BERNINA Patchwork Feet

Patchwork Feet on the Menu!

BERNINA is known for its unmatched collection of presser feet. If there is a sewing technique, the Swiss engineers have developed a foot optimized to give you the best results. It’s part of our passion for quality.


Personally, I learned a long time ago that at the stitching point when and where the needle enters the fabric, it’s not my helping hands that govern the fabric—it’s the presser foot. So I’ve learned to let the machine and the foot do their magic. Sometimes it took more than one attempt to learn that lesson!

As a quilter, I have a particular interest in BERNINA’s selection of patchwork feet. There are now six of them to fit the needs of any quilter and suit your work style. Let me walk you through a brief history of BERNINA Patchwork Feet, as they were not all created at once.

First, there was the quarter inch foot, aka Patchwork Foot #37


BERNINA Patchwork Foot #37

  • It is designed to give an accurate 1/4 inch seam allowance on either side of the needle
  • Each side of the foot has 3 notches:

– At the needle position

– 1/4 inch behind the needle

– 1/4 inch ahead of the needle

  • These make it easier to pivot accurately.
  • While the outside edges of the foot mark a 1/4 inch seam allowance, the inside of each toe at the front of the foot mark a 1/8 inch seam allowance, which is great for miniatures.




So by now we have an accurate 1/4 inch piecing foot. Who could ask for more, right?

Peekaboo, I see you!

Some quilters like to see the edges of the fabric being pieced together just peek past the right side edge of the foot. It’s a natural thing to verify you’re at the edge. But if the fabric is “peeking” on extending on the right of the foot—then you no longer have an accurate 1/4 inch seam allowance, and block dimension accuracy is no longer perfect. Patchwork Foot with Guide #57 has a guide on the right side of the foot that lets you place the fabric along the guide to give you the perfect quarter inch.

BERNINA Patchwork Foot #57

Now enters the next iteration of patchwork feet—Patchwork Foot with Guide #57


Patchwork foot #57 with guide

  • We added a guide on the right hand side of the foot that would serve as a guard rail against fabric “peeking” or accidentally extending to the right of the foot.


  • The guide is spring loaded so it can flex (or be nudged up) to cross seams and uneven layers.


  • All other attributes are the same as for Patchwork Foot # 37.




Meanwhile, machines with 9 mm stitch width came on the market with matching (wider) feed dogs. For those with a machine that has a 9 mm wide stitch, there is the #97D foot. BERNINAs with a 9 mm wide stitch also have wider feed dogs. The left side of the #97D foot is wider, allowing the fabric to be more securely sandwiched between the foot and the feed dogs. This secure hold makes for even more precise stitching!

BERNINA Patchwork Foot #97 D

And now, Patchwork Foot #97 —because sometimes more is better!

  • The right side of the foot has the same three notches as Patchwork Feet #37 and #57 denoting the position of the needle, 1/4″ behind, and 1/4” in front of the needle/
  • The left side of the foot is wider than 1/4 inch, to cover the left set of feed dog teeth.
  • The sole of the foot behind the needle is wider to better cover the feed dog
  • The result is better traction and feeding of your fabric layers while piecing, while still providing an accurate 1/4 inch seam allowance.
  • A rigid seam guide is included with the foot (when purchased on its own). This guide is optional if the foot was included with the purchase of a machine.
  • The seam guide secures onto the machine bed so that it can be positioned against the right side of the foot. This serves the same purpose as the guide on the Patchwork Foot #57 by keeping the edge of the fabric right against the right side of the foot, preventing fabric “peeking” or extending to the right of the foot which would cause the seam allowance to be inaccurate.
  • The seam guide also has a cutout toward the back to let it prevent it from coming in contact with the feed dog, preventing undue wear.

Patchwork Foot #97 foot represents a custom-fit solution to all the precision piecing challenges I had encountered as a quilter.

So by now it looks like all my wishes had come true as a quilter. But then . . .

Say hello to BERNINA Dual Feed!

