I bought it back in November, when I bought my new machine, because I was thoroughly tired of getting to the end of a long seam and finding that the two fabrics I was sewing together were now half a centimetre out - even when I had pinned them with all the pins I owned.
A walking foot is an expensive piece of kit. Mine cost me nearly £40 and a several guilty pangs in the shop that I was paying this much for what was really just a small piece of metal and plastic. I got it home and put it onto my machine with great anticipation and excitement. But I however I fitted it, I couldn't get it to work. The packet was useless - Janome had a great deal of information on how this foot would transform my sewing experience, but crucially no instructions on how to attach it.
I went back to the foot (and the Janome website) every few weeks after that, but never managed to crack it. This weekend I thought how ridiculous this was getting (and that £40 was starting to weigh on my conscience more heavily) and so I had one last trawl through the internet to see if I could find any hints or tips that might be useful. And happily I found this blog entry which agrees with my confusion over how to fit the damn thing, and crucially also gives a link at the end to a proper set of instructions.
The walking foot is now finally working and I must say that it has been worth every moment of anguish I've had about it since November. I love it. And although I can now fit it and remove it quite happily, I have left it on my machine because it makes pretty much any kind of sewing so much easier.
That first evening I made three quilted coasters (using no pins and with all seams and edges perfectly matched up throughout).
"Look!" I exclaimed to G, "Just look how neat and well lined up everything is! I didn't even use pins!"
And G nobly made all the right noises and said how marvellous everything looked (we've known each other for a very long time - he's used to this sort of thing).
Today I made C a letter satchel (from Amanda Blake Soule's Handmade Home) to keep his notepaper, envelopes, address book and stamps in. He's been writing letters of complaint to the editor of The Beano regarding the lack of catapults in recent editions....
This is just the sort of project where a walking foot comes into its own. When I made one for O two weeks ago, without the walking foot, by the time I got the bottom of one of the zigzagged side seams (a mere 19cm long) the seams had shifted and puckered. For C's, they were perfect.
You can't tell of course. At all. But I can, so that's worth the forty quid I reckon.
I love how O opted for informal alliteration on her embroidered label, but C wanted his initials in full, which seems only right and proper for someone who dashes off letters of complaint that Dennis is not as menacing as he once was.