Running In Place and How to Fix It!

How’s this for a familiar scenario? You are busily piecing on a quilt and there’s a deadline (either self imposed or otherwise) and every time you come to a seam, the machine can’t quite climb over the several layers of fabric confronting it. It begins to do what I call Sewing-In-Place, which translates to the fabric not moving under the foot as it should, and the machine is packing in stitches one on top of the other instead of spaced out like they should be. The needle has probably jammed a couple of those layers of fabric down into the throat plate of the machine.

Now, what do you do? Well, one choice would be to take the piece out from under the machine foot and start over. The same thing will probably happen again.

The second choice would be to set the needle into the fabric in what we call the needle-down position. Then lift the presser foot and gently lift the fabric so it moves up the needle. Take a long needle—a darning needle or a doll needle works well—and pierce the fabric just behind the machine needle. Put the foot down and start to sew slowly while gently applying a little pressure to the darning or doll needle to coax the fabric to feed as it should.

place doll needle behind machine needle

Place darning or doll needle behind machine needle.

Put Presser Foot Down and Push Fabric Through

Put the presser foot down and use the needle to gently push the fabric as you begin sewing.

This problem most often occurs when the needle hole on the machine’s throat plate is a wide one. That’s the one used for fancy stitches. You can also change the throat plate to one with a single hole as another option.

If this still doesn’t work, please feel free to bring in your machine and project and we will do our best to help you solve the problem. We hope to see you soon!


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