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Bernina Walking Foot Problem

by Donna Smith
(Leesville, LA)

I bought a used Bernina 153QE and it came with a #50 WALKING foot--one sole for quilts and another for plaid matching.


I am not using it right or something.

My top bunches up worse than the bottom. Also worse than if I just used a regular presser foot. I did not get any service because I got the machine used.

I am pretty new to quilting. Should I change the presser foot pressure or drop the feed dogs? I am lost. I just finished without it last time. I got aggravated. The foot is supposed to be helpful. I am sure I just do not use it properly. Any advise will be greatly appreciated. I had to pick out a bunch of stitches because my quilt was all bunched up and I had it pinned down like a hurricane was coming.

Reply:

Your walking foot should act like a second set of feed dogs on the top of your quilt and make it easier for your sewing machine to pull the quilt sandwich through evenly.

With the clues you have given in your description, I think your problem relates to your walking foot and how it is installed. Let's go through the checklist.

Because they work together, your sewing machine feed dogs must be in the up position. If they are down, the quilt sandwich won't move through your sewing machine...you'll just have a wad of thread "throw-up" on the bottom.


Bernina Quilting Walking Foot #50


This foot has the same attachment as other Bernina feet do with one exception. There is a "U" shaped fork that fits onto the needle clamp screw on the right hand side of the needle bar.

This fork must be around the screw to work properly.

Use the "quilting sole" because you'll be able to see better as you stitch in the ditch or follow a line.

Click here to see a quick video for installing the foot on your sewing machine.

Since your quilt sandwich was bunching up so badly, I wonder if the fork was actually under the screw. If it was, then the walking foot would never lift up completely and allow the quilt sandwich to be pulled through your machine.

If that is not the case, install the foot and now, without any fabric turn the hand wheel to make the needle go up and down. The foot should be moving up and down, too. If it is not, then it is probably broken. It does wear out with use. I'm on my third...

The instructions with my quilting foot say to reduce my presser foot pressure. Double check your instructions, because that definitely will help...it gives you just a bit more room to manuever the quilt under the feed dogs.

I hope this helps with your problem.

If it doesn't, I would take it to the closest dealer for their opinion. Remember to bring the foot with you just in case it is broken.

Good Luck to you!

Piecefully,

Julie Baird
Editor

Comments for Bernina Walking Foot Problem

Click here to add your own comments

Walking foot problem
by: Carol Gatti

I have a Bernina 1090 and I'm pretty sure I used my walking foot on this machine before but it does seem to work.

After installing, the needle doesn't hit but will not go up and down. Basically won't move. Appears to be hitting a screw with arm that holds foot in place. Can you tell me if walking foot is compatible with 1090 or did I use with other machine.

Also have embroidery machine by Bernina.

From the Editor: Unfortunately, without seeing the machine in person I can't tell if you have the correct foot or not.

I suggest first removing the walking foot. Then grab the instruction sheets and reinstall, closely following the steps in the instructions. Sometimes missing just the smallest detail can make all the difference in the world. (I've learned this through experience and a lot of wasted time.)

Also, double check that there's not a different screw to be used with the walking foot. On my older Viking it came with both a short and long one. Which one I used depended on the foot I installed.

If that fails, I would call a Bernina dealer with the part or model number of the foot in hand. They should be able to:
  • Confirm it is or isn't the correct foot, and...

  • Point you in the direction of one that will work if needed.

I wish I could be of more help.

Piecefully,

Julie Baird

Think it's broke
by: Anonymous

I have an old bernina 1080 that I love! I've used the walking foot extensively - quilting, special fabrics, etc. Last night, all of the sudden the fork that should move easily is basically almost 'frozen'. I put a little sewing machine oil where the fork comes out of, but nothing.

Any other thoughts?

Or did I wear it out?

From the Editor:

I can personally vouch for the fact that you can wear out walking feet. I've worn out three of them so far, and Viking's are expensive little monsters to replace.

Yes, I suspect you've worn it out.

