Quilting Tip #17: Skipping Not-So-Merrily Along

Skipped stitches?  Skipped stitches are a problem because they will catch on anything that moves across the quilt.

If you are quilting a batik quilt (or some other odd fabric), it is possible that your needle is not large enough to go through all the layers and seams of the dense fabric.  If this is your problem, you will have skipped stitches over seamed areas, but not in other areas.

Try increasing your needle size.  When I started using a #18 top stitch needle, I stopped having this problem on batik quilts.

You could also spray a light coating of silicon spray onto the backing (I do this onto the inside of the backing so that if at some point in the future the silicon discolors the fabric, it will not be on the top.   This is not my preferred method because I don’t like the idea of putting chemicals on a quilt, especially a customer’s quilt.

Check to see how tightly the quilt is stretched on your machine.  It should not be so taut that you could bounce a quarter on it!  Check by ‘poking’ the quilt from below with one index finger.  With your other hand, you should be able to grab the tip of your index finger through the quilt from the top.  If you can’t do this, loosen the quilt a notch or two.

Otherwise, check that your machine is threaded properly and the needle is installed correctly.  If that doesn’t work, check your timing.

Then you can skip along your merry way…


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