Whether you quilt or sew garments, you should know that a walking foot sewing machine can change your life. A specialty part for sewing machines is critical for straight line quilting but it can generally improve your accuracy and significantly reduce the time you spend sitting at your machine.
1. Straight Line Quilting
Beginners to quilting hardly ever want to purchase an industrial sewing machine. But you can use a walking foot to start quilting on your standard machine.
A walking foot makes it easy to stitch through the three layers of fabric without bunching or puckering as you sew.
The quilt top, batting and the backing will often shift while you sew if you aren’t using a walking foot. A standard presser foot will pull the top layer in the opposite direction of the bottom fabric.
Attempting to begin straight line quilting without using a walking foot is frustrating and can cause many beginners to give up and stop quilting.
A walking foot is not a huge investment to resolve these issues that can destroy a quilt. A walking foot attachment provides additional feed dogs that help the top layers and bottom layers move at the same rate.
2. Long Seam Sewing
As quilters build confidence in handling their machines, they will usually move to long seam sewing. Long seam sewing is when you are sewing together very long strips at one time.
The practice requires a steady hand, a steady foot and a high level of comfort with your sewing machine. The payoff for your increase in skill is that long seam sewing shaves hours off of any quilting projects.
Unfortunately, when sewing long seams on standard and industrial machines, the fabric feed will accumulate causing bunching and ripples.
Sewing long seams often calls for lots of pinning and a walking foot. The walking foot will help prevent ripples, and uneven feeding.
Binding is a big deal with quilting, and you always want to end your projects on a good note. Because binding is the final step you need, a walking foot that punches through the many layers of fabric and the binding layer is key.
Binding a quilt is the process of covering the raw edges of your beautiful quilt and creating a border. Quilters often use binding tape, ribbon or even scrap material for a binding.
A walking foot sewing machine provides an essentially even feed for binding to finish off your project with clean lines.
4. Smaller Projects
Quilts are giant projects and even a baby quilt can call for many working hours before you get to your finished product.
The feed dogs with a regular presser foot pull the bottom layer of fabric backward, while the top of the presser foot secures the fabric and pushes the top layer of fabric forward towards you while you’re sewing.
With a walking foot sewing machine, the extra feed dogs pull all the layers of fabric in the same direction and it can make small crafts much neater and much easier. You can blow through many small projects and the seams will be much cleaner.
For all your sewing needs, check out GoldStar Tool’s extensive inventory of sewing supplies and machines.