Feet are made for walking, right? Well, sometimes, and with sewing machines, only in certain situations. Your feet will need regular changing based on what you're working on, but a walking foot is one of the best tools to have in your sewing kit, especially if you're a quilter.
Quilting projects can be long, tedious, and fun, and yes, all those things can come together. But, a walking foot can make the entire project more manageable, faster, and with more consistent sewing throughout.
The biggest payoff from using a walking foot is the improvement in accuracy. But as quilters know, accuracy means different things in different stages of the project.
During initial stitching, you can rely on a walking foot to keep patterned material from shifting. Although non-patterned material will move just as much as any other fabric, the patterns call attention to any tug, shift, or bunching in the material. Patterns like plaid or striping can make an entire project look terrible if, throughout the quilting, it's shifted to be displaced entirely.
Straight-line stitching can be done much more quickly with a walking foot as it grabs the fabric and feeds it through evenly. Although walking feet aren't ideal for turns or corners, they're excellent for stitch-in-the-ditch methods, and gently curving lines. Even industrial walking foot accessories are excellent for faster straight line stitching.
Machine quilting is gaining quite a bit of popularity, and a walking foot is ideal for handling large towers of material. Well, to an extent. When machine quilting with a walking foot, it's likely that your machine can handle the three necessary layers of a quilt, including the top, batting, and backing. With a standard presser foot, you wouldn't get strong or even stitches through all three layers.
Binding and edging quilts can be difficult, and many experienced quilters will default to doing this step by hand. But, with a walking foot, you can easily and quickly sew around the edges of the quilt without the under-layers shifting as you go.
The rule of thumb with sewing machine accessories is to attempt to find an accessory made by the same manufacturer as your machine. That, however, can make it incredibly difficult to find for older or commercial-grade machines. Walking foot sewing machine attachments are optional accessories, and not every manufacturer makes them.
You can find generic feed feet that should universally fit machines if your manufacturer doesn’t have one specifically for your machine or that brand. Always ask an expert if you’re unsure. GoldStar Tool offers expert help, so you always get what you need!