Sunday, 2 December 2007

Ode to my walking foot

When I first got my sewing machine (best gift ever from my lovely husband for my 30th birthday), I must confess I had NO idea what a walking foot was. My machine came with one bundled in though, as it was marketed as a quilting machine.

What a great idea - a foot that lifts up and down as you sew so that multiple layers don't pull apart as you're sewing. I really wish I had discovered the walking foot when I sewed my first ever quilt for my daughter. I hand-pieced the whole thing painstakingly, but then, having no real idea how to machine-quilt, cowboyed* the layers together, resulting in a less than perfect finish. I like to call it shabby-chic! I'll insert a picture here tomorrow, but as my daughter is currently asleep under said quilt, it'll have to wait for tonight!

don't look too closely - cowboying alert!

I discovered yet another use for my walking foot today - sewing oilcloth! I'd had the pieces for a new bag cut out for about a week, but having done a bit of research on how to sew oilcloth here (my cowboying days are over), I realised that I didn't have the appropriate needles. So, finally armed with a size 16 needle, I thought I'd give my walking foot a try. Yay for the walking foot - it let me stitch the oilcloth with no problems at all when I thought I'd be really tearing my hair out!

The alternative method, for those without a walking foot, is the tissue paper method. There's a fantastic tutorial here.

And just to prove I haven't been bone-idle all week, in spite of the lack of blog posts, here are some of the things I've been making:

* cowboy vt - to attack a sewing/knitting project with undue haste and with inadequate preparation with little thought for anything other than finishing the project in the minimum amount of time (results are variable).


  1. Gosh, you have been busy and the bag looks beautiful.

    I would have had no idea that's what a walking foot was for either though...but now I do.

    Your cowboy definition made me laugh...for that is me many times over...if I'm doing that, most of the time I know I'm cowboying it, but the awful cowboy bit of me carries on regardless.

  2. Thanks, Florence!

    Glad to hear I'm not the only cowboy out there! I'm meticulous when it comes to things I'm making for other people, but far too keen on speed when I'm making things for me!

  3. Ooo - thanks for all the links on using/sewing oilcloth. Hubby has set me a project to make him a 'bag' using oilcloth - which I had been delaying. Thanks indeed. PS - I love the stripes and spots combo!

  4. Thanks, Cara! Glad those links were useful - it's great how you can get so much information and videos of sewing techniques online. Happy stitching!


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