Friday, December 11, 2020

The Walking Foot Makes All the Difference / Beauties Pageant 109

As I sit down to write this post, I’m thinking there’s little left to say about my finish for this week. It’s my second Merrily quilt, featuring a fabric collection of the same name from Gingiber, and it’s almost identical to the original one I made earlier this year. (If you want more information about the pattern and fabrics and such, head to my July 31 post. And yes, Lark Cottons still has three of the panels in stock.)

The most noteworthy difference is the quilting. Merrily #1 was shipped off to a longarmer for a swirly quilting treatment with holly and berries. I quilted Merrily #2 myself, in a simple crosshatch. I really like it and—get this!—I really enjoyed quilting it with my new walking foot.


Now, I knew that my walking foot was worn down. I could see it in the quality of my quilting as I encountered more and more puckering. As a rule, whenever puckering happens, I decrease the pressure of my presser foot because too much pressure causes puckering, right? Yes, usually. I think that plan of attack was making the problem worse in this situation, however. My old walking foot had been used so much—and rendered so ineffective—that I probably should have been increasing the pressure, just to get the foot to move the quilt sandwich through my machine better.

A picture may best illustrate what I mean. The one below compares the two feet. The rubber bits on my old foot, on the right, were so worn that it’s amazing that I managed to quilt anything with it.

Do you quilt with a walking foot, and if you do, do you replace it regularly? I had been using my previous one for over five years. I’m going to keep track of how many projects I can quilt with it before replacing it again.

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  1. Very cute quilt! I never thought to look at how worn the walking foot was, but I can tell you that a brand name walking foot that comes from your machine manufacturer makes a huge difference over a generic one. It just fits and stitches better, at least for me. Have a good weekend!

  2. Oh, very interesting observation, Michelle. I'll be keeping a look at my walking foot with new eyes for sure.

  3. Merrily is an adorable quilt! Hmmmm...., I’m thinking I may need to do a cross hatch on my elephant quilt - once I get the old quilting ripped out.


  4. Love this quilt. I checked out your first one too... darling. I tend to use my walking foot mostly for putting binding on, I spoiled because I have a big, computerized long arm to quilt my stuff. But I really like your cross hatch a lot. It's something I don't think I would try with my long arm. And, wow, you do use your walking foot a lot if the bottom in gone! I should check mine too.

  5. I have Merrily and the panels, haven't made them into anything yet. That is a very cute quilt! I have a Janome with an AcuFeed foot (similar to a walking foot) and it's the only thing I use for quilting right now. I really like it, so much more than my other machines' walking feet.

  6. Ohh, good to know... though I think my walking foot has "steel" theeth instead of rubber... but I would not have thought about it in your shoes. Glad you figured it out!

  7. Hi Michelle! Well, I'll be. I never, ever would have thought that a Walking Foot had a shelf life. I use mine fairly often, and you can bet that I'll be checking it out before I use it again. In fact, I'm going to just pull it out and give it a good eyeballing. Hmm. Your quilt looks lovely! I am a huge fan of the crosshatch - it looks like the perfect choice. {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

  8. Whoa! I can really see the difference! Cute quilt!!! I like it in crosshatching. I use my walking foot to apply long borders and binding. I've never replaced it in 25 years. But I'll check it out tonight when I'm doing a binding.

  9. It never occurred to me to replace my walking foot. Guess I better go take a look at it. Thanks for the tip.

  10. I've never heard of a walking foot wearing out. Is it a brand that that's made for your sewing machine? If so, can't the manufacturer replace the foot part, at the bottom? I'm sure mine can be replaced, if it's ever needed. It's good to know you're quilting your own quilts though! I admire anyone who makes the time to do it themselves.


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