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  • Irina

Tip Monday: Quilter´s Arsenal

When it comes to quilting, having the right foot for the sewing machine can make all the difference in your project's outcome. Manufacturers offer a variety of feet for quilting that cater to different needs, from free-motion quilting to precision piecing. Choosing the right quilting foot for the job ensures accurate stitching and perfect seams, which is crucial for getting the best results. In this blog post, I will explore the various quilting feet that I use on my Pfaff Quilt Expression 720. As a Pfaff ambassador, I specifically focus on Pfaff accessories, but I would like to note that other manufacturers likely offer similar quilting feet for their machines. I also included the SKU numbers for the feet in case you would like to get some. Please check the compatibility of the foot with your sewing machine before ordering.

Piecing feet

Precise quarter-inch seams are essential for achieving accurate patterns and aligning fabric in patchwork projects. The 1/4-inch foot helps maintain consistent seam allowances and allows stitching more efficiently and with greater control, ensuring your seams are neat and uniform throughout your sewing projects.

Having a 1/4-inch foot in your sewing toolkit can greatly enhance the quality and accuracy of your work, especially when working on projects that require precise seam allowances. There are a few options available for Pfaff sewing machines.

The 1/4 inch Quilting Foot (820926096), Metal

This foot comes with any quilting model of a Pfaff sewing machine, be it the Quilt Ambition or Quilt Expression series.

The clearance between the needle and the outer edge of the foot is 1/4 inch (6.3mm), and between the needle and the inner edge of the foot is 1/8 inch (3.15mm).

I use this foot a lot for sewing, as it provides consistent seam allowances. But for precision sewing, I get better results with the Perfect 1/4" foot that has the flange on the side (see below).

The Perfect 1/4" Foot with Guide (821063096)

I have had this foot for a few years and I have been very pleased with it. In my personal opinion this extra accessory is a must if you struggle with precision sewing.

The foot has a little metal blade (flange) on the right that helps align the fabric and achieve a 1/4" or scant 1/4" (<6 mm, just a thread or two shy of the measurement) seam allowance. All you need to do is simply keep the fabric edge next to the guide. Since the needle hole in the foot is oval shaped, it allows you to adjust the needle position (for example, to move the needle to the right to decrease the seam allowance or to the left to increase it).

This foot also comes in handy for quilting and top stitching, as you can use the guide to precisely position your stitching on blocks, garments, or home décor projects.

The clear version of that presser foot is also available (the Clear 1/4" Right Guide Foot (820881096)). The needle hole in the foot is round (similar to the regular 1/4 inch metal quilting foot), meaning that you can´t adjust the needle position.

Quilting feet

Here are the options to use with the IDT system (feed dogs are engaged). All the feet listed below are extra accessories.

Clear Stitch in the ditch foot (821143096)

This foot is a must have for quilters.

I have had mine for years and found it to be very useful and versatile. I use it for quilting and outlining piecing lines. It gives excellent visibility, and the little metal blade/guide at the bottom rides smoothly over the seam and gives perfect stitching "in the ditch." Stitching on the same line has never been as easy as with this little accessory. This video shows the foot in action.

I also use this foot when I need to stitch very close to the seam (for example, when attaching binding by machine or zipper, as in the photo below). The blade just glides against the binding, and you can get the seam as close to the binding as possible.

Adjustable Guide Foot (820677096)

This extra accessory is a complete game changer for grid quilting or getting evenly spaced lines.

If you have followed me for a while, you know how much I love grid and cross hatch quilting😊 From my experience, it is not easy to mark grids precisely. Even the thickness of your marker can contribute to the accuracy of your marking. This foot allows for evenly spaced lines without extra marking. You can see the video here.

Multi-Line Decorative Foot (821082096)

Another great accessory if you like adding fancy stitches to your quilting projects. This foot helps create evenly spaced, parallel rows of decorative stitches.

The vertical guidelines are to evenly space rows; the horizontal guidelines help to match your starting points and accurately turn corners at 1/4" (6 mm) and 1/2" (12 mm) intervals.

This foot is 2" wide and has 1/4" (6 mm) and 1/2" (12 mm) and 3/4" (1.9 cm) markings. It is also very helpful when sewing Maxi stitches (including monograms).

