Problems With The Bernina Q20 (Solutions Included)

The Bernina Q20 is one of the best-selling Bernina sewing machines however, just like any other machine available on the market, it has problems of its own. The article below highlights some of the most popular Bernini Q20 problems and how you can easily troubleshoot them at home.

Table of Contents

What Is Bernina Q20?

The Bernina Q20 is a long arm quilting machine that has a unique user interface and a 20 inch throat space. This machine gives you the opportunity to quilt without any foot control and it has a fast threading and winding system.  The Bernina Q20 has 50 LED lights along the throat space and above the needle, which makes it easier for you to see your work in low light situations.

Bernina Q20 Problems

NB: Bernina machines are sold whilst they are in perfect condition, and the problems indicated below are usually as a result of human error or wear and tear of the machine.

1. Skipped Stitches

One of the problems which you may experience when using a Bernina Q20 machine is that of getting skipped stitches on your fabric. This problem is usually caused by any of the following reasons;

  • Use of a wrong, blunt or bent needle.
  • Use of incorrect needle system.
  • Quilt sandwich might be pulled too tight.
  • Needle might be wrongly inserted.
  • Use of incorrect needle point.

Troubleshooting Skipped Stitches Problem

If you notice that your Bernina Q20 is producing fabric that has skipped stitches, here are a few troubleshooting techniques that you can make use of.

  • Use a new Bernina needle on your machine.
  • Check needle system and use the 130/705H needle system.
  • Check quilt sandwich and ensure that it is not pulled too tight.
  • Check how you inserted the needle, if it is wrongly inserted you need to fix your mistake.
  • Match the needle point with the texture of your fabric.

2. Screen Does Not Respond

Another problem which you may experience with the Bernina Q20 is that the screen might refuse to respond no matter how many times you try to click it. The problem is mainly caused by any of the following;

  • Eco mode might be active.
  • You entered wrong calibrating data.

Troubleshooting Screen Not Responding Problem

When you notice that the screen of your Bernina Q2O is refusing to respond there are 2 things you can do to fix the problem and these are;

  • Deactivate Eco mode.
  • Recalibrate the screen.

3. Trouble Updating Firmware

The Bernina Q20 can also face challenges when trying to update its firmware. In some instances you can get an error message from the display screen. This problem is usually caused by the following factors;

  • You might be using a wrong USB stick that is not recognized by the machine.
  • The firmware update might be blocked.
  • The machine might not recognize the update data.

Troubleshooting Update Problems

If you are having a hard time updating the firmware of your machine, here are a few things that you can do to try and resolve the problem.

  • Make sure you are using a Bernina USB stick for your updates.
  • If the update is blocked, remove the USB stick and switch the machine off and on again. Continue installing the update whilst following the notifications or instructions that appear on the screen.
  • If the update data is not being recognized make sure you unzip the data first before installing it.

4. Needle Breaks

The needle of a Bernina Q20 can also break whilst you are sewing. This problem is caused by many factors some of which include;

  • Improper installation of the needle.
  • Use of substandard thread that has knots.

Troubleshooting Needle Breaks Problem

If the needle of your Bernina Q20 continues to break there are a few things which you can do to resolve the issue.

  • Install needle the correct way, you can also refer to your manual in order to see how it is done.
  • Use quality thread on your machine.

5. Upper Thread Breaks

The upper thread of a Bernina Q20 can break and this problem is usually caused by any of the following factors;

  • Upper thread might be too tight.
  • Incorrect needle to thread ratio.
  • Use of poor quality thread.
  • Machine might be wrongly threaded.

Troubleshooting Upper Thread Breaks Problem

If the upper thread of your Bernina Q20 machine continues to break, there are a few things you need to do in order to resolve the problem.

  • Reduce upper thread tension.
  • Match needle with the correct thread size.
  • Ensure that you are using quality thread at all times.
  • Ensure that machine is threaded correctly before quilting anything.

6. Uneven Stitches

Another problem which you may experience with the Bernina Q20 is that of getting uneven stitches on your fabric.  Uneven stitches usually happen when any of the following occur;

  • Needle might be bent or blunt.
  • Upper thread tension might be too tight or too loose.
  • The thread might be substandard.
  • Machine might be wrongly threaded.

Troubleshooting Uneven Stitches Problem

When you notice that the Bernina Q20 is producing uneven stitches you need to check all of the above stated possible causes. In order to troubleshoot each cause, you can use the following ways;

  • If the needle is bent or blunt, use a new Bernina needle.
  • Check upper thread tension and adjust accordingly.
  • Check the type of thread you are using and ensure that it is of high quality.
  • Rethread your machine if it is wrongly threaded.

What Is The Difference Between Bernina Q20 And Q24?

The main difference between a Bernina Q20 and Q24 is that the Q20 has a throat space of 20 inches whilst the Q24 as a throat space of 24 inches.

What Is The Difference Between Bernina Q16 And Q20?

The main difference between the Bernina Q16 and Q20 is that the Q16 has a throat space of 16 inches whilst a Q20 has a throat space of 20 inches.


Bernina produces quality sewing and quilting machines, and the Q20 is one of their best models. It is worth noting that the problems in this article can be avoided if you take good care of your machine.