2 reasons to use the Dual Feed Foot (Walking Foot)

Welcome back to another week of fun with the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 960Q. This is such an awesome sewing machine and I can’t get enough of it.

This time, we’re going to explore some techniques that use different presser feet and how each, along with the features of Sapphire 960Q, make some sewing tasks that much easier to do.

Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 960Q

Organizing your presser feet

Like everything else in our sewing rooms, we need to keep our presser feet organized. We start off small with only the presser feet that come with our sewing machines and they fit nicely into the sewing machine accessory box.

At some point when you start buying more presser feet (and trust me – you will), you’ll no longer have enough room to keep them in that accessory box and you’ll end up with a mess like this.

A mess of sewing machine presser feet

I found this little plastic container which has worked wonders for keeping all my presser feet contained in one spot. Notice that I even have a screwdriver that fits in the box so when I need it, I don’t have to hunt for one.

This box has served me well. While there’s no room in the box to keep the labels that come with the various feet, I keep them in that messy drawer. I’ve used these feet so often, that I know what each one is called and what each one supposed to be used for. Well for the most part!

You must take very good care of a little box like this because it’s worth a lot of money. I can’t imagine what it would cost to replace the contents! Like all of my tools, I make sure that I return the presser feet to the box so when I’m looking for a particular foot, I know where to find it.

And then, very importantly, this box ALWAYS goes in a special place so I know where the box is at all times. I can’t say that enough – there’s nothing like trying to find a particular presser foot to do the job and you can’t find the box, so you substitute (or buy a new foot) and then realize how much easier the job is if you have the correct presser foot.

Storage box for sewing machine presser feet

If you want to keep the little labels that come with the presser feet, I found this different type of storage container which I purchased from my Husqvarna Viking dealer. It’s called the Deluxe Presser Foot Case. There’s a pouch for each type of presser foot and room to store the little label that comes with it. That packaging label also shows the instructions for using the foot. For some feet, you probably don’t need the instructions, especially if it’s one that you use often, but there are others that get used less frequently and it’s nice to have a reminder how to use them.

There’s also a spot if you’re handy with making labels or you can print labels on the computer, where you can insert the name of the foot. What I like about this storage system, is that it’s easy to store the duplicate feet in the same spot. Yes – I have duplicate feet – some of the purchases were intentional and some were not! It’s also easy to flip through the pages to see what you have. Now to get rid of the mess in that drawer and put those feet in my new Deluxe Presser Foot Case.

Storage binder for presser feet

The Interchangeable Dual Feed Foot

The Interchangeable Dual Feed Foot is often called the walking foot. And most people associate it with stitch in the ditch quilting. Wait – there’s a sample in a minute!

Our sewing machines have a set of feed teeth in the bed of the sewing  machine that helps to feed the fabric evenly under the presser foot. This works well for the bottom layer, but there’s nothing to help the top layer move along. The Dual Feed Foot has a set of feed teeth on the underside of the foot that helps move the top layer along as the same rate as the bottom layer of fabric.

Now, you may be asking, “Why don’t I use a foot that helps move that top layer along for all seams?”. Unless you’re working with multiple layers such as quilting a quilt or stitching long stretches of fabric that you’re not pinning, like stitching two parts of a quilt backing together, there isn’t really a need to use the Dual Feed Foot. When it comes to the long seams for a border, I always pin that seam so I’m controlling both layers with the pins. The shorter seams that we stitch are short enough that they don’t get out of whack like the longer ones do and so it isn’t necessary to use the Dual Feed Foot.

Using the Dual Feed Foot to piece a quilt backing

Before we sew that quilt backing together, let’s look at how to prep those backing pieces.

The first thing to do when prepping a quilt backing is to remove the selvages from the edges we’re going to sew.

The easiest way to remove the selvages is to open up the backing fabric and then refold it so that one selvage is now parallel to itself. Depending on the length, you may have to fold the fabric twice so you now have four layers of fabric with one selvage parallel to itself on all layers. I don’t like to cut through more than four layers at a time, so if the quilt backing is big, you may have to slide that ruler along the edge to cut all the selvage off.

Then very carefully and with my large rotary cutter and a ruler, I cut through all layers and remove that selvage. (Yes – I need to get a new cutting mat!)

Removing the selvage using a large rotary cutter and a ruler

Depending on how I’m piecing the backing, I’ll only remove ONE selvage from this first piece as the second selvage will be along the outside of the quilt backing.

