Irregular stitch length

Recommended Posts

I have an APQS Liberty machine that is acting up. Recently I have been having problems with the stitch length. It will go along just fine and suddenly it will take a really long stitch, then a few short stitches, and then a long stitch again. When this is happening the machine head seems like it is hard to move. It will carry on like this for a bit and then start stitching correctly. I have recently changed to a higher loft batting and wondered if that was contributing to the problem or if I may have a timing issue. I did change one of the wheels that I think works with the stitch regulator and the stitching was better for a while. I do know that there are two of those wheels but only one was replaced. I'm just not sure that that is the problem. I don't think this is a skip stitch problem as there aren't any holes when the long stitch is created. It seems more like the needle may be sticking but I have replaced the needle, cleaned the machine thoroughly, and played with the tension. I hope I have made some sense here and any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


Before providing blanket solutions for the skipped stitches, it's helpful to know if this happens in both stitch regulated and manual sewing modes. If the machine skips the stitches in only the stitch-regulated mode, then an adjustment to the small rubber encoder wheels may be necessary. However if the machine skips stitches in the Manual sewing mode also, then it may be a timing related issue.

It's also helpful to see if the stitches are skipping in one direction only. Try moving the machine first only left and right for several passes to see if the machine will skip stitches. If it does, then a look at the encoder wheel and encoder box that travel along the long rear rail on your table. This encoder is attached to the rear carriage axle and tells the machine to stitch left and right. If the machine only skips stitches while moving the machine forward and backward, then the problem may be focused on the sewing head encoder and wheel. This encoder is located directly in front of the thread stand on your machine on the left hand side (when standing on the pantograph side of your table).

If you discover that the machine skips stitches in Manual mode as well, then it would be a good idea to review the timing setting. A machine does not normally "go out of time" on its own. However, a broken needle or a near miss can sometimes affect the hook and needle relationship, causing a timing issue. You may find it helpful to visit the instructional videos that we have included on the APQS web site. Here is a link to the video which addresses how to adjust the encoder wheels, along with a link to the timing video.

Please feel free to call us at 800-426-7233 or e-mail our service team at for additional help. That's what we're here for! :)


APQS Customer Service & Education Director


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.