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Computerized Quilting Help Tutorials - Quilters Creative Touch 6

Written by: Leah Day



Time to read 17 min

If you are a beginner to computerized quilting or interested in learning more, you're in the right place! Quilter's Creative Touch (QCT) is Grace Company's quilting automation system. This system helps you quilt precisely and quickly using a computer to guide your machine on your quilting frame.

In order to begin computer quilting with Quilter's Creative Touch, you will need:

  1. Compatible Frame - ALL of our current frames work great with QCT!
  2. Compatible Machine - Qnique Longarms* and the Little Rebel sewing machine
  3. Quilter's Creative Touch System installed on your frame

Whether you're new or experienced in quilting, this guide will help you get started computerized quilting. Within this QCT Help Tutorial, you'll find help setting up, managing your software, and troubleshooting common issues.

Computerized Quilting with Leah Day

Affiliate Links - This post includes affiliate links to the products I personally use for computerized quilting. Clicking these links helps support our education efforts at no additional cost to you.

What is Quilters CreativeTouch or QuiltMotion?

Quilters Creative Touch is an automated quilting system designed to work with Grace Company's Q'nique longarm machines and Little Rebel sewing machine.

The QCT system includes three elements:

  1. Drive Motor that moves of your machine and bottom carriage.
  2. Timing Belts that feed through the drive motor, creating the precision movement.
  3. Software installed on a computer tablet to plan, place and stitch your designs.

By attaching the QCT 6 system to your quilting frame, you'll be able to quickly and easily quilt edge-to-edge quilting designs. This computerized quilting program comes with over 100 designs installed and ready for basic all-over style quilting.

Video 1 - Why Try Computer Quilting?

Quilters CreativeTouch software can be upgraded to access more designs and advanced computerized quilting features. In this short video, you can see the hundreds of quilting designs included with QCT 6 Plus and how the system works on your frame:

The software level I'm showcasing in the video above is for QCT 6 Plus. This level of the software gives you hundreds of new designs and the ability to import new digital quilting designs too.

Each software level has different features and designs. If you upgrade your software, but love edge-to-edge quilting with QCT 6, you can also switch back to the simpler version of the program to use your favorite placement and computerized quilting methods.

Which Machines are Compatible with Grace Company's QuiltMotion?

All of Grace Company's machines on this list are compatible with Quilter's Creative Touch 6 computerized quilting system:

  1. Little Rebel Sewing Machine
  2. Qnique 16X Longarm
  3. Qnique 16X Elite Longarm
  4. Qnique 19X Longarm
  5. Qnique 19X Elite Longarm
  6. Qnique 21X Elite Longarm

Legacy (Retired) Machines are compatible with QCT: Qnique 14+, Qnique 15R, Qnique 15 PRO, Qnique 19, Qnique 21, Qnique 21 PRO.

*The Qnique 15M and Qnique 16X Manual are the only Q'nique Longarm Machines not compatible with Quilter's Creative Touch software.

Note - Previous versions of QuiltMotion were compatible with a range of home sewing machines as well. If you are currently using QCT 5 with a home sewing machine other than the Little Rebel, do not update to QCT 6. Your sewing machine may not work with QCT 6.

Building Your Computerized Quilting Machine

The first step to computer quilting is to attach the system to your quilting frame. This computer quilting system is compatible with all current Grace frames and some older frames. Keep reading to see if your older Grace frame will work with QCT!

Qnique longarms and Little Rebel manuals include comprehensive steps to setting up your frame and automation in the correct order. Take your time completing all the steps to add your drive motor, timing belts, and computer tablet bracket to your machine and quilting frame.

If you have purchased your machine, frame, and QCT at the same time, you will use all 3 manuals at the same time to assemble your quilting system. It will feel a bit like reading a "choose your own adventure" book.

Take your time with the assembly of your computer quilting system and don't forget to take breaks, rest, and eat when needed. Building a quilting system can be fun if you take your time and order enough pizza!

Video 2- Quilters Creative Touch Assembly

This video is from 2019, so it is a little dated now. I've edited the video down to an overview of adding Quilter's CreativeTouch to your quilting frame. This video will allow you to see if adding QCT to your quilting frame is something you want to do. Please watch this even if you plan to ask a friend or hubby to build your quilting system:

Note - Some of the steps, like threading the belts, have changed since 2019. Grace Company continues to improve Quilter's Creative Touch, our instruction manuals and processes. Make sure to follow the manuals for your quilting frame, longarm, and QCT carefully to assemble your particular quilting system.

