Category Archives: Kathy Quilts Pro Tips

How to troubleshoot machine quilting tension issues

This is a quick post that will help you when trying to troubleshoot tension or other issues that you might encounter when machine quilting. Whether you are using a Gammill, Q’nique, Block RockiT, or other brand of quilting machine, thread tension seems to be right at the top when people encounter issues that frustrate the Heck out of them.

A troubleshooting journal is just what you need to figure out how you fixed something the last time it occurred. Find a notebook that you can dedicate to machine quilting and have three headings, Symptom, Remedy, Result. You can name them whatever you want to but you want to keep track of what happened, i.e. I have looping on the back of my quilt. What did you do to fix it? Changed my needle. Result: it didn’t fix the problem. If you already knew the answer, you needed to tighten the top tension until the loops go away then you would be correct. If you didn’t know that answer then you learned something new. If you keep this quilting (troubleshooting) journal it will save you tons of time. After your find a solution for the symptom, then write a date on it and us a highlighter so you know that issue is closed.

This is a simple little hint but it can be very helpful.