Everybody on the (quilting) planet has a 1/4″ piecing foot, but do you know what other feet you should keep handy? Read on!
I went through my sewing box (I keep all my presser feet in a large, clear, divided container by the way) and identified all the feet I use the most, and thought – hey! Everyone should have these feet! Over the years, these feet have helped me sew different materials with success, perfect stitching techniques, and add special touches to my favorite projects.
Since I stitch on a Viking Designer EPIC and am a Viking Ambassador, I’m also including part numbers if you have a Viking machine and would like to add any of these to your collection!!
#1: The Teflon (or Non-Stick Glide) Foot
If you’re stitching on things like leather, foam, PUL, and especially vinyl, this kind of foot can be indispensable! I love using clear vinyl for things like clear pockets or protective covers when I’m sewing accessories, and this foot is awesome to use.
This project had a fair amount of vinyl to make all the pockets, and having a non-stick foot was definitely indispensable!
#2: Edge Stitching Foot
Bonus if this foot is clear! I love the guide on the side of this foot, which enables you to butt the fabric right up against it and get consistent distances for top stitching. The open needle area allows you to use this foot with different needle positions and wider decorative stitches. It also works for stitching hand-folded tucks. (I have another all-metal foot just like this which I use as my 1/4″ piecing foot!)
This is the metal version of the same foot. I use this foot for attaching binding to quilts, because I can adjust the position of the needle to get the right depth (based on the batting I’m using) and get a very consistent stitch distance.
By the way: did you know that the horizontal line on your stitch plate is in line with your needle? If I need to stop stitching in a specific place, I mark it with a horizontal pin, and stitch until the pin is on top of that line. In this photo, one more stitch will put my pin on top of that spot, and with my needle down, I can pivot at this spot. I only mention it here because this is a great photo to demonstrate, and a lot of people who’ve been sewing for years had no idea that’s what this line indicates. 🙂
3: Clear Open Toe Foot
This is the best foot to be able to see where you’re going! On the Viking version of this foot, there’s a wide groove underneath so as it moves over decorative stitches, it doesn’t get hung up on them. I use this foot most often when I need more visibility to what I’m sewing and need to see exact needle placement.
#4: Narrow Zipper Foot
I know there are other feet that are better known for topstitching, but I cannot give up my narrow zipper foot! Obviously, I use it for zippers, but when I need super-narrow topstitching, this is the foot I turn to.
What’s great is that as a snap-on foot (which is amazing – so fast to change feet!) it has two positions, so you can position this foot to the left or right of the needle. If I have a bulky project like a quilt, I can always keep the bulk to the left of the machine, and just reorient the foot based on where I need to stitch. Here, you can see the foot holds the fabric securely, and I can topstitch ridiculously close to the edge.
#5: Pintuck Foot (with Raised Plate)
I think everyone should have a fun foot in their collection. This is one of my favorites. The pintuck foot comes in many different varieties – 3-groove, 5-groove, 7-groove, and even a 9-groove!
The secrets to great pintucking involves a twin needle and a raised seam plate (that’s the weird forked attachment pictured.) The foot has grooves for the pintucks to travel in as they are stitched, to keep your pintucks spaced evenly, and the raised guide scrunches the fabric a bit so you get a nice dimensional pintuck.
This adds such a nice detail to simple projects. Even if you don’t do a lot of embellishing normally, this can really punch up the front of a pouch, or give you a dimensional element to plain blocks. You can even pintuck a grid! My advice if you plan to do a lot of pintucking is to pintuck first, cut to size later. It doesn’t take a lot of fabric, but the pintucking does shrink your pieces.
#6: Joining Foot
This is similar to the Edge Guide Foot, but the guide is in the center positioned in line with the needle. This foot is great for stitch-in-the-ditch, but I also love using it to join scrap pieces of batting together to make a single, large piece for projects. No more wasted batting! I used to use this foot for stitching bindings by machine, but check out foot #7 for my replacement.
#7: Left Topstitch Foot
Okay, I will admit this foot is a fairly new acquisition for me; however, it’s going to be in heavy rotation now that I’ve found out what this foot can do. I bound 9 quilts during the month of January, and this foot helped me get them done in fairly short order.
This is a foot that’s a bit hard to photograph, so let me explain it. The foot itself is not flat across the bottom. The right side of the foot (looking at it from the front) is raised higher than the left side. What this does is create a little shelf for the foot to sit on, so that if you’re stitching on different thicknesses of fabric, you don’t get distortions in the fabric while it is feeding.
