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Forum > Quilters' Corner > I Really, Really Hate My Walking Foot! ( Moderated by Sharon1952)

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I Really, Really Hate My Walking Foot!
is there a trick to using these things?
jannw
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jannw  Friend of PR
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Date: 12/18/12 9:25 AM

First off, this is not an expensive walking foot, but it is the one that came with the machine and I am attempting to push a small quilt through a too small harp space.

When I adjusted my stitch length with the regular foot, I got a beautiful stitch that was slightly less beautiful when I sewed the first line of stitching....it shrank from a 3.0 to looking like a 2.0...so I put the walking foot on...now my stitches just look like a straight line!! I'm using a brand new 80/14 topstitch needle.
The fabric is still being pushed ahead of the foot.

Is there some kind of adjustment I should be doing to the tension or anything else? Or is it just the fact that the harp space is too small? The machine seems to have an automatic pressure adjustment as I never have to change anything to get a good stitch....

Meanwhile, I'm oiling up my '50's Brother. This walking foot does fit on it and this machine does have a pressure adjustment button. I'll be going from a 6" x 4" space to a 7.5" x 5.5". Will this make that much difference in the quality of my stitches?

------
2009-113.25 yds
2010-115.5
2011-80.25+30+donated
2012 86.3 yds..
2013 21.0
Everyone who sews seriously has a stockpile of fabrics, because it is natural to purchase more than can be sewn in any one season" Singer, Timesaving Sewing, 1987

SouthernStitch
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Date: 12/18/12 12:08 PM

What machine and walking foot is it giving you trouble? With the 6x4 space you only have 24 sq inches of room, with the other you have 41.25 sq inches. That sounds better to me.
I found I had to really keep the quilt nice and flat, and NO drag. I did this by making sure the quilt was bunched up ahead of the where the foot is on either side of the needle, and that when I stitched, the machine would feed more normal - no drag. I had to keep repositioning the fabric that way quite often.
I'm no expert, but yes, I'd try to tone down the pressure a bit, walking foot or not, but just a bit. Then all else you can do it make sure your tensions are correct for quilting through all those layers. Typically this would mean lowering the tension I'd think. I never have to fiddle with the tensions on my machine, but logic would dictate that I think.
OTOH, I have had different battings my machines just threw fits over! They don't like that awful cheap, lofty polyester batting. I'll never use it again!
I'll be reading to see the experts responses. Good luck.

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Learn To Sew
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Date: 12/18/12 12:19 PM

When I read this a while ago, I thought "what a good question". I did not know the answer, though.

I am still a beginner in the quilting experience, and have as many questions as you do. You are not alone, so ask MY questions for me.

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Bernina 630, my much loved main machine
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Pfaff 2036 my back up & travel machine
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PattiAnnJ
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Date: 12/18/12 12:55 PM

It sounds as though it is the bulk and weight of the quilt that is causing the mis-feeding of the quilt through the stitching process.

Make a small test "quit" using the same fabric, batting and backing as in the project quilt. Use this to test the walking foot.

If the test is successful then you will know the quilt needs support as well as more room to move. Sometimes rolling the quilt from the sides toward the center will be less bulk for the smaller harp sewing machine.

------
"Improvise, adapt and overcome." - Clint Eastwood/Heartbreak Ridge

jannw
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Date: 12/18/12 1:44 PM

I wonder if the batting is part of the problem...I am using that cheap poly. I didn't realize it was so bad when I bought it from J's yesterday. I got the low loft, but it was practically sheer in spots! So I doubled it and I just discovered that the section I used the walking foot on seems to have shoved it up into a big lump!! Now taking a break from ripping out tiny stitches..

I did make a little quilt to test the stitches with. I took the backing fabric(100% cotton) and folded it over the batting and that's where I got the pretty stitches. Maybe I need to try a bigger one as it seems that my sample stitches never translate well to the real thing.

It is easier with the vintage machine. As soon as I fix the bumps I'll pull it out and see how it actually looks.

