A walking foot is useful for quilting straight lines , but it's also a great tool for organic, wavy line quilting. Quilting waves is fresh, fun and generally quick to do.
You can make the lines close together, gently overlapping, or spread them out for a faster finish. If you're interested in quilting wavy lines with a walking foot, here are some tips to keep in mind!
How to quilt wavy lines with a walking foot
Step 1: Choose a walking foot
A walking foot , also called an "even feed" foot, helps to feed all of your quilt layers through the machine evenly, at the same pace. The walking foot grips the quilt top while the feed dogs grip the backing.
Most quilters have an easier time and get the best results when quilting straight or wavy lines with a walking foot. As a bonus, the stitch length remains the same because your sewing machine does the feeding!
You can quilt wavy lines with a regular sewing machine foot, but you may end up with bunched layers or small pleats in your fabric.
Each walking foot works a little differently, so it's best to choose a walking foot that's designed to go with your machine.
Step 2: Choose the direction of your quilting
Looking at your project, consider if you'd like the wavy lines to be vertical or horizontal (or both!). Think about the design of the quilt and which direction would be an easier fit in your sewing machine.
Step 3: Choose the density of your quilting
For larger quilts, I prefer wavy lines to be quilted anywhere from 1" to 3" apart. But for smaller projects like a quilted pouch, it's fun to try denser lines that are about ¼" or ½" apart. They can be as curvy as you'd like or a little bit straighter. I usually don't like my lines to overlap, but this is up to your preference.
Step 4: Get sewing!
Starting with the center area, choose a straight stitch and sew top to bottom through all the layers, guiding the quilt side to side with your hands to make long, gently curving lines. As you guide the quilt under the needle, let the feed dogs do most of the work. Continue to the left and right of your first line until the quilt is finished.
Note that in this method, there is no marking of the lines ahead of time. They are organic and they are intentionally not straight. Once you get used to this method, you may find it very freeing.
Each quilted project has its own personality, and small projects like these quilted e-reader sleeves are the perfect place to have fun with your walking foot and try different styles of wavy line quilting!
What are your best tips for quilting with a walking foot?
Do you like to quilt with organic wavy lines, or do you prefer to mark your quilt tops ahead of time?