Free motion quilting feet

In free motion quilting (FMQ), the feed dogs are lowered automatically (on Pfaff Quilt Expression 720), and you move the fabric manually with your hands. You need to select the free motion quilting mode depending on the foot you use. The IDT system is disengaged.

Sensormatic free motion foot (820671096)

This presser foot comes with any model of Pfaff sewing machine. It is a clear darning foot for stippling and free-motion embroidery. I used that foot when I was a complete beginner in FMQ, and I believe that was a reason why I was unsuccessful.

The Sensormatic Foot is intended for fast sewing, and beginners are afraid to sew fast. If you are sewing at a medium-to-fast sewing speed, you get a more consistent stitch length; sewing too slowly may cause small knots to appear on the reverse side of your work. It happens because at lower speeds, the presser foot raises and lowers with each stitch, holding the fabric on the stitch plate while the stitch is formed. As you increase the speed, the presser foot floats over the fabric, making it easier for you to glide across with your stitches.

Just like any other free motion quilting foot, the sensormatic free motion quilting foot requires presser foot height adjustment depending on the thickness of a quilt sandwich and thread tension adjustments based on the weight of the thread used. It should be used in sensormatic mode only.

Dynamic Spring Foot 6D (820991096)

I highly recommend getting the 6D foot if you would like to learn free motion quilting. I got much better results in stitching quality and less tension issues with this foot compared to the sensormatic one.

The manual says that the Dynamic Spring foot measures the fabric thickness and will raise and lower with each stitch to hold the fabric on the needle plate while the stitch is being formed. So, basically, there are fewer tension problems with the spring foot because the spring action actually holds the fabric down when the stitch is being made, giving you more control over your sewing. The 6D foot provides good visibility in spite of the fact it is not an open toe foot because the front of the foot is slightly raised.

Here is a short video that shows quilting pebbles using the 6D foot.

You have to set the machine in Dynamic Spring Foot 6D mode.

Free Motion Ruler Foot ( 821164096)

Based on my experience, I can say that using a ruler foot for FMQ is a game-changer. With this foot, you can achieve excellent results on your quilting projects. The beauty of it is that you can seamlessly transition between free motion quilting and ruler work using just one foot. This versatility not only saves time but also allows for more creative possibilities in your quilting designs. I got this foot in 2019 when I had a Pfaff quilt expression 4.2, and it has become my favorite foot for FMQ. You can read more about the ruler foot, ruler work , set up for free motion quilting and quilting rulers on my blog.

The ruler foot has a round, thick base. The perfectly circular shape allows you to consistently sew 1/4" away from the edges of your ruler. The red markings on the foot indicate the vertical and horizontal centres of the foot, making it easy to align the foot and the ruler when quilting. You need to set the machine in Ruler foot mode.

In this video you can see an example of quilting with rulers.

Here is a fragment of my quilt, "Christmas Stars," that has a combination of free motion quilting and ruler work using the ruler foot.

I highly recommend getting the ruler foot if you are planning to do both free motion quilting and ruler work on your projects.

Free-Motion Echo Quilting Foot (821002096)

The Free-motion Echo Quilting foot is designed to give you more control when free-motion quilting because of the vertical, horizontal, and circular markings on the base.

Those markings make it easy to follow a continuous-line quilting pattern or design on the fabric. You can sew straight lines or echo the patterns with rounded edges in any direction. Let the red markings on the foot guide you to keep the spacing even. The large transparent base ensures good surface contact with the fabric and provides better control of the stitching as well as great visibility. You need to set your sewing machine to Sensormatic free-motion mode.

I haven´t tried this foot on a big project yet, only on a test piece, and I found it easy to use. I am planning to quilt the "Sunflowers" top as it has appliqué. Echo quilting is great for the appliqué designs. I will be sharing more once I start quilting.

I hope you find this information useful and that you will explore the versatility and functionality of different quilting feet to enhance the quilting experience and elevate your quilting game to the next level.

A special thank you to Pfaff Suomi for providing the accessories for my Pfaff Quilt Expression 720 and continuously inspiring me to learn new things!

Happy Quilting!❤

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