Then I must remove one selvage from the second piece of backing and I usually remove the opposite selvage from the first one I removed. So if I removed the selvage with the writing on the first piece, then I remove the selvage without the writing on the second piece. If there’s any kind of nap or direction to the print, you will now have them going in the same direction when they’re sewn together.

Many people do not realize that the selvages are there for manufacturing purposes only. The weave on those selvages is quite a bit tighter and it doesn’t sew or wash the same as the rest of the fabric. It’s best to remove it.

Removing the second selvedge

Next up is to put the Interchangeable Dual Feed Foot on the Sapphire 960Q. It’s easy to put the Dual Feed Foot on, but I do need my screwdriver as I have to remove the presser foot ankle. Since I’m organized and I know where the screwdriver and the Dual Feed Foot is, this is an easy task.

TIP Make sure that the U-Shaped arm on the Dual Feed Foot is around the needle clamp (the screw that holds the needle in place). If the U-Shaped arm isn’t properly fitted, you’ll have a mess.

The Interchangeable Dual Feed Foot

I love the fact that this Dual Feed Foot has interchangeable presser feet. I can pick the one that’s most appropriate for the job at hand. I’m going to show you the difference in a few minutes.

For stitching my quilt backing together, I’m working with the Changeable Straight Stitch Foot and for the purpose of sewing my backing, that works just fine.

Changeable Straight Stitch Foot

Line up the two quilt backing pieces so the two edges you’re sewing together are the ones that you removed the selvedges from.  I like to sew the quilt backing with a very generous seam and I can use the guide on the stitch plate to keep the seam even.

Is there a reason for making an extra wide seam? I’m not sure – it’s just habit. And by the way, I press that seam to one side rather than open. I usually press all my seams to one side on the top, so why not on the back as well.

I’m a creature of habit, I like consistency in what I do. Then I don’t have to think as I’m working. My hands automatically do the same thing and that makes me happy!

Sewing the quilt backing together using the seam guide on the stitch plate

Why do I use the Dual Feed Foot to sew the backing together?

This is a very long seam and since I don’t pin those two backing pieces together (although they have been cut to the same length), there’s the possibility that the top piece will shift since there are no feed teeth to control what happens to it. Using the Dual Feed Foot allows both layers to be fed evenly and the two backing pieces will remain the same length as you can see in the photo above.

Did you notice that my backing has a diagonal stripe on it? Now you’re asking yourself, “Did she match up that stripe?” The answer is NO. Life is too short to be worried about joining up a stripe, especially on the backing of an everyday quilt. Now if that quilt were going to be entered into a competition, I would definitely take the time to match it up. But for an everyday quilt – I don’t see the reason to frustrate myself on a detail that no one is going to notice. I don’t have the patience, and I don’t want to waste the time. I want to get onto the next project.

However, if it’s going to bother you that the stripe doesn’t match – then I’d pick a different fabric for the backing. Like I said, life is too short to worry about this kind of detail! Before you start to fuss, think about two things – who is the recipient and what will the quilt be used for. And then you can make a decision if you need to fuss.

I know my friends would be shocked. At least, those that I started to quilt with many years ago. I used to fuss over every little detail and every point had to match. While I aim for accuracy, I don’t fuss nearly as much and quilting is a whole lot more enjoyable because of that!

Stripe on the backing doesn’t match and that’s OK

Stitch in the Ditch quilting

The most common use for the Dual Feed Foot is “stitch in the ditch” quilting. Yes – there’s a picture coming up!

I started out by using the Changeable Straight Stitch Foot on the Dual Feed Foot. I know – too lazy to change the foot and I wanted to see how it worked for this task. Yikes – that was a little hard to see exactly where I was supposed to be stitching. Let’s try something different.

Very difficult to see where the ditch is for quilting

Much easier to see where the ditch is for quilting

By putting the Changeable Zigzag Foot on the Dual Feed Foot, I now get a clear view of where the ditch is for quilting. It’s fabulous to have these two options.

If you’re not familiar with what stitch in the ditch quilting is – you can see an example in the picture below, I’ve stitched in the vertical seam between the black and yellow fabric. When the stitching is done well, you can’t see it. If you look at the left-hand side of the horizontal seam, you can see where my stitching didn’t quite make the ditch. I was using invisible thread so it doesn’t really show except when I’m pointing it out to you in an enlarged photo!

