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How to get even machine quilting stitches

I have the Handiquilter with a Juki sewing machine, I have difficulty keeping my stitch length even.

I keep practicing but still have some difficulty.

Do you have any advice for me.


I wish there was a magic pill or fairy dust, but there isn't anything except practice and more practice to get the hang of an even stitch length.

There are a couple of things that helped me, though, as I practiced and maybe they'll help you, too.

First, acknowledge and accept that fact that you aren't a machine...celebrate your human-ness, your uniqueness!

When you go to a quilt show, look at the quilting. I'm going to bet that you can tell the ones that were stitched with a computerized machine. The stitches are exactly perfect...machine-like.

You are not a machine and shouldn't aspire to be one. It's OK.

Slow down and breathe...

I quilt on my home sewing machine, a Viking D1. I set the machine speed at about 60% of full speed and then move my hands in an even manner, neither speeding up or slowing down around the various motifs. At that speed I'm moving fast enough so that curved lines are smooth--no pokies!--but slow enough so I can follow marked design lines and/or think about where I'm going.

Try stitching at a slower speed with a constant hand movement. Then practice on things that you know like lines moving back and forth to form a grid or your signature. You'll know where to move the machine, and will be able to concentrate on the speed you move it.

It'll feel weird but give it time...

The slower speed will feel strange if you're currently stitching really fast. Give yourself some time to get used to the feel of it and the sound of your stitches as you move across the practice quilt sandwich. Once you get the hang of it, it'll feel almost meditative.

And there's nothing that says once you've achieved a pretty consistent stitch length (and remember we're not going for machine perfect!) you can choose to increase your machine's speed.

Please keep in touch and let me know how it goes. I know you can do it!

Readers, I invite you to share the tips and techniques that helped you achieve even stitches in your machine quilting. Just use the 'Comments' link below.

Thank you!


Julie Baird

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