Monday, June 6, 2011

This Foot is Made For Walking

Today's weather in Minneapolis was hot and humid!  There was even a heat advisory issued, but so far I haven't heard anyone complaining! We've had such cold, wet weather that this heat is feeling kinda nice.
However, that doesn't mean I wanted to stay out in it too long and since I was going to be inside anyway, I decided to try and finish up this quilt for the store.

This pattern is Ziggy Baby by Cluck Cluck Sew in Amy Butler's Soul Blossom line. To quilt it together I decided to 'Stitch in the Ditch" and to do that I need a Walking Foot.  For those of you who don't know what a Walking Foot is, it looks something like this:

 If you don't have a foot that looks similar to this you should be able to purchase one at your sewing machine dealer.  It's a handy gadget to have, especially if you like to quilt.

Stitching in the Ditch is a term used when you quilt in the seams.  So you can see by this picture that I have my foot/needle lined up on the seam of the solid and polk-a-dot fabrics.  If everything works out just the way I want it you won't be able to see my stitches ..... because they'll be hidden in the seam or the 'ditch'. 

I want to use the walking foot to do this because if I use a regular (universal) foot the feed dogs (teeth like things under your presser foot) will pull the fabric through the machine, while the universal foot will create a drag on top of the project, causing the two fabrics to be fed through the machine at two different rates.  If you are quilting this is especially problematic because your quilt top will shift creating puckers.  (Fun Fact: there is a formula tailors use to account for drag when sewing sleeves and pant legs.  Once figured out they will cut one piece shorter than the other so that by the time they reach the end the two pieces are even)

By using a Walking Foot I can avoid most, if not all, the drag.  The way the Foot works is like this:  the walking foot has a arm that sits on top of the needle bar.  You can see in the picture above that the needle is down, the arm is down and the foot is up off the fabric.
In this picture you can see the needle up, arm is up and the foot is down.  So if you flip between these two pictures you'll see that the foot is literally walking along the project as you sew.  

No drag means no puckers when you get to the end of the rows.  :-)) 

No puckers on top either and by Stitching in the Ditch all my stitches are hidden (well most of them anyway).  Now who's ready to take a walk?   

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