I’ve been working on a few samples for classes that I will be teaching this fall. One of the quilts is small, minimal in design, and has lots of creamy background fabric in Robert Kaufman’s Kona Cotton. I had a bit of inspiration from a quilt that I have admired for some time by the talented Stacey Sharman of Peppermint Pinwheels.
I love the quilted texture that evolves in the background of Stacey’s quilt. I had this quilt in mind while I was piecing my little quilt – so I left a lot of open background to play. Off I went, walking foot in hand . . .
Spending the day playing with my walking foot piqued my curiosity. You are probably figuring out by now that I have an interest in the history of anything quilty. I found myself on Google, to see what I could find.
What exactly is a walking foot? It’s a presser foot with built-in feed dogs that grip and advance the upper layer of your fabric to move in unison with the underside fabric, keeping the layers from shifting apart as you sew. It’s great for pucker-free, straight line machine quilting, sewing together multiple layers, and–my favorite–sewing a binding to a quilt.
The walking foot is kind of the ugly duckling in our sewing tool box, isn’t it? It’s clunky, awkward-looking, and as far as I can see, it has not made many innovative design leaps over the years. What has changed is the way we use it.
Today’s quilters are pushing it further and further out of the box to create beautiful patterns, textures and designs for their work. Let’s look at a few . . .
It’s amazing how contemporary an old technique can look with a little creativity!
Looks like Stacey had a fun play day with her walking foot.
I love the use of red thread!! It really shows off the different stitch designs.
Wonderful work Terri! Thanks for sharing!
Orange Peels! Wow! Wouldn’t you love to try this?
This would make a fabulous border. A great way to add movement and personality.
Now we all know this is a lot harder than it looks.
This would definitely take some patience!
This is simply beautiful. Very creative.
I hope that I have inspired you to pull that funny looking foot out of your tool box and include it in a play day. Keep us posted on what you discover!
There are a some great resources for you to explore further. I wish I would have discovered these before tackling my project!
Petite Design Co. - 31 Days of Walking Foot Quilting.
Made By Rae – What is a Walking Foot?
So Crafty on Squidoo – What Can You Do With A Walking Foot?
Dog Named Banjo – Bernina 440 Walking Foot
Canoe Ridge Creations – Straight Line Quilting
Books you may want to explore:
Mary Mashuta’s Foolproof Machine Quilting
For Dummies Machine Quilting Tips and Tricks
Maurine Noble’s Machine Quilting Made Easy.