Your choice of presser foot to use when sewing can really make or break a project. There are tons of different ones- but what to choose? What works best for piecing doesn’t do well when it comes time to quilt your project. 

Let’s dive into my top 5!

1. The 1/4 Inch Foot for piecing

This one will take your accuracy to another level. No more lining the fabric along the marks on the bed of your sewing machine! Just keep an eye on the fabric as it goes under the foot to make sure it’s lined up against the edge. They come with and without a guide on the edge, personally I use the edged one most! This foot usually has an ‘O’ on it across most brands.

1/4" foot with guide for piecing
1/4" sewing machine foot without guide

2. The Straight Stitch Foot for piecing

This one has just a single hole for the needle to go through. No big gap that allows zig zag or other fancy stitch. I love this one for working with finer fabrics like Liberty lawn. If you’ve ever had fabric sucked down into the machine you know how annoying it is. This foot is going to help prevent that! Just beware – make sure to switch it out before doing a zig zag again or you’ll be saying goodbye to your needle. 

straight stitch sewing machine foot for piecing

3. The Walking Foot for quilting

This is for when you have your top, batting, and backing all basted together. What this foot does is grab the fabric from the top, kind of like having feed dogs on both sides. Make puckering a thing of the past! This foot makes sure everything feeds through at the same rate and holds together beautifully. The best ones come with a removable and adjustable guide bar, which is amazing for keeping your rows if you’re doing a bunch of straight line quilting. Marking off lines is a thing of the past! 

walking foot with guide bar attached for quilt top batting and backing

4. The Open Toe Darning Foot for free motion quilting

When you want to have fun with free motion quilting, this is the foot to use. It hops and gives you a visible space to move your fabric around underneath. Get some grippy gloves to help slide the fabric around the bed and under the needle. Play endlessly!

open toe darning foot for free motion quilting

5. The Ruler Foot

This one is for use with… you guessed it – rulers! The thicker sides to this toe make it easy to slide along plexiglass quilting rulers. They can be open or have a slight dip in the centre so you can see your stitches. Grab your grippy gloves again to make quilting easier. Geometric designs come to life with the help of this foot and a ruler….or ten!

ruler foot quilting rulers

Bonus Tip: Check your sewing machine manual

Last tip is to make sure you are buying the correct shank foot for your machine. Low, Medium or High. Consult your owners manual or a quick google search with your machine info should produce results. 


Happy stitching! 



Michelle Brassens

Hi, I’m Michelle! I’ve never met a craft I didn’t like. Sewing however was where I really found my groove! So I left behind life as a pastry chef and concentrated on making things with fabric instead of food. I work at Dinkydoo Fabrics now and get to write about sewing and quilting for work. Stick with me and I’ll show you all kinds of tips and tricks, from beginner to expert maker level. Can’t wait!