Since becoming a Grace Company dealer in 2018, I've helped many quilters with Quilter's Creative Touch. This system can be intimidating with the number of pieces and extra brackets included. The key to mastery is to not be afraid of it and having your hands in on the build is very important.

You should be prepared to build your computer quilting system yourself. Ask for help when lifting your longarm machine, of course! By building the system yourself, you're far less likely to be intimidated by it. Keep in mind, computer quilting requires you to do far more than tighten some bolts. You'll also need to be able to update your software, maintain the drivers, and do firmware updates.

The fact is - if you're terrified of touching it, you just won't use it.

By the way - we include all the brackets for our current quilting frames and a few older frames too. This means you will have LOTS of pieces left over from your Quilter's Creative Touch assembly. Stick the extra pieces in a box in the back of a closet. You never know when you'll upgrade from a Evolution Hoop to an Evolution Elite frame and you might just need a different bracket!

Can I use Quilter's Creative Touch on My Older Grace Frame?

If you have an older, legacy Grace frame, it may be compatible with QCT! Check the photo for quilting frames that can have our quiltmotion system attached.

Unsure of the name of your Grace frame? Check the sides of your frame. You'll usually find the Grace Company logo and frame name printed on the side.

As you can see, some of these frames require a new bottom carriage, which typically costs $279.95. 

We will happily include this new carriage at no additional cost when you order a Quilter's Creative Touch system from us.

Can I use a Qnique Longarm on an Older Grace Frame?

This is a great question too! All of the quilting frames listed are at least compatible with the Little Rebel Sewing Machine. Your frame may be compatible with a Q'nique too, but we'll need to double check just to be sure. 

In some cases, the frame is technically compatible - the Qnique will fit on the frame - but the amount of space lost in the stroke make it pointless to change machines.

Contact us if you'd like to add Quilter's CreativeTouch to your legacy Grace Frame.

Older Grace Frames Compatible with QCT

Computer Quilting Software

Quilter's Creative Touch software is specifically designed for computerized quilting on a frame. If you are looking for software to design a patchwork quilt, I recommend exploring Electric Quilt software instead.

Quilter's Creative Touch Software Requirements

Your QCT system will come with a small USB thumb drive to install the software on your computer tablet. You will need a Windows based tablet that meets the following requirements:

  1. You will need a Windows based tablet running Windows 7, 8, 10 or higher (QCT will not work with Windows RT) with a full sized USB Port.
  2. For best results, select a tablet with a 1.66 GHz or faster processor, 64 GB hard drive with at least 2 GB free for installation. 2 GB or more of RAM is recommend as well as a screen resolution of 1024 x 768.

Click Here to find the computer tablet I'm using and currently recommended for QCT by Grace Company Tech Support. Note: The Surface Pro 9 5G and Surface Pro X will not work with QCT.

Click Here to find the USB to USB-C adapter to install the software and any upgrades you add in the future.

Quilter's Creative Touch comes with a tablet bracket that adjusts to fit screen sizes from 10 to 12 inches. Most computer tablet screens are measured diagonally, so any computer listed as measuring 11.5 - 13.75 inches diagonally will fit the QCT bracket.

An internet connection is necessary for the software registration, activation, and card access benefits. 

Video 3 - Manage Your Quilter's Creative Touch Software

Follow the steps in this video to manage your QCT software. As of June 2024, you can update any level of QCT 4 or QCT 5 to QCT 6.00.60. The beginning of the video shows you exactly what to expect as you update your software to the latest version:

If you are installing QCT for the first time on your computer, you will follow the same steps in the video above starting at 9:54. Make sure to follow the tips at the beginning of the video:

  1. Set your computer on a table (disconnected from your computer quilting system)
  2. Get online - this makes software registration super easy!
  3. Run a virus scan - If your computer wants a virus scan, it might try to prompt a scan in the middle of your software installation.
  4. Update Windows - this may require restarting your computer a few times. Take the time to do this before installing your software or Windows may force you to do it at the worst possible time.
  5. Install, update or upgrade software first thing in the morning on a weekday for the best results. This will ensure you are well rested, have plenty of time, and can reach out for help if something goes wrong.

If you run into trouble installing your software and I am your dealer (you purchased QCT from LeahDay.com), please contact us for help!

If you did not purchase from LeahDay.com, please reach out to Grace Company Tech Support - 1-801-485-6688, Option 2.

Updated Levels to Quilter's Creative Touch

Our software levels changed with the update to QCT6:

QCT 6 - New base level of the software which allows you to do basic edge-to-edge quilting.

QCT 6 Plus - This level allows you to place and quilt designs into specific spaces of your quilt. You can also import designs and create custom pantographs too.

