The quilting foot is very useful for sewing the different layers of a quilt together. This specialized foot may not be a standard accessory and if you don’t have one it may be something you want to purchase especially for quilting.
The quilting foot has been confused with a walking foot and is even called an even-feed foot. There are differences between these feet and once you are clear on what a quilter’s foot is, and if you need one, then your quilting journey will be more relaxed. The walking foot does a great job of holding multiple layers of fabric together and feeding them through the machine in a straight direction.
The free motion quilting foot in comparison can hold multiple layers together and swivel the fabric to sew in different directions. This is the big advantage of the quilting foot for the quilter. The quilt at the final stages of piecing all the bits together needs freedom of movement and the quilting foot provides this.
Quilting Foot vs Walking Foot
Here are four basic differences between the quilting foot and the walking foot.
- The quilting foot will enable the quilter to feed the fabric through the machine in different directions. The walking foot is only useful for straight line sewing.
- The quilting foot is used for free motion embroidered pieces and free motion quilting. The walking foot can stitch multiple layered quilts that are difficult to stitch in a straight direction sewing over multiple layers of fabric not suited to the normal presser foot.
- The quilting foot is not too expensive to buy. The walking foot however, is more costly.
- The quilting foot makes interesting textured effects on quilted projects. The walking foot helps to keep the layers of the quilt accurate. It’s main purpose is to hold the fabric layers secure while the machine sews straight in the right direction.
Other Types of Quilting Foot
There are different types of quilting feet. Particular brands of machines have their own quilting foot to suit their machine type, then in addition to that, there are other designs to be aware of with attachments. If you are not certain what bit goes with a foot attachment then consult your sewing attachments list in your machine manual.
Here are some of the most common types of quilting foot:
Free Motion Quilting , Darning or Hopping Foot
This foot is specially made to be at its best in free motion quilting. It can go anywhere and turn and twist across the quilting designs. The hopping foot, as it is also known, has a spring mechanism and this allows the foot a higher lift between stitches. This higher lift gives the free motion foot more room to move on thicker quilts.
The Roller Foot
It is easy to see why this is called a roller foot. It has two rollers in the mechanism. One in the front and one at the back. Instead of sliding over the layers of fabric, the roller foot lets the fabric feed through easier with the help of the rollers. The roller foot works well on slippery fabrics and it comes in very handy to hold the binding in place around the edging of the quilt.
¼” Quilting Foot
This foot with a ¼” marking is very useful for the accurate measures needed in quilting. It uses a straight stitch and the ¼” foot will have accurate markings to guide your stitching.
Quilting Guide Bar
The quilting guide bar is an added part of some quilting feet. It is a really useful attachment to set at the width intervals you require when quilting in straight lines. The quilting bar guide sits in the ditch line of the previous row of stitching and makes the job of keeping rows of straight line quilting accurate. It is set up on the left of the quilter’s foot and the quilt itself moves across under the quilting foot to the right one space at a time.
Using a Quilting Foot
Once you have your quilting foot set up, practice some movements. Try straight lines or wavy lines and stop when you feel you need to. Fast or slow, this is all about getting used to the stitches.
You can try what is known as traveling. This technique is used to emphasize lines as the quilter stitches over the stitched lines a second time. Traveling is what quilters do to emphasize a line or bring out the qualities of a pattern. It is stitching over a line of stitching a second time.
Another interesting technique is called meandering. You let your sewing machine wander around randomly on the quilt. Meandering does not create a particular pattern, but the swirls and twirls are interesting effects and hold the layers of the quilt together at the same time. These techniques, especially meandering, are made possible with a quilting foot.
Quilting Foot - In Conclusion
Quilting really is an interesting and creative journey. Choose to meander or to stick to the straight and narrow, but remember there are specialized feet and guides to help you on the way. You will always be a happy wanderer with a quilting foot and its guide.