Zippers are best sewn with a standard presser foot, a walking foot is too bulky.
- Working with delicate and lightweight fabrics – Silky or sheer fabrics can be difficult to sew as they tend to slip and bunch up easily. However, instead of feeding the fabric through firmly, the walking foot tends to chew it up. We recommend that you test on scraps first, or avoid using a walking foot for these fabrics altogether.
Yes, quilting foot, even feed foot, walking foot, these are all names for the same thing. Despite the ‘quilting’ part of the name, this type of foot is actually useful for many, many different sewing tasks, as we’ve seen.
A walking foot can be used for free motion quilting, though it does take some practice to get the hang of it. The best way to start is by sewing a straight line, and then gradually increasing the length of the line. Once you feel comfortable sewing a straight line, you can start to add curves. The key is to go slowly and to keep the fabric moving evenly under the foot.