Pink Castle Blog

Do I Need a Walking Foot for my Sewing Machine?

Posted by Katie Remski on Sep 13, 2017 2:25:28 PM
  

 

WalkingFoot For this week's Sewing Machine School, let's talk about the walking foot, also known as an even feed foot. Some Janome sewing machines (such as the Skyline series) also feature AccuFeed, which is a more advanced version of a walking foot. 

What is a walking foot? One of our recent blog posts by Jason Elliott, 10 Sewing Machine Parts Explained has a great description: "Feed Dogs move up and down, back and forth, in a vertical circular motion, while Presser Feet move just up and down. Since the two surfaces are moving in different directions, this can cause the fabric to be pulled or stretched. In many cases, this 'pulling' doesn't affect your sewing. In some cases, such as with very thin fabric or with multiple layers of fabric, a presser foot called a Walking Foot is needed. 

A Walking Foot is a special type of presser foot with a mechanized system built into them. This system allows the Presser Foot to move not only up and down, but back and forth in time with your Feed Dog system. The Walking Foot is timed to your machine, and will ensure that even several layers of fabric are fed evenly through your machine, giving you a cleaner stitch."

While a walking foot sounds great, how do you know if it is something you will actually use? Here's a few applications for a walking foot: 

Quilting

Probably the most common use of a walking foot is for straight line quilting. Keeping the quilt top, batting, and backing smooth and secure is almost impossible with a normal presser foot because the feed dogs are always going to grab only the bottom layer. Quilting in lines (grids, stripes, diagonal grids, etc) is far less stressful and even fun with a walking foot. 

 Cables and Calico's Pineapple Quilt

Photo from Instagram @cablesandcalico

 Quilt Binding

Quilt Binding 

Even if you send your quilts out to be long-arm quilted, binding still needs to be attached. If you use a traditional double-fold binding, you have the quilt top, batting, backing, and 2 layers of binding fabric for a total of 5 layers to stitch through! The walking foot, especially with a 1/4" seam "shoe" attached, makes for fast and accurate binding. 

 

Bag Sewing

If you enjoy sewing purses, totes, and other bags, you're probably farmillar with the layers of material involved: fabrics (often canvas or leather,) stabilizer such as interfacing and/or Soft and Stable, and lining fabric. A walking foot helps layers of different types of material in sync with each other as they're being sewn, and can be particularly helpful for sewing handles or topstitching. The basket at right required sewing through 3 layers of linen, 1 of canvas, and 1 layer of Soft and Stable in some places!

Noodlehead divided basket

Noodlehead Divided Basket Pattern

Many Janome machines come with a walking foot, so be sure to check before you buy one! If you do not have a walking/even feed foot, click here to find the right one for your machine. 

Topics: Bags, Janome, machine quilting, Sewing Machines, accufeed, accessories, walking foot, even feed foot, binding, machine binding

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