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Husqvarna Long Arm Quilting Machine

by Carol
(Midlothian, VA)

I wondered if anyone is finding that the longarm machine is difficult to operate? I have heard good and bad and wondered what a current user experiences on a daily basis before I purchase the machine.

Thanks, so much for your thoughts.



Hi Carol!

I wish I could personally help with your question, but I quilt solely on my Viking Designer I sewing machine.

Readers, do you have and use the Viking long arm, the Mega Quilter? If you do, please tell us about your experience with this machine...both the good and the bad. Use the 'Comments' link just below to share your thoughts.

Thank you!


Julie Baird

Comments for Husqvarna Long Arm Quilting Machine

Click here to add your own comments

Viking Mega Quilter
by: Anonymous

I had my own shop for about 3 years and quilted the tops together with the batting etc. for the quilters after they finished piecing their quilts. I had an industrial quilting machine but had to sell when we moved.

About two years ago I bought a Viking Husqvarna Mega Quilter on a Grace company stand just to use for personal use. The machine works fine as a regular sewing machine but for the life of me, I cannot get it to work properly on the quilting stand, with or without the stitch regulator.

I am sooo disappointed.

I have sewn for most of my life and am considered experienced but this machine made me feel so inadequate when trying to quilt with it on the frame.

The Viking dealer here close to me says the Mega Quilter is known for problems when trying to free hand quilt on the quilting stand but works fine as a regular sewing machine when piecing your quilt pieces. The newer Vikings are supposed to be better.

This machine makes me not want any Viking in the future, though I hear they are a very good machine.

Good Luck. CJ 10/23/15

these ARE NOT HUSQVARNA machine ...tin lizzie or Gammil based
by: Anonymous

Faux machines

Computer Inquiry
by: Becky

I have the Mega Quilter 18X8 longarm machine. I am very satisfied with it. My husband purchased it in 2011 for $6K (machine & frame). After reading other comments I thought I would add my own and then pose a question. I have had fun and frustration with my machine. The frustration was due to my lack of knowledge so hopefully this will help others.
Things I have found that help me are:

The Towa bobbin tension gauge (I usually run all thread at 130-150 on the gauge). That way the top tension is not so tight - "we" tend to run the top tension entirely too tight.

"Magic Bobbin Genie's" are great. These are thin Teflon washers - I removed the spring clip in the bobbin case and put the "Genie" in there.

Slowing down has been beneficial - just because a machine 'can' go fast doesn't mean it should.

Now my question: I am interested in purchasing a computer for my machine...any suggestions on which one, costs, and where to purchase. Thanks for any replies :D

gbhno prob
by: Anonymous

Had a machine for 9 years. No problem with tensions.

Wish frame was different and had a longer throat. Ours is too small..10 or 12inch.

cost of a 2011 Mega quilter
by: Sue in Iowa

I am looking to buy a used 2011 Mega Quilter 18X8. In order to establish a fair price I would like to know what a new one cost in 2011. Can anyone give me any idea?

Tugging Issue
by: Carol - Midlothian, Va

I may be redundant, but I think it is because the quilt is at a thick spot and maybe that finger width you are referring to compromised when there is a thick seam and the little hoop the needle goes through maybe a little lower than you think, and the foot can't move freely over it so it gets stuck a bit. Just a thought.

Tension, eyelash, needle drag
by: Patti


Just wanted to comment on one of the biggest mistakes I made with my machine. I wasn't raising and lowering the quilt sandwich to the machine table. In order to get a really nice even stitch the sandwich must be about a finger width and no higher from the machine. If too low, it will drag on the machine.

I have a Tin Lizzy on a 10 foot table. Works great for me, but for my friend who loves to quilt her own quilts it is a problem every time.

Finally after many frustrating days and having to readjust the timing every time she sewed the conclusion is that she jerks the machine when sewing and consequently it pulls the needle slightly and the timing is then gone. Even at a slow speed it happens. The jerk seems to occur when she is going over a thick seam or a change in the fabric texture.

Does anyone have any suggestions?

In the last month I have seen 12 tops with no adjustment even though using different thread types.

Fuses blowing
by: Lawnie

I just asked my husband who is an electrical engineer about the fuse. We had to replace mine a couple of years ago. Make sure you use what is called a "slow blow" fuse. We bought a package at Radio Shack (if you can find one which is still open). The stock number in the upper right corner is 270-1065. These are 3.15 Amp 250 Volt fuses. .It says Slow Blow on the front of the package. A package of four sold for $3.19. Other sources might have it listed as part number T3.15AL (the T stands for time delay). The slow blow or time delay feature protects the fuse from blowing when you turn on the machine. You should be able to do this yourself. If you are using the slow blow type and the fuse still blows it may indicate there is a load on the motor which could be caused by a part not operating properly such as worn parts. Start with the simple solution since that is the most likely cause.
Hope this helps.

Blowing fuses
by: Daryl Hanifan

I hope someone can help me fast. I own a Mega Quilter 18" and have used it for 5 years and absolutely loved it. However it now continually blows fuses immediately upon replacing them. I have had it checked and they can not find the issue. The viking techs have not been able to or are unwilling to assist our repairman. I can not afford to have my machine sent away and tied up for a MINIMUM of three months. It will be the end of my business that I work so hard to open & build.

MegaQuilter 9"
by: Susan in SD

I have the MQ 9" throat I would like to use with a walking foot. Can anyone here point me to purchase one that will work with this MQ? Viking online says they can't, local Viking dealer is worthless. I purchased a Bigfoot online that supposedly works for this machine but it only caused problems so I am a bit leary of ordering without hearing some success story.

