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Topic: Is a walking foot necessary?  (Read 4968 times)
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« on: February 26, 2011 03:42:39 PM »

Hi all. I am starting my very first quilt and have been doing a LOT of reading up on tricks of the trade. But I'm curious, do I need a walking foot? If I use low loft batting, will using a regular presser foot really be that hard to use? I have a Brother LS-2020, and I'm having a hard time finding a walking foot to buy even if I do need one.
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« Reply #1 on: February 26, 2011 07:46:49 PM »

A walking foot helps all three layers glide together when you quilt.  I tried quilting without one.  There were a ton of puckers and lots of cursing!  LOL 

« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2011 08:45:19 PM »

Well, you need either a walking foot or a free motion foot (and a machine that can have lowered feed dogs).

There are a number of universal walking feet available out there, as well - perhaps try one of those?
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2011 04:24:29 AM »

Well, you need either a walking foot or a free motion foot (and a machine that can have lowered feed dogs).

There are a number of universal walking feet available out there, as well - perhaps try one of those?

i looked up in my manual in the darning section, and it says for free-motion sewing, that all i need to do is cover the feed dogs with the darning plate, and then remove the presser foot and push down the lever as if there was a presser foot there anyway.

i tried buying a walking foot yesterday, but it was the wrong shank, so i'll have to return it. actually, my machine isn't slant, high, or low shank. it's just a snap on foot. and the one website where i found snap on walking feet for sale, they had 3 or 4 different ones and claimed they were somehow different, and i don't want to order the wrong one! i'm just so confused when it comes to figuring out what feet fit, haha, sorry.
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2011 02:18:45 PM »

LOL... I know it's all confusing at first. There's actually a section of craftster specifically for sewing machines, and the people there are usually tremendously helpful (and know more about specific machines, whereas here it's a little more technique based) - check it out over here - that may be more helpful.

And yup - for free motion, it looks like you're all set, just practice, practice, practice.
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« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2011 12:47:59 PM »

I personally don't use a walking foot.  (I have one, I just hate it.)  I also don't use the free motion style (which is where you cover/lower the feed dogs and take the presser foot off).  I use a regular foot.  BUT there are several things you have to do to prep for a good quilting experience without a walking foot.  The number one most important thing to to baste, baste, baste.  You can use a spray adhesive or curved safety pins, whichever you prefer; just make sure your fabric is all as smooth as you can get it.  No wrinkles at all!!  Then pin the heck out of that baby...seriously, at least every 3 inches.  You'll spend a heck of a lot of time taking pins out but that's the only way you'll avoid puckers.  You'll need to help your machine feed the fabric through as well, but don't pull too hard!  It's easy to snap a needle with that much fabric under it.

So those are my tips...let me know if you try it!

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« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2011 10:43:39 AM »

I did two small quilts when I started sewing with a regular foot and it worked out fine, but there was LOTS of foul language. When I figured out how to use the walking foot that came with my machine it was like heaven. I find it much easier (and more enjoyable) to use a walking foot.
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« Reply #7 on: April 26, 2011 01:06:04 PM »

I agree, the walking foot does make it so much easier.  I did a couple smaller size quilts a couple years ago without a walking foot and had several puckers which was disappointing, so I gave up on the idea of ever machine quilting again.  Recently I decided to get a walking foot and try again.  I machine quilted a baby quilt last weekend, just on a diagonal every few inches, and it was soooo much easier, and enjoyable.  I was so surprised that I was able to do that with my own machine! 
« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2011 01:55:27 AM »

Another agreement here - a walking foot makes life a lot easier, and tends to give much better results.

Trying to sew the fabric of the universe with invisible thread is tricky.
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« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2011 02:56:41 AM »

I recently bought a bog standard walking foot and it works wonders for me. I've been working on a pinwheel quilt using many different types of fabric, including satin/slippery material and it all holds up really well together. (I guess the freezer paper also helped as well Grin)
 It took a bit of practise to figure out how to attach the damn thing (my sewing machine is also a snap on foot thingy) but I eventually figured out that I had to unscrew part of the shank to attach it. I'm probably not describing that right but I'm still half asleep here.

 I've seen walking feet for sale for Brother machines, if you lived in Dublin I'd certainly be able to help you out! Until then, try this site:

As for needing one, I wouldn't say it's absolutely necessary, but it definitely makes life a lot easier.

"You can have whirlpools in the fabric of existence, because it is a very strange fabric." - Terry Pratchett (Equal Rites)
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