How to Switch from FMQ to QCT Seamlessly!

The most frequent question I'm asked about QCT is how to switch from computer-guided quilting back to regular free motion quilting. Learn how to switch from FMQ to QCT seamlessly in this video:

Quick links to the quilt panel and quilting gear I'm using in these videos:

Basket Weave with QCT Quilt Along

Try this technique in a fun project!

Qnique 21 on a 10 Foot Frame

Quilters Creative Touch 5

QCT 5 Beginnings

White Isacord Thread

How Do You Free Motion Quilt after Installing QCT?

Once you install a Quilter's Creative Touch (QCT) system on your quilting frame, it's easy to assume that that's all you can do! 

But you can still do all the normal free motion quilting and ruler quilting and channel lock techniques you've been doing with QCT installed. 

The biggest key is this:

Do not make any changes to the belts or motor of your QCT system.

All of these parts still stay in place, even when you are not using QCT.

To begin free motion quilting, simply turn on your machine, but do not turn on your tablet or open your QCT software. If the tablet is not plugged in and the software not open, you are not using QCT!

To double check what settings you're using, always check your longarm monitor.

Qnique Longarm Monitor

The monitor will say "Regulated Cruise, Regulated Precise, or Baste" and all of these displays mean the machine handlebars are in control (regular FMQ) instead of QCT.

If the monitor says "Quilt Motion" that means QCT is in charge and your handlebar buttons will not work.

Qnique Longarm Monitor

How to Switch from FMQ to QCT Seamlessly

There are lots of fun techniques that combine QCT computer-guided designs with free hand free motion quilting. This is my typical work flow when quilting like this:

1. Place and stitch the design using QCT.

2. Hit "Finished, back to pattern placement" and the machine monitor will switch to Regulated Precise, which means the handlebar controls are working once more.

3. Use the buttons on the handles to change the machine's settings to Regulated Cruise and begin free motion quilting.

4. Once I'm done quilting that area, I break thread and place and stitch another design using QCT.

I break thread because when placing a design with QCT, you must move the machine around the quilt to set your placement nodes. This requires you to break your thread so the machine can move freely.

That's it! I hope this video has helped you see how easy it is to switch from QCT to FMQ and back again.

To see this in action in a bigger project, check out Video 2 of the Basket Weave with QCT Quilt Along.

Let's go quilt,

Leah Day