Mega Quilter
by: Anonymous

The Mega quilter is a great little machine, BUT remember it has a very small throat so your designs are going to be five inches tall max. You can join designs to make a bigger design, but it is tedious.

my husqvarna long arm
by: micki

I don't know how to get the bulb out ? I don't know how it comes out help !!

No help
by: elaine in Alaska

I bought my machine in 2012 when I retired from the state of alaska just couldn't wait to make many quilts for memories for my many grandchildren. well what a nightmare. talk about no help in Canada I was told that the shipping time counted as time on the warrantee and I only had 30 days. bought from internet in California also. talk about a LEMON I have had aall the problems everyone has described. the first thing the motor burned up while winding bobbins.they ssent me new one after many tears and my husband getting involved. I have finished 5 quilts in all these years I have had it some good ssome marginal not what I planned for retirement I didddnt plan to make money with it just fun. well im not having any fun!!! any my computer is acting up also darn it

Husqvarna Mega quilter
by: Barbara

Purchased this machine with Lightning Stitch, and Grace frame. Not happy from the beginning. Only kept it for two years as a long arm machine. I am experienced with machines and believe machine did not have enough power for long arm quilting. Removed machine from frame and it sews fine on a sewing table. Not worth the expense and huge disappointment. Do not buy!

Viking Contact
by: Nanette

In some of the posts you state to contact Viking for tech support. Do you have a phone number for Viking tech support?
Thank you in advance.

Mega Quilter
by: Millie17603

I have had the Husqvarna Mega Quilter since 2004. It was the floor model and it is on the Inspira frame. I like it - and have quilted a few quilts on it. If you don't mind using a laser and pantographs - you would be ok.

My only problem with Mega Quilter (9" throat) is that if I forget to lower the foot (and there IS a red blinking light to warn me), there will be a mess of strings on the back to get under and tear out. Sometimes, I have difficulty getting the bobbin in place (arthritis). Sometimes, I would like to be able to use a regular long arm and quilt my own design - rather than follow a set pattern with a laser light - but cannot bring myself to part with my Mega Quilter. It is as reliable as my Husqvarna Viking Designer I.

Sorry, if this is old, didn't see a date & was Googling to see if anyone had tried quilting with Mega Quilter off the frame.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

Don't give up
by: Carol - Midlothian, Va

Please call the Viking people. They have wonderful over-the-phone help. I'll bet the problem is in the settings and they can help you with that. The constantly running issue is very likely a "board" problem (I had that issue and it was immediately replaced and fixed the problem)and that would be under the manufacturer's warranty.

Insist that the store you purchased the machine from stand behind you and the product. It's a great machine. I have two and absolutely love quilting every day. Call Viking direct and insist they get after the store you purchased machine from.

If nothing gets done through Viking, call Tin Lizzie and see if the over the phone help will do the trick in the settings.

Husquvarna Viking Mega Quilter
by: Karon

I have one. I paid $6000.00 for the machine and frame. I do not recommend it. It has never worked right. It skips stitches. I change the needle, keep the lint off it like it says in the paperwork. The thread bunches on the bottom and it horrible to rip out. I have adjusted the tension as the paper says. I looked on u tube to get the right way to do that. Nothing is making it work right. I cannot use it right now due to the fact it runs at full speed no matter what I do and the stop/start button won't stop it. I have to turn the machine completely off. The people at Everett Sew and Vac tell me I can hire someone for another $100.00 to come look at it.

I would think they would stand behind their products and not charge more to help. I have no one to get help from unless I pay more. After $6000.00 I don't have more to spend on it.

manuals that really help
by: Susan in Iowa

After visiting my repair man 4 times in 5 months with issues on timing and tension, I finally found a web site that is so useful.

I own a Husqvarna Long Arm Mega Quilter 18X8. I found out that my machine is made by Tin Lizzie...something I was surprised at

I got on the Tin Lizzie web site and went to their video library and found all the answers to my machine problems. The videos are so helpful. I spent one whole day learning to set my timing and how to improve my tension. At one time I had parts spread all over the counter top. But at the end of the day my machine ran like a top and I was so proud of myself. I am now not "scared" of my machine any more. I feel as if I know it inside out. The videos are helpful and are easy to stop at each step as you work on your machine. I rewound and replayed each step until I fully understood what I needed to do.

Now, I could not get along without this web site. I suggest you give it a try. It addresses many problems. So your answers may be there. You will be pleased. I feel like I have become my own repairman.

It feels great to have a great working machine and it has saved me a lot of money in repair costs.

bobbin thread
by: Carol - Midlothian, Va

I have a suggestion and maybe this will help.

Put the foot down, then press needle down to grab the thread. My machine often doesn't pick it up with the foot up and not engaged. Haven't any idea why, but that is my habit now and never have an issue.

my bobbin thread will not come up
by: AI love to longarm

I just went through the Tin Lizzie video library to correct the timing on my Husqvarna Mega Quilter 18X8.

The directions were great but I am still having trouble getting my bobbin thread to come up to the top of the quilt when I first start quilting. The hook on my machine only picks up the bobbin thread every 4-5 time. How can I solve this problem?

I really need to correct this so help would be very welcome. I use my longarm in my quilting business and quilt everyday... all day long so this problem is costly to me. I really need help.

It is fun to have a job that is also your hobby. I am so blessed and want to continue so all suggestions will be welcomed.

God bless you all.

Skipped stitches
by: Anonymous

Help! My Viking Mega Quilter machine is taking slow long & skipped stitches.

