How to Fix Quilting Mistakes? | Solving Correctly - Sew Insider (2023)

Quilting is the process of joining at least three layers of fabric together, and it is an essential part of sewing. Don’t know whether you do it manually or mechanically, but it is evident that you are facing some issues while quilting, and that’s the reason you are here.

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We welcome. This post contains the best solutions for fixing quilting mistakes. Are you there to grab them in a while?

Okay, here we go!

How Do I Fix Quilting Mistakes?

Today we will give you three brilliant solutions in this respect. You will learn how to fix this problem with the help of fabric glue, permanent fabric markers, and hand sewing. The details are waving at you!

Fixing by Fabric Glue

In fabric art, fabric glue is necessary, indispensable to be more exact. Mistakes are very natural in sewing, no matter how expert you are. So it would help best if you learned how to utilize fabric glue.

You see, fabrics have a much higher fray rate comparatively. Do you want them to fray right through the seam? Well, then you have to stitch them too close to the edge. Alternatively, your stitch length should be a little bit too loose for that specific fabric.


However, the problem is- it does not come into being as you expect. Merely when you sew down all around and leave it unbreachable to get that exact spot, it starts working. Perhaps you are a sufferer of such an issue. It becomes a matter of pain when you have big stuff to quilt.

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No worries, fabric glue can be your savior! You will have a number of top-notch fabric glues out there. Better choose one that dries invisibly and can endure endless washings. You will need to wait merely 24 hours to let your fabric glue work for you. It is that simple!

Apart from that, you had better utilize fabric glue as an extra hold for buttons, beads, etc. It provides you with additional protection that means it won’t get loose. And you can do another thing for added security. Use a drop on the thread knots on the backs of your quilting project.

There might be a case of free-motion quilting where you have gone too fast. And as a result, your bobbin thread might get very loose. In such a situation, you just glue it! You don’t need to rip it out. You don’t need to restart the whole project at all!

Fixing by Permanent Fabric Markers

The Sharpie Permanent Fabric Markers are the best among all. No matter whether you go to Walmart or Amazon, you will have them available. These are the best markers to mark out mistakes and ease your quilting.

Experts usually use a 24-color set. For example, if you love to use too much bling, you better use a few gold and silver colors. Otherwise, darker colors such as black, navy, and brown are most handy to fix quilting mistakes.

How to Fix Quilting Mistakes? | Solving Correctly - Sew Insider (3)

Let us share a trick for the sake of your backing. When you need to sew with beige, use a matching marker plus color over the beige. Then the beige will be no more! On the other hand, your backing might be a dark fabric, and you would select a light thread for quilting.

In that case, you merely need to employ a fabric marker and color over the lighter thread that matches. Thus, you will get your desired thing!

You will have these markers particularly beneficial for your custom appliques that are so small that you cannot sew. Oh yeah, you may prioritize something else than the dark colors too!

You can utilize fabric markers on the backs of my projects as well. When? There might be a case where you have sewn something down by hand, and there is a mismatch between the thread color and the backing fabric. Nothing to wonder about, matching thread to the front instead of the back also becomes urgent in some cases.

Fixing by Hand Sewing

Hand sewing is not only a tradition but also a need. In some projects, machines do not work. You can cover lots of detail through hand sewing. So it would help best if you kept some hand-sewing needles, and scissors near you. These will be enough to fix quilting mistakes.

How to Fix Quilting Mistakes? | Solving Correctly - Sew Insider (4)
(Video) Hide Your Quilting Mistakes!

Know-How to Avoid Common Quilting Mistakes

As a beginner, chances are very high that you will make mistakes. It’s natural. However, when we become familiar with some common mistakes in advance, we can remain cautious and avoid them significantly.

Forgetting Pre-wash, Starch, and Press

Before starting a project, it is essential to pre-wash, starch, and press fabric. Many beginners either ignore this or forget. Some mistakenly think these are unnecessary time-worthy jobs. However, the fact is, it saves your time and helps avoid lots of trouble.

For instance, you will find starching superbly beneficial while piecing patchwork blocks. You would be glad to know that a stiff fabric that is not easily distortable maximizes the accuracy of the piecing.

Straight Grain Versus Cross Grain

It would help best to cut borders or sashing on the straight grain. The reason is- the fabric does not stretch to the amount you need when cutting on the cross-grain. Besides, it will be wise to pay heed to the outside edges while cutting pieces for a patchwork block. You had better cut it into pieces. This way, you will cut them on a straight grain.

