Unlocking the Magic of Sewing Machine Feet: A Quilter’s Guide

Today, I’m covering a topic that transformed my quilting game and can do the same for you – sewing machine feet. Specifically, we’re exploring five types that every quilter should know about. These little gadgets might just be the unsung heroes of our sewing rooms, so let’s get to know them better!

My 5 Favourite Sewing Machine Feet

Here are the feet that I regularly use and wouldn’t want to be without. They are the ¼” seam foot, the applique foot, the walking foot, the ditch quilting foot, and the free motion foot. If you’re a little apprehensive about changing feet, you can have a quick look on YouTube and see how easy it is to do.

1. The ¼” Seam Foot: A Personal Favourite

Quarter inch sewing machine foot

I couldn’t believe what a game changer it was when I found a ¼” seam foot in a box of quilting accessories which came with a new Janome sewing machine. I’d been struggling to get an accurate ¼” seam, that often started off straight then wavered as I sewed a long seam.

This foot delivers an accurate ¼” seam every time, thanks to its metal guide. Perfect for quilters who sew a lot of patches with this size of seam.

I just wish I’d discovered them years ago and bought myself one. It’s incredibly easy to switch feet so it’s not even a faff to do. I keep mine close by and it’s one of the most used sewing machine gadgets I have.

2. The Applique Foot: A Clear View to Perfection

Applique sewing machine foot

For those who’ve followed my sewing journey, you know I have a soft spot for applique. The applique foot has become a trusty companion for its one simple benefit: visibility. With its wide, clear centre, this foot offers an unobstructed view of the stitching area, making precise applique work a breeze.

3. The Walking Foot: Your Go-To for Smooth Sewing

Walking sewing machine foot

My relationship with the walking foot goes way back. I found it a godsend for sewing garments made from tricky fabrics like satin and jersey, that tend to slip. It doesn’t pull the fabric, like normal sewing machine feet can do.

It’s also a really valuable addition to your quilting toolkit. When working through a bulky quilt sandwich, the walking foot ensures the layers feed through evenly, preventing the dreaded bunching or puckering on the top fabric. It’s like having an extra set of hands guiding your fabric smoothly through.

4. Ditch Quilting Foot: The Secret to Hidden Seams

Stitch in the ditch sewing machine foot

This nifty little foot has a metal guide that spreads the two seams allowing for incredibly accurate “stitch in the ditch” work. It’s a real help if you want to achieve lovely straight lines on your finished project which are (almost) invisible.

5. Free Motion Foot: Unleash Your Creativity

Free motion sewing machine feet

The free motion foot might seem daunting at first – I know it was for me! Dropping the feed dogs and getting everything set up takes a bit of practice. But oh, is it worth it! It offers unparalleled freedom to “draw” with your stitches, from intricate curves to delicate details. Whether you’re embellishing a quilt block or adding character with free-motion quilting, this foot opens up a world of creative possibilities.

Don’t Forget the Extension Table!

While we’re on the topic of game-changing accessories, I must mention my sewing machine extension table. This also came with the ‘quilters kit’ when I bought my Janome sewing machine. It significantly expands your workspace, making managing larger quilts and projects much easier. Keeping fabric flat and manoeuvrable has never been simpler.

Wrapping Up

Sewing machine feet might seem like small tools, but they pack a punch in terms of the impact they have on your sewing and quilting projects. From ensuring precision to enhancing creativity, these feet are indispensable allies in our crafting adventures.

Whether you’re a seasoned quilter or just starting out, experimenting with these feet can add more fun to your sewing and quilting experience.  So don’t be like me and wait years to discover the joy of using different sewing machine feet – just give it a go!

6 thoughts on “Unlocking the Magic of Sewing Machine Feet: A Quilter’s Guide

  1. Helen says:

    Id really appreciate one of your informative workshops on how to use the free motion foot. I’m really struggling to get to grips with mine.

  2. Lisa Roberts says:

    I have all the above feet except the appliqué foot. I have a vintage Bernina, so getting some feet can be tricky. I have a ruffler and a gatherer which are magic things! Haven’t used them for real yet, but really enjoy playing with them. My best Gadget is a magnetic seam guide that sits to the right on the throat plate. Edges just glide along it and come out perfectly straight.

    • Overdale Fabrics says:

      Thanks for your comments Lisa. I like the sound of your ruffler and gatherer feet. I also use my magnetic seam guide when sewing garments, mines funny as it has a smiley face on it!
      Happy Sewing Cindy

  3. Susan camara says:

    Thank you both Cindy and Paul for your kind support,love my first club box was so excited to receive it today.

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