There are a number of specialist feet that can be used to help you if you are a keen patchworker – both at the piecing stage and particularly when it comes to quilting. Let’s take a look at what feet are available.
Please note we have used Janome sewing machines who kindly provided some of the specialist feet to illustrate this article – check your own model and make for similar feet.
Best sewing machine feet for piecing
When piecing your patchwork, it is really important to get a perfect 1/4″ seam so that your pieces will fit together correctly. Janome have a 1/4″ piecing foot that I use on my own drop-in bobbin machine and it has a black bar running down the right-hand side that you line up perfectly with the edge of your fabrics to give the perfect 1/4” seam. Janome produce different feet depending on whether your machine has a front-loading or top-loading bobbin, so please check carefully before ordering.
If you have the Janome MC9400QCP or MC9450QCP the HP2 foot is a quarter an inch foot with integrated waking foot, ideal for both piecing and quilting. Read more about it at the bottom of this post.
Sewing machine feet for Quilting
If you are serious about quilting, you will really need to invest in a walking foot, otherwise referred to as an even-feed or dual-feed foot, to help you when you quilt. These specialist feet have built-in feed dogs that have the effect of feeding the quilted fabric layers through the machine without shifting or puckering and taking all the layers in unison. Again, check what type of walking foot you will need for your machine. Most of these feet will be supplied with a quilting guide to allow you to space your lines evenly as you sew.
We have a handy post showing you the many things you can do with your walking foot.
If you are fortunate to own a Janome Horizon 7700QCP or Janome 6600P machine, then there is a special system called AcuFeed for which you can get specialist feet for quilting. I am fortunate in owning a Horizon 7700QCP and the AcuFeed foot is attached via the usual screw system. The dual feed teeth are located within the machine and are pulled down from the upper rear of the machine and ‘locked’ in place with the AcuFeed foot to give you the dual-feed function for quilting or thick fabrics. The Horizon 7700QCP comes complete with the specialist needleplate that has a small hole preventing the fabric being sucked under. If you own a 6600P, you can purchase the special needleplate separately.
You can buy a 1/4” AcuFeed foot – I use this foot particularly when adding binding to a quilt as it provides the 1/4” seam you need for the edge whilst providing the dual-feed motion when sewing through thick layers of a quilt. As for the other 1/4” foot, there is a black bar at the right-hand edge for you to line up with the edge of your fabric layers.
Janome have added a ditch quilting foot to the AcuFeed range and this is invaluable when you are choosing to quilt ‘in the ditch’. The foot has a central bar that you can run along your seam line to get the perfect quilting line.
Remember other manufacturers will produce similar feet, so check what’s available for your own make and model of machine.