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Squaring up Bocks Prior to Gathering Them into the Quilt Top

It is another common mistake with beginners. Generally, we create blocks in different sizes while sewing patchwork blocks. You should keep continuing if you intend to follow a square pattern from the very beginning.

On the contrary, you need to ponder before you cut the blocks. You can come up with different block sizes if the difference is not too big. To be more specific, it should not be larger than 1/4” or 3/8”.

There might be intersection points at the block’s outside edges. If you square up, it will change the seam allowances of the blocks. Moreover, you will come up with chopped-off points if you piece the blocks together.

Needles Type Issue

You are mistaken when you start free motion quilting despite being run out of Jeans needles. Yeah, it’s true that the Topstitch needle creates a substantial difference in this respect, however, you will have the (Jeans) Knitting needle comparatively better.

Wavy Borders

If you leave wavy borders, you will face trouble. True that it helps you move ahead faster and you will be late with your project ultimately. Why? It is because this is not the most precise way of adding borders.

So you have to think about how to fix quilt-building mistakes in this regard. If you fail to discover the problem before or after quilting, then you will face wavy borders. No worries, there is a tactic to minimize the border size so that it becomes smaller than the center of your quilt.

For this, you have to measure the top vertically, the left and right edges, and through the center. Then come up with an average measurement so that you can employ this to cut the vertical borders. Afterward, add them to the apex of the quilt.

Following that, you need to measure the top horizontally, the top and bottom edges, and through the center. And again, use the average size and cut the horizontal borders.

How to Fix Quilting Mistakes? | Solving Correctly - Sew Insider (6)
(Video) Top 7 Tips to Fix Stitch Quality Problems

Finger Pressing Versus Pressing

Did you know pressing may misshape your blocks? In spite of having some benefits, it has some drawbacks. Remember, when your blocks require many steps, and seams along a lot of pressing, you will face unfit pieces.

There would be some edges that you are yet to sew. So even if you press, dare not touch the iron edges when there are edges cut on the bias. Therefore, it would help best if you iron instead of pressing. And please don’t create a zigzag motion as you do at the time of ironing.

Instead, press and lift the iron and push it toward the next area. Then put the iron down and keep pressing. It will be wise to press only if you are done with the block.

Preferring Straight Seam instead of Diagonal Seam

You mistake when you piece binding strips with a straight seam instead of a diagonal seam. If you do the opposite, you will taste the benefit. What sort of benefit is that?

The binding will lay flat, and the quilt edge will be smoother. Overall, it will achieve a better shape.

Piecing Thread Quality Issue

Sometimes we rely on a cheap thread and pay for that. So we would like to recommend Aurifil for piecing. You can not only employ it in the needle, but also in the bobbin. You will find the seam smoother. Most importantly, the thread won’t fall apart, and you don’t need to clean it again and again.

Fearing Seam Ripper

When you get afraid of a seam ripper you make a colossal mistake. Otherwise, it’s natural to make mistakes and unpick. You will have to do it when you get engaged in a big project like quilting for a show. No worries, the more you gain experience in unpicking free-motion quilting stitches, the more you excel and do it in a shorter time.


Do not let the ghost of perfectionism intrude on your mind. It will sicken you. You had better think that there is nothing like perfectionism, and you just need to carry on. Interestingly, you can give your best only in this way!

Frequently Asked Questions And Answers

Question: Do you quilt from the center out?

Answer: No. You should not quilt the lines that are stitched from one side to the other. It will help you avoid any distortion.

Question: Why does my quilting pucker?

Answer: Usually, pucker in the quilting is a consequence of a basting process. There might be issues like unspread or insecure backing in the process. Or, if you use too few safety pins, you may face this.

Question: Can I use an all-purpose thread for quilting?

Answer: Obviously, you can! It is an apt choice for hand quilting. Actually, it depends on what you sew.

(Video) Magic tool against puckers in your quilt

Question: How do you adjust the tension on a quilt?

Answer: In small increments, you need to change a dial or computer setting to adjust the tension on a quilt. On the other hand, you may prioritize employing an industrial tensioner in need.

Question: Why does my sewing machine run noisily?

Answer: A noisy machine can be a consequence of needle damage. Or, it may also mean the lint or oil is collected on the hook or needle bar.

Question: Why is my fabric bunching up?

