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Quilting Pantographs with Evenly Spaced Rows

In this third part to our Pantograph Quilting Series, you'll learn how to advance the quilt and stitch evenly spaced rows. Learn how all of this works in this video tutorial:

Are you quilting pantographs on a longarm machine? Check out the tools and supplies you'll need if you're using a Qnique Longarm machine:

Just in case you're wondering - you can definitely quilt with pantographs on a home machine too! Here are the tools and supplies you'll need:

Mix n' Match Pantograph Rules

In the last tutorial we quilted a partial first row to begin quilting our quilt. I'm quilting a multi-row pantograph so I had one more row to quilt across before I needed to advance my quilt.

Advancing the quilt means shifting the quilt through the frame to reach a new open space in the quilt so you can stitch more rows.

The rule for LeahDay.com Mix n' Match Pantographs is simple:

Stitch up to the red line, roll back to the blue line.

This means when you finish quilting your row, stitch up to the red line marked on the pantograph.

Drop the needle in the down position. This locks the quilt, machine, and laser together. This is super important and the key to advancing your quilt and achieving this even spacing between the rows.

How to Quilt with Pantographs

Now remove the side clamps, any additional accessories like a frame weight, and unlock your rails. 

Roll the quilt back onto your back rail, or if you're using a hoop frame, shift the quilt back until the laser light is lined up with the blue line marked on the pantograph.

Now lock your rails, reset your clamps and get ready for more quilting!

Best Results when Quilting with Pantographs

From the blue line, you'll stitch up to the design line and stitch across your quilt once more. We're now on Easy Street - all you have to do is quilt across and advance over and over until you reach the bottom edge of your quilt.

For best results, make sure to occasionally stop with your needle down and check on your quilt. Make sure your thread hasn't broken, bobbin run out, or tension gone wonky.

How to Quilt with Mix n' Match Pantographs

I like to stop on a sharp point in the design to minimize the visibility of my starts and stops.

Another good idea is to start with a fresh bobbin at the beginning of your quilt and then pull it out and check the amount about halfway through. It is no fun to stitch an entire row and realize you ran out of bobbin thread right at the beginning.

To get a Perfect Pantograph - Follow the Line

It's easy to allow your machine's inertia to take over. The bigger the machine, the heavier it will be and the easier it will want to swing out widely in curves or overshoot points.

If you want a consistent pantograph design, you'll need to keep the machine in control and aim to stay on the marked line with your laser light. This takes practice! 

Remember that pantograph quilting is free motion quilting - we're able to move the machine in all directions. The only difference is we're using the pantograph design as a guide.

So if you swing out for the top of one row and swing under on the next row, the spacing between your rows will be reduced.

How to Quilt with Pantographs

Just keep this in mind as you quilt your pantographs and try to stay on the lines as much as possible.

But also give yourself some grace when it comes to quilting perfectly.

Don't compare your hand guided pantographs to computer guided Quilter's Creative Touch. QCT has the ability to quilt perfectly spaced rows and perfect designs every time.

Hand guided pantograph quilting is beautiful, slightly imperfect, and unique to you.

Join in the fun quilting with pantographs!

You're ready to quilt over the bulk of your quilt. Continue stitching one row at a time, advancing carefully with your needle down to create your evenly spaced rows. Next week we'll finish up our quilt with a partial last row.

Join in the fun anytime begin pantograph quilting with our Mix n' Match Pantograph Designs:

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