Bernina Walking Foot Problem
by Donna Smith
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.
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.
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!