Answer: It is called tension pucker. Perhaps you were sewing with too much tension. Whenever the thread tries to regain its original length, it comes up with the seam that causes pucker. And it becomes visible a bit later.

Question: How do you prevent drag when quilting?

Answer: Well, for this, you need to make your quilting space as flat and slippery as possible. You will get additional control over your stitching if your quilt glides across the surface of your machine and table efficiently.

Question: What thread tension should I use?

Answer: Generally, the default position is 4.5 for normal straight-stitch sewing since the dial settings run from 0 to 9. It is favorable for most fabrics.

Question: Can you use a pencil to mark a quilt?

Answer: Sure, you may feel free to use a pencil, pen, or marker. Particularly, if you are looking for a temporary mark on your fabric, you better choose a marking pencil made for fabric!

Question: What is seam puckering?

Answer: It means the accumulation of a seam at the time of sewing, after sewing, or after laundering. It results in a problematic seam appearance. You will find it a common issue with woven fabrics.

(Video) Sewing Machine Tension Issues SOLVED

Wrapping Up

Now you have all the know-how to deal with quilting mistakes. You do not merely know the best three means to fix them but also the ten common issues to avoid while quilting. Now, who can stop you?!

It’s high to keep rocking in the sewing world. We wish you a stroke of good luck! Have a good day!


How do you fix uneven quilt blocks? ›

Quick Fix:

If the discrepancy between two blocks is small, let your sewing machine ease in the difference. To join the blocks, layer the two blocks on the bed of your machine with the smaller one on top; do not engage the even-feed foot on the top.

Why are my quilt squares not lining up? ›

Quilt patterns are designed to fit together like puzzle pieces. Each piece has a ¼″ extra on it to account for seam allowance. If you sew your pieces together and your seam allowance is not exactly ¼″ your quilt block will not line up properly. Imagine puzzle pieces that are too big or too small.

How do you match seams perfectly in quilting? ›

To get perfectly matching seams, the best technique is to press the seams of your two blocks in opposite directions. That way they fit together like a cute little puzzle. Lay right sides together and then... Pin both sides of the seams with a fork pin.

Do you square up a quilt before or after quilting? ›

Once your piece is quilted, you need to make the edges even and square before adding your binding. It is easier and more accurate to trim the quilt sandwich if the three layers are sewn together at the edge. Otherwise, the bottom layer can shift and you end up with edges that are not the same.

What causes wavy quilt borders? ›

You may be stretching the quilt itself or your binding fabric. Pulling on either of these can result in one being slightly longer than the other and causing the quilt edges to wave.

Should I square up quilt top before adding borders? ›

It is important to square your quilt top before adding the binding. This will ensure that everything is neat and square. Double-checking this step will help you achieve a straight edge quilt and provide an even foundation for sewing on the binding.

What is the easiest quilting design? ›

One of the easiest quilts for a beginner to make is a simple patchwork quilt. A square patchwork quilt is made from fabric squares that are sewn together in a simple grid pattern. You can cut squares from your own fabrics, or start with a precut fabric bundle called a “charm pack” or “layer cake”.

What are the 3 different techniques used in quilting? ›

ZJ explains that quilting can be categorized into three main quilting styles- pantograph, free motion and custom. A pantograph is an all over design on a quilt. This can be done using a computerized long arm machine or by following a template.

How do you get an accurate seam allowance? ›

Dos and Don'ts of the ¼” seam allowance test
  1. take the time to accurately cut your strips.
  2. sew TWO seams, not just one.
  3. press the seams well to one side.
  4. place the ruler over the top of the piece to measure the width.
  5. take the time to fix the seam allowance if it's out of whack.
Nov 27, 2017

Do you press seams open when quilting? ›

Many quilters always press seams open, with good results. Press open when lots of seams come together in one spot, creating too much bulk. Quilt tops are flatter when seams are pressed open; that problem becomes more of an issue when using heavier fabrics such as flannel or denim.

What tension and stitch length for quilting? ›

For straight stitching, it is advised to set your machine's stitch length to 2.5 to 3.0 or about 8-12 stitches per inch. This range works quite well for a majority of machine quilting but there are always exceptions when you make a rule. For threads with sparkle or shine, use a longer stitch length.

What causes puckering quilting? ›

Puckers in the quilting usually result from a basting process where either the backing wasn't spread and secured properly or too few safety pins were used or things shifted as the quilt was positioned under the needle and quilting began.

