In a follow up to our recent top 5 reviews on walking foot sewing machines (both for industrial and home use), we have put together this short guide on how to get the most out of your new machine.
For some of you that have bought your first small walking foot, this should help you learn the basics of the walking foot style quilting. As you will see, getting started on your quilts is relatively easy to do once you have your machine set up.
So if you are ready, let’s get to it.
Walking foot sewing machine basics
A walking foot sewing machine (or add on adaptor as the case may be), is designed to evenly feed the multiple layers of a quilt through your machine.
The tool does this by using small teeth attached to the bottom of the walking foot grip. These teeth grip the quilt surface as the sewing action takes place. The end result means the layers of quilt do not bunch up beneath the needle.
The walking foot ensures steady uniform progress of the fabric through the machine as you stitch.
Furthermore, the size of your stitches remains uniformly consistent, (dependent on the way you have configured your machine and the settings you have selected).
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Getting the most out of your machine
There are many situations where the walking foot really will take your stitching to a whole new level.
What follows are some great examples of when a walking foot should be used.
Straight line quilting
We have already that the walking foot is great for quilting. Taking this one step further, whenever you need to carry out straight line quilting you should reach for the walking foot.
This is because the machine/adaptor will keep the layers together as you stitch. The bottom layers of the quilt will remain in line with the top for the best results you can hope to achieve. No puckering or tiny pleats insight.
The use does go beyond quilting, however. Whenever a straight line is required with multiple layers of fabric, the walking foot should be your go-to tool.
Straps are another situation where the walking foot can really lend a helping hand? (forgive the terrible pun).
If you tried to make straps in the past it is likely that you have experienced strange ripples along the line of the stitching. This generally happens when you change directions on the angle of the stitching.
A walking foot will eradicate this problem by keeping everything in a straight line, and in one continuous direction. A cleaner, more professional finish all around.
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Sewing on quilt binding
Quilt binding is another good reason to use a walking foot sewing machine.
As explained above, the fact the walking foot will prevent the top layer of the binding from coming away from the bottom layer, you will be able to stitch without fear of misalignment.
Multiple-layer sewing projects
We think you probably get the picture by now; if you are stitching layers there is only one tool to use if you want the cleanest results, (with minimum fuss).
The walking foot machine can be used to create everything from tote bags to handbags and wallets.
If you are using a standard machine to sew, and you find the top layer pushing ahead of the bottom, you know it is time to reach for that handy walking foot machine or adaptor.
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And there you have it, a list of some of the best reasons to use a walking foot sewing machine.
If you are in the market for buying one, we recommend you check out our recent article reviewing 5 of the best walking foot machines on the market.
We dive deep to give you the low down on the selected models. There’s also a comprehensive buyer’s guide in there too.
If you have already made the leap and bought or machine, below are a couple of detailed youtube videos that will help you better understand your new machine, and exactly what it can do.
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How to Prevent Puckering When Using A Walking Foot
Using a walking foot to create spirals on Fresh Quilting