Quilting Machine Operator

Set up and operate machines to heat-seal vinyl film to cotton.
picture of Quilting Machine Operator

Quick Stats


Salary Range
$18,000 – $49,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor


What do Quilting Machine Operators do?

Sets up and operates machine to heat-seal vinyl film to cotton and synthetic filler in specified patterns to produce quilted fabric: Reads work order to determine specifications, such as type of vinyl film and batting, die pattern, and total yardage to be fabricated. Bolts die to underside of machine ram with assistance of other worker, tapes insulating paper to bumper plate of machine, and mounts bumper plate onto machine bed under die. Loads vinyl film and batting onto roller bar with assistance of other worker, using hoist, and lowers roller bar onto machine feed-off winder. Adjusts ram stroke and pull-away arm to specified positions, using wrench. Adjusts thermo-seal unit controls for radio-wave frequency, sealing time, and electrical current, applying knowledge of product specifications and machine operations. Buffs die surfaces to remove burrs, using emery cloth. Adjusts slitter knives to specified width of finished material, using rule and hex key. Pushes buttons to activate machine for trial run, inspects quilted fabric for defects such as die cutting through material, and adjusts control settings to correct defects. Restarts machine and observes feeding, positioning, heat sealing, and winding operations to detect malfunctions. Continuously observes light signal that indicates drainage of residual current from die and machine bed after die-sealing operation. Pushes buttons to stop machine when signal is not emitted and notifies designated personnel. Attaches red tape to fabric to mark defects, such as burns, smudges, and printing errors. Positions and tapes end of quilted fabric emerging from machine onto takeup roller, pushes knob to set automatic yardage counter to zero, and pulls lever to stop winder when specified yardage has been reached. Cuts off material, using knife, tapes material end to roll, and wraps and labels roll, following prescribed procedures. Carries finished rolls to specified storage area.


Should I be a Quilting Machine Operator?

You should have a high school degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Levelheaded: You hold your emotions in check, even in tough situations.
  • Reliable: You can always be counted on to do a good job.
  • Detail Oriented: You pay close attention to all the little details.

  • How to Become a
    Quilting Machine Operator

    Quilting Machine Operators generally graduate from high school and get on-the-job training. Think about earning a Certificate or Associate’s degree to increase your chances of finding a good job. Check out these schools offering Quilting Machine Operator-related education!
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