Happy New Year!
Did you finish all your WIPs (works-in-progress) that you hoped to last year? Did you get all your projects done on your to-do list?
Confession: Several of my 2016 WIPs (one may have even been a 2015 project) have been moved over to my 2017 list. But that’s okay.
It’s at this time of year we reflect on what we’ve done; as well as amend and make new goals.
While I was going through my favourite finishes of 2016, I realized that I had a favourite “tool” in 2016.
As I’ve mentioned before, my love of sewing began when I was young. My mother loved to sew and was/is very talented. My interest in it ebbed and flowed – home ec in junior high, home decorating when I moved out and made things out of financial necessity over purchasing, and finally developing into something I truly love – making and creating for around the home, for friends, and as gifts.
Quilting is a relatively new endeavour (as in the past few years) and for some reason it wasn’t until recently that I developed an understanding and love for the walking foot attachment for my sewing machine.
This is the specialized walking foot from my Janome Skyline S7, the AcuFeed Flex foot. The walking foot for other machines may look and attach slightly different but they all function with the same principle: an extra set of fabric feeding teeth are added up top to help pull bulky, slippery, or difficult (think leather or pleather that can almost get “sticky”) fabrics through at the same rate as the feed dogs on the bottom move the fabric. The walking foot is sometimes known as the even feed foot.
I love how easily it is to attach this foot on the Janome Skyline S7.
But what I love most about this foot attachment is how easy it makes straight line quilting. I don’t know why it took me so long to discover AcuFeed or the walking foot – I actually struggled with quilting and the fabric puckering. I thought it had more to do with the way I was preparing my quilt sandwich (quilt top, batting and backing) but actually it was more about the bottom of the quilt moving at a different rate through the machine than the top.
When I finally pushed myself to use the walking foot it was such an amazing discovery. And I’ve found I don’t have to pin my quilt as intensely as I have been doing in the past (not my favourite part of the quite process).
I’m an avid stitch in the ditch’er.
And the walking foot makes this so easy to keep everything aligned.
My favourite part of the process is turning over my quilt and checking out how well everything stitched together on the quilt backing. A good or not-so-good quilt job is particularly evident on a solid colour backing.
I was really happy with this quilt. This backing looks puffy because I used a really dense 100% wool batting (which is currently my batting of choice and could be the subject of another blog post all together). But there wasn’t any unnecessarily pucking where the connections meet – which was ALWAYS a problem before I started using the walking foot attachment.
Do you use your walking foot for your sewing machine? Are you a stitch-in-the-ditch’er? What was your most used sewing tool or attachment in 2016? Any big plans for sewing and quilting projects in 2017?