Tag Archives: Block RockiT

Why and When I to Free Motion Quilt

I was just thinking about Free Motion Quilting on a Long Arm Quilting Machine. It seems like many newbies to machine quilting on a frame or hoop often go for stippling or meandering. While these methods do the job of stitching the quilt top, batting, and back together, they might not always be the best choice depending on what you’re working on.

When it comes to quilting a quilt on a frame, there are three basic methods you can use:

  1. Free Motion Quilting: This lets you use designs that bring out the quilt’s personality. The downside is that if you’re still developing your skills, you might need more practice to be happy with your results.
  2. Edge-to-Edge Quilting: Using a stylus, laser, or some pointer to follow a design, you watch the pointer, not the needle. The downside is that the overall pattern might not suit your quilt, and following a laser dot is trickier than it looks, often requiring several quilts to get proficient.
  3. Automated Quilting: Using a robotics system like QuiltMotion QCT 6 Pro from the Grace Company gives you the accuracy of digital quilting. The learning curve and the cost can be downsides, as the system costs almost as much as your machine. But, you can achieve great results relatively quickly.

Each method has its pros and cons, so choose the one that fits your style and experience level best!

In Conclusion
Machine quilting is a blast, no matter how you go about it! If you put most of your practice time into Free Motion Quilting, you’ll find that mastering other quilting techniques becomes much quicker, and you’ll become a more skilled quilter overall.
Check out our automated quilting section

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.