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What causes stitches that look diagonal on the top of the quilt

I just completed a quilt that looked fine then I put on a practice sandwich to prepare for a class and even though I am using the exact same thread top and bottom, same batting and same needle that I used for that quilt, my stitches on the top of the practice quilt appear to be slightly diagonal. I am using a red thread on top and a medium blue on the bobbin of the same weight so I do see a slight blue dot on the top when the stitches form but I have to look for it. The back looks fine-- I've rethreaded, cleaned the bobbin case, bobbin area, oiled, turned the needle to 5:30 and then 6:30, loosened the sandwich on the frame, tightened it, increased tension and decreased tension top and bottom with no change. I have been at this for a couple of years now and had the problem once before but can't recall what actually fixed it. Is this an optical illusion, a timing issue, or something else?


  • Karen_Clark,

    Occasionally when you are using a light colored fabric and a darker thread your stitches appear to be diagonal. Using a ball point needle can also cause your stitches to be slightly diagonal. The direction that you are stitching in can also make the stitches appear that way.

    We do recommend using the same color of thread on the top and the bottom. Then you won't see that slight dot of color in the needle hole.

    If you have any more questions please feel free to contact Handi Quilter.

    Best regards,

    Cheryl Duncan
    Handi Quilter Studio Educator
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