Tag Archives: Jacquie Gering

“Walk: Master Machine Quilting With Your Walking Foot” Review

I have always been a fan of the clunky looking walking foot attachment for my sewing machines. I began to use it for sewing long seams to prevent the top fabric from being pushed ahead of the bottom one. Then, I found it helpful for lines of machine quilting. Jacquie Gering has elevated this humble accessory to front row status for fairly complex machine quilting in her Craftsy classes and now her book, “Walk: Master Machine Quilting With Your Walking Foot.”

Many of the quilting designs Gering lays out are simple to accomplish. Her chapters on lines, gentle curves, and decorative stitches show what you can do with no or minimal marking. You do need to pay attention to the distances between your lines and the distances on your walking foot. She helps you figure out the latter in her Walking Foot 101 chapter.

Then, if you want to get fancy, Gering walks you through (ha, ha) marked curves, using the reverse button, and turning designs.  Some of these designs require stitch counting and careful marking.  She tackles designs like orange peel, clamshell, braided curves, and nested diamonds. For such designs I think you’ll need to keep your wits about you, so you can’t do what I often do – zone out and sew. This link to a post written by Kathie Kerler, one of Gering’s workshop students, shows some class samples.

Gering covers much of the same material in her Craftsy class, Next Steps With Your Walking Foot. I’ve taken that class and find the book a useful companion to it. The book includes more designs, especially straight line point to point ones. It has lots of photos of stitched samples (easy to see white stitches on black cloth) and stitching diagrams. However, the class shows how Gering deals with marking, sewing the designs, and handling quilt bulk. It includes some curved designs not found in the book.

Gering’s complex quilting design below involves lots of marking and patience. As Gering says frequently, it’s a walking foot, not a running one. I don’t know if I’d tackle a big quilt like this one; maybe a pillow.

Helpful takeaways from the book:

-After you layer but before you pin your quilt sandwich press it on both sides to make sure there are no wrinkles. Pressing also encourages the layers to stick to each other. Gering presses her cotton batting before use to get rid of wrinkles. I spray my batting with water and run it through my dryer on low heat to relax it.

-Play with the setting on your pressure foot to eliminate puckering where quilting lines intersect. Lighter pressure may eliminate those tucks.

-As you stitch, look at where you’re heading, not at your needle.

-Use textured painters or masking tape whenever possible to mark your stitching lines.

-Even utility stitches on your sewing machine can make interesting quilting lines. Gering uses the blind hem stitch on some of her quilts. Try out those stitches on your machine at different widths and lengths, and keep notes of the results.

Whether this book will resonate with you will depend in part on the style of quilts you make. Gering’s quilting designs have a modern sensibility and work well for the large spaces and angles of such designs. I don’t know how well these designs would work on a traditional quilt pattern. I’ve used Gering’s approach on several quilts such as “Winter.”

Other quilters have also addressed walking foot quilting designs. Leah Day has videos on walking foot quilting. Melissa Marginet has a book on walking foot quilting that promises dozens of designs. Of course you can find several free videos online as well. If you’ve tried these or other walking foot quilting resources I’d love to get your feedback. I go to great lengths to avoid free motion quilting.

10 Comments

Filed under Books

Thank You, Jacquie

I decided to watch an episode of the Quilt Show that featured Jacquie Gering after I received an evite for a free episode.  Jacquie is co-author of one of my favorite books on modern quilting, called “Quilting Modern.”  I raved about this book in an earlier post and have had no reason to change my opinion.  In fact, just this past weekend a friend was using one of the pillows from that book as inspiration for her improv piece.

But, back to Jacquie.  In conversation with Ricky Tims and Alex Anderson she revealed several of her tips for quilting using a walking foot.  While I already use masking or painters tape as quilting guides, I finally found out how she gets all those wonderful wavy lines, as shown below in her hexie quilt.

Jacquie-Gering-hexi-quilt-225x300

She uses a decorative stitch, called a serpentine stitch, on her machine!  How easy is that? According to Jacquie, she had seen this effect on a friend’s quilt and had tried to duplicate it with free motion quilting.  When the results didn’t look the same she asked her friend about it.  The friend said, “Oh honey…” and proceeded to reveal the secret.  A friend of mine tried out the serpentine stitch on her Baby Lock machine and exclaimed it was way easier than free motion stitching.

And it is.  I found that my Janome 6500 doesn’t have a serpentine stitch as nice as that on my friend’s Baby Lock, but it has something similar.  The stitch in pink is another decorative stitch I was trying out, but it’s definitely not a favorite.  I wish sewing machine manufacturers would let you know why they include some of the decorative stitches.  And don’t say look at your manual.  Mine spends pages on the buttonhole attachment (which I’ve never used) but maybe a half page on all those decorative stitches combined.

serpentine-stitch

1 Comment

Filed under Techniques