Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Which Foot Do I Use to Quilt?

There are so many sewing tools available today, along with those from the past. Quilting with our treasured vintage sewing machines does give total satisfaction. It is so nice to sit in the living room with the family, just sewing away on the treadle. No noise. No distraction to others (yes, I am treadling away on my 100 year old machine - without electricity, while they are watching the latest on the modern tube called TV. What a contrast!).

So, what do I use? What can you use? First, it will depend on what you want to do and how do you want to quilt. Are you looking at traditional quilting or free-motion? Let's just delve into some and see what we get.

For traditional quilting - you might want to quilt a star pattern or possibly a continuous scroll; maybe just quilt-in-the-ditch. For this type of quilting you will want to use a walking foot, also called an even feed. Some come with the quilting space guide and others don't. Try to get one that has the space bar. You can always take it off when you don't want to use it.

The walking foot will let you quilt, sew those fabrics that tend to slip away from each other, and those with heavy bulk. Watch for one that does have the quilting space guide. Then you can accurately quilt evenly spaced lines.

There are quite a few quilting feet with guides that are originals - meaning they are pretty old. They work beautifully when quilting, just as well as those sold today.

Quilting foot with the space guide.

This is a new quilter with a metal guide in the center. Great to keep those quilt seam allowances at that scant size. It also does a great job of making tucking, making use of the metal guide.

What about some free-motion and maybe embroidery?

Again, there are so many shapes and sizes of embroidery/quilting/darning feet. Look around, ask your fellow sewers, try some out if possible. Many are designed to just "float" above your fabric and are controlled by you - the embroidery they can do (I mean, that YOU can do since you are really in the driver's seat with this) reminds me of years past when everything was hand embroidered and hand quilted. Try some etching/thread painting or just some decorative embroidery - all this along with free-motion quilting. They are great for stippling. Quilt a lap quilt or sew yourself a gorgeous quilted jacket! Nice way to use those fabrics from your "stash".

There are open-toed feet, all metal, Singer type, spring loaded, and many more. The most important thing is that it fits your machine shank (see another post for all about that). I did each of these with different ones. Find one you are comfortable with and works for you. Again, ask around. You can echo quilt, free-motion quilt, and do some fancy embroidery. The very most important thing is to just have FUN!

Happy Sewing!



butter said...

can i use other attachments with the treadle attachments or some of them that i can buy today including quilting and how to do quilting and edge sewing on pieces for quilting
thank you

Charlene said...

Depends on the machine and type of foot. If your treadle has a low shank, then you could use most low shank you find today. What type of treadle do you have?