Tuesday, October 9, 2012

walking foot

walking foot on the machine

a white plastic part of the foot catches the needle screw and rises and falls with the needle. That lifts the teeth of  foot to pull the fabric under the needle on top, matching the action of the lower feed dog teeth. 

walking foot 
New walking foot attachment arrived last week and I got right to work on the small green and white Williamsburg fence pattern quilt. I ripped out all the quilt stitching I did at the meeting of the DC modern quilt guild meeting in September using the flat foot.
I decided to do a test swatch and quilted a  pot holder square with the walking foot before I began on the quilt. it worked really well!

Then I added a bunch of new safety pins to the quilt to secure the layers. Then I began quilting the bigger project.  It works, it moves along so much better than the flat foot did. The walking foot pulls the fabric on top with teeth just like the "feed dog" does on the bottom under the foot. They move along in unison under the needle sewing very smoothly. The thick fabric, batting and backing is a fat sandwich of materials to pass under the needle of the sewing machine. It still needs to be basted together before sewing and I tried the safety pin basting trick. I was disappointed they didn't work perfectly but this was my first try using them. I bought a bunch more to make sure I had them pinned in about every six inches. It looks, as Keith says, kind of punk rock with so many safety pins.
quilt top with safety pins.

detail of the quilting with safety pin basting 

back striped side of the Williamsburg fence quilt 
Next comes the tape on the edges and some hand blind stitching to hold in on the back side... and this one will be done very soon. Then I can move on to the next project and practice more quilting on another small quilt. I know now that I am not ready to do a large quilt with this machine quilting technique yet. I hope with practice I will be able to do some very nice work on a full bed sized quilt. It's much faster than hand quilting as I expected. Thanks for loaning me your Singer sewing machine Mom, as you see the walking foot fits your Singer too!


Elle said...

Looking good! Hope you'll bring it to Show and Tell on Saturday! I've been reading a new book about machine quilting that I think you should definitely check out - http://www.amazon.com/Heirloom-Machine-Quilting-Comprehensive-Hand-Quilting/dp/1571202366 - I got it from my local library and have been reading it cover-to-cover (and feel like I should read it all over again). She gave a lot of great information about machine quilting that I didn't know, like WAY more safety pins...she's pinning about every 2 inches. Even more interesting, she talks about spray starching the front and back fairly extensively before making the quilt sandwich, building up multiple layers of starch so that it feeds through more easily. She also recommends using wash-away thread to baste if you are going to be doing a lot of quilting on the bias. Anyway, I'm very impressed with the book, and I'm very excited about your Williamsburg fence quilt - I really love the design, and I think I want to make one!

Frederick said...

Elle thank you for all your comments. I have been thinking about the dresden plate ghosts on the next lap quilt using the diamond layout. I like the idea but already started making more plates. Maybe in another project we can do this ghost design stitching. I was planning to bring the W'burg fence thing to get the edges sewn by hand Saturday. Still trying to decide if I should drive or metro over. I would be happy to help you do a copy of the central design in this pattern if you have any questions. See you soon going to look up the book NOW!