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Quilting with my walking foot questions

by R. Kemler
(Needham, MA)

What should I set my stitch length to when I'm using my walking foot? And how do I secure my thread using this attachment on my sewing machine?

Thank you.


When I'm using my walking foot (some call it an even feed foot), I set my stitch length to between 2.0 and 2.5. Some well known quilters suggest you set it as high as 3.0. Because I'm typically using a fine thread, either a .004 monofilament (clear) thread or 50 wt cottons or 100 wt silks, I personally like a little bit shorter stitch length.

Quilters generally like to set a length that mimics what they see in hand quilting.

If you're using a shiny thread and you want to see the shine, you may choose a longer stitch...then there's enough thread to catch the light and you'll see it glisten. Conversely, if you don't want any shine to show, shorten the stitch.

Just remember that changing the stitch length can also effect the tension on your sewing machine. Test some stitching on a scrap quilt sandwich if you've adjusted your stitch length just to be on the safe side.

Securing thread tails...

There are two ways to do this.

  1. Bury the thread tails. You'll need to leave long enough tails so that you can thread them through a needle and make a knot. Pop the knot and bury the thread tails just as you would for hand quilting.
  2. Use microstitching at the beginning and end of a line of quilting that starts within the borders of the quilt. Micro-stitching is a line of quilting about a 1/4" long stitched with 25-30 stitches per inch. On computerized machines you'd set the stitch length to 0.5 and stitch a quarter inch. (If you're free motion quilting, you'll stitch about 8 stitches in the 1/4 inch.)

Thank you for your questions!


Julie Baird

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