QCT 6 Pro - This software level gives you even more options with pantograph design and placement. You can also record your designs and save them as new quilting designs.

QCT 6 Pro + Gold Card - A Gold Card subscription gives you access to even more creative features! Pattern Eclipse allows you to cut out designs around appliques or blocks - filling the design inside or outside of a shape as desired. Other features include a font stitcher, borders and corners designer, corner maker, and multi-pattern placement options.

If you have an older version of Quilter's Creative Touch, here is how your software will change when updated:

QCT4 Beginnings and QCT5 Beginnings are now QCT 6 Plus

QCT4 PRO and QCT5 PRO are now QCT 6 PRO

If you have a Gold Card activated, your subscription will continue for the length of time you have remaining.

Ready for a Quilters Creative Touch Upgrade?

Taking Your First Computer Quilting Stitches

Whether you are brand new to quilting on a frame, or you're an experienced longarm quilter, it's a good idea to thoroughly test your machine with regular free motion quilting before turning on the QCT software. You are smarter than the computer and will be able to see if your machine is having issues.

Computerized quilting software is not like embroidery software - it cannot detect thread breaks or needle breaks. You must keep an eye on your quilting machine for this reason and be on the lookout for issues like skipped stitches or breaking thread.

For this reason, first prepare your machine for quilting by winding a fresh bobbin, threading your machine carefully, and installing a new needle. I've created two videos to guide you through all the steps I take when getting to know a new quilting machine. Click Here to find a tutorial on beginner longarm quilting.

Would you like a PDF of these initial starting steps? Let me know what you would find most helpful as you begin learning computerized quilting on your frame.

Video 4 - Why I Broke a Needle with QCT

Skipping stitches is an especially hazardous issue when a computer is moving your machine. The very first quilt block I stitched with QCT I broke a needle! Learn why this issue happened to me and the simple solution in this video:

My first broken needle on my Qnique 21 longarm could have been avoided if I'd thoroughly tested my stitches before turning on my computer. The machine will stitch with free motion quilting identical to how it quilts with quilt motion. This means if you have an obstruction bumping your encoders, it will show up as a skipped stitch area when you try to quilt any design across your quilt.

Make sure to watch all of the videos on the Beginner Longarm Quilting post. Some steps may seem silly - like winding a fresh bobbin with a new spool of thread - but they are very important for the troubleshooting process.

Check Your QCT Quilting Settings

The first time your machine starts quilting automatically can be exciting and scary! Make sure to check your settings and that your quilt is properly loaded on your frame before you hit "sew."

When using QCT 6, you will have an option to change your settings on the E2E Start Stitching Screen. Check the upper bar and tap on "Settings." I adjust my settings to have 15 stitches per inch and 2 tie offs. I also keep the pull bobbin thread steps on, but you're welcome to turn it off if you find it annoying.

When using QCT 6 Plus, Pro, or Gold, the settings menu looks a little different. Find the "settings" button on the upper bar of the Power Placement screen. When the screen opens, you have lots of options and here is how I change the settings:

QCT 6 Settings Screen
QCT 6 Plus Settings

Here is a screenshot of my settings for Quilter's Creative Touch. My Qnique 21X Elite longarm has a lot of power and can stitch very fast. I personally prefer to set the speed for computer quilting to "slow" and with the smallest stitch length - 15 stitches per inch. I also change the tie-off stitch count to 2 stitches with the "micro stitch" option.

Quilters Creative Touch Manual

My quilting friend, Janet George, has worked with Grace Company to create excellent quilting guides and manuals for QCT. 

You can now find all of Janet's helpful quilting manuals listed within QCT for you to download and print as desired. Click Here to check out Janet's YouTube Channel for more QCT videos as well!

From the main QCT page, tap "help" and then select "

This will list only the help files that are PDFs. Click on each one to open the PDF, then click "save" to save the file to your computer.

The Help menu also contains many new QCT video tutorials to guide you through many steps in Quilter's Creative Touch.

Troubleshooting Common Issues

Even with the most user-friendly quilting software, you may encounter challenges. Here are some common issues and tips on how to resolve them.

Machine Not Responding

Issue - When you tap "sew" on your tablet and the machine moves, but the needle doesn't stitch.

Solution - You need to select the machine you're using so the software can communicate with it. To make this change, close QCT and unplug the USB cord from your machine. Open the program again and tap "Ok" to begin Simulation Mode.

Making changes to your quilting system and settings with the machine connected can cause the machine to malfunction. Always change settings, update, and upgrade your software in Simulation Mode.

