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Problems installing my walking foot

Please help me to figure out why I cannot get my walking foot to work on the Singer machine I have.

I attached it but when I lower the lever on the presser foot, there is about 1/8 inch or slightly more between the foot and the fabric.

What should I do now?


You are right, the walking foot should sit on the machine bed with the presser foot down.

To double check, I installed my walking foot on my own Viking D1. With the foot installed and presser foot down, the foot firmly holds the quilt sandwich in place.

Installing your walking foot on your sewing machine for the first time can be very trying. The first thing to remember is not to "force" the foot on. If it's been made for your machine, it will fit.

Check that You Have the Correct Foot for Your Machine

Singer Even Feed or Walking Foot with a
The fork installs around the needle clamp screw.

Singer Even Feed or Walking Foot with a
The bar installs over the needle clamp screw.
First, check to be sure you have the correct walking foot model for your machine. Singer makes both "slant needle shank" and "low shank" machines. Each requires a different walking foot.

Not sure which shank your machine has?

Check your manual first. But if you can't find the info, all is not lost.

With a standard presser foot installed, put the presser foot in the down position.

Now measure from the bed of your sewing machine to the screw hole that holds the presser foot on your machine.

The slant shank measurement is about 1-1/8", for a low shank it's about 3/4", and for a high shank it's about 1-1/4'.

Install the Foot

A Singer Walking Foot or Even Feed Foot has either a "fork" or a "bar" as seen in the pictures above. The fork fits around the needle clamp screw; the bar rides on top. As this screw moves up and down, so does the walking foot.
  1. Remove the screw (on the left) that holds your current presser foot in place.
  2. Remove the presser foot and its shank.
  3. Depending on your version of walking foot, postion the "fork" around the needle clamp screw. The "bar" rides on top. The needle clamp screw is the screw on the right that holds your sewing machine needle in place.
  4. Position your walking foot's shank on the needle bar and screw it into place with the screw you removed in #1 above.


With your foot sitting so high, even with the presser foot in the down position, I'm wondering if perhaps your "fork" is sitting completely on top of the needle screw instead of around it.

If that is not the case, then there is a good chance that you've been given the wrong foot for your model of Singer sewing machine. Check with your dealer to be sure.

I hope this information has been helpful to you!

Happy Quilting,

Julie Baird

Comments for Problems installing my walking foot

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Thank you
by: Anonymous

Your clear description of how to install the walking foot was very helpful, thank you. It was so much clearer than the vague instructions in my manual. My machine is now quilting beautifully. You've got to love the Internet and its contributors such as yourselves!

Needle keeps coming out
by: Sue

Since attaching my walking foot my needle keeps coming out while I am sewing. I have tightened the screw repeatedly, but it pops right back out. Sews well when it is attached.

From the Editor: Did the walking foot comes with it's own needle screw. My Viking did because the walking foot required a longer screw? I'm wondering if your machine has the same issue?

If not, I'd take it in to the dealer. Let them show you how it's supposed to be installed to flush out the problem in their presence.

I wish I could be of more help.


Julie Baird

Janome walking foot hard to attach
by: Jan

I just purchased a new Janome NH 60 and find that attaching the walking foot is extremely awkward and difficult. Since quilting is my main interest, I am intending to return the machine and am hoping other Janome models will not be so difficult. The needle threader makes the space too tight for easy application. Anyone else had the same problem?

Bent needles
by: Anonymous

Hi. I'm pretty sure I have installed my walking foot correctly, but almost immediately my needle was bent. Any suggestions? You can use the foot with a zigzag zag stitch, right? Or a stretch stitch?

Any help would be appreciated.

Thank you!

From the Editor: If you have no problem with your needle when your regular, everyday presser foot is installed then, unfortunately, I suspect that the foot isn't installed properly.

If you haven't, double check with another foot.

Also, check that you haven't inadvertently set your machine for a stitch that is too wide for the walking foot. It may be the case that if you're using a zig-zag it's just too wide for the opening of the foot.

Hand-walk your machine through a couple of stitches to find out exactly where the needle is hitting. Is there anything loose in the needle? Is it pushed all the way up before you screw/clamp it into place.

