Seven Machine Quilting Tips

Author: Carrie Newman   Date Posted:13 January 2017 

I’m going to give you seven tips for straight line machine quilting.  If you are having any problems with puckering or tucking going on underneath the quilt as you sew or skipped stitches on the top you will find some easy solutions to these problems in the following tips.

 

A walking foot will make your fabric feed evenly on the top and the bottom, not just on the bottom like a regular presser foot will.  There will be no bunching up of the fabric when you use a walking foot. Each manufacturer has a walking foot to fit their machines. BEST INVESTMENT EVER!!

 Use a Quilting Needle.  This makes a difference. Don’t use a Universal Needle, which has a slightly rounded point, for machine quilting.  Although it can work just fine and you may not have any trouble, quilting needles are better for machine quilting.   Quilting Needles are made for a reason!  They have slightly heavier shafts and a sharper point to get through thick layers of batting and intersecting seams. If you are having skipped stitches sometimes, a Quilting Needle can eliminate this problem.  It can also help a lot with any tucking or puckering on the back of your quilt.

 

 Use a Heavier Needle.  I piece with an 11 needle and I switch to a 14 when I begin my machine quilting.  Makes a BIG difference! Many people do not switch up a size when they quilt.  Your quilting will be easier if you use a heavier needle.  I like to buy these packs of Quilting needles by Schmetz, which contain the two sizes I use most often, 11 and 14.

 

Decrease Your Presser Foot Pressure.  If your machine has this adjustment, use it.  My Janome is set to 7 for regular sewing, but I switch it down to 5 sometimes when I start quilting.  It makes it easier for the quilt sandwich to move through the machine. This can also help with any tucking or puckering on the back of your quilt.

 

 Use Quilting Gloves.  These gloves are grippy and will be a revelation to you if you’ve been quilting without them.  They enable you to firmly hold on to the quilt as you move it through the machine.  They also help to prevent any oils and dirt from your hands in getting on the quilt as you are quilting it.  These are the gloves we stock.

 

Change Your Needles Often.  It’s never good to let your needle get dull.  This can cause problems – like skipped stitches – and needles are cheap.  Some people change their needles every time they begin a new quilt.

 

Clean your machine! The most important of all things to do with your machine is to keep it clean. Between projects or if it’s been sitting it’s always good to clean your machine. Follow your instruction book or google your machine and fine a ‘How To”. The more you familiarise yourself with your machine the better. If you take good care of it…..it will take good care of you! I use pipe cleaners to get in those hard to reach areas and a drop of machine oil here and there to keep those moving connections oiled.

 


Comments (2)

It's a pleasure to find!

17 May 2017
It's a pleasure to find someone who can think so clearly

Great info

14 January 2017
Thanks Carolyn, great info. Easy to read and understand . I didn't know about quilting needles, or dropping the pressure. We can always learn something, can't we.

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