Following on from last week’s blog, I am focusing on starting your quilting journey with your walking foot this week. Here is a list of my favourite beginner-friendly walking foot quilting designs for you to practise. The practice session aims to get you started and not worry about all the finer points of quilting. If you worry too much, you will never begin. Let’s start with a few tips.
Before You Get Started
Set your walking foot up, making sure that the arm sits above the needle screw. Not all walking feet have arms, but many do. Create five wadding sandwiches and draw a 12″ chalk box on each one. You will be practising your beginner-friendly quilting designs within these boxes.
When starting a quilting line, bring the bobbin thread up to the top of your work by holding the top thread, dropping the needle down into the fabric and back up again. Then pull the top thread, and the bobbin thread will appear. Moving the bobbin thread away from your work base stops it from creating a thread nest underneath your work.
Start your quilting with a handful of tiny stitches (stitch length below 1) before adjusting the stitch length to around 2.5. Similarly, when finishing a design, reduce the stitch length for the last few stitches. By doing this at the beginning and end of the sewing, the thread is less likely to unravel.
Design 1 – Straight Parallel Lines
This design aims to look at the size of your stitches and help you guide the stitching. As you start to sew, check that the stitches are not too small or too large. They should look like your regular sewing. Practise using the walking foot’s side to line up with the last stitched line. This will keep the sewn lines at the same distance apart.
Design 2 – Wiggly Lines
This design aims to show you how great relaxed wiggles can look. Quilting doesn’t have to be hard to precise or complicated. Way more important is that you enjoy doing it.
Design 3 – Double-Line Grid
With this design, we are practising sewing on chalk lines and sewing lines of stitches very close together, Start this design by drawing a grid, Sew on top of a grid line and then a fraction to one side. Move onto the next line and repeat. Do this both horizontally and vertically.
Design 4 – Curved Cross-Hatch
Design 4 is no more than Design 1 but on a curve. Sew a line from one side to the other of your sewn box but make it an s shape. Now echo this, using the edge of your walking foot again. Once you have finished, turn your fabric around by 90 degrees and repeat.
Design 5 – Chevrons
This design will help you practise turning on a precise point. Draw parallel lines across your practice piece, 3″ apart. Mark dots across each line which are 1 ½” apart. Sew a zig-zag up and down across each set of parallel lines moving from left to right and up and down using these marks. It is a good idea also to try echoing these lines to see how this works for you.
I hope you enjoy these designs. If you would like to learn more, why don’t you join my next online beginner’s quilting day class?