Free Motion Quilting Problem Solving

Having trouble with Free Motion Quilting on your domestic machine? Try these tips to see if they help!

These tips are based on the experience I have learning on my machine. I have a Brother Innovis 80. Your machine will be different, even if you also have Brother Innovis. Everyone sews differently, and every machine acts differently. 


1. Change your needle. 

2. Try a different thread. I have found that my machine does better with certain threads. Otherwise I get a lot of thread breaks and skipped stitches. My machine prefers Deco-Bob 80 wt thread for the best free motion quilting. 

3. Slow down. Some more intricate designs require slow movements. Tighter, quick movements can cause knots. 

4. Try a different direction. Sewing machines are made to go straight forward. Going different directions can cause some stress on the machine and needle. Some directions can be harder. So rather than going back and to the left, try forward and to the right and see if your machine does better. I had a free motion teacher tell me this once and I found it to be true. 

5. Try quilting gloves. Quilting gloves help add grip to the fabric movement and reduce arm, hand, and shoulder strain. This can help with patience, and movement. 

6. Make sure your machine is set up correctly. Consult your owners manual or the manufacturer for all the correct steps. Things like making sure the feed dogs are down will definitely help. 

7. Practice, practice, practice.  Check out this blog post to see how I practiced and honed in my skills. 


Have fun quilting!

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