While I am not a sewing machine technician, I believe you should be OK with a walking foot for stitches that are moving forward for sure. A zig zag, while it does move side to side, is still basically a forward movement. There are some stitches that move a little forward, a bit back and then more forward. Those stitches I'm more concerned about what's going on with the walking foot.

For me personally, I don't do a lot of those types of stitches in my quilts.

When I do use them, I slow down my machine speed and stitch them deliberately. Going slow enough and with control so that my machine doesn't hang up on them. I wish I had a better way to say it.

If your machine has the same problem with your regular presser foot, then I recommend taking it in for a quick look by your local dealer.


Julie Baird

putting a walking foot back together
by: Anonymous

My walking foot came apart and I can't get it back together.

From the Editor: I had the same problem with one for my old Viking #1+. Unfortunately, I had to replace the foot. It wasn't meant to be put back together by the user.

It's possible that yours is the same.

These feet DO wear out. I've purchased a total of four over the past several years. The mechanical parts give up the ghost after a certain amount of use—and ALWAYS in the middle of a quilt it seems.

I wish I had a better answer.


Julie Baird

Walking foot cutting thread
by: Anonymous

As I go to sew it's like the needle is cutting the thread from the bobbin or the thread in the needle. It won't sew.

Using a zig zag stitch pattern.
Singer 1725 machine.

From the Editor: While I'm unfamiliar with your machine, I suspect this is either a tension issue or there's a burr in your throat plate. Both result in thread breaks.

Tension problems occur for all sorts of reasons:
  • The setting needs to be adjusted (probably loosened)
  • The needle thread is catching somewhere in the thread path (make sure the thread isn't wrapped around the spool pin)
  • The needle eye is too small for the thread weight you're using (try a larger needle)

A burr—or nick—in the throat plate can catch the thread during the formation of a stitch, and put just enough extra tension on the thread to snap it.

You may be able to sand away a small burr. If you can't, you will need to replace the plate.

I have several articles on the site that may be helpful to you, they start here.

Unfortunately, identifying the problem is determined by trial and error. Remember to change or adjust only one thing at a time. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. It can be a tedious process, but you will get there.

I hope this helps.


Julie Baird

Brand issues?
by: Lynette

I have a Singer 401. When I try to use my even feed foot it seems like the screw that holds the foot on is too big and makes the foot back off the shank so if I'm not very careful and readjust it every few stitches, the needle will hit the front of the foot. Could this be because I am using an "off brand" foot?

From the Editor: Yes, if the screw is a Singer screw and doesn't fit with the foot, I suspect something isn't the Singer brand. If possible, take your machine with you and return the foot if they sold it to you on the assumption that it would work with your model of sewing machine.

Taking the machine with you is a pain, I know, but if they truly think it should work on your machine, let the dealer show you.

Many sewing machine stores will have a single layer of broadcloth under the needle. That's not a quilt.

I recommend you bring something to stitch on that mimics what you're sewing on when you have the problem. That way you have a better chance of duplicating the situation in their presence.

I know from personal experience that it's hard to fix/correct a problem when you can't see the actual problem.

I hope this helps.


Julie Baird

Walking Foot
by: Linda

My walking foot won't pull the fabric, I have to pull the fabric through. Could it be my Machine? I have a Singer Advance.

From the Editor: I am unfamiliar with this machine, however, the problem you report is that the fabric isn't feeding through. Somewhere the feed dogs aren't making contact with the quilt sandwich to pull it through.

I'm thinking the problem may be one of two things:

1) The feed dogs is the sewing machine bed need to be in the up position to grab the fabric from below. Make sure they are raised.

2) The walking foot must make contact with quilt top in order for their feed dogs to grab the fabric from above. Double check the instructions for installing the foot to make sure the foot lowers all the way to the sewing machine bed.

I hope this helps.


Julie Baird

Sole of walking foot
by: Linda

I have a Brother sewing machine. I ordered my walking foot and it came with no instructions. I put the sole of the walking on and began to sew and the sole keeps slipping off. I keep trying and every time I sew the sole keeps coming off.

Did I get a defective walking foot or am I putting it on wrong? I can find no instructions for this online.