What am I doing wrong?

Tension and timing problems
by: Susan L

I use my machine daily. I do custom work for many people and so my machine is very well used.

I have found that about once a month I have to take it in for an adjustment of tension or timing. I have found it is very touchy and I need to walk through a troubleshooting list often to catch problems before they become big. I have found needles and thread type to be very important so a smooth running machine. I use good needles and prefer Signature thread.

I often wonder if it is time to replace this machine but it is only about 5 years old.

long arm answer man
by: Carol - Midlothian, Va


Care to share your technician's name or contact information? Maybe he can join our site? Maybe we can figure out a way to compensate him for his tips and helps even though he is a distance from the rest of us?

I, for one, would be happy to compensate for solutions and have a "go to" answer man. He is after all the expert in this situation and we need his eyes and ears and experience.

Food for thought.

Long arm
by: Carol - Midlothian, Va


You may need to reset numbers in the computer. Call the Viking or Tin Lizzie people and they will help you.

Another thought is that your belt tension is off and it may cause the motor to stop. Does the screen go blank? I found (of all crazy solutions) to hang a lightweight plastic hanger on the horizontal belt when it's humid out and the plastic belt becomes just a hair too slack. So odd, but works beautifully.

And, third...did you move the machine and it's not level - the frame has to be level or the machine tries to move against gravity so to speak - or uphill. That slight variance can cause motor error and since you are saying it will only quilt in those directions, I'm thinking the other directions are "up hill" so to speak.

by: Betty

My long arm Husqvarna 18x8 will only sew forward and to the left. Has any one else experienced this?

Thanks for the tips
by: Susan

I really appreciate the tips and suggestions on my shredding/breaking thread.

I just did a whole bunch of stitching on some practice fabric and showed it to the technician, and he was able to determine that the thread only broke when I stitched in a certain direction and said he now knows what adjustments to make.

He's coming to the house tonight to do that and so I MAY BE BACK TO QUILTING AGAIN SOON!


mega quilter
by: Jeanne

I love my Mega Quilter.

Recently I've had issues with my thread breaking and found that generic needles do not work. I went and purchased the proper needles and just took it in for a thorough cleaning. I've had my machine for approximately 8-9 years and was due.

Mess with your tension a little because that can also cause problems.

Breaking thread
by: Lawnie

I am also having a problem with breaking thread which I noticed was actually shredding.

I discovered that I have a nick in the hole in the needle plate which I plan to carefully buff out with emery cloth given to me by a longarm shop of a different brand. The problem started after I broke a needle, damaging the plate. My friend had given me a quilt to do for her which had some pieces of drapery fabric included, I should have declined it.

Since your machine was recently serviced, the first thing to check is the needle which was no doubt replaced by the repairman. It may not be seated properly. I would put in a new needle.

If that doesn't work, try a different cone of thread. Also if you have batik in your quilt it can cause breakage. Make sure the quilt is not pulled too tight. You should be able to push up from the bottom and grab your finger tip.

I have the best success with So Fine and King Tut, although the King Tut causes a lot of lint in the bobbin area.

I know how frustrating it is. Sometimes it is best to do something else then come back to thinking through the troubleshooting. Don't give up.


Mega Quilter
by: Carol - Midlothian, Va


I'm so sorry to read your note. I love my machine and I'll be honest, it took a while to learn the machine and the tension issues. I hope I can help you love working with it.

Just for starters, I found that adjusting the bobbin tension first is crucial. Then adjust the top accordingly. And, I found that with thinner thread, going through all 3 top holes is too much. I only thread 2 and the same on the second "3 holer". Also, make sure your thread is coming straight up off the cone or spool. cotton thread is a mistake. It can't take it for some reason. Quality thread is vital.

Please feel free to ask me anything...Carol

I feel like an idiot for buying this Mega-Quilter
by: Susan

Hi everyone. I just stumbled upon this site and these comments while web surfing for help with breaking thread on the Mega-Quilter (Viking). I'm still a beginner quilter but was paying someone a fortune for quilting by tops so when I found a quilter and frame for sale at a reasonable price I jumped at it. At the start it seemed all right, I practiced on random fabric then quilted a few tops (no prize winners but functional). Then the traveling sewing machine guy came to town and all the quilters I knew rushed to take their machines to him for the annual cleaning and tuneup. I followed right along, the woman I purchased it from said it had not been serviced in a long time.

As soon as I got it back from the "professional" repair person I had a problem with the thread breaking after stitching for just a few minutes. I tried all kinds of thread, followed the instructions to the letter on threading, tried adjusting the tension, nothing worked. When I got the tension to a point where the thread would not break, the back stitching was what I think y'all call eyelashes. OMG I was picking black thread off black fabric till I thought I'd go blind. Actually, the really loose parts came right out but some of it was stubborn. So more tension adjustments, the little top tension knob, and the main big one. Threaded, rethreaded, blah blah blah, thread breaks and I am completely irritated at me, at him, at the machine, at the world, and none of my quilting is getting done. Any help would be greatly appreciated. :)


Motor getting hot
by: Lawnie

Hi Donna,

My machine also gets a hot motor. I find that the problem is worse in the heat of the summer because it can get very hot in my quilting room with no air conditioning. I check the motor temperature after every row and usually do a couple of rows and walk away for a while to let it cool down.

At one point, before I realized how hot the motor was getting, the machine made a loud screeching sound which caused me to take notice and discover how hot the motor was to the touch. I would assume that the heat could damage the motor. In the winter the machine can be run for much longer before getting hot.

