Arduino Quilting Machine




The Arduino Quilting Machine combines the mechanics of a sewing machine, CNC technology and Arduino as an operating system. The project is designed to translate a vector file from a computer into G-code and subsequently into Arduino language which then moves the machine. The project uses four stepper motors to control the x-axis, y-axis, the bobbin case, and the threading. The bed moves in x and y direction while the threading moves up and down. This project is currently a work in progress and still being developed and tested.

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Step 1: Block Diagram

Step 2: Parts

Step 3: Laser-cut

1. Most of the parts are from laser-cut. I modeled in Rhino first to see how it looks and then make this laser cut file. The file is for 3/8”, 1/8” and 1/4" plywood.

2. Glue all the same parts together to prepare for construction, for example, all the A1 together, and all the B2 together....etc.

Step 4: Deconstructing the Mini Sewing Machine

Instead of fabricating all mechanical parts of the sewing machine, I took the existing parts of a mini sewing machine and reassembled them for my Arduino Quilting Machine. The only custom parts are the shuttle hook cover, shuttle race, bobbin case and the entire needle bar.

Step 5: Construction

1. Take out linear bearings, and place it in C1/C2 and E1/E2.

2. Place square nut into C3/C4 and D1/D2.

3. Glue C1/C2/C3/C4 on each corner of B1 ( This is the bed of the machine that moves X direction), and place B2 on top of B1.

4. Place one threaded rod and one linear shaft into C1/C2/C3/C4, and then put it aside.

5. Glue D1/D2 and E1/E2 on both sides of F1 (This is the bed of the machine that moves in the Y-axis), and place one threaded rod and one linear shaft into D1/D2 and E1/E2.

6. Glue a piece of P1 on top of A1/A2, I1 and J1, and then place A1/A2 at both ends of the linear shaft of the X-axis bed, and place I1 and J1 at both ends of the Y-axis bed.

7. Use the rest of P1 and some 1/4" screws to tighten both linear shafts.

8. Glue L1 to M1, and L2 to M2. Place two stepper motors on top of them.

9. Connect threaded rod to stepper motors with shaft couplers. Just one on each end of the two rods.

10. Place G1 at the end of threaded rod of X-axis bed, and H1 at the end of Y-axis bed.

11. Place and glue the entire Y-axis bed on Q1.

12. Place and glue the entire X-axis bed on the Y-axis bed.

Step 6: RAMPS/ Stepper Motor Drives/ Stepper Motors

1. The heat sinks prevent the drives from overheating. Before placing the stepper-motor drives on the RAMPS-shield, heat sinks should be placed on the drives with adhesive tape.

2. In order to make a clean connection between stepper motors and RAMPS that can easily be adjusted in the future, solder the wires to female headers and cover them with heat shrink. After soldering, connect the wires to the RAMPS. The wires from each stepper motor are color-coded red | blue | green | black and should be connected to pins 2B | 2A | 1A | 1B respectively. The first digit denotes the number of the stepper rotor inside the motor, and the second digit denotes polarity (e.g. 2A would be “second stepper rotor with ‘A’ polarity”. The polarity is not predefined, which means it can be either as long as both A’s have the same polarity).

3. Connect external power to the RAMPS. On the left side of the RAMPS you will find four screw terminals. The bottom two screw terminals are for 5A current, and top two are for 11A current. RAMPS is designed for 3D printers, so the 11A is for the heating element inside a 3D printer. The lower terminal of the screw terminal set is ground, the upper terminal is positive.

Step 7: Sketch

This is a sketch I found on online to test if the connection of the Stepper motors are actually correct. Library is included in the package.

1 Person Made This Project!


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24 Discussions

Crooked Stitches

2 years ago

Is there any update? We have a manual long arm and it looks simple to add the Arduino and stepper motors. I have added the stitch regulator and it works great. What I am trying to learn next is how do you start in the middle of a pattern when the thread brakes or bobbin runs out? Also what are the process to get a design from an image in my head to G-code for the Arduino?


2 years ago

I am thinking of making an MPCNC ( I wonder if it would be possible to combine the MPCNC's XY-movement with something like this.


2 years ago

Did you ever complete?


3 years ago


Wife just a long arm. It is OLD with no computer. Next project is to automate. Looking for interested people to collaborate with. I have ideas for stitch regulator.


2 replies

Reply 3 years ago

I'm working on automating a long arm too. How far have you gotten?? Lets chat!


Reply 3 years ago

Good to here from someone.
We are moving so everything is a mess. Use regular email.



3 years ago

Hello.. i am really interesting in this georgeous work!... how is it going wight now?


3 years ago

WOW I wonder in my husband can make me one. Looks very complex. Is it for quilting or embroidery? Do you have a video of it in operation?


4 years ago on Introduction

nice work. very inspiring. This is something that interests me and has applicability world-wide to put this type of tool in the hands of those who need it at a price they can afford is worthwhile.

Great work!!


4 years ago on Introduction

I cringe a vertical video, probably from filming eyes are located vertically.

меня одного коробит вертикальное видео, наверное у снимавшего глаза расположены вертикально.


4 years ago on Introduction

Fantastic project. I built a CNC machine, this is close to that, but adding the sewing machine makes it more complex.

My wife needs a quilting machine - this is inspiring !

You do good stuff! Keep it up.


4 years ago on Introduction

I will try to do this project seems interesting, then I'll try to do a little embroidery, to see what comes out !.

Congratulations and thank you for all that you teach us.


5 years ago on Introduction

Nice work! Interested to see what you make from it.... Nice bike too! Congrats on getting featured twice on instructables.. Thanks for sharing


5 years ago on Introduction

nice work... but this is not why i am commenting is because i've never look an asian like her before you habe a nice face :)


5 years ago on Introduction

My mom does quilting with a computer controlled Long Arm (similar to the picture I attached). That's a monster of a machine by contrast to the instructable size. But, considering my mom's machine cost her about as much as a car, a small machine for tiny projects would be cool to see in an affordable/customizable package. Like someone else commented... I would love to see the instructable version in action.

1 reply

5 years ago

do you have a video of this in action?
I want to see how it works before I build it

1 reply
Yu-Ning Lincverzini

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

hey, unfortunately no because this is still under development. I am still working on it. I am on the phase of coding right now.