Several months ago, we scheduled a thread painting/free motion workshop by Phyllis Binkley. Phyllis was using a generic free motion quilting foot we had not seen. It had a large plastic disk attached to the shank, similar to The Big Foot by Lynn Graves. A couple of weeks ago, Bernina announced it’s new Echo-Quilting foot #44C, that is very similar to The Big Foot or other large plastic disc type quilting feet.
Although many of you have newer Bernina machines with the Bernina Stitch Regulator (BSR,) or that are BSR capable, many others have Bernina machines without that BSR capability. There are still a few choices of feet for those machines. Also, while learning to quilt with the assistance of the BSR has myriad benefits, often veteran quilters prefer quilting without it.
If you have been quilting for awhile, you might remember when Lynn Graves introduced “The Big Foot” for free motion quilting. The foot was awesome. The visibility was wonderful and it provided adequate negotiating room, or “foot to stitch” visual references. The problem with The Big Foot was adapting it for Bernina machines. Although possible, when The Big Foot was attached to a Bernina low shank adapter, it seemed to sit lower on the machine than an authentic Bernina quilting foot. The problem? Often this foot/adapter combination would drag across the top layer of the quilt and create puckers, and Bernina didn’t offer a larger plastic sole…until now.
I just had to experiment with the Bernina #44 Echo-Quilting foot. Having free-motion quilted for many years, I feel quite comfortable quilting without the aid of the BSR. Don’t get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with the BSR…it is a marvelous tool. While the BSR helps produce beautiful, even stitches, since I prefer to go r-e-a-l-l-y fast to achieve those same even stitches, I choose to use a regular free-motion quilting type foot because the BSR doesn’t keep up with my speed.
What you may not know is, Bernina actually offers many free-motion quilting/darning feet possibilities. For the older machines, the 830 through the 1630, there are five feet often used for free motion quilting. These particular feet #9, also used for darning, #26, considered “special darning but great for quilting,” #24, open toe, #29C Plastic, and #29 large metal, are all still available. The #29 large metal quilting foot is available only for the older model Bernina’s in this category, while the 29C is available for any Bernina machine.
For the newer machines, the Activa’s, Virtuosa’s, Aurora’s, Artista’s, and the 8 Series, whether or not your machine is BSR compatible, the same feet mentioned above are available, with the exception of the #29 large metal foot. This series of machines has its own #29 foot, but it is plastic. Now, however, the large plastic #44 Echo-Quilting foot is available for the new models. Bernina has given us many great choices of free-motion quilting type feet, and to determine which foot you like best, you might need to purchase the set. You might like all of them!
We often have people come in and ask what the difference is between the free-motion feet. The difference is you, and what you are comfortable using.
Reader Comments (20)
I have an Artista 185 and would like to know if I can get the BSR for my machine? Thanks
Jean, the BSR is not available for an Artista 185. Sorry for the bad news. You might go in to your local dealer and see the newer machines, because many of them have the BSR foot.
Hi. I wanted to drop you a quick note to express my thanks. I’ve been following your blog for a month or so and have picked up a ton of good information as well as enjoyed the way you’ve structured your site.
What is the difference between the Bernina feet #43 and #44?
The #43 foot is a free motion couching foot, which you would use to sew down decorative thread, while the #44 foot is a free motion quilting foot. The big difference would be that the #43 foot has thread guides for your decorative thread. Could you use the #43 foot for free motion quilting? I don't know the answer to that.
Can the 29C be used on older machines too? I have a 1080...I have the 29 foot. Just curious...Thanks
Pam, just make sure you buy the 29C in the red package. Bernina makes two different 29C feet, and the one in the white package will not fit your 1080.
Have inherited my grandmother's 640. Works GREAT. Is the small darning foot 285 something with which I could use to do a limited amount of machine quilting? Looking to try a small baby bib.
Yes, the darning foot is great for free motion quilting.
I have an Activa 131. Can I get either a #9 or a #29 for this machine? Is the #29 for this machine plastic? What is your experience with the durability of the plastic?
Yes, you can get a #9 and a #29 for this machine. The #29 does have a plastic sole, and it is very durable. We've never had a customer mention that they have had problems with this foot.
I have a Bernina 1008. Which foot would I use for machine quilting? 29 or 29C ? What are the differences and or benifits of one over the other for my machine?
I have a Bernina Virtuosa 150 and need a #9 or #29 quilting foot for free motion quilting. Which foot would you recommend?
Hi Gail. Foot #29 is much nicer than #9. We have one of the #29s in stock if you want to purchase it. (951) 694-9576
I have a Bernina 550QE would the echo quilting foot 44c fit my machine? And where could I purchase one?
I have a Bernina Activa 125. Which free motion foot would you recommend for machine quilting?
Thanks for help!!
Hi Linda. Bernina's #29 foot would be the best for you. It's the clear plastic foot.
I have a Bernina 1008. Which free-motion foot do I use? Do I use #24? And do you happen to know where I could purchase the free motion foot that suits my Bernina 1008?
You could use any of these feet. The 24 is nice if you like an open toe foot, but some people will not like that it can snag under their stitches. My personal favorite is the 29C. As for where you can by these feet, you might try ebay.com. Bernina dealers don't sell things online, so if you can't find one on ebay.com, then you'll have to go to your local Bernina dealer.
Thank you so so much!!! You have saved me so much time from researching what foot to use. Unfortunately I did not discover this website until now, after a days worth of researching.. Oh thank god! I thought I was going nuts. I've spent so many times finding what foot to use and where to buy it on their site but it was no success. This site has helped me so much, thank you again!! I'm truly grateful for your quick response as I needed to purchase this very very soon.