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Our Best Tips for Machine-Quilting

Whether you quilt a project yourself or send it to a professional long-arm quilter, you'll get better results if you prepare it properly. See our best tips for getting perfect quilting on your finished quilt!


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Test Your Tension

Check the machine tension often because something as simple as a thick seam can temporarily throw it off. Here are common causes and solutions for tension issues:

  • Dull needle. Change your needle about every 8 hours of quilting.
  • Wrong size needle for thread. Check the thread manufacturer's suggested needle size.
  • Quilt top and/or backing are too tight. Loosen the tension.
  • The machine's timing is off. Check with the machine manufacturer for instructions to time your machine.
  • Machine and/or bobbin not thread properly. Rethread them.
  • Not moving the machine at a consistent speed. Practice will help you become constant with your speed. Some machines offer a stitch-regulating option.
  • Bobbin case and bobbin area clogged with lint. Brush out lint regularly, preferably every time you change the bobbin.


Print our guide for machine-quilting here.