Walking Foot Basics

Master straight line quilting with the Walking Foot!

Originally posted on March 5, 2018 by Cheryl Sleboda

Ever wonder how some quilters get those perfect straight lines and even stitches on their modern quilts?  Wonder no more as we have the secret you need to accomplish this at home!  It’s the Walking Foot!  This specialty foot attachment allows fabric to feed evenly in your domestic machine, creating perfect lines every time.

The secret is that there is a set of feed dogs in the foot itself that grabs the fabric on the top of your quilt sandwich, just as the feed dogs grip the sandwich from the bottom.  What results is even and perfect stitches without the fabric bunching up and puckers forming.

The walking foot has a lever that attaches to the needle bar of your machine.  As the needle goes up and down, the feed dogs inside the foot are moved, which is at the same rate as the feed dogs on the bottom.  This is not a technique where you lower the feed dogs, you leave them up while doing this kind of quilting.

You can use the edge of the foot to create the tiniest of “Matchstick” quilting lines for your next design.  Want to try something even more radical?  You can alternate the zigzag stitch and the straightline stitch with the walking foot for a design called “microchips”.  Click here to see how it’s done from our sister magazine.

What do you think?  Are you going to give the walking foot a try?  Let us know on our Facebook page!


A typical walking foot.

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