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What does Sew on the Pressure Foot mean? How to Sew using the Pressure Foot as your Guide

What does sew on the pressure foot mean?


I think it is extremely important that I mention to people what "Sew on the Pressure foot" means.  I find my self saying this about 25 times a day to students. First of all, What is the Pressure foot? The Pressure foot is a part of the sewing machine that has a couple of purposes.  It has pressure and holds the fabric that you want to sew in place.  It also acts as a guide, and a reminder to keep fingers away from the pressure foot .  In doing this, you will automatically keep fingers away from the needle.  Here is a close up of a pressure foot.

A pressure foot holds the fabric down that you want to sew.

You should NEVER sew with the pressure foot up.  You can break a machine and/or a needle and damage the project you are making. So when a pattern calls for "Use the pressure foot as your guide" or "Sew along the pressure foot", they mean to sew your seam with the fabric lined up along the side of the pressure foot.  The most important part is to be consistent, especially in quilting.  If the directions say to sew along the pressure foot, this is how you should be sewing:

Sewing right along the pressure foot edge.

Sewing a little bit past the pressure foot.

Both of the photos above show "sewing on the pressure foot, or using the pressure foot as your guide". BUT, the photo to the left has the fabric lined right up against the right side of the pressure foot edge, where as the photo to the right show the pressure foot moved towards the left a little and the fabric is showing about 1/8" to the right of the pressure foot.  Both of these ways are correct, BUT which ever way you start on your project, especially in quilting, you MUST continue the same way until your project is done.  If not, even that 1/8" difference over time can make a BIG uneven measurement in your project.



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