I still do not know why the needle continues to go up and down when it if supposed to stop. At times it works properly but then reverts back to misbehaving.

My husband has provided me with a remote control radio frequency on/off switch which I plug the machine cord into, then plug the device into the power outlet. This works great and also keeps me from wearing out the on/off switch on the machine.


Mega Quilter is a Tin Lizzie
by: Angie

The Viking 18x8 long arm Mega Quilter is made by Tin Lizzie. It is the Tin Lizzie LS packaged for Viking with various bells and whistles. They have a Facebook page and the staff is very good at helping to solve issues with the various models. Tim and Daniel from TL have personally called me to solved issues with my machine. Very pleased with their hands on service.

From the Editor: Good to know, Angie! Thank you for sharing this with us.


Julie Baird

Flywheel tightening up
by: Donna

I'm having trouble with my HQ Viking 18x8 flywheel tightening up after doing 2-3 rows of FMQ. The motor gets hot, and the machine gets sluggish, and slows way down. She was just serviced, and I was told, " can't find anything wrong, flywheel didn't tighten up on me". I oil in all the right places, often.

So much that I've named her Olive Oyl! Does anyone else have this issue?

Thank you,


machine moving
by: Carol - Midlothian, Va

Hello! Do you have one of those non-skid mats under you machine? You know, one of the bumpy, rubbery sheets used in cabinets under glasses and dishes? That will eliminate vibrations shifting the machine you have the mini vise clamps on each side? There are 4 you should have received with machine and set up.


Moving machine..
by: Brenda

Have the mega quilter--works great.

Have a problem with machine moving on the platform. Is it suppose to be bolted down or strapped down? It moves cockeyed by the time I get to the other end of quilt.

Messing up pattern and overlapping.

Any suggestions would be great! Thanks!

Speed may be issue
by: Carol - Midlothian, Va

Good Morning!

I had same issue and I found it was flying around the corners and the stitches weren't consistent. So I slowed it down a tad and fixed it. So adjust your speed and see if that doesn't help.

Let us know so we can all benefit from solution/problem solving tricks.

If not...let us know that as well.


Lack of stitch length consistency in Quilt Magician stitch out
by: Nanette

I have several Viking/Husqvarna machines including the 18x8 Long Arm. I've had my ups and downs after fiddling with it for 5 years or so.

My current issue is with stitch length. I have the Quilt Magician attached and when I stitch out a pattern the stitches are different length. Some places the stitches are small and other places, such as curves the stitches are long.

How can I adjust the stitch lengths to make sure they are consistent in length?

Please help!!

It wasn't me.
by: Diana

Months ago I commented that my machine was a pain to sew with. Will after it had to be sent back for repair, it turns out that it wasn't me. My machine had a problem from get go. Now that it has been fixed I love it. If you are having tension problems call it in, it may not be you.
As for recommending a Mega Quilter 18x8, yes I would. It is a great machine, once it was fixed. The cost was what I liked the most and I am thinking of purchasing another one this fall.
FYI, I went to a show and tried all the brand name machines and as far as I am concerned them were not any better. Just more expensive.

Mega Quilter
by: Carol - Midlothian, Va

Good Morning! I have the same machine and yes there isn't great support, but among us we are figuring it out. So, let me encourage you. There are several tips I've written about on this site that I hope will be helpful. As far as your tension, the first thing to establish is the bobbin tension and then adjust accordingly the top thread tension. I don't know if you know, but the top tension dial isn't a thing like a sewing machine. One full dial turn is required and it may very well take two turns to get a significant adjustment. Be sure sure your pressure lever is up. Make turns and stitch as least 3 to 5 inches along the side and include a turn, or loop, in that practice run. It seems to take that distance of stitching for the machine to take in the adjustment fully. sure the bobbin thread is run through the coil spring of the bobbin case twice.

Make sure the top thread is through the hole just above the needle. Instructions I received didn't show that in photos of how to thread machine.

Make sure the top thread is not pulling around the cone or spool. That slight pulling can mess with top tension. I use those nets all the time now to ensure the thread slides up at an even speed and all is well.

Another thing to check is the speed at which the computer is set to go around corners. Eyelashing will be a problem if you are going around the corners too in skidding around a corner while driving a car.

Thread that is too fine doesn't work near as well as thicker quilting thread. The stitches are prettier and work better with the thickness of a quilt sandwich.

Slower pace, slower speed is also helpful to create nicer stitching.

please feel free to contact me...I love to use my machine and want others to enjoy it as well.


I have a Love/Hate relationship with my Megaquilter
by: PlanoDebbie

I bought my Megaquilter online from a store in California to save on the sales tax. The directions to assemble the Grace Frame were awful. Took my Engineer hubby an I 8 hours to fully assemble. My Domestic machine came with a beautiful owner's manual. My Megaquilter had about 10 xeroxed black/white papers stapled together. Everything I learned was on the internet.

One minute it stitches great, 5 minutes later the thread is breaking every 10 inches. Very frustrating. Setting the tension would be so much better if I could just write down what number to set it on for a particular thread.

I told my husband that I hate having to be a mechanical engineer just to use my longarm. I would love to find someone in the Dallas area that services this machine and makes house calls. I don't really want to take a class on a different machine. The dip stick in the machine bed doesn't seem to register any oil on it ever. If I add too much oil in the top of the head, it starts dripping out above my needle onto the throat plate.

When I get nice stitches, I love this machine. When I get horrible stitching, I want to throw it out the second floor window to see how far it will go.

