The Three Pillars of Building a Profitable & Sustainable Longarm Quilting Business - FREE video

Tweak Function for Intelliquilter


In this demonstration, we'll talk about the Tweak function for Intelliquilter. Tweak is perfect for expanding or contracting a pantograph to fit a space. I tend to use this for dense pantograph designs or ones that need to match up precisely. 

The digital pantograph design I'm using in the video is called Fancy Feathers. I thought this one would be a good example to use for demonstration purposes because it's a dense design and it requires every other row to be offset at 50%.  When I first started learning how to use the Tweak function, I could not figure out how to make it work when the rows required offsetting! So, what I'm saying is that if you learn it this way, the steps for using Tweak will be even more straightforward when working with a digital pantograph that requires no offsetting. :) 

Before we even start stitching, let's talk about the initial setup of the quilt in IQ.

I select Pantograph and then Enter Rectangle Manually. I usually add a full 10" to both the width and the height of a quilt top when I'm setting up a pantograph, just so I can make sure my quilting area is plenty big, knowing I'll clip off what I don't use. Adding 10" is easy math. But, if I think I'll be using the Tweak function, I'll intentionally only add 4" to the width and height. The height won't matter much as our adjustments will only be side-to-side, but the excess width accounts for 2" extra on the left and right sides. This makes panning and matching your point on the screen with the point on the quilt easier in future steps.

I recommend reading this article for general tips when aligning fussy pantographs. I didn't mention this in the video here, but I want to highlight that I've pinned the backing and the top to my leaders instead of using Red Snappers. I believe this to be more accurate when realigning the fussy designs. In the article linked in this paragraph, you can find a tip for fixing your horizontal alignment if it's off.

From the Sew screen, I select the very first row to stitch from left to right and then I select the Panto Sequencing Assistance button.

This is where I'd tap the middle L to R button.

The next screen is where I'll select the T-OFF button to "tie off" the threads at the end of each row.

And then I apply the same sequence to the whole quilt by selecting the WHOLE button.

After each row is stitched, it'll turn red on the screen and every row that is still shown in green (to be stitched) will be tweaked/adjusted at the same time. Once a row is stitched and appearing red, it will not move or respond to the tweak adjustments.

Follow these steps when it's time to advance or realign:

• Quilt the first pass as you usually would.

• When a pass is finished, advance the quilt if necessary and baste the sides.

• Click realign, Zoom in to find a point in the center of the quilt on the tablet to use as a realignment point, move the red crosshairs to that point and select continue.  

• Move the needle to that same point on the quilt and click ok.

• Stop the machine and click adjust.

• Select the Clip button and hit the -/+ button to switch to Tweak mode.

• Hit the Continue button when it warns you that your previous adjustments will be lost.

• Making sure you're not in Zoom mode, touch the dashed line on the right, it changes to red when it's enabled. (If the line moves when you select it, you can always click the Undo button to try again, or you can use the arrows in the next steps to counteract the pattern movement that comes with the line moving.)

• Find a distinctive spot on the quilt and on the screen as close as you can to the edge of the quilt. Move the needle to that spot. Drop your needle to verify you are on the exact point, and then make sure to raise the needle.

• Locate the intersection of the long green horizontal and vertical lines on the screen. This will reflect where the needle is on the quilt.

• On the screen, find the next row that shows the exact same placement as the location marked by your "needle down" spot. If you are using a pantograph design that requires no offsetting, the very next row can be used for comparison. If you are using a pantograph that requires offsetting, you'll want to look for the row after the next row. As in the video, I've marked Row 7 on the quilt, so I looked at Row 9 on the screen to compare.

• Zoom in to get a good view the comparison point of the future row, then take the Zoom off.

• On the screen, use the arrows < > to adjust the pattern inward or outward. You can click as many times as you need to in either direction until the green vertical line representing the needle position lines up with your comparison spot on the pattern. 
• When it's aligned as closely as possible, click on Zoom Full to view the whole quilt, turn Zoom off again and select the vertical dashed line on the left side. Your adjustments for the right side will be saved.

• Making sure the dashed line is selected (it will turn red), move your needle to a distinctive point close to the left edge, just like we did on the right. Test it by dropping your needle on that point and raising the needle up again. 

• Find the comparison point on the screen (whether that's the next row or the row after, depending on if you are offsetting rows) and use the arrow buttons < > to adjust the pattern until the comparison spot and the vertical needle line match up.

• Hit finish and then the stop button to clip the pattern on the edges.

• Click the Adjust button again, and touch the Tweak button next, click the -/+ button to change the mode back to Clip.

• Move the needle outside of the quilt top, select the vertical dashed line again changing it to red and click the Snap to Needle button.

• Select the other vertical dashed line on the left to enable changes on that side. Move the needle just outside of the quilt top and hit the Snap to Needle button.

• Click Finished and stop the machine if necessary, using the Restart button to begin at the start point of the next row. 

Repeat these steps as needed to complete the quilt. The "proof" is in the margins! Traditionally, I'd have the biggest difficulty in the pattern or pattern nesting along the edges. I'm happy to show you this whole right side is looking goooood! 

I have to thank Shelly Moore of Ma Tante Quilting and Rebecca Egg of Morning Song Quilting Co for their help in educating me about the Tweak function! They are members of the Longarm League and without their guidance, I wouldn't know what this tool is or how to use it! 


Join our email list

We'd love to share a little bit about how we support longarm quilters through education and community. Updates typically go out on Wednesdays - we'd love to stay in touch with you!