I mentioned yesterday that a walking foot was a must-have tool when sewing with knits and honestly .. it’s just a must-have tool period.
If you happen to have a BERNINA, it’s foot #50. It’s not a cheap foot and some experience sticker shock when we tell them the price but it is absolutely worth every penny and not just when sewing knits. If you’re quilting or working with really thick projects like one of the Sew Sweetness bags that we now have patterns for, you really must use a walking foot. What it does is help pull the fabric to the back keeping the top and bottom fabrics together. Otherwise what can happen is your bottom fabric will get pulled by the feed dogs while the top fabric slides and it can shift the layers creating pleats and puckers. Using a walking foot is like having feed dogs on the top and the bottom.
See the forky thing in the picture below (I know .. very technical vocabulary I have) .. you put that around your screw post for your needle. It will make more sense when you’re looking at your sewing machine. But anyway.. put that around the screw post and that is what moves the feed dogs of your walking foot. Also, it helps when you are putting your walking foot on your machine to put your thumb between the forky thing and the sole of the foot.
On a side note, if you fail to put the forky thing around the needle screw post, you end up stitching in place because your walking foot feed dogs aren’t pulling the fabric and there’s nothing pushing down on the machine’s feed dogs to feed the fabric. Now if you’re like me, you will spend the next 60 seconds wondering what in the heck is going on and why are you stitching in place?! Arg!! After about a half dozen attempts at starting your seam, you will realize what you’ve done. At this point I’d say hopefully you learn from your mistake and never be that silly again BUT … that wasn’t to be. Although it didn’t take me near as long to figure out what I had done the 2nd time around.
Some walking feet come with extra soles to help you perform the various tasks. The one from BERNINA has an open toe sole so that you can see exactly where you’re stitching and my favorite, an edge stitch sole that has a guide for when you are top stitching or stitching in the ditch. Seriously .. this is a foot that you need to have in your accessory box. Mom would use hers all the time regardless if she was sewing on knits or something thick. She just liked the extra boost it gave in feeding the fabric.
That’s my plug for the day .. go now and get you a Walking Foot if you don’t already have one. You can thank me later 😉 We’ve also got some great machine bundles that include the walking foot. Why not have an awesome machine and an amazing foot too? Just putting that out there …..