Repair man
by: Carol - Midlothian, Va

Hello Lawnie,

I am so sorry for not getting back to you and tell you I wasn't able to get a name for you. The gentleman isn't available except through the Viking site.

Contact the Viking main office and ask for support, explaining the issues and your needs.

I hope this will help you.


Mega Quilter
by: Carol - Midlothian, Va

Hello Diane, I'm not sure what exactly to tell you, except that the machine should simply start stitching as you move it. You can adjust the speed and I would suggest a bit slower until you feel the machine moving under your direction smoothly.

If you haven't programmed a design in, the mode is set for manual.

Hope this helps you.


Not just me.
by: Diana

After reading through this article it was nice to found out that it's not just me. I have had the same tension issues as all of you. My issue now is that I wanted to try manual mode stitching, but I have no idea how to get there, the button doesn't take me there.

Any ideas?

Carol thank you for all the information that you have shared, very helpful.

Lawnie and Switch Issues
by: Carol - Midlothian, Va

Hello Lawnie,

I am getting you a name of a repair man to call directly. He is trained to repair our machines and he lives in Tennessee, so a phone call is the best we can do from the distance we live away.

Just to let you know...yes support is surely difficult, but the good news is these machines aren't rocket science, so most of it is easily fixed.

I had a thought - if the switches were replaced, then it must be a connection at the other end? I say that because I had an issue and found it was the connection at the back of the machine, not at the switch box. The vibration of the machine caused the "plug" to wiggle out enough to loose contact. How odd? Well, I also had a nut literally fall off because of the vibration of the machine. It was the rear sensor and I was trying to figure out why stitches left to right wouldn't stitch...the sensor wasn't attached because the nut was sitting on the the screw. for thought. I expanded my prequilt checklist to include checking all the nuts and bolts and tightening, as well as all "plugs".

As soon as I get this number for the repair man, I'll email you as well as send a note on this site so others call access him (if he is OK with the publication of his phone number).

Don't despair! Help is close.


From the Editor Carol! You are an absolute doll! Thank you so much for helping out.

~ Julie

Husqvarna 18/8 long arm stitches by: pdq quilts
by: Lawnie Roberge

I am still trying to figure out why my machine continues to stitch when it is supposed to stop. Could you possibly e-mail the maintenance manual so that my husband and I can figure this out. The nearest support is 5 hours drive away. We would really appreciate it. The quilts are stacking up.

From the Editor: Hi Lawnie! I wish I could help but I don't have a manual for it. My suggestion is to email Viking directly or contact them through their website. Or email the dealer where you purchased your machine. I would expect they would be happy to oblige!

~ Julie

Home screen does not work
by: Anonymous

I purchased my long arm in Canada just 1 year ago but have just recently started to use it. Now my home screen is not working! When I push it nothing happens. It's been a month and no help.

Unfortunately there is no longer a dealer in my area and Husqvarna support isn't any help. They are as stumped as I am and keep telling me they will have someone call but I'm no longer counting on it.

Anyone have ideas?

problem with start/stop switches & needle down switch
by: Lawnie

I have an 18.8 and the switches seem to have a mind of their own. At times the needle keeps going up and down when I press the needle down switch, it should only go down and up once. Also when the auto stitch shuts off the needle continues to go up and down, The only way to stop this is to turn the machine off.

Has anyone else had this problem and discovered the solution. Does anyone have the repair/maintenance manual?

My husband has already tried substitute switches and they did not correct the problem.

I live in Massachusetts and there are no Viking/Pfaff/Tin Lizzie longarm dealers in New England. The closest is in New York. We would like to fix this ourselves if possible.

Have had great success with the machine and Qbot just want it to work properly.

My email is:

Husqvarna mega quilter 18x8
by: Anonymous

Mega Quilter owners from Canada, did you know your machine is made by Tin Lizzie? If you can't find repairs and support from Husqvarna Viking find your nearest Tin Lizzie Dealer. They will repair your machine, carry parts and in most cases will even give you lessons!
I have this machine with the Imperial Grace Frame, I gave up on the Husqvarna company years ago and found someone who could help.
Hands down the most frustrating piece of equipment I have ever owned, constantly needs pampering! Oh but when it works it works so very well.

Happy quilting ladies.

Shredding Thread
by: CALA

Thank you so much for your comments and suggestions.

I tried both placing the thread arm over the spool and threading the eyes in reverse and it worked! I'm not sure which was the fix but I was able to finish the quilt.

I'm taking pictures and making notes of all the settings hopefully all will be well when I do the next one.

I cannot thank you all for your suggestions and help. Someday I will purchase a long arm machine, but for now at least maybe I can make this work.


Cala - shredding and breaking thread
by: Carol - Midlothian, Va

Good Morning Cala,

I just read your note and sympathize with you. I too had the same issue. It was a tension issue but not where you may think. I had two problems. The first was up at the initial threading spot above the spool. It wasn't up high enough so the thread was not coiling off the spool smoothly. So I raised the bar and made sure it was directly over the spool. If it has to pull in any direction other than up, it will pull.

The second area was the 3rd threading spot. I had threaded the thread up through the holes, not down. This seems like such a ridiculous issue, but with the thread winding through so many little spots all the way down to the needle, every place the thread rubs causes friction and pulls and the result can be shredding fibers by the time it finally gets to the needle.

Another place there can be an issue is the needle. If the needle is ever so slightly crooked it can cause friction, as well as the needle eye can have a rough place in the eye you will never see but will be enough to catch on the thread.