Should you always quilt in the same direction? ›

Quilt in the same direction

Whether you are quilting top to bottom, left to right, or along the diagonal, always start at the same end and finish at the other end, sewing in the same direction each time.

When quilting do you start in the middle? ›

Start quilting in the middle of the quilt and work your way out. This will eliminate pleats and puckering that may form if you try to work from one side to the other.

How much larger should batting be than quilt top? ›

You want your batting to be larger than your quilt top (front) by about 4″ bigger than the length and height and slightly smaller than your quilt back. In other words the backing should be the biggest of the three layers.

What is improv quilting? ›

Improvisational Quilting is quilting without design rules, boundaries, or specific intentions. While the basic quilting techniques of piecing, pressing, and trimming apply, the design is free, fluid, and flexible. The design is built as you go.

What is an orphan block in quilting? ›

Orphan blocks are extra blocks made to test block patterns or blocks that were made for quilts or projects that never got used.

What is the easiest way to square up a quilt? ›

The simplest way to square up a quilt for binding is to mark a new edge along the quilt's perimeter. You'll then align the binding raw edge with this new line when attaching it. Use whatever marking tool you're comfortable with; this mark will be hidden inside the binding.

What is shadowing quilting? ›

Shadowing occurs in a quilt when a darker fabric shows through a lighter fabric. The National Quilting Assocation considers this an issue of quality in their summary of quilt judging criteria.

Should quilt borders be cut crosswise or lengthwise? ›

CUT two side border strips the length of the average measurement of the quilt. Borders cut on the crossgrain have a little 'give'. Borders cut on the lengthwise grain do not have 'give'. If your border needs to be eased to the quilt use the crosswise grain.

Should I press quilt seams open or to side? ›

Pressing quilt seams to the side is faster than pressing open and makes it easier to lock seams in place, sort of like a puzzle. It gives you that little added help in a clean seam intersection. This occurs because seams are pressed to opposite directions when sewing sections together.

How close should quilting lines be? ›

How far apart do you want your quilting? If I'm doing horizontal lines, I'll usually do 1"-1.5" apart. If I'm doing criss cross quilting (lines in both directions, like I did in this quilt), then I'll quilt my lines further apart... typically about every 2"-3".

How do you make quilt seams lay flat? ›

Press on the backside of your fabric piece first to get the seam to lay flat. Press your seams however you like. What is this? Then turn your piece over and give it a light pressing on the front side of your seam as well.

Which borders go on a quilt first? ›

Generally, the side borders are added first. Measure the length on each side, and also measure the center of the quilt. If the measurements differ, take an average of the three.

What does no scrim mean? ›

Scrim – scrim is a thin stabilizer that is sometimes layered onto batting to anchor the fibers, keeping them from separating or stretching, and allowing the quilting stitches to be placed further apart. Scrim is often needle-punched onto the batting (but batting can be needle-punched and not have a scrim).

What is a floating border on a quilt? ›

Sew and then press the seams toward the borders. The 'floating' flying geese border. And that's how you make a border with pieced blocks that appear to 'float' on the background. This technique works especially well with Amish-style quilts with a black background – the pieced blocks appear to 'pop'.

What state is known for quilting? ›

Over the past 11 years, Hamilton, Missouri, has generated a list of nicknames: the Disneyland of Quilting, the Quilting Capital of the World, and Quilt Town, USA.

What is the best stitch length for machine quilting? ›

The average machine quilting stitch length chosen is between 10 and 11 stitches per inch. This length complements both delicate designs as well as bolder quilting motifs. However, your stitch length may need to change as you increase both your batting thickness as well as your thread thickness.

What is the most popular quilt pattern? ›

Log Cabin Quilts

Log Cabin quilt patterns were and remain one of the most popular quilt patterns in America. They combine simplicity, symbolism and frugality with a rich historical pedigree. To many, Log Cabin quilts are the American quilt.

What is the oldest known quilt pattern? ›

The Crazy Quilt is probably the oldest of quilt patterns. Early quilters used any scrap or remnant available, regardless of its color, design, or fabric type.

What is the hardest part of a quilt? ›

In the beginning, the hardest part for me was getting my fabric cut properly so that it wouldn't go all wonky on me while sewing. I have learned over the years to take my time while cutting so that I can avoid having uneven pieces. It takes practice. Lots and lots of practice to perfect the skill of cutting.