My bindings are stitched completely by machine these days, and I usually finish with a narrow zigzag, but I started experimenting with a straight stitch finish. This used to be such a hassle, and I am now fairly confident that I can do this more successfully using this foot. Look at that stitch!
There you have it! My recommendation for 7 feet that should be in your lineup of feet. At least two of these feet get used on every project, so I definitely feel like these were a great value to me over the years.
What feet do you have in your sewing box that you consider indispensable? Tell me about it in the comments!
This post is part of the 2017 Back to School Blog Hop hosted by Sam Hunter of Hunters Design Studio. Be sure to check out all the other fantastic posts in the series over the next 30 days!
Day 1 – August 15 – Sam Hunter: How to spray baste a BIG quilt – www.huntersdesignstudio.com
Day 2 – August 16 – Mandy Leins: Thread Dread: removing stray bits after quilting – www.mandalei.com
Day 3 – August 17 – Nancy Stovall: The Sweet Creamy Filling – www.justquiltingpdx.com
Day 4 – August 18 – Ebony Love: 7 Indispensible feet for your sewing machine – www.LoveBugStudios.com
Day 5 – August 19 – Michelle Freedman: Machine throat plates – www.designcamppdx.blogspot.com
Day 6 – August 20 – Teresa Coates: Edge/Under/Top stitching – www.crinkledreams.com
Day 7 – August 21 – Kelly Cole: Ten ways to regain your sew-jo – www.vintagefabricstudio.com
Day 8 – August 22 – Megan Dougherty: Choose to Fuse: tips for working with fusibles for applique – www.thebitchystitcher.com
Day 9 – August 23 – Kim Lapacek: Tricks to being productive while hauling your kids around – www.persimondreams.blogspot.com
Day 10 – August 24 – Yvonne Fuchs: Circuitboard quilting on Domestic and Longarm Machines – www.quiltingjetgirl.com
Day 11 – August 25 – Sandi Hazlewood: Chain Piecing Quilt Blocks Tips – www.craftyplanner.com
Day 12 – August 26 – Juliet van der Heijden: Paper-piecing with children – www.thetartankiwi.com
Day 13 – August 27 – Maddie Kertay: Fabric folding for any storage solution – www.badassquilterssociety.com
Day 14 – August 28 – Cath Hall: Working with Lawn fabric – www.wombatquilts.com
Day 15 – August 29 – Tracy Mooney: Tips for the perfect seam – www.sewmuchcosplay.com
Day 16 – August 30 – Teri Lucas: How to bury thread – www.terificreations.com
Day 17 – August 31 – Debby Brown: Securing machine quilting knots – www. higheredhands.blogspot.com
Day 18 – September 1 – Flaun Cline: How to put some sparkle in your fabric pull (part 1) – www.ipleadquilty.com
Day 19 – September 2 – Jessica Darling: How to put some sparkle in your fabric pull (part 2) – www.jessicakdarling.com
Day 20 – September 3 – Trish Frankland: A bigger blade really IS better?! – www.persimondreams.blogspot.com
Day 21 – September 4 – Lynn Krawczyk: Build a simple design with hand stitching – www.smudgeddesignstudio.com
Day 22 – September 5 – Jane Davidson: How to make scrappy HSTs – www.quiltjane.com
Day 23 – September 6 – Linda Pearl: Low cost tips for organizing your sewing room – www.onequiltingcircle.com
Day 24 – September 7 – Christa Watson – Top 10 tips for quilting on a domestic machine – www.christaquilts.com
Day 25 – September 8 – Sarah Nunes: To Starch or Not to Starch – www.berrybarndesigns.com
Day 26 – September 9 – Suzy Webster: Testing fabric for bleeding – www.websterquilt.blogspot.com
Day 27 – September 10 – Sarah Goer: Machine bind your quilts like a pro – www.sarahgoerquilts.com
Day 28 – September 11 – Vanda Chittenden: Beginner paper-piecing tips – www.chittenden.co.za
Day 29 – September 12 – Cheryl Sleboda: Needle threading tips – www.muppin.com
Day 30 – September 13 – Kim Niedzwiecki – Different thread weights and when to use them – www.gogokim.com
Day 31 – September 14 – Sandra Healy: Conquer Your Fear of Machine Appliqué – www.sandrahealydesigns.com
Day 32 – September 15 – Sandra Starley: The Basics of Antique Quilt Collecting – www.utahquiltappraiser.blogspot.com