Successful quilts contain lots of ingredients and we’ve discovered having the right foot for the job is one of those ingredients. We’ve put together the list below to help you understand some of those choices. Most of us do not need to own all of these feet, but it’s a great idea to become familiar with what they can do for your quilting! You can certainly use a Standard foot (the one that comes on the machine) for piecing, but you will definitely need a special foot for the actual quilting process, such as an Even Feed foot and/or Darning foot. Many of our Janome machines include an even-feed foot, walking foot, and/or darning foot. Several models include the Acu-feed system as well which is a built-in feeding system that will knock your socks off!
A. Quarter Inch Seam foot – The standard seam allowance in quilting is ¼”. Accuracy is vital when piecing a quilt top. This foot makes that process very easy. We’ve found plenty of other uses for it too!
B. Even Feed foot (or Walking foot) – Another foot that has plenty of uses. It has a separate set of feed dogs built in that help feed the fabric layers in conjunction with the feed dogs on the machine. You are essentially feeding from both the top and the bottom at once as you sew. It’s ideal for difficult fabric types or bulky layers. We use it for stitching through the layers of a quilt.
C. Even Feed foot – Open Toe – This is the exact same foot as above, but the front of the foot is open so you can see exactly where you are stitching.
D. Darning (or Free Motion foot) – Unlike the Even Feed foot, this foot works without the feed dogs. It’s used for what’s called “Free Motion Quilting,” a technique used to stitch through the layers of a quilt. You drop the feed dogs of your machine or cover them with a Darning plate, depending on the type of machine you own. Then, you move the quilt around under the needle, instead of the machine feeding it for you. Some people describe it as “moving the paper under the pencil, instead of moving the pencil.”
E. Darning foot Open Toe – Again, this is the exact same foot as above, but open so you can see precisely where the needle is penetrating the fabric layers.
F. Ditch Quilting foot – A term you often hear in quilting (and other forms of sewing) is “stitching in the ditch.” The built-in guide on this foot helps you to stay in the ditch and stitch accurately along the seamline.
G. Appliqué foot – A historical, and still quite popular, form of quilting is appliqué. Although it can be done by hand, appliquéing by machine is much faster. This foot is clear, and specially designed to go around all kinds of shapes.
Stop by to see one of our Janome Specialists and we’ll help you put your foot wardrobe together. You and your quilts will be glad that you did!