I hope these ideas will help. I am assuming that when you sent it to be checked out, they looked for gunk in the actual tension disc area. But, again, assuming isn't always the best way to go. Maybe loosen that disc back to very loose and turn 2 turns at a time to adjust. If you run your thread through it back and forth you may release something stuck in there or you may find that there is a barb or rough spot in there that is causing the shredded thread.

Please let us all know how you solve this and if any of these ideas work to alleviate your problem. I love quilting and want anyone with a machine to enjoy it as well and I discovered that most problems are easily fixed if we just think about the simple mechanics of these machines.

Have a great day!


Angelyoda-lifting bobbin thread to top
by: Carol - Midlothian, Va

Good Morning Angelyoda,

I just posted a note about loading the bobbin and thought about something else. Make sure you are inserting the wound bobbin in the correct direction. If you are looking into the bobbin case, the thread should be winding around counter clockwise and smoothly gliding into the slit on the right side of the case. So once it is in the and the thread is coming up and out the top area, wind the thread twice through the coil at the top of case.

Then once it is inserted and you are wanting to pull the bobbin thread up to top of quilt, lower your presser foot. I don't know why but sometimes, if the presser foot is up, the thread won't come on up through quilt. That is a surefire way to make sure it comes up and you can grab it.

Also, make sure your back bar isn't too high and causing the bobbin thread to loose itself trying to get up so high. Your back bar is supposed to be no higher than a finger thickness. I run my hand under quilt to gauge that and every time you wind the quilt you have to readjust that gap simply because you are adding more bulk of the quilt.

Hope this helps and I apologize for taking so long to get back to you. Thankfully, it's been a very busy summer!


New Discovery
by: Carol - Midlothian, Va

Good Morning Ladies!
It is a wonderfully cool Fall morning and a great day to start a new quilt.

I've discovered another "weird" tension solution. It has to do with the bobbin thread and how it is pulled up. There is a tiny spring or coil sitting at the top of the bobbin case. So, none of the instruction made mention of this coil, nor are there any photos in the book demonstrating use of this. But...I thought it must be there for a reason, right? Well, after 2 years of quilting on this machine I decided to try it. So I coiled the thread through it once. No difference. Then I thought...coil it twice. Jackpot! My tension hasn't been an issue at all since that day. Yes, of course if I use different thread, then adjustment is necessary, but as long as I'm using the same composition threads, I'm fine. So there you have another solution to tension issues.

I hope this note helps someone have a better quilting day. My email is if anyone has a desire to contact me. My theory is that is we network, we can accomplish so much more. Use this site everyday. It has volumes of information and sharing ideas is the best way for all of us.

Have a great day!


by: Anonymous

My Megaquilter was a lemon that I was completely frustrated with and being in Ontario, Canada there was absolutely no help.

I traded it in on the new 3000 and have had nothing but joy from day one. I can go from one quilt to the next with no problems, tension is always perfect.

There is still no help in Canada and it is sorely needed. I have a Grace frame and am not overly happy with it, but that is another story.

Love my 3000 and am finally making a little money.

Mega Quilter and Frame Horrible
by: Cala

I've owned the Mega Quilter and Frame for 5 years and it's been a nightmare from day one. You do one quilt no problem then the next it shreds the thread, tension problems, etc. It's been back to the shop and they say it works fine, which is true until you hook up the cruise control and work on the frame.

Then your nightmare begins again.

I've only finished 5 quilts on it and not one without tears and problems. I think I simply got a lemon but if anyone has a suggestion on how to stop the thread from shredding and snapping please post it. I've cleaned, oiled, sanded, changed needles, changed 5 types of thread all to no avail. I have had to tear out so much it has ruined a quilt that isn't mine.

Anyone who has suggestions, please post them.

Lack of support system
by: Linda R. Ontario, Canada

I purchased my Husqvarna Long Arm Quilter from my sister-in-law last January.

I, too, find the lack of support system frustrating. The machine is only 3 years old, but the shop where it was purchased is now no longer in business. It would be so helpful to be able to email the company & correspond with someone who could give helpful advise.

The automatic stitch regulator is not working correctly, nor is the % restart. I would appreciate some information which might help to correct the problem.

You have a great product, but you need to correct the lack of support, if you hope to have happy customers. They would then recommend the machine to others.

I also have a Bernina & have had great support from them.

by: Carol - Midlothian, Va

Hello Angelyoda,

I just typed a long explanation and hopefully helpful hints, but hit a button and lost it all. If you want, you can email me directly and I'll do it again. I don't know why, but this has happened a few times (frustrating!).

Anyway I have a few idea and explanations that I hope will help and I'll redo it on here for others as well another day. Just ran out of my computer time and need to get back to my quilting.

Have a great day! If anyone else wants to email me I don't mind. But I'll always put whatever I can on this site too so all can benefit from my trials and solutions (or at least what I think can be a solution). Remember...trial and error is the name of the game most of the time...haha!


From the Editor: Carol, is your original post just below this one? Both were waiting to be published when I checked just now. If you post and think it didn't come through, please contact me directly at and I can check right away.

I so totally appreciate all the help you've given to Megaquilters and certainly don't want to make it harder for you. You're terrific!


Julie Baird

Button? on Megaquilter
by: Carol - Midlothian, Va


I may have a few idea about the buttons you may be referring to.

If by buttons you are referring to the dials, it may be that you are expecting the dials to turn in a similar manner as the dials on your domestic machine. Well, instead of a little turn, you need to make a complete turn or even two turns to get any degree of change in the tension. Also, make sure your presser foot is up and released before you turn the tension dial to get an accurate change.

