How to Record a Pattern with a Computerized Quilting Machine

Posted by on April 11, 2014

On the TinLizzie18 computerized quilting machines, it is very easy to record your own pattern. It saves you all the trouble of digitizing the pattern in software.

Following are the main steps and a few tips to help you with the process of getting a pattern into the pattern catalog by free motion recording.

Pattern Preparation

You might have a hand drawn pattern, or one that you found in some other field of design that you wish to have in the quilting computer. It is easier to record a pattern that is in the 6 to 10 inch range than one that is teeny tiny. You may also want to record your own free motion backgrounds or feathers. Remember, you can blow up or shrink down any of the patterns you record with the edit features on the quilting computer. Be sure when recording that you lap the start and stop over a few stitches if it is a block or closed pattern. If you are recording a pattern that you want to connect, for instance, repeats in a pantograph, you must remember to start and stop on the same leveling plane so the ends will connect when you add the repeats together. You can record from the front or from the back of the machine. You can be stitching or you can trace without stitching. You can use the laser light if you wish, or you can just trace using the needle on the machine the same way you would use a pencil.

Click on the Home Button.

Click on Free Motion record.

The following screen is the one you should see next.


Click on the start button and it will turn into a stop button. The recording is now measuring every move. You can pause and rest as long as you do not move or touch any buttons. The recording will not show that you paused. Take as much time as you need.

If you are actually sewing, you do not need to add the tie-offs as the computer will automatically add those to the pattern along with all of the normal prompts.

The intersection of the cross hairs on the screen is the location of the needle, as it is measuring from the needle.

QM2When you finish stitching or tracing, just click on the stop button.

Then click on the save button.

Next, you’ll want to name the pattern. Be patient, as the keyboard takes some time. Your pattern will be located at the very bottom of the pattern catalog. Remember, you can take patterns out with a USB stick and put them back in the file where you would like to store them.

Quick Tips on Free Motion Recording

  1.  Make sure the belts on your computer components are set perfect for tension. If the belts are too tight they will “hum”. If you belts are too loose they might not track accurately. The long belt that goes end to end of the machine frame is called the “X” axis belt and should have not more than 4 inches of top to bottom play in it. The black belt on the side of the machine and is the smaller belt of the two is called the “Y” axis belt. This black side belt is too loose if it sags down. When you get it just tight enough so that it is straight then it will most likely be just right. There seems to be a happy point where the machine is tight enough to track and pull itself accurately and loose enough so that you can push it with the belts attached and record a good pattern.
  2. If your pattern looks choppy in the picture in the pattern catalog after you have recorded and saved it then your computerized system is due for an update. The update is generally free and you can download it yourself on the Quilt website.
  3.  To find out what version you already have so that you can compare on the Quilt EZ follow these steps:
  • Click on the Home Button
  • Click on Set Up
  • Click on Updates
  • Click on System Info and write down the number in your version both software and firmware. 


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Leave a Comment


  1. Sheila says:

    Figured it out… from Quilt You just touch the start icon again, and the computer starts a new pattern.

    NOW: Since you have to have the X, and Y cables engaged, and the motor box engaged, to trace, and save a pattern. How do you get a smooth pattern, that you would want to keep, and use. The machine is horribly jerky under these circumstances

    • kelleyn says:

      Hi Sheila…Since the cables move the machine during the Robot functions, there will be a noticeable difference using free motion while the Tin lizzie is engaged. The cables will cause the quilter to feel the weight of the machine. When the machine is disengaged from the cables the carriage has 16 points of contact with the rails and moves very smoothly. Recording requires that the machine be engaged to the cables, thus, there is a learning curve as the quilter learns to move smoothly during recording. Hoping this helps!

  2. Sheila says:

    How do you erase the pattern on the screen, after you have saved it,or DELETE the pattern, so that You can do another pattern, without turning off the machine?

  3. Nora Bordach says:

    One of the first things I did when I bought my machine was to record my own pattern designs. This was a very easy process and worked wonderfully. It was a little choppy until I got the hang of it, and then it turned out lovely. I have used my own designs on client quilts and my clients love them. This is a wonderful feature of the Quilt Magician.

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