What are the 4 basic types of quilting? ›

There are four basic types of quilting, though there are all sorts of patterns that use more than one of these techniques. Our four basic types of quilts are: Pieced, Appliquéd, Paper Pieced, and English Paper Pieced.

What math is used in quilting? ›

Geometric thinking is required to make any modular quilt pattern, but some quilters also choose mathematical subject matter for their quilts.

What is a crazy quilt pattern? ›

A crazy quilt has blocks assembled from irregular and sometimes scrap pieces; there is no set pattern or design. Crazy quilt patterns were popular during the Victorian period when they were made with silks and velvets and heavily embellished with embroidery, beading, lace, and ribbons.

How do you redo a quilt? ›

How to Repair an Old Quilt – 5 Options
  1. Patch It. The simplest way to repair an old quilt with a big hole is to patch it. ...
  2. Stitch Away. With smaller holes and rips, simple stitches can be used to mend the fabric. ...
  3. Deconstruct and Start Again. ...
  4. Applique Patches. ...
  5. Recreate Your Old Quilt.
Apr 13, 2017

How do you adjust a quilt pattern? ›

For instance, if your pattern calls for 3-1/2″ squares, first you'll subtract the sum of the seam allowances (1/2″), double the finished block size (from 3″ to 6″), and add the seam allowance back in (1/2″). So, when all is said and done, you will cut a 6-1/2″ piece of fabric.

How do I fix the eyelashes on the back of my quilt? ›

When you see “eyelashes” on your quilt, check your thread path in the top and bobbin. The tension is too tight on whichever side the eyelashes appear. In this photo, the red bobbin thread is pulling the top thread to the back of the quilt. Loosen the bobbin tension and/ or tighten the top tension.

How do you layer a quilt inside out? ›

Lay the quilt top on the floor, right side facing up. Lay the batting on top, followed by the quilt back. The back should be facing down. Pin around the entire quilt to hold the layers together.

Can you quilt the back of a quilt? ›

Quilt backing is the bottom layer of a quilt sandwich. They can be made from large cuts of coordinating fabric (such as 44″-wide quilting cotton ) that are stitched together to fit your quilt, or they can be cut down from 90″ or 108″ cuts of quilting cotton that are specially designed for backing large projects.

What is the last step in making a quilt? ›

Step 7: Bind the Quilt

Adding binding finishes the edges of your quilt nicely after quilting. There are a few methods to binding, and quilters usually find a favorite method and stick to it.

What is fuzzy cutting in quilting? ›

Fussy Cutting refers to the technique of carefully selecting a specific motif or design in a fabric and cutting it to the exact size needed in a quilt block or pattern.

How do you not cut off a point in quilting? ›

Getting your points sharp comes down to a few steps:
  1. Accurate cutting (which boils down to good quilting rulers)
  2. Accurate 1/4″ seam allowances.
  3. Proper pinning.
  4. Close attention to visual queues that help you place the seam lines as you connect rows and blocks.

What causes eyelash quilting? ›

Second, eyelashes on the top of your quilt (less common) is caused by your top tension being too tight and pulling the bobbin thread through. Finally, eyelashes on the back of the quilt (most common) are caused by your top tension being too loose and pulling to the back.

What is the correct sewing machine tension for quilting? ›

Most sewing machine manufacturers calibrate tension using 50 wt thread on the top and in the bobbin. The technicians adjust the machine to create a balanced straight stitch while sewing on two pieces of fabric.

Does the bumpy side of batting go up or down? ›

Quilters who don't know about “up and down” often put the dirty side down, so that the seed flecks don't shadow through the quilt top. However, this is incorrect! The dirty side is actually the right side of Warm and Natural and should face up when layering the quilt.


1. How to Fix 3 Common Mistakes when Machine Quilting the Woodgrain Design
(Angela Walters)
2. Correcting Sewing Machine Tension for Free Motion Quilting
(National Quilters Circle)
3. Fixing Mistakes While Peicing a Quilt
(Debra Carmona)
4. The most common cause of sewing problems on a vintage sewing machine
5. COMMON SEWING MISTAKES AND HOW TO SOLVE THEM! ✂ (so there's less to be scared of!)
(Evelyn Wood)
6. Sewing Machine Won't Stitch, Won't Pick Up Bobbin Thread, How to Fix Hook Timing
(Technical Hands)


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