Monday, June 10, 2019

Disappointed....let down......


OK, so I guess that last one is a bit over-dramatic.

I get it from my kids, I guess. (Grin)

You know how it is, right? You have some drama peeps in your house, too?

Anyway, here is the reason for my disappointment:

All these years, I've never used this guy too much.  But all the blogs and articles sing the praises of the walking foot for straight line quilting. That it can handle upper and lower fabric plus batting without blinking an eye.


Doesn't work too well for me! Here's my story:


I recently got some orphan blocks out and decided it was their time to shine. I put them together with some Civil War repro fabric lattice strips, and made oodles (that's a hard-core quilting word for when you make a lot of something and you actually lose count) of half square triangles.

Two more borders to bring in the colors of the room it will hang in....

Sandwiched ……

Then a quick (ha!) stitched line around the outside edge to prepare for binding. I often do this to keep me from having issues when I use a narrow binding; I love the look, but it can give ya problems!

Got out my walking foot and started around the edge. I was getting more rumples than ole Rumpelstiltskin.  

See? I upped the contrast on there so you could see more of what I'm talking about.... 
The only way I could get it to work was to apply a small amount of tension "fore and aft" and go very. Very. Slow.

Please tell me, peeps, have you experienced this? How did you get things to go more smoothly?

Inquiring minds want to know!!



  1. A walking foot is moderately better than using a regular foot, but like you, I have to go slowly and apply tension both ways. I have not had the perfect results that some bloggers claim to have.

  2. I loved my walking foot except for the clanking...or clacking...but to be honest I never went around the outside of a quilt before. No help here. sorry

  3. If you’re sewing around the edge like that (and many of us do that to stabilize the layers before quilting) your walking foot is only half on the fabric. You’re not getting the full benefit of what a walking foot can do.

  4. Kathy gave you the answer - your walker isn't really walking on the fabric at full balance. Pin your outer border with pins horizontal all along to aid in all layers being flat and even. I use just my regular foot or my teflon foot (glides easy on snotty fabric). If you are tugging in back and/or front of the foot to feed, you are stretching your fabric edges causing ruffles.

  5. Try a basting stitch along the edge (or 3/8" from the edge and remove later) before stitching with a normal stitch length at the edge as you show. Also, I wonder if the outer border is a bit too generous. Do you measure on both sides and the middle and average the length when creating a border strip? One last thought, width of fabric cuts are more "stretchy than length of fabric cuts. This may be involved, too.

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  7. Don't trim batting and backing until after you have stitched on binding. Make sure you have a 45 degree if cut on bias, and straight on grain if french fold. Fold binding strip in half and press, maybe starch, to set fabric before attaching. Use 2.5 stitch length. Pin every few inches and stitch slow to medium speed. Let walking foot walk, you just gently guide. Something could be wrong with your walking foot, also. Better luck on the next one.

  8. I agree with Cathy above..... and I also wonder, that fabric looks very familiar and I have some on a bolt that I only use for backings now because I found it very light/stretchy compared to other cottons. Maybe the weight of that fabric is also a factor.... Maybe try that walking foot on some sandwiched scraps of other fabric for comparison before ditching it. But all of that said, I THINK THAT WALL HANGING IS BEAUTIFUL! Those triangles just MAKE it! <3 Joy

  9. I too have never stitched around the edge like that before quilting. It looks like you’ve gotten a lot of good advice here. I’m one of those that LOVES my walking foot. I sew with mine 99.9% of the time. I only take it off to use a zipper foot.

  10. My walking foot and I are not on speaking terms. I've tried the tips up above but I just do better with free motion - even for straight lines. I named my walking foot Joe because it must be a man - it's so hard to get along with.


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