Tuesday, May 15, 2007

My Favorite Foot

I haven't posted anything "quilty" here lately. That may be because I haven't done anything quilty. I have cut out three Turning Twenty quilts for some friends that are graduating High School, and I did clean out my sewing room. I guess I have been doing something quilty, but nothing exciting to blog about.

I have two Bernina's: a 1030 (mechanical, 18 years old) and a 1530 (computer, 10 years old). I have more machines, but this foot is for Bernina's. I love my Bernina's. They may not be top of the line now, but I love them still. For me the construction of the machine (nothing plastic), the stitch quality, and the warranty were everything I needed in a sewing machine.

Soon after I bought my 1530 the Artita's came out, and Bernina changed the way they made feet. Now I know there is probably a more technical term for this, but all I know is that the new feet they are making for the new machines don't fit the older machines. That didn't bother me until I discovered this new foot.

Bernina has a patchwork foot, #37. For years I have sewn quilts with this foot. It's been great, but I have also had to use moleskin as a barrier beside my foot to keep me sewing straight. Here's a tip: some people think this is "cheating". Anything that you can do to make your quilting experience more enjoyable, successful, and close to perfect as it can possibly be, then that is what you need to do!

I have seen other machine brands whose patchwork feet have a guide on the side to keep the quilter sewing straight in order to keep that perfect seam allowance. I often wondered why Bernina didn't have one. I asked my Bernina dealer and she said they were coming out with one, but she didn't know when.

Bernina finally produced the #57 patchwork foot. It had all of the great qualites of the #37, but it had a guide on the side just like I had seen on some of the other brands of sewing machines. I went to my Bernina store all ready to buy this foot, and she said they were only making them for the new machines. What??? I was so disappointed.

The more I thought about it the more it irritated me. I had been a loyal Bernina customer for 16 years, the least they could do is make a #57 for us quilters that have been with them for so many years. So, I e-mailed the company. In a very nice way I told them that this foot should be made for the older machines. Afterall, we have been loyal customers for many years buying their machines and products. I told them that this foot would make our quilting so much more successful. I think the #57 foot should be made for everyone! They wrote me back and said they were planning to make the #57 for the older machines, but they had so many new machines to make them for at that time it would be a while. I was okay with that, and I thanked them for explaining it to me.

About a year after that I was reading Judy's blog and she was showing us this fantastic patchwork foot that Bernina had. She, like me, has the older machines. She said they finally made the foot for the older machines. I immediately called my Bernina dealer and she had the foot. I was sooooooooooo excited.

I love this foot. I can sew absolutely perfect points, and straight seams! I think any tool or gadget that will make our quilting life more successful is worth buying. My woodworking husband totally understands.


  1. I have quilting foot like that too. I LOVE IT. It's like having bumper guards for bowling. I can't live without my special foot!

    I love those blocks BTW!

  2. I have a similar foot for my featherweight, boy does it help!

  3. I didn't know they made them for featherweights! I'll have to get one!

  4. Amanda, that is such a valuable tip! Thank you so much. I am going to get one of these for my Bernina today.

  5. I have a 1230 and also wrote Bernina when I found out this new foot wouldn't fit my machine. Then, like you, when I read Judy's blog I got so excited and put it on my Christmas list. My mom got me one last Christmas which turned out to be our last Christmas with her. I think about her every time I use it.

  6. Hi amanda :)
    Love your pic. You're beautiful. And your blocks are perfect! great job.

  7. I'm so glad you posted about this. I have a 1230 and can use all the help I can get, cheating or not :)

    I loved your photo post too. You are beautiful!! Thanks for the tip on having photos taken from above. The lovely effects of gravity seem magnified in pictures.

  8. its amazing how much we all have in common. I have a been a klutz all of my life.

    Embarassing myself? I can barely walk and chew gum at the same time.

    I am covered with cuts and bruises on a daily basis...forever daydreaming and whammo there's an egg shaped new bruise on my thigh for misjudging the edge of my desk, etc.

    your new blocks look really fun...unusual colors...

    you go girl.


  9. One more comment on the #57 foot: I went out and bought one, and like it, except that I'm a pinner, and the little guide thing gets hung up on the pins. How do you get around that issue?

  10. I don't get around that issue, Nicole. For some things I pin, and for some I don't. Chain piecing I don't pin, but when I am sewing rows together, I do pin. The guage is a problem if you are a pinner.

    I didn't even think about that when I wrote about the foot. I was just so excited that I found something that was such a big help in helping to make my block construction more successful.

    Maybe Monica will know. We'll ask her!

  11. Hi, I was just googling to get reviews on the #57 foot & I came accross your site!! I also am going to get this foot now - it sounds great! but & didn't think about the pins either (I'm a pinner too) but then I remembered a book I have by Sally Collins called "The Art of Machine Piecing" - it has really good tips on acurate piecing. In regards to the pins she said "most people pin perpendicular to the edge with the pin heads to the right as the fabric goes under the needle" but she positions with the pin heads to the left - opposite to the normal way, the whole pin is basically laying on top of the fabric & doesn't hang over the edge - it is inserted in the same area you would use in the normal method of pinning but the tip is just millimetres within the edge of the fabric. I haven't tried it yet but I reacon you could sew right up to the pins without them interfering with the foots edge or if you wanted (I don't - too scared!!!!) you could sew over them carefully. It would just take a little practise. Oh and if she has a narrow strip to sew she pins parallel to the edge & removes them as she gets to them.

    I hope this helps & that the description is clear enough for you - it's a bit hard to describe without illustrations. :)

  12. Amanda I love you. I have an old 1530 and a computerized 1530. Why I have 2 is a long story. But they take those old feet. I won't part with my machine(s). I would someday like a new one but this is like an old pal. Anyway I did not know about those new feet!!! YAY. Thank heaven I scrolled down and read your older posts. Thank you so much. Fabulous!


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