Quilting Troubleshooting

by Nicole

Thanks for all the encouraging comments on the quilts I made in January and the peek-a-boo quilt that I started for my daughter.

The peek-a-boo quilt is proving to be a labor of love. I started quilting it last night. I decided to do a meandering stitch for durability since this quilt is going to get a lot of pulling and will probably see the inside of the washing machine quite a bit.

Everything was going fine until I realized I sewed the corner of the quilt to the back. Has this ever happened to you?

I ended up cutting out the corner thinking I could get the quilt unstuck without ripping out the stitches. No such luck. Thankfully, I hadn’t sewn into too much of the quilt so it didn’t take too long to undo and redo.

I should have just stopped then and went to bed, but I kept going.  Until the thread broke. I lowered the tension. It broke again. I lowered the tension again and again until I was sewing along in a good rhythm. But then, the needle started skipping stitches. I thought that was just a fluke, so I took out the stitches and re-did them. But it kept happening. I changed needles several times and changed threads. No luck. Can you see how many stitches got skipped in this photo?!?

I’m at a bit of a standstill now. I’m stumped as to what the problem is. My next attempt will be to try Q-E needles as they are supposed to help prevent skipped stitches. Has anyone tried these needles?

I’m also going to give Aurafil thread a try too. I’ve heard so many quilters rave about this thread.

Have skipped stitches ever happened to you? How did you solve them?

Okay, wish me luck! I’m hoping I’ll have a complete quilt to show you soon.

Thanks for stopping by!

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Carla February 2, 2012 - 5:52 pm

It just happened to me yesterday. I struggle so much with quilting!! Yours looks lovely

Heidi Staples February 2, 2012 - 8:10 pm

I wonder the problem is with the machine…I've had some issues with tangled thread and tension on mine, but usually it's because the thread came loose while I was quilting. I love your quilting style. I haven't tried anything other than straight lines yet.

Marjorie's Busy Corner February 2, 2012 - 8:10 pm

I don;t machine quilt enough to tell you much…usaully it boils down to threading or needle…did you try putting the tension back where it was?

beth lehman February 2, 2012 - 8:17 pm

oh, man. that is so annoying… and yes, you should have gone to bed (as if!!). i had this trouble, but i think for me it is my thread – it's coming over from a mason jar – not a thread/spool holder and from time to time it seems to slip and get caught. i also had trouble with my bobbin on and off… it seemed to be better when i cleaned out the bobbin case and made sure the thread had been wound evenly. sometimes a different day can make all the difference. hope you can work it out… oh, and this might help – discussion on flickr about skipped stitches:


also – every other time i quilt something gets sewn on to the back by mistake….i usually realize it when i think i'm done! grrr..!

Kelly February 2, 2012 - 8:49 pm

Love that quilt!
I have sewn the back/corner down to many times to remember, so fully sympathise 🙂

When my machine skips stitches I always rethread everything, make sure my needle is the right size for the thread and then try again. If that doesn't work, I pour some wine, walk away from the sewing machine and look at the pretty pictures on the internet until I have calmed down 😉

Maureen Cracknell Handmade February 3, 2012 - 2:15 am

That hasn't happened to me before? I hope you figure it out soon! This is going to be such a sweet quilt!!

Debbie February 3, 2012 - 2:04 pm

I like Kelly's answer! 😉 But I, too would remove thread & bobbin, reset tension, spray it all out, and start again. I also have a notion – a little bottle of liquid (name?) that you run a bead down the side of the thread spool that just seems to smooth things along….I'll look. Good luck, Nicole – what a bother!

Collette February 3, 2012 - 2:35 pm

love this quilt and the FMQ which I can't really do at the moment. I can vouch for Aurifil though! Great value and excellent quality. x

Sandra Kaye February 3, 2012 - 3:09 pm

Hello Nicole, I machine quilt all my quilts myself on my Bernina..so here is what I do.. I use Schmetz stepp-nadel Quilting needles or micro quilting needles. I have found these two work the best. And I think Aurifil is great for piecing..which I use. But not to good at quilting..it brakes a lot. All so , I have found if I am breaking threads my tension is off or my hands are moving to fast for the machine.. Slow the movements of your hands and you might have better results…I hope these ideas help you. Thanks for stopping by my blog. I loved your visit. :):) hugs- Sandra

Susan April 28, 2012 - 7:51 pm

I rethread everything, too. I even turn the top thread spool. It usually works for my machine. I've also found that it doesn't like big spools of cotton quilting thread. Good luck SO annoying!

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