The small machine with the walking foot is a Brother SG9000, a computerized machine, but it weighs under 10 pounds and it is small. My other modern machine isn't much larger. I haven't measured, but I think my Morses' are about the same dimensions as the vintage Brother I'm using now. I guess it's just a matter of learning how to manipulate the fabric in the space available.

------
2009-113.25 yds
2010-115.5
2011-80.25+30+donated
2012 86.3 yds..
2013 21.0
Everyone who sews seriously has a stockpile of fabrics, because it is natural to purchase more than can be sewn in any one season" Singer, Timesaving Sewing, 1987

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Date: 12/18/12 2:05 PM

My guess is the cheap poly batting is not helping you. I only use Warm and Natural, as everyone loves it. Some have tried poly, but I do not know if they had trouble with the walking foot or not. I do not know where they got the poly. If you can see through it, do not use it.

You had to double it? That is not good. That would be harder to sew through for sure.

------
Bernina 630, my much loved main machine
Bernina embroidery module
Pfaff 2036 my back up & travel machine
Babylock Molly, mechanical
Bernina 1200DA serger
Unique Sewing Cabinet 450L

jannw
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Date: 12/18/12 2:15 PM

I'm sure you are right, but J's had a 50% off packaged batting....and I'm cheap! This is what was left...the area was pretty empty..proobably all the quilters knew better. I'll keep a lookout for the Warm and Natural sales!
The needle is not having any problems..at least so far..both machines have plenty of power. Do you know how big your harp space is on your machines??

When/if I finish the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt, I'm looking for a longarm quilter to do it for me! Meanwhile I'll keep practicing on the smaller stuff..and maybe look into that Craftsy class on quilting on a home machine!!

------
2009-113.25 yds
2010-115.5
2011-80.25+30+donated
2012 86.3 yds..
2013 21.0
Everyone who sews seriously has a stockpile of fabrics, because it is natural to purchase more than can be sewn in any one season" Singer, Timesaving Sewing, 1987

AminaHijabi
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Date: 12/18/12 2:19 PM

Well... I had an issue similar to this when I made a quilt on my Janome 2212 with too-high loft batting. My 3.0 stitches were really close together and it just looked terrible (though still functional) It is a feeding problem. The ultimate solution is adjustable presser foot pressure for me. However, I don't think you have that. For you what you need to do is go really slowly and pull back the fabric on both sides with your hands as much as possible (like you're stitching in the ditch and you want to open up the seam). Whatever you do don't push/pull the quilt while it's trying to feed. Let your walking foot do it's job. 6.5 inch harp space is okay. Just do half of the quilt at a time. Start in the center of the quilt, then go towards the edges, flip it around, start in the center again and repeat. Some people like rolling, some people crumple up the quilt. Does that help you any?

EDIT: and yes, you may have to adjust the tension when you're quilting either up or down depending on your thread because you're just pulling through that many more layers of fabric. Test it out in an area of the quilt, and don't lock the stitch, where you can easily pull your test threads out and it won't be noticeable.
-- Edited on 12/18/12 2:21 PM --

EDIT 2: I think I heard someone on here say once, it's a walking foot, not a running foot.
-- Edited on 12/18/12 2:22 PM --

PortlandMaine
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Date: 12/18/12 2:38 PM

Battings can be super thin - and still be good enough for me.

I use whatever batting I can find. - The old blankets are great - but Im starting to not like how heavy they make a quilt.

I used a fluffy polyester batting a few weeks ago because comeone wanted a fluffy quilt. Fine with me.

Im guessing having folded over the batting made the quilt too thick for that stitch length. Being that it was causing bubbles down the line - the thickness seems to have been a issue.

More pins might help - but so will more practice.

I too - am no expert. Many who have posted seem to know thier stuff inside and out.

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Quilting up a storm!

AminaHijabi
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Date: 12/18/12 3:04 PM

I don't know anything I only know that that based on what she posted I think I had the same problem and that's what worked for me NO GUARANTEE IT WILL WORK FOR HER!!!

No guarantees, exchanges or refunds. All advice final.

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