A walking foot (Bernina #50) is a specialty foot that provides you with an extra set of feed dogs for the top of your project. Having feed dogs on the top and the bottom will help grip and keep a hold of hard to manage fabrics or bulky projects like quilts, without you having to wrestle the fabric through your sewing machine. The walking foot attaches to your sewing machine like a regular foot, but also has a finger which rests on/around your needle bar signaling the extra set of feed dogs to pull the top fabric at the same rate as the bottom fabric.
The Bernina Walking Foot #50 comes with two convenient soles..
• Basic Sewing Sole: to be used with slippery fabrics, stripes, etc. This sole has ¼” and 1/8” markings on the sole to accurately sew quarter or eighth of an inch seams.
• Quilting Sole: has an open-toe which leads to better visibility when stitching. This sole is also equipped with ¼” and 1/8” markings for your convenience and a specially designed back, that allows the bulky quilt which you are sewing to glide easily under the walking foot.
A Walking Foot is great for general sewing for uses such as joining plaids, stripes, silks, and other slippery fabrics. The fabric will feed through evenly so you can easily match stripe lines without having them slip during sewing.
The most commonly thought of use for a walking foot is generally straight line quilting. When stitching in the ditch with your walking foot, line up the center marking in the middle of the sole so it looks like this:
The needle should fall on the “low” side of the seam right next to the “high” side. Stitch until the end of the seam line in which you would like to “stitch in the ditch”.
You can also do some decorative diagonal style quilting lines in addition to the regular “stitch in the ditch” method. Just use a ruler and fabric pencil or water-soluble pen to mark from corner to corner and stitch on the line, lining up the center mark with the line. Diagonal stitching on your project will look like this:
It’s as easy as that!