With the advent of the BERNINA 8 Series in 2008, and now with the 7 and New 5 Series machines, we enjoy the benefits of dual feed on 9 mm machines. It’s like all-wheel drive for your quilt piecing.

  • It helps maintain a straight line as you sew along.
  • It helps prevent gapping when you butt you seam allowance and sew cross seams.
  • It plain just feeds better!

Our engineers went to work and created a “D” (dual feed) version of all 3 of our Patchwork Feet, giving us Patchwork Feet #37D / 57D / 97D.BERNINA Patchwork Feet 37 D 57 D and 97 DSo whatever your piecing style, you can still have your pick of feet. Personally, 97D is my favorite, hands down!

In closing, a friendly reminder from one quilter to another. For the most precise piecing when using a 1/4 inch foot, always use the Straight Stitch Plate on the machine I’m using. It supports even the finest fabric and is that pinch of salt that makes the outcome that much better.


And remember…Quilting Forever! Housework…Whenever!

Print this page

What you might also like

19 comments on “BERNINA Patchwork Feet”

  • Hi Sylvain! Polly Edwards here. I took the 880 plus workshop this past August with you and Susan. You were so helpful with every machine issue and question that I had. It was a phenomenal workshop in every way. I have struggled with the 37 patchwork foot on my 880, even with the single stitch throat plate. I will definitely be purchasing the 97D. I have another question though. I own an 820 and am struggling with the bobbin stopping the sewing process for no reason. I’ve tried various threads, have cleaned the machine as you instructed, etc etc. It will just randomly stop for no reason in the middle of sewing. If I hit the clear button it will start again and sew for a random time and stop again. Very frustrating. Before I take it in for servicing (it was recently serviced!) can you suggest trying anything else?
    Thank you!

    • Hi Polly,

      For your B 820: there are two things to check:

      1. That there is no lint in front of the lenses of the bobbin sensor inside the machine (they are located behind the feed dog, near the bottom of the free arm).

      2. If any of your bobbin’s reflectors (the radiating silver colored markings) is scratched off or buffed off, the bobbin sensor would be triggered.

      If these two conditions don’t apply to your machine, have your BERNINA technician look into the issue specifically. They will have a procedure to troubleshoot the issue.

      btw, you can’t go wrong with Foot # 97D. It hauls!


    • I have the 830 machine and it happens to me also. I asked my Bernina dealer, who is from Switzerland and used to work at Bernina (we are really happy to have such an experienced dealer!) why this happens. He said that the bobbins become damaged/scratched and they are no longer good. I am really careful with my bobbins and it makes me crazy that I have to throw so many away. Hope this helps.

        • Hello Sylvain, I have an Aurora 440 QE and recently purchased #14 however the dealer only had a 14D and said it would work. Is there any difference in using a C or D on my Bernina?

          • Hello mamawags, the “D” feet are only for use with the Dual Feed feature available with some of our BERNINA models. Your B 440 QE is not equipped with the Dual Feed, and you should choose a “C” foot with your model. All of the “D” feet for Dual Feed have a slot in the back of the foot made to accept the Dual Feed while sewing. When engaged, the Dual Feed acts as a helper to move the fabric along with the foot and the feed dogs on your machine.

        • OOPS!
          @nolandm48: I made a booboo! I’ve been working for the B 590 extensively lately and misread your machine number (time to check my bifocals 😉

          your B 580 does not have dual feed so for your machine the regular Foot # 97 (NOT D) will work fine.

    • Hello nolandm48, the Patchwork foot #97D, or any foot with the “D” notation, is for use only with Dual Feed. If your BERNINA model does not have the Dual Feed feature, these feet are not compatible with your model. Instead, you can use the Patchwork foot #97 if your machine is a 9mm width model, or the Patchwork foot #37 if your machine is a 5.5mm width model. You can always connect directly with your BERNINA store for personal help with questions about feet and accessories that will work with your model BERNINA.