Piecefully,

Julie Baird
Editor

Bernina Walking Foot Problem
by: Anonymousdot b

My question has not been answered as far as I have read. My question was "My bernina walking foot makes a clanking or clicking sound with every stitch." All works well, no bunching etc. Just that that clanking tells me something is wrong.

Can anyone help.

From the Editor: If it has always made that sound and the stitches are fine, then I would bring it up with my repairman at your machine's next cleaning.

In the meantime, I would hand walk the machine through several stitches and see where in the stitch cycle the sounds is occurring. What I'm wondering is if the sound is because the fork or arm that creates the motion in the foot is hitting the needle bar as part of the cycle. Metal on metal will make some sound.

If the sound is new, then I'd take it in to the repairman. I'd rather pay to fix a small problem than a large one.

Piecefully,

Julie Baird
Editor

Walking foot
by: Pat

My walking foot was definitely attached correctly. Claudia and still had the problem. I had to pay for it to be 'repaired' in the end as I was told it was broken - had not used it very much and the repair cost as much as buying a new foot.

How I got my walking foot to work
by: Anonymous

I have a Bernina 1008 and I bought a used genuine Bernina walking foot off of Ebay. I had the same bunching that you all are talking about. Finally I took the walking foot apart to see how it works.

Now, I'm not recommending you do this, but since it didn't work anyway, I thought, what the heck.

I figured out how it works and I did clean it with WD-40, because it is old, thinking that might be part of the problem. I took it apart and put it back together a few times and watched how it operated and I was sure there was nothing broken inside and that all the springs are intact.

What I did notice is that the foot has to "hop" so that the rubber feet can pop forward with each stitch and my walking foot was not raising high enough for the feet to pop forward. Finally, I put the hooked bar that is supposed to go around the needle bar screw ABOVE and resting atop the needle bar screw and VOILA! it works.

In conclusion, I don't think any of the tinkering I did inside made any difference to the operation, it was the bar issue all along.

I did, however, discover something.

I also took apart a generic walking foot from my old Viking that no longer works and I can tell you that there is a world of difference between the real deal Bernina and the generic. The generic fell apart into pieces (plastic) and I couldn't put it back together again there were so may pieces.

I hope this helps those of you with the "bunching" problem. Now if I could find one of those hoop things that holds the seam guides...

Maureen

Walking foot problem
by: Anonymous

I have a 1530 and a 1000 series walking foot. I set the pressure to 3, checked that the foot is installed properly, it is. Unless I pull the fabric from the back, the stitches are teeny tiny. Is there something I can do to correct this problem?
Thanks

Bernina walking foot alternatives
by: Holly

Hello Donna,

I heard that I should use a walking foot on my Bernina Activa 125 so that I can sew a swimsuit with a knit material.

The nearest Bernina shop is over an hour away and the Walking Foot #50 is well over $100.

Is there an alternative to Bernina's walking foot? I see that there are shank adaptors and other companies that make universal walking feet.

Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

Thanks

Walking Foot
by: Pat

I am also having problems with my walking foot on my Bernina Artista 630. the quilt is just not moving forward without my pulling the fabric from behind. If I don't it will just stitch in one spot. Has anyone any ideas please?

Walking foot
by: Anonymous

My walking foot definitely is installed properly, but I get the same problem. Any other ideas? I can't change the foot pressure on my machine, it's too basic a model.

Bernina Walking Foot
by: Anonymous

YEP! that did it. I had the foot on there correctly. So, I dropped the pressure foot pressure two notches and it worked perfectly this time I saw the article where you discussed your Pfaff presser foot pressure and walking foot issues so I tried that reduced pressure and viola! This machines feed dogs work great without a walking foot. Maybe a little too great and I think the added feed dog action of the walking foot was just a bit too much. Thanks for the help Donna

walking foot
by: Anonymous

Any time your walking foot is bunching the top fabric it is because it is not installed correctly with the u-shaped fork over the needle bar. If you do that, everything should be fine. Claudia W.

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