This post contains affiliate links for which I receive compensation

How to Modify a Quilting or Darning Foot

A reader asks...

The plastic on my presser foot obstructs the view of my needle, what foot do you suggest?

Julie replies...:

I assume that you're talking about a free motion quilting foot.

If you are unhappy with the foot as it is, so much so, that you don't want to use it, I recommend using a Dremel tool to sand or cut away the offending plastic part.

If you accidentally take off too much, you didn't want to use the foot anymore anyway.

If you get it just right, you've saved yourself some money AND created a more usable foot.

My Favorite Free Motion Foot

Darning foot with a open toe and offset shank

If your plan is to purchase a more workable version of a darning foot (sometimes called a free motion foot, a quilting foot or a hopping foot) then I'd suggest one with an offset shank that is metal and horseshoe shaped. This is my favorite to use for most free motion quilting.

The offset shank allows you to see behind the needle.

The opening in the front of the foot puts nothing between your eyes and where the needle pierces the quilt top...especially helpful if you are following a draw line with free motion quilting.

Thank you for your question. I hope this is helpful to you.


Julie Baird

Comments for How to Modify a Quilting or Darning Foot

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Aug 21, 2014
quilting foot
by: Valerie

So a quilting foot is the same as a walking foot.
I have both. The round piece is this the quilting foot.

From the Editor: Hi Valerie! If you would be so kind to send a photo to me of the foot at:

I can confirm it for sure.



Jan 31, 2013
Free motion foot
by: Anonymous

How do I know if the free motion foot with the offset shank is compatible to my sewing machine? Thanks.

From the Editor: I would check the manufacturer's website first to see what versions of this foot they have available for your model of sewing machine.

If it is an older machine you may need to get a generic foot.

Take your sewing machine with you to the dealer so that if you end up having to get a generic version of the foot, that you can (or can have it) installed right at the store. That way if it doesn't work, you don't need to make two trips.

I've had several quilters write in lately with problems with feet that they've purchased for their older machines. Unfortunately, I don't usually hear about how the problem was resolved, but I suspect that they were sold the wrong generic foot. Having your machine with you, solves that problem. Don't forget to bring a small quilt sandwich to stitch on at the store with your new foot installed to confirm that it works or doesn't.

If you have to go the way of a generic foot, it will depend on whether or not there is a generic free motion foot made for the type of shank your machine has. The shank is really the final deciding factor.

I hope that helps.


Click here to add your own comments

Return to Quilting Tools Reviews and Suggestions.

This article was printed from

Print Article

Follow Us