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Sewing Machine Needle Stops Up

I purchased a new sewing machine before I got into quilting. My question is I have been practicing free motion quilting but when I stop, my needle stays up, which I think causes me to move the piece and messes up my stitches.


You are right. Ending with your sewing machine needle in the 'up' position contributes to having a jagged place in your quilting.

Needle Up/Needle Down Feature

Many of today's newer domestic sewing machines have this helpful feature.

Needle up/needle down button
Since you just bought your machine, double check the manual to see if your machine has this 'needle up/needle down' feature. My Viking D1 machine has a button on the front that looks like a needle with up and down arrows next to it.

Because your machine always ends a line of quilting in the 'up' position, it's quite possible that you have this feature, and it is set to 'needle up'.

If your sewing machine doesn't have needle up/needle down, then see if tapping your foot pedal once or twice changes the position of the needle. Many domestic sewing machines do have this feature.

If your machine does, then when you need to stop quilting to change hand positions, stop the machine. But before you move your hands, tap the foot pedal to put the needle in the down position to hold your quilt sandwich in place. Then move and reposition your hands. With practice, you won't even have to 'think' to do it.

If your machine doesn't have this either, then when you stop quilting, you'll need to manually position the needle in the down position with the hand wheel.

This does sound like work, doesn't it?

But if you start now, to practice the movement of putting the needle down manually, in no time at all, it will feel 'normal'. The motion just becomes a part of 'what you do' to free motion quilt and get the results YOU want.

Don't wait until you get to a 'real' quilt before you start practicing this motion or it will feel 'foreign'. Practice it right along with your other free motion quilting skills. You'll get used to it!

Good luck to you. I hope this has helped to solve your problem.


Julie Baird

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