If you are referring to the buttons on the controls then I would get a vacuum and suck out any dust that may be down in there. They get stuck just like a computer key and stick if there is dust and all. And, since you haven't used it in a while, maybe it needs to be cleaned and oiled in the appropriate spots.

Last note that I hope will help. Is the tension set properly on the bobbin winder? If its too tight, or loose, the winder just won't wind.

I hope this helps. I have had mine for 2 years and I love it and use it almost every day. There have been quirks that needed to be worked out, but the success far outweighs the little issues I've come across. You are welcome to email me if you want or need encouragement (ha) or have questions. I've figured out 99% (plus 1%) on my own because there isn't any support with the company, sadly.

Have a great day! Carol

18x8 auto bobbin winder died!!!!!
by: Sewstrate

I also own the Megaquilter 18x8 and just began really using it (after owning it for two years.

The bobbin winder died yesterday and now I am winding the bobbin on a small independent winder that seems to be doing a good job. I am going to call tech support tomorrow as I am trying to quilt a flannel quilt for a show and it is giving me fits. I am not sure the bobbin winder on the machine really ever worked well.

I know it takes many hours of practice before you get the perfect stitch. But I have noticed that the buttons are not responding like they should. I had the opportunity to test drive the newest Husqvarna 3000 and I fell in love.

Unfortunately I can't afford the new one without selling this one.

Mega Quilter
by: Tammy

I noticed you are in VA, so am I and not too far away. I am struggling with my machine at times. I am new to long arms but love the concept and possibilities. I was wondering if there was a way we could help each other. Email me if you are still in VA.

Skipped stitch solution
by: Carol - Midlothian, Va

Hello Ladies!

Well it's a glorious day, Spring is coming, the chickens are digging for all the new bugs, and my maples trees are flowing sap for maple syrup. What could be better? Skipped stitch solutions, that's what.

So a new problem was solved last week. Skipped stitches going from left to right. Cleaned all the lints, checked connections, etc. and just happened to notice the nut was loose that holds my back horizontal sensor in place. That has never happened before, but it makes sense that over time the vibrations can cause a loosening of nuts and bolts. Tightened it up and good to go. Solved.

Well, it made sense to check all the other nuts and bolts on entire machine. Several places needed a little twist and snugging. I'm going to add this to my maintenance check each time I clean and go through routine after I finish a quilt. Who knew?

Also, can I remind everyone to establish a good tension on the bobbin first, then adjust the top tension. If you go back and forth adjusting both tensions, there isn't a starting point or standard, shall I say?

And, one more discovery. The thread has to go through the hole above the needle before threading into needle. I made that mistake early on and it was impossible to maintain consistent tension.

Have a great day ladies!

From the Editor: Carol, you're terrific for sharing. Thank You!

~ Julie

Husqvarna 18/8 long arm stitches
by: pdq quilts

I've owned mine since 2010..had to have my husband tear it down, found stryefoam inside the case..didn't help for the stitching to go smoothly. The stitch regulator doesn't work...find I can do nicer work on my own...haven't tried the qbot yet.

I have talked several times with Denise Applegate at shows as she is their spokesperson. She's very helpful to ask question about the qbot. It has taken a lot of practice to get slightly confident in using it. Just had to have my repair man come out as it wouldn't respond to the hand controls. My repair man was helpful enough that he emailed us the whole maintaince book -free- so cross your fingers as my husband will install the needle down sensor and or the motor sensor tomorrow. The parts were $70.00 but travel time cost 200.00 so opted to do it ourselves.

Sometimes I'm nervous about starting a top, worried about how much work goes into it and how fast it can get screwed up if the machine goes bad! But will keep trying I have way too much invested to quit!

Mega 18
by: Joan in Canada

You think you get no support in the States, try being in Canada, non existant.

Have had nothing but trouble since I bought this in 2011. The auto never worked and other cables were not right, the board blew and needed a new one. Luckily this was under warranty, but took months and many visits to fix.

The auto still doesn't work and today in the middle of a rush job it started to squeal and completely died. It is no longer under warranty and will probably cost an arm and a leg.

My advice is don't buy--no classes, no support and are left hanging.

Skipped stitches, eyelashes
by: Terry

I have had my Viking long arm just over a year.

The first problem I had was skipped stitches. When I moved the machine front to back it would skip stitches. I cleaned the rollers that the machine glides on with a clean soft cloth. You can get a build up of lint and dust that adheres to these rollers and it will throw the machine off. It is very picky about this. I clean mine often. The same thing can happen side to side.

As for eyelashes; this can be caused by bobbin and or upper tension problems. I started with the upper tension and when that didn't solve the problem I made a very minor adjustment to the bobbin until I got a good balance. Your quilt doesn't need to be tight; another cause.

I found you by accident and am so happy to talk with you all.

by: Anonymous

Purchased 18x8 Viking Mega Quilter in 2008. Took until 2010 to build frame attach machine, install Qbot and actually sew on the thing. Qbot works great! Do have to practice. Also, web tutorial was a great help. E-mails to Qbot company were always responded to and helpful. Very little help available for Viking quilter. (However, I do love my Diamond.)

Am still trying to get hang of good, steady tension in both Qbot mode and manual mode. Has anyone found a magic setting for upper and lower tension settings? Sometimes it's great, sometimes not. Have both bobbin tension and upper tension gizmos, but tension still not great. 95% of time fooling with tension, 5% of time sewing.....very frustrating.

skipping stitch
by: Anonymous

I too have the 18X8 and in the beginning, I was ready to chuck it out the window.

