Can You Quilt Without a Walking Foot? Here’s How!

Last Updated on April 25, 2023

Quilting without a walking foot might seem like a daunting task, but it is indeed possible. A walking foot is a popular sewing machine accessory that helps feed fabric layers evenly through the machine while quilting. However, it’s only sometimes necessary to use one. This guide will provide a step-by-step tutorial on how to quilt without a walking foot.

Can You Quilt Without a Walking Foot

Can You Quilt Without a Walking Foot?

Yes, you can quilt without a walking foot. Without a walking foot, you may need to use other techniques to ensure even stitching, such as pin-basting or hand-basting the layers together before quilting. It is also important to adjust the tension and stitch length on your machine to avoid puckering or stretching of the fabric. 

How to quilt without a walking foot?

Here is the step by step guide for you to quilt without a walking foot:

Step 1: Prepare your sewing space

  • Set up a table behind your sewing machine to support the quilt as you work.
  • Ensure you have ample space around your sewing machine to maneuver the quilt.
  • Have an ironing board or an additional support surface to your left.

Step 2: Secure your quilt top

  • Instead of using a walking foot, ease the fabric layers under the presser foot as you sew to prevent shifting.
  • Stitch in a grid pattern across the quilt top to secure the layers.
  • Alternate between horizontal and vertical rows while stitching to avoid creating large folds or tucks.

Step 3: Set up your sewing machine

  • Choose a slightly longer stitch length than you would use for piecing (We suggest a stitch length of 3).
  • If your sewing machine comes with a walking foot, you may choose not to use it for this process.

Step 4: Begin stitching your quilt

  • Start by securing your stitches in your quilt’s ditch (seam allowance).
  • As you sew, push the fabric back under the needle and smooth it out to the right or left with your other hand.
  • Keep the quilt loose around the needle and avoid pulling the fabric too tightly.

Step 5: Manage fabric layers without a walking foot

  • While stitching, focus on the area directly under the sewing needle.
  • Push the fabric back under the presser foot and smooth it out to prevent large tucks or folds.
  • Continue stitching in the grid pattern, easing the fabric as needed.

Step 6: Continue quilting

  • Quilt in a meandering pattern or any other desired design to cover the quilt top.
  • Be mindful of potential fabric shifting, and continue easing the fabric as necessary.
  • Once the quilting is complete, trim any excess fabric and batting.

Step 7: Bind the quilt

  • Choose a binding method that suits your preferences, such as traditional binding, self-binding, or a facing.
  • Attach the binding to the quilt, either by machine or by hand, to finish your project.

Video: Quilting Without a Walking Foot

Discover the Art of Quilting Without a Walking Foot with Jean Truelove! Join this fun, chatty, and informative free quilting class where Jean shares her unique techniques and tips for creating beautiful quilted projects – no walking foot required! Grab a seat in her home sewing room and get ready to learn something new. Don’t forget to tip if you enjoy the class!


Quilting without a walking foot is indeed possible. You can achieve a beautiful quilt without this specialized accessory by carefully easing the fabric and ensuring a well-supported sewing space.

Enjoy your newly finished quilt, and remember to be patient with yourself as you practice this technique.

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