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Thread: Walking foot...

  1. #1
    Member Lynda in TN's Avatar
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    I have a walking foot (for my cheap sewing machine!). I got it primarily to use on a quilt as you go, if I remember right. I just never took it off my machine. I used it for piecing, bindings, etc. Recently I thought about joining a group at a LQS that was making a new quilt pattern and when the leader-to-be mentioned the 1/4" foot, I said I had a walking foot on my machine. She strongly suggested I take it off and get a 1/4" foot. Well, IT does 1/4" and I had been using it for everything. Is that a bad thing? Exactly what is a walking foot for, please tell me? (And if anyone starts singing, "this foot is made for walkin, and that's just what it'll do....!) :roll:

  2. #2
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    Walking feet move two or more layers through at the same rate of speed. Sometimes when strip piecing or doing bindings, the weight of the long fabric will cause uneven feeding without it, and you can end up with strips that started out the same length being long/short.

    Quarter inch feet come in a few different styles. The one I like has a metal guide which prevents seams from getting larger than 1/4".

  3. #3
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    this is an easy one. if your walking foot performs well and helps you get a correct size seam ... ignore the person-who-may-be-in-charge-but-sure-doesn't-know-how-to-lead. or politely reply that you will be happy to try a new foot if she buys it for you. why should you plunk down your money on her bet? ;-)

  4. #4
    Super Member mary quite contrary's Avatar
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    The reason I use a foot other than my walking foot is because I can see what I am working on a little better. If you are geting a consistent 1/4" and it is working for you that's great.

    We don't have quilt police here. Use what works for you.

  5. #5
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    I have found that I usually need to use a SCANT " when I'm sewing my seams, not sure why, but otherwise my blocks end up too small. I've used my walking foot for piecing once in awhile but mine doesn't have the same pressure on it as a regular foot. Your machine probably has a regular foot that it came with, maybe compromise & use it for just the class and then go back to the one you like for at home sewing? We all have our own ways of doing things, usually we take a class to learn something & then adjust it to our "own" way later....

  6. #6
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    if i'm "scanting" with my walking foot, i just nudge the needle position a notch or two to the right.

    thimble offers a very diplomatic suggestion, but i still think Lynda should do as she pleases ... or tell the "teacher" to put her own money down for the "proper" foot. ;-)

  7. #7
    Super Member LindaR's Avatar
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    I also use only a scant 1/4" when I do a block. sometimes I use the quarter foot (I broke the metal guide off, didn't like it) and sometimes I use a regular foot and move my needle to 6 on my machine. Gives an exact scant 1/4". I use the walking foot only if i'm quilting or with binding. moved the material better on so many thicknesses.

  8. #8
    Member Lynda in TN's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies and support. You seem to agree with the way I feel, for the most part. I didn't do the group thing for other reasons. Don't know if this fits in this "topic" or not, but...

    I was taught to quilt by a very accepting quilter...and tend to be that way myself. I usually start with directions for a block being, maybe, 6". I do believe that, for the most part, everyone has their 1/4". I was never that concerned that my block ended up EXACTLY 6"...just square, neat, and pretty. Now, I have seen some patterns where that didn't necessarily work, but I am learning more about what NEEDS to be done and getting a little less accepting of my work being "off".

    And we won't even talk about my kaleidoscope quilt...some seams 1/4", some a scant 1/4", and some larger! What a mess! But, it turned out pretty with some fudging here and there.

    Thanks, everyone, for your repolies.

  9. #9

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    I'm with Patrice on this one...I recently discovered that I have better luck using the walking foot when I'm piecing a block....don't have to deal with the stretching that happens at the end of my seams. It makes sense to me to leave it on and use it...my theory is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".
    Check out a previous thread on here and a solution from Patrice to get a 1/4" using your walking foot.
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/posts/list/15/13214.page

  10. #10
    bj
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    Super Member bj's Avatar
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    I think quilting is such a personal thing that you should definitely do what works for you. I don't think there's a right or wrong way to do things. For me, there are definitely areas I need to improve and I'm always open to suggestion, but if there's something I'm successful with, I don't monkey with it :) :) . Just have fun and don't stress.

  11. #11
    Member Lynda in TN's Avatar
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    Several of you mentioned using a scant 1/4" seam. Now, if my seam is a little more than 1/4, I end up with a slightly smaller block. If you use a scant 1/4, don't you end up with a slightly larger block?

  12. #12
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    I've found that the teachers for every class I've gone to always has some type of new foot you can/would like to/need to/MUST buy. Some I've bought, some I haven't. I also make sure that the dealer will discount them due to the class..etc.

    Those little babies can sure get expensive and to tell the truth, I'll still end up with a quilt...same as I did when I was using my antique Singer :oops:

    The "scant" 1/4 " seam is a couple of threads more narrow that the regular 1/4" seam. Some directions will call for this. The reason your blocks need to be consistant and measure the correct size is that as you grow with your quilting, you will begin to combine blocks...they won't fit together very well if your seams don't match....ask me how I know this :oops: :oops:

  13. #13
    Super Member mary quite contrary's Avatar
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    I have a friend that used to teach in her LQS and they quit asking her to teach because she wasn't selling enough of the "extras". The teachers are encouraged to sell rulers, feet, thread etc.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Kara's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatriceJ
    this is an easy one. if your walking foot performs well and helps you get a correct size seam ... ignore the person-who-may-be-in-charge-but-sure-doesn't-know-how-to-lead. or politely reply that you will be happy to try a new foot if she buys it for you. why should you plunk down your money on her bet? ;-)
    I'm with Patrice. If you get a good 1/4 inch seam, I don't see the harm in continuing to use the walking foot. My sewing machine has integrated dual feel that I use ALL the time. It works the same as your walking foot. I wouldn't stop using it because somebody said I shouldn't. I love the fact that it helps feed the top layer of fabric through at the same rate as the lower layer of fabric. Otherwise, the feed dogs pull the bottom layer, while the top layer is getting drag from the presser foot and they aren't going through at the same rate. A walking foot helps eliminate that.

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