Tips And Tools Tuesday – A Stitch Regulator

I hope that the initial photo here has made you curious.

As you know, I've been really enjoying learning to machine quilt using my domestic sewing machine.  I've watched many videos on YouTube and learned a great deal from watching professional long-arm machine quilters. One thing I've noticed is that many, if not most, of them talk about using the stitch regulator on their long-arm machine to get perfectly even-sized stitches.

Well, my good-ol'-reliable home sewing machine doesn't have that. So, learning to coordinate the pressure of my foot on the peddle with the moving of the quilt with my hands has been very challenging.

I'm getting better, but still, that tiny bit of extra pressure on the peddle if not equally met by my hands moving the quilt sandwich under the needle results in uneven stitches. Sometimes it's not very noticeable. Other times, Woah! Seam ripper time.

What's wrong with this picture?

Notice the larger stitches in the left line on the green fabric? There are various size stitches within the same line of stitching! UGH!

Now look at the line just to the right of it. Big difference, huh?

Did I mention I don't like to rip out quilting stitches?

Well, I've got the speed at which my hands move the quilt sandwich under the needle to a pretty consistent rate. My foot peddle speed, however, is still iffy at times.  

So, I've figured out a way to keep my machine speed at the same rate.

Here's a side view of my machine peddle.

The bottom section is appx. 1" high at the end. That's a lot of space to use. A big variance of speeds available to me within the peddle.

So, I decided to devise a way to make my peddle depress only so far and no farther. That way, I can just step on it, and it won't go faster than I'm able to keep up. Yay!

So, here are the supplies.

One clothes pin, separated. (I only needed one half.) Surgical tape. The length will depend on the size of your peddle.

I also tried using stick matches stacked together, but the clothes pin worked best for me. (If you try using matches, strike them and burn off the striking ends and wipe off the char before stacking and wrapping them.)

I first stood the clothes pin half on its side, but that didn't allow the peddle to depress far enough which made the speed way too slow. So, I laid it down flat and used the surgical tape to secure it.

Now it goes down to just the perfect speed for me.

That's one less thing I have to worry about. I can simply concentrate on moving the quilt sandwich to follow the pattern. Yay!

Now, look at my quilting stitches.



Perfect? No. More consistent? Oh, yes!

If you've been having similar issues while machine quilting, maybe it's time to make yourself a stitch regulator.

Give it a try.

I'd love to hear from you!

I hope this helps make your quilting easier!


4 thoughts on “Tips And Tools Tuesday – A Stitch Regulator

    • lookoutmountainquilter says:

      Hi Lori,
      Sorry it took so long to moderate your comment. I had cataract surgery Wednesday morning and have been a bit draggy. Usually I get a notification on my phone that a comment needs moderating, but, though I’ve been checking periodically during the last few days, I didn’t see one. I am feeling better today and back in my sewing room catching up on computer stuff. Let me know what you attach to your peddle to regulate your stitches.
      Again, sorry I’m late answering your comment.

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