From the QCT main screen, tap "Help" and "Settings" on the right sidebar. This screen will open:


If you need to make changes to your quilting frame or sewing machine, you can do so from this page. You may get a warning message that your program will close if you make a change. That's just fine - it's why we're in simulation mode!

To change machines, tap "Change" and on the next screen tap "Change Sewing Machine Model" in the lower left corner.

Select your machine from the list of compatible machines. Yes, if you have a Qnique 21, this is a different machine from the 21 Pro or 21X Elite. Make sure to select the correct machine from the list.

Skipped Stitches

Issue - Your machine is skipping stitches in a specific spot horizontal or vertical as it rolls across your frame.

Solution - Turn off QCT and test with free motion quilting to find exactly where the issue is happening. Check your encoders. Most likely they are being bumped by an obstruction in that spot and that is causing the skipping stitch. Move the obstruction and test again. Only return to QCT if you are 100% sure your machine is no longer skipping in that spot.

Stitches Skipping Everywhere - If you are skipping stitches when moving horizontally or vertically all the time, most likely you need a new encoder. Reach out to your Grace Company Dealer or contact us for help getting this part replaced on your machine.

Thread Breaks

Issue - As you quilt a specific spot on your quilt, the thread breaks.

Solution - Check the fabric in that area. Often quilts made from different fabric types (tshirt quilts, batiks, silks, etc) can impact your sewing needle differently. Test with free motion quilting (turn off QCT) first to see if you can stitch through the space without breaking thread. If you can't quilt the spot with hand guided quilting, the computer won't be able to quilt it either. Change your quilting design to avoid that spot.

Issue - Thread breaking in different areas of the quilt, breaking cleanly around the needle.

Solution - Most likely you're using a thread that is too thin. Thin thread is pretty, but it can really make life difficult. Test a few different threads to find one that breaks less. My favorite is Isacord polyester embroidery thread because it's thin, but rarely breaks on any of my machines.

Issue - Thread is breaking in different areas, shredding around the needle or threading path.

Solution - Check the height of your quilting foot. Having your foot too high can cause thread breaks. With the needle in the down position, loosen the foot on your machine and push it down, firmly against your quilt top. Tighten the foot screw. Test again.

Sometimes shredding thread can also be caused by the thread having too much twist. I find switching the way the thread wraps around the top mast of my machine can often help with this.

Continue testing and troubleshooting to find a solution that works. Remember when troubleshooting - only change one thing on your machine at a time and thoroughly test before changing something else.

Take notes and stay calm.

When you feel yourself getting agitated, take a break. We can often make more mistakes - like missing a thread guide - that add to the original problem rather than solve it.

Difficulty Importing Designs

You can import more digital quilting designs to QCT 6 Plus software or higher. For best results, import QLI or GPF files.

I have designed a few digital quilting design collections which include compatible files for Quilter's Creative Touch. Click on the design collections below to view the designs and expand your computer quilting library.

Computerized Quilting with Confidence

As you can tell, we've only just scratched the surface of computerized quilting! There is so much more to learn about our Quilter's Creative Touch 6 software.

If you're trying to make a decision if QCT is for you, please watch all of the videos posted above. Ask yourself if any parts of the tutorials feel overwhelming or intimidating to you. It's better to be honest about how you feel and to understand the challenges you may encounter with this software.

Do you have any questions about computerized quilting? Contact us for help! This post will be updated regularly with questions, answers, and new quilting tutorials.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day

Leah Day Computerized Quilting Teacher

The Author: Leah Day

Leah Day is a sewing and longarm machine dealer and online quilting teacher. She has been designing quilts since her first nine patch quilt in 2005. Leah loves making all styles of quilts and teaching machine quilting on every type of machine she can get her hands on - from longarms to treadles!

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Frequently Asked Questions about QCT 6

Can I import designs into QCT 6?

No. You must upgrade to at least QCT 6 Plus to import quilting designs sold separately.

I have QCT 5 Beginnings. How do I upgrade my software?

First, follow the steps in Video 2 above to UPDATE your software. If you had QCT 5 Beginnings, you will update to QCT 6 Plus.

To Upgrade, you'll then just need to purchase an upgrade kit for QCT 6 Plus to QCT 6 Pro.

I have QCT 5 PRO. How do I upgrade my softare?

First, follow the steps in Video 2 above to UPDATE your software. If you had QCT 5 PRO, you will update to QCT 6 PRO.

To Upgrade, you'll then just need to purchase a Gold Card Subscription. This subscription lasts for 365 days after you activate it and gives you access to the very best computer quilting features and designs!