Sunrise Baby Quilt: Let’s Get Quilting!
Did you ever notice that the word “quilt” is both a verb and a noun? This week we’ll tell you how to quilt your quilt. In other words, how to stitch together the layers (quilt = verb) of your bed-covering (quilt = noun).
You’ll be getting very friendly with your walking foot this week as you stitch back and forth across the layered backing, batting, and pieced top.
Why use a walking foot?
First let’s look at how your machine moves fabric along without one. While the needle is up and out of the fabric, the feed dog comes up. The ridged upper side of the feed dog presses against the sole of the foot and “grabs” the fabric while the whole feed dog unit moves one stitch length toward the back of the machine, carrying the fabric along with it. Take a look next time you’re at your machine: With the presser foot up, turn the hand-wheel and watch the feed dog move up and to the back, then down and back to the front, over and over again, once for each stitch.
When stitching two layers of fabric together, you probably won’t notice whether the layers are shifting or not. (Unless you’re matching stripes or plaids, or working with a malleable fabric such as velvet.) But with three layers – backing, batting, and top – there’s more potential for layers to slip a bit. And that little bit – multiplied by all the stitches it takes to sew across your quilt – can cause puckers and keep the quilt from laying flat.
A walking foot eliminates this problem by “pinching” the layers together before moving them. The walking foot’s “fork” goes over the needle bar (green arrow below). When the needle goes up as you sew, the fork goes up with it; this makes the walking foot’s “teeth” (pink arrows below) go down, pinching all the layers between the “teeth” of the walking foot and the “teeth” of the feed dog. (It’s starting to sound dangerous! But it’s not, really.) When the needle goes back down, the fork moves down and the teeth move back up out of the way. The walking foot chomps it’s way along as you stitch, biting all the layers together and moving them along with no slippage.
While the walking foot is doing it’s thing you’ll be feeding your quilt underneath. (“Feeding” the “teeth,” get it? Did a hear a groan?) To maintain an even distance between parallel rows of stitching, use the edge of the foot as a guide. The photos below show this from two angles: From the front, where you’ll be sitting, and from the top, which you can see if you lean way over. (But I don’t recommend sewing with your head up against the machine like that. It’s hard to explain why you have a tiny little well-defined bruise on your forehead. Ask me why I know. I’m just glad my hair was too short to get caught!)
Now… Are you ready for this week’s Sunrise Baby Quilt Sew-Along directions? Have fun quilting!
Sunrise_Baby_Quilt_-_Sew-Along_Week_Three.pdf (655.7 KiB, 1,866 hits)
Our Sunrise Baby Quilt Sew-Along continues on Tuesdays throughout March ( 19 and 26).
Missed a week?
- Week One: Ready, Set, Go Get Your Fabric!
- Week Two: Piece Those Strips
- Week Three: Let’s Get Quilting
- Related content to Post: Sunrise Baby Quilt: Bind It! The Sunrise Quilts Sunrise Baby Quilt: Ready, Set, Go Get Your Fabric!
- Category: education, projects, quilting, tips & tricks
- Tags of Post: baby quilt, bernina, free project, modern quilting, quilt, sew-along, sunrise quilt
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