Stitch in the ditch quilting

There you have it – a very valuable tip on protecting your presser feet investment and how you can save money by not purchasing duplicates. Also, two different ways to use your Interchangeable Dual Feed Foot. Of course, using the features on the Husqvarna Viking Sapphire 960Q  made these jobs very easy. I’ll be back tomorrow with another way to use the Interchangeable Dual Feed Foot and more great tips. Have a great day! Ciao!

PS – I’m off to try and add a few more presser feet (and labels) to my Deluxe Presser Foot Case.

This is part 1 of 5 in this series.
Go to part 2:  2 ways to machine stitch a binding on a quilt

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Tips for using the free motion foot

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Claire Bolt March 26, 2016 - 9:04 am
Loved the rag quilt tutorial!
Allison CB March 22, 2016 - 10:30 am
Walking feet are hard to beat!! :)
Elaine Theriault March 22, 2016 - 6:33 pm
Yes - hard to beat that walking foot! Enjoy and thanks for following QUILTSocial. Elaine
Claire Sutherland March 22, 2016 - 2:37 am
Loving the presses foot case. Didn't know such a thing existed x
Elaine Theriault March 22, 2016 - 5:13 am
Claire - you're most welcome. I do love that case and now I MUST get all my feet in there. Thanks for following QUILTSocial. Elaine
Rebecca KLAIBER March 7, 2017 - 4:48 am
I didn't either and am definitely going to buy it. Want the instructions!
Vicki H March 21, 2016 - 10:19 pm
Lots of great information in this post. Thanks.
Elaine Theriault March 22, 2016 - 5:14 am
Vicki - you're most welcome. Glad we can offer you some great tips. Thanks for following us on QUILTSocial. Elaine
Linda Webster March 21, 2016 - 4:10 pm
Thanks for all the great tips!
Elaine Theriault March 22, 2016 - 5:15 am
Linda - you're very welcome. It's my pleasure to share my knowledge. And thanks for following us on QUILTSocial. Elaine
VickiT March 21, 2016 - 12:11 pm
I absolutely love your reading your blog because you give such great info about the sewing machines in such detail. And other things as well which you write about such as this post are just as informative. Thank you. I have 3 Viking machines and 2 of the foot storage bags. One I got as a bonus for buying my machine in a campaign they had when buying the previously used machines along with a nice wheeled storage cart for my machine too. The second foot storage bag came with my 2nd machine which was also a used machine. This one came with that machine from the previous owner along with some of the feet she had already which weren't going to be usable with her new Viking machine. I actually have both those bags full of feet now; or almost full. There may be about 3-4 spots left, but I'm not sure what I'll use next OR maybe I should admit that I have an addiction to buying them instead? LOL I did purchase the Interchangeable Dual Feed Foot and some of the extra feet which are used with that foot at the same time I bought the foot. I went home and used it and decided I didn't like it because those feet are so much wider than most others. But, I tried using it again and decided after forcing myself to use that instead of the other Walking foot I had and because I had to change feet a few times during the sewing of what I was working on that day, I decided that the Interchangeable Dual Feed Foot was SO nice because it was easy to change the feet and not have to remove the walking foot like I would have had to do to change feet. With the Interchangeable Dual Feed Foot, it was super fast and just a matter of pulling the one off and sliding the other on and off I was sewing again right away. Thanks for doing such great reviews and informative posts about the tools we have available for our machines.
Elaine Theriault March 22, 2016 - 5:20 am
Vicki - sounds like you are addicted to the Viking machines and those presser feet! (like myself). Yes - having the ability to change the feet on the Interchangeable Dual Feed Foot instead of changing the entire foot is a time saver. I love it for that fact. Funny how we are reluctant to change and when we give those new things a whirl - things are a whole lot easier! So glad you are enjoying the information in the posts. And if there is anything specifically that you'd like me to cover, let me know. Thanks for following QUILTSocial. Elaine
Kathy E. March 21, 2016 - 10:04 am
I love every post you add for the Viking Sapphire. It is my main sewing machine too and there are lots of features on it that I haven't used, including the dual foot you've explained here! I need to get an organizer like you have to store my machine feet in. It would make it so much easier to find what I'm looking for and also remind me that I have one, so I don't buy duplicates!
Carla A. Canonico March 21, 2016 - 11:25 am
Thank you for your comment Kathy, so good to know you're enjoying our informative posts! Organizing our sewing tools always helps, particularly in not loosing any!
Nancy Giese March 21, 2016 - 8:24 am
thanks so much for the information!
Elaine Theriault March 22, 2016 - 5:20 am
Nancy - you are very welcome and thanks for following QUILTSocial. Elaine
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