The first machine I purchased had the timing all every time I tried to sew, the needle would hit bobbin and break. Where I purchased my machine, had very little experience, so I rely on Longarm quilting group. It is amazing how helpful everyone is who longarms. Everyone started with almost the same problems I have...which is good...doesn't make me feel so stupid.

Tension was a HUGE problem for me in the beginning and now that I have it working, I am so afraid to change it. :(

Still have tons to learn with my machine, but I do like it much better now. I am now having missed stitching, but in reading the other comments, I think I have my quilt too tight. I will try to loosen it up tomorrow and see what happens. Thanks for all of advice you have all given and good luck to us all!

Carol - Mega Quilter
by: Angelyoda


I just got my Mega Quilter. Yesterday was the first night that I "played" with it. Stitches were horrible. The wheels were off and the stitch insert wires were not connected.

Stitching great today.

Until I got my finger caught in the metal area that moves up and down where the thread goes. All I will say is that it is painful. It was a rookie mistake. I was winding the bobbin and my thread got knotted. Unfortunately, for my finger I tried to get the thread while it was still on. Painful.

Just wanted to say thank you for the tip about the mirror. That is a great tip Carol. Boy was I surprised to see the the backside of the quilt sample when I took it off.

I wound the bobbin but now the top thread is not lifting bobbin thread.

Is there a secret to loading the bobbin. Any and all help appreciated.

The pictures in the book I have are awful.


Mega Quilter
by: Carol, Midlothian, Va

I purchased the Mega Quilter last Fall (2011) and finally feel, shall I dare type the word, "confident" and would commend the machine. Yes it takes practice and learning, practice and learning and more practice, discerning situations and becoming more alert to problem solving when the need arises. Absolutely...learning how to adjust tensions, top and bobbin, recognizing needle deflection issues and all the rest...but so worth the effort.

Classes would be so wonderful, but sadly Husqvarna doesn't offer that. So, ladies, I propose we share what we know, what we learn, what we want to know, what we want to learn. Maybe even have our own training events and project ideas. Food for thought.

I'll share a few tips I have picked up along the way that have made the world of difference for my quilting success.

1. I had my quilt sandwich way too tight which was causing serious needle deflection, eyelashes (or some use the term railroad tracks). The fabric tension was too tight from the side clamps.

2. Every time I put in a bobbin, I cleaned the case, the entire area under the face plate and adjusted the bobbin tension. I found that by the time I would get about 1/2 way through a bobbin, the tension required a cleaning and tension check as well. If I did that, I didn't discover a problem underneath the quilt later.

3. I also check at the end of every section underneath with a magnifying mirror and flashlight..just so that I'm not unpleasantly surprised and discover I had a problem and didn't know it.

4. Last note about thread tension. Set bobbin tension first, then adjust top tension. I always have a "mini sandwich" along both sides to experiment with tension and practice new free motion motifs as well before attempting on quilt. Those minis can be used as samples for reference later, so no waste (or potholders?).

My email address is if anyone is interested in a more formal sharing venue for the Mega Quilter users.

Hope my experiences can help someone.


Owner of Husqvarna Mega Quilter 18 x 8 and Q-bot
by: Jean

I am ready to throw it out the window. I have had nothing but trouble with both the 18 x 8 and the q-bot.

The place where I purchased it won't stand behind their product. It has been 3 years of hell!!! I still don't have a machine that works properly!

The machine was sent into Husqvarna and came back in terrible condition. It was dirty and the handle on it was bent and fragments of metal were all over the machine! Obviously they ran it with it bent. They also sent in the q-bot and told me nothing was wrong with it.

Guess what?

I took pictures of what the display was doing and they just can't imagine what is going on. The place I purchased both items at tried to blame it on my operating the machine (which they trained me on), a possible power surge (the machine is unplugged when not in use and I don't even use it if it's raining or storming), how it is threaded (once again something they trained me on), the SD card must not be correct (it came with the machine)...the list goes on and on.

They then told me to contact Husqvarna myself and Lighten Up Technologies (Q-bot) to which they gave me the number and neither would speak to an individual who purchased the items. They could only talk to a supplier.

Please...whatever you do make sure you don't purchase a Husqvarna or Q-bot and do alot of homework on products. Make sure the place will stand behind the product they sell and have them sign a sheet stating this.

Viking long arm Mega Quilter 18X8
by: Andrea

I own the Mega Quilter and I love it.

It is a smooth running machine and so far I have had very little problems with it. I do wish that there was more support for a master class for me to go to. The class that I did take was one time for just a few minutes. My sewing machines (of which I have seven) are all either Vikings or Brothers and I have had very good luck with them....but...

...I do envy how Bernina owners have their Master Classes as does Gammill.

It would be wonderful if somehow we could attend classes so we could feel comfortable with them. I hope the parent office of Husqvarna read these comments.

It would be nice if they would consider something like this.

Novice Quilter
by: PurpleGram

I own a Viking 18 x 8 and a Designer Diamond. Thoroughly enjoy both machines.

I find the longarm is a good machine to sew with, but wish there was a better way to wind bobbins. I have found it is difficult to put a new needle in and have it in the right position. Right now I am having some problem with skipped stitches.

On the whole, the longarm is easy to use- both to load and sew with. Am wondering if the pre-wound bobbins may be part of the problem. Any suggestions from anyone?

Easy Peasy
by: Debdab

I have an Innova 18" with lightening stitch and it is great. Use a special ruler called the 'appliguide' and you don't hook your applique material.

It takes practice but Fun! Fun! Fun!

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