Looking to take your quilting game to the next level? When you first purchase a sewing machine, it typically comes with a variety of feet for different types of sewing projects.
However, if you’re planning on quilting with your machine, having the right feet can make all the difference. That’s why I’m here to share with you the best sewing machine feet for quilting.
In this post, we’ll explore the different types of sewing machine feet that are essential for quilt making.
Each foot offers unique benefits and features that can help you create more precise and professional-looking quilts.
By investing in the right feet, you can save time and frustration while achieving better results.
So whether you’re a beginner quilter or a seasoned pro, read on to learn about the best sewing machine feet for quilting, why they’re important, and how they can take your quilting to the next level.
- What Are The Different Sewing Machine Feet for Quilting Used For?
- What Sewing Machine Foot is Best for Quilting?
- Sewing Machine Foot for Quilting: 9 Must-Have Machine Feet
What Are The Different Sewing Machine Feet for Quilting Used For?
There are a lot of different sewing machine feet out there.
It can feel a bit overwhelming when you’re starting out and figuring out what you need for your sewing projects.
Most sewing machines come with several feet you can use for quilting, but let’s go over the different feet and their uses, so you know what to look for.
- ¼” Seam foot: This foot is used when you are piecing quilt blocks together. The foot has a convenient ¼” width between the needle and the right edge of the foot, which helps you have perfect ¼” seams.
- Walking foot: The walking foot has a mechanism that works with your feed dogs to feed the quilt through the machine evenly. If you want straight-line quilting, a walking foot will help tremendously with feeding the thick quilt sandwich through the sewing machine.
- Darning foot: This foot was initially made to help with free-motion embroidery, but you can use it for FMQ (free-motion quilting.)
- Open Toe FMQ foot: This foot looks a lot like a regular darning foot, except it has an open toe that allows you to see exactly where your stitches are going. This is a great option for intricate FMQ.
- Closed Toe FMQ foot: The closed-toe foot is the same as the open-toe except the toe is closed. This is still a great option for FMQ and the type of foot I use for all my FMQ.
- FMQ Ruler foot: Incredible FMQ rulers are available that guide you to create beautiful quilted motifs. To use these rulers, you need a special FMQ ruler foot with a taller “toe” that presses up against the sides of the ruler. You need one of these feet to use FMQ rulers properly.
What Sewing Machine Foot is Best for Quilting?
The best quilting foot depends on your favorite quilting style. You should use a walking foot if you love modern and angular straight-line quilting. However, you can’t use a walking foot for FMQ.
The same goes for a darning foot or open-toe foot. Creating perfectly straight stitches using one of these feet would be challenging. The best quilting foot for sewing machine quilting will depend on your desired quilting style.
Sewing Machine Foot for Quilting: 9 Must-Have Machine Feet
Now, let’s look at some specific feet that are great for machine quilting. Before purchasing a “universal” sewing machine foot, I recommend checking to see if the foot is compatible with your machine.
1. Singer ¼” Piecing Foot
Here is an excellent option for a ¼” seam allowance foot that works with most low-shank machines. This snap-on foot is easy to install and switch out when you need to switch to a different foot.
Since Singer makes this foot, you can be confident it is of good quality and has an accurate ¼” seam allowance. You can use this foot for the following tasks:
- Piece together quilt blocks
- Straight-line quilt (though I recommend using a walking foot instead)
- Attach the binding
This type of foot is a staple for any quilter, and if your machine didn’t come with it, I highly recommend purchasing one.
2. Brother Walking Foot
Brother is another well-known and respected brand in the sewing world, and their walking foot is an excellent choice for many low-shank machines. This foot will work seamlessly with your feed dogs to evenly feed your quilt sandwich through your machine.
They recommend using this foot for quilting, sewing slippery fabrics such as silk, or matching up prints. You can also use a walking foot for attaching the binding to your quilts.
We recommend purchasing a walking foot from a well-known company. Other companies use cheaper materials, and they won’t last long. The walking foot should be a workhorse, so it should be sturdy and heavy. You don’t want it to fall apart after just a few uses.
