The walking foot attachment is a specialty presser foot that makes quilting and other sewing tasks a breeze. If you do a lot of quilting, or you want to learn how to quilt on a domestic sewing machine, a walking foot is worth the investment.
Let me show you why…
All sewing machines have feed dogs that pull your fabric from the bottom as you sew. A walking foot adds a set of feed dogs to the top of your fabric. This helps pull multiple layers of fabric through your sewing machine more evenly. I’m sure you can see why that would be important when quilting — fewer puckers, less fabric shifting, and more even stitches!
Beyond quilting, a walking foot is useful for managing slippery or stretchy fabrics, matching stripes, and topstitching hems. It’s versatile and the answer to many common sewing problems.
The walking foot is sometimes called an “even feed foot” or a “dual feed foot.” It may have come with your sewing machine, but most of the time you need to buy the attachment separately. Some high-end sewing machines also have a built-in dual feed foot, so check your manual to see if you already have one.
Note: If you don’t have a walking foot for your sewing machine, Love Sew carries a universal walking foot attachment that works with most low-shank machines.
Installing a walking foot can be a little intimidating if you’ve never done it before because it doesn’t look like a normal presser foot. It has a chunky back with a little bar that is supposed to attach to the screw on your needle bar. Of course, once you learn how to use it, I’m sure you’ll never look back.
When using a walking foot, you sew as normal. However, it was not intended for backstitching. Just keep that in mind and leave long tails so you can secure the ends if you need to.
To use a walking foot for straight-line quilting, first you need to baste the layers of your quilt together. Then, attach the walking foot to your sewing machine and select the stitch you desire. Choose a point near the center to begin your stitches and work outwards. Most walking foot attachments have an adjustable bar you can use as a guide while sewing to help you keep your lines straight and evenly spaced.
If you’ve never used a walking foot attachment before, you need to give it a try! It’s an inexpensive attachment that makes a huge difference in the quality of your stitches.