Until you get this foot on your sewing machine you may not know its value, and then once you have it, you will find it very useful in a lot of your sewing. The walking foot, also known as an even feed foot is invaluable, in many ways for a passionate sewist, especially for quilting.
There is usually puckering of fabric on the seam line whenever there is an uneven feeding of the layers of fabric; like you are sewing different types of fabrics, or you are sewing very thin delicate fabrics or you are sewing too thick layers of fabric or you are sewing very slick fabrics like satin, leather, vinyl with other fabric or a fabric with pile or nap and you do not want the fabric slipping.
The fabric may also refuse to move ahead. You know that you should not force fabric with your hands as you sew – it will cause your needle to break, cause misalignment in your machine etc. But this foot can move these impossible layers of fabric together equally, without much effort from your part.
And when you want to match stripes, checks, and other patterns if there is uneven feeding, it can cause asymmetry. The fabric will move and the matching will be off.
The walking foot will work with any stitch length you adjust your machine to.
The technical thing is that it works along with the feeding mechanism of your sewing machine ie. they work in tandem with the feed dog of your machine. It seems to have something to do with the movement of the needle bar ; feed dogs co-ordinate with the movement of the needle bar. So this foot acts as a feed dog from the top for the top layer of fabric while the feed dog of your machine is working on the bottom layer.
How to use your walking foot
First, fit it on the machine. Raise the take-up lever to its highest point, as you would do when changing any of your presser feet.
This foot comes with its own presser foot holder. You will have to remove the presser foot you are using and the presser foot holder by removing the needle bar screw with a screwdriver.
The extension arm of the walking foot should fit on the needle clamp. Tighten the needle bar screw.
You may also get a quilting guide bar to attach to the foot.
Place the foot in place and then ensure that the needle will pass through the hole in your foot – gently lower the needle by slowly moving the handwheel by hand. Now thread the needle as usual. Start sewing.
An important thing to ensure – Check that the walking foot you buy is suitable for your machine. The place where you buy from will list the machines this foot is compatible with.