3. Janome Even Feed Foot
Here is another low-shank machine option by Janome, another popular sewing machine brand, especially among quilters. This foot works on low-shank drop-in bobbin Janome machines.
This walking foot also comes with a detachable guide that you can use to sew parallel lines on your quilts without having to mark them all over your quilt top. This guide can be helpful for straight-line quilting, and you can adjust the width of the guide.
4. Universal Darning Foot
This universal darning foot should work on most (if not all) low-shank sewing machines. It’s a great choice since it’s an all-metal foot with a low price tag.
You can use this foot for embroidery and quilting, and it is a great choice for a beginner quilter who doesn’t want to invest a bunch of money into specialty feet just yet. Since this is a universal foot, it should fit low-shank machines from the following sewing machine brands:
You just need to ensure your machine is a low-shank machine. To determine this, lower your presser foot and measure from the center of the thumb screw to the sewing machine’s bed. If it is ½” or less, it is a low shank. Most domestic sewing machines are low-shank.
5. Universal Open-Toe Foot
This foot is pretty much the same as #4. The only difference is the “toe” of the foot is open. Having an open toe gives you more visibility for what you are sewing.
This is helpful when you are doing intricate FMQ or following the pattern of fabric for “thread painting.” The hoop of the toe is a large 12mm, so you’ll be able to see precisely what you are doing while FMQ.
This foot is another universal low-shank machine option, so double-check if your machine is a low-shank machine.
6. Clear Plastic Closed-Toe Foot
If you prefer using a closed-toe foot but still want to see exactly what you are doing while you FMQ or add embroidery elements to your quilts, this clear plastic closed-toe foot will work great for you.
It’s a great choice since the entire foot is metal except for the plastic toe, allowing you to see the fabric under the foot clearly. The company provides tutorial videos and set-up instructions to make getting started with this foot a breeze.
This is another low-shank sewing machine foot and works with many brands such as Janome, Singer, Brother, Elna, Kenmore, Simplicity, and the Bernette New Home series.
7. Low Shank FMQ Ruler Foot
If you purchase any FMQ rulers, you will need an FMQ Ruler foot to go along with them. I’ve tried using the rulers without the unique foot, and it is nearly impossible not to have the foot slide under the template and mess up the quilting design.
This foot has a tall “toe,” which allows the template to rest against the side of the foot to ensure you create even and beautiful quilting motifs with ease. This foot is specifically designed for low-shank machines and is made from high-quality stainless steel to last years of quilting.
8. High Shank FMQ Ruler Foot
This FMQ Ruler foot is the same as #7, except this is the option for high-shank machines. Follow these simple steps to determine if your sewing machine is a high-shank machine.
- Lower your presser foot
- Measure from the thumb screw to the bed of the sewing machine
- If the measurement is 1”, then it is a high-shank machine.
- If it is ½”, it is a low-shank machine.
You use this foot the same way you would a low-shank ruler foot, and it will help you create beautiful FMQ designs without the hassle of learning the specific movements for each design.
9. Universal FMQ Foot Set
If you can’t decide which FMQ foot you want to try out, whether it be a darning foot, open-toe, or plastic toe, you’re in luck because I found a set that includes all three. With this set, you can try out all three options and determine which one you like the best.
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There is no right or wrong foot for FMQ; it comes down to personal preference, and all three options are fantastic. These feet should fit most low-shank machines. However, I will add none of these are meant to be used FMQ rulers, so if you want to try those as well, you’ll need to purchase either #7 or #8, depending on the shank height of your machine.
We hope this collection of quilting feet for sewing machines was helpful and it cleared up any confusion you may have had about them. Remember to test things out, figure out what works best for YOU, and have fun!
About the author: Miriam Ronne is a lover of all things quilting and sewing. She is a self-taught quilter and is constantly learning and broadening her skill set to create one-of-a-kind quilts! When she’s not behind her sewing machine you can find her playing with her fur babies or trying her hand at other crafty things.