  • Hello Silvain, I am trying to keep my feet – my sewing feet, in good condition as well as my physical ones and I am finding the ‘wardrobe’ supplied with my 790 is just not able to hold all my presser feet. I have added an extra bar from a previous Bernina wardrobe but I still have 3 feet lying loose. Its design with the slot for needles I feel is wasted space and would be better if the whole box was just for feet, or big enough to contain a more practical collection. I have 4 D feet, 3 C feet and 9 practical feet eg 22, 23, 71. This cannot be exceptional. Do you have any power—individual or collective, to encourage Bernina to make a more practical foot container? Looking online some of the other machine makes have foam shaped inserts for drawers which sound wonderful. I have received the large-bobbin box as a Christmas present and this has the shaped foam insert. Many thanks for an interesting article above.
    Newly signed in Dilly

  • I am looking at purchasing the 770QE. I love the idea of the dual feed on the 97 foot. My question is whether the 1/4 inch is a scant 1/4 with the use of the straight stitch plate or do you have to use the zig zag plate and manually move the needle over?
    I appreciate any insight you can give.

    • To obtain a scant 1/4″ seam using foot 97D is straightforward:

      * Set the machine up with the 97D foot and a Straight Stitch Throat Plate.

      * Guide the edge of the fabric to the inside of the 1/4″ etched line on the Throat Plate (so you should see the 1/4″ marking just past the right edge of your fabric).

      * Do not watch the edge of the foot: just watch the 1/4″ line on the plate and you always want to see it. This will give the perfect seam allowance.

      Credit goes to my colleague Nina McVeigh, our expert in all things quilting 🙂

  • I have a 550 QE that I absolutely love! I use the #37 patchwork foot routinely for piecing. I do a lot of Seminole patchwork that has lots of opportunities to use 3/4 inch wide strips that finish at 1/4 inch. A standard quarter inch foot allows for 1/4 inch clearance on both sides of the needle. Unfortunately, when working with 3/4 inch strips, the left side of the foot is ever so slightly too wide, and it interferes with the first 1/4 inch seam. What I really need is a quarter inch foot that is only 1/8 inch wide on the left side of the needle. I understand that I will not have maximum contact with the feed dogs, but I’ll be able to get a consistent finished 1/4 inch strip without fighting the first 1/4 inch seam on the left of the needle. Thanks so much.

    • Hello @mvwendell, our Patchwork foot #37 does indeed include a precice 1/8″ marking on the foot on either side of the needle. The small indentation inside the toe of each foot is there to align the edge of your fabric to sew an exact 1/8″ seam. You can also try moving your needle position one click to the left with this foot to make the 1/4″ seam slightly smaller (but be careful not to go beyond one click so that the needle doesn’t come in contact with the foot and break).

  • Hello! I don’t know if this site is still being monitored, but thought I would take a chance that it is! I love everything about my Bernina 770 QE. However, I do have an annoyance that I would like to ask about. 1. The last thread guide before the needle just does not work. I thread my machine, begin sewing, and before I can get the seamed sewed, the thread is out of the guide. I have asked my technician to check it time and time again, and the problem never gets resolved. Do you have an answer to why that keeps happening and how I can get it fixed? Thank You!
    2. I used an 80/12 size needle and aurifil 50 wt thread and the thread breaks often. Please tell me why and what I can do to stop this from happening.
    3. Is there something I need to know to make the needle threader work? Because of the trouble I have, I just thread manually and I’m afraid that with my eyesight, I won’t be able to keep doing this manually. Any help would be appreciated!
    Thank you very much for your help with these issues.

  • I use my B740 mostly for quilting. My favorite presser feet are the 97D, 20C to add decorative stitches to my quilts, walking foot #50 and the BSR. I also have been using the ruler foot. I only wish the BSR came with a ruler foot attachment. This is my first Bernina after 30 years of quilting and I absolutely love it and the informative videos. The thread tension is always perfect and all the different presser feet have made quilting stress free and more enjoyable.

Leave a Reply