Share this:

This tutorial is written by Emma Thompson, the founder of Sandpiper Sewing School in Milton Keynes based upon their popular walking foot class.

How to use your walking foot

The Walking Foot

The Walking foot, (also referred to as Even feed, or Duel feed foot) is a presser foot that helps prevent multiple layers of fabric slipping when they are sewn together.

The walking foot works by having it’s own set of feed dogs.  As your machine needle moves up & down, a lever which clips to the needle bar lets the walking foot’s feed dogs move/walk along the fabric, hence the name walking foot.  The fabric is therefore evenly fed through your machine.

How to use your walking foot


Some machines come with built in dual feed feet, these have different names (e.g. IDT, AcuFeed) depending on the sewing machine brand.

What do I use a walking foot for?


The walking foot can be used for any project where fabrics are likely to slip, and is most commonly used for:

  • Lighter weight knit fabrics, to prevent stretching
  • Perfect pattern matching e.g. on plaid fabrics
  • Quilting where it helps to ensure that the layers of a quilt do not shift when they are quilted together.

Using the Walking foot for quilting

The most commonly used methods for quilting with a walking foot are;

1.  “In the Ditch” in the seam

Using a walking foot for quilting


2.    Grid lines

Quilting gridlines with your walking foot


3.    Echo quilting around your blocks, as done around the friendship star block below;

Echo quilting with a walking foot

The walking foot also often has a guide bar to help you to keep an even distance between quilt lines.

Beginners guide to using your walking foot  Guide from Sand Piper Sewing


There are lots of creative ways you can use your walking foot for quilting using your machine’s practical and decorative stitches.  For example;

Running Stitch / Serpentine Stitch

Sewing wavy lines with a walking foot


If your machine doesn’t have this stitch you could you the 3 step Zig Zag which gives you a pointy version of this effect.

Gentle curves work really well with the walking foot, grab some graph paper and plan out some patterns.  Here’s some ideas for you:

 Quilting designs which can be done with your walking foot


This tutorial was written by Emma Thompson who runs Sandpiper Sewing, sewing tuition in Milton Keynes.   Emma blogs at


How to sew quilt binding with your sewing machine  How to sew ruffles with a ruffler foot Overedge foot tutorial