I am about to throw this thing out, can you help me.

From the Editor: Without instructions, I'm in the same boat as you. I would call the place where I bought it to ask for instructions. If they can't supply any, return it.

If you return it, then I would contact Brother directly to ask for help. They should be able to recommend either a Brother dealer or answer the question directly.

I hope this helps!


Julie Baird

Not working properly
by: Christine

Hi, janome magnolia ultimate walking foot was working fine, but now, the alignment is off.

Does the guide have to be on?

needle won't fit
by: Anonymous

I have a Singer Inspiration, I just bought and installed a Universal walking foot which fits just fine; problem the needle won't fit through the hole. What should I do?

From the Editor: Without a picture, I'm a bit confused. If your needle won't fit through the intended spot in the walking foot, first check that you didn't inadvertently change the needle position when you installed the foot...I'm thinking that the needle should be in the center position. If it's centered and still doesn't fit through the space in the foot, then I would assume that even though you can install the walking foot, it's not the right one. I'd take it to the dealer for help.

Wish I could be of more help.

~ Julie Baird

cant use walkingfoot
by: Anonymous

I have half a new walking the only trbl I'm having is it won't stay on the shank. I have Fleetwood idont have enetrbl with ene other feet.choice

From the Editor: Unfortunately, I am unfamiliar with the Fleetwood brand. My best advice is to go back to a position where everything is installed properly, probably back to a regular presser foot. Sew a little to confirm everything is working.

Then refer to the installation instructions that came with the foot, and literally walk yourself through them step-by-step. If it's not staying on the shank then either the mechanism that holds it in place isn't engaged, is broken or is missing.

I'm assuming that there's either something to push or toggle or you're supposed to hear a 'click!' or 'snap!'. It is doesn't fix the problem, at least you'll have a better understanding of where the problem is. Then go to your dealer and have them take a look at it.

Another thought...double check that you've got the correct model of walking foot for your machine.

I hope this helps...


Julie Baird

walking foot
by: Susan

I just bought an Inspira walking foor C, part #10449c. Is this the right one for Singer 9410?

It does not go down all the way to the plate.

Thank you.

From the Editor: Susan, I'm not familiar with that model, however, in order to work properly, the walking foot needs to make contact with the sewing machine bed and feed dogs. If it never touches it can't pull the fabric through the machine and create your stitches.

~ Julie

by: lz

Thank you so much for the tutorial. It gave me all the answers I needed to install my Walking Foot that had never been installed before. The manual to the machine did not provide that info. It works just fine and thanks again. A great source for information.

From the Editor: Thank YOU and you're welcome!

Needle problems w/walking foot
by: Peggy

I have an old (very old) Singer 301 slant needle and I have finally started quilting. I bought a walking foot that said it was for the slant needle machine and installed it....but the needle won't go down. It catches on something. So, I got another needle - same thing. I have played with it again and again and the needle continues to cause a problem. Right now I am using the darning foot and it is NOT satisfactory. Please help. My machine was recently serviced and it sews well.

From the Editor: First I would completely re-install the foot with the directions by my side, just to re-assure myself that I did everything exactly as instructed. If that didn't work, I would take the foot AND my machine back to where I bought the foot and have they show me how to install it.

Because it's an older machine, it's possible that you were sold the wrong foot, simply because they don't sell a lot of them. It'd get you to the root of the problem much faster.

~ Julie

Super info
by: Anonymous

It has been a long time since I used my walking foot and have lost my instruction manual. I found this info through google search. Isn't the internet wonderful?

walking foot
by: Penny Nichols

I thank you so much!!! As I drove almost 40 miles just to get this Walking foot, I couldn't afford a redrive. And I don't have to because of your help. Because when I tried on my own, I was thinking "I'm going to have to take that drive again". It works great.

From the Editor Whew! I'm so glad you didn't have to make that trip again. Gas costs much too much and all that time lost when you could be quilting. I'm doing the happy dance here for you!


by: Anonymous

Thank you! Very helpful!

Singer DOES make a high shank machine
by: Anonymous

The Singer 20U is a high shank machine. It requires the RWA-5 high shank foot. I know this because I own one.

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