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This blog is now all about my personal life, including updates concerning Jerry's health. For quilt and pattern related posts please visit

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Learn before you Quilt--Machines, Feet, Prunes, and Goop v.2

Time to get back in blog gear! For my faithful followers that could care less about quilting...Don't you worry. I will be back to some of my old blogging habits, including all your fave's like Seth, Stephen, Hillbilly Life, etc. We will just be having some new stuff too, like quilting and a few other crafty things I have up my sleeves.

If you are new, you need to know one thing. I am a Peanuts/Snoopy-aholic! Snoopy usually finds his way around my blog from time to time. Right now we are having a Warm and Fuzzy Fest. The fest got its name because it's warm outside, it is a prequel  to our quilting lessons, and because Snoopy always has something fun or wise to say!

Today we'll start with a recipe from my garage sale bargain Peanuts cookbook. I have never even heard of such a thing as this. Have you?? (Although as I get older I certainly can appreciate it!)

We have ALREADY DISCUSSED my cooking, or the lack of my cooking ability. Here's another Goop cartoon for you:

Ok, now on to the quiltsy stuff. 
This is the second post talking about supplies needed for quilting. If you missed the first, it is RIGHT HERE.
Today the first thing that I want you to know is that you can create a quilt no matter what sewing machine you have. I have a high dollar sewing/embroidery combo machine and a much lesser expensive very simple machine with no electronics and only a few stitch selections. Just tonight I finished a quilt on my less expensive machine. I use both depending on what I'm making. So, no need to go buy a fancy sewing machine!! 
 Though, there is a need to buy some certain sewing feet. 

The first that you will use is called a quarter (1/4) inch foot. This is the least necessary of the quilting feet that you can buy, but the most used and the least expensive. (If you choose not to buy one, I will show you how you can sew without it in our first lessons.) Here is what it looks like:

Here is a different kind. My machine came with this one and I HATED it! I ended up buying one like the one shown above. It is well worth it!

The next foot that is important is called a Walking Foot or Even Feed foot. This is used when we are sewing the quilt sandwich together. It feeds all three layers evenly, in straight lines. Below is a picture of a quilt sewn with a Walking Foot.  The foot cost most people around $30 USD unless you have a Bernina, then expect to pay more.  Here is what mine looks like:

Finally, you will need a Darning Foot, sometimes called a Free Motion Foot. It is also used to sew the sandwich together. The difference between this one and the one above is, the one above does straight lines. This one can go all over the place. Here is a picture of the foot and some examples of free motion quilting:

The Darning Foot has to be used with the "Feed Dogs" on your machine in the dropped/down position. On my fancy machine, I slide a lever to keep the feed dogs down.On my lesser expensive machine, I actually attach a little plate cover over the feed dogs. If the feed dogs are working, you can't free motion. The feed dogs move the fabric through the machine:

There are a couple of other completely unnecessary feet/attachments that you can get. We'll bring them up later at the appropriate times. I hope I didn't totally confuse you, ask questions of need be!

Speaking of that, I have a request to teach Sashing. So, for those of you that are just learning, when I teach it next week, follow along for fun, or turn your head so you won't be overwhelmed!

Tomorrow: terminology :0)


Pat said...

A question for you - I too have the foot that came with the machine - why do you hate it - and what makes the other so special?

Heather said...

Great article!

I think I can answer Pat's question for you sis... on the foot that she likes, there is a plate that hangs down on the side, this is so you can butt your fabric edge right up next to it & get perfect 1/4" seam allowance. The foot she doesn't like doesn't have this & you have to be more careful in getting the right seam allowance. (I hope I answered that right!)

Hillbilly Handiworks said...

Thank you sis! You answered perfectly!

debi said...

Good info! I have alot of feet with no explanation to them in any of my books. Of course I don't have the ones I need! I don't quilt, but do applique and sew on leather, I wonder if the walking foot would help feed the sticky leather thru? Can't wait to hear what sashing is!

Hillbilly Handiworks said...


Try putting some masking tape on the bottom of your foot. Or use tissue paper on the bottom, then rip it off after you've stitched. There is also a rolling foot available. It has a little wheel to slide right over sticky stuff! One person said they found one a Joanne's for less than $10

debi said...

Thanks Tonya, the bottom is were is sticks on the feed dogs. I'll try the tissue paper. I have the one with the wheels too. Yah! Can't wait to try both. I can't believe I've been sewing so long without getting to know my machine better, DAH!

Laura said...

I just love your tutorials and figured out how to post....:) Thanks for having me

Hillbilly Handiworks said...

Especially the prunes and goop on a quilting post, huh? LOL

Tolduso said...

hmmm....I will see if my machine came with a foot....I wanna play to...:))