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Thread: "mid" arm quilting problems

  1. #1
    Vicky Navarre's Avatar
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    Dec 2006
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    HELP. I recently purchaed a Viking Mega quilting machine and Gracie table w/stitch regulator...I have practiced and practiced, but I have problems with the tention? and thread breaking. When I adjust the tension so the bobbin tread isn't too tight, my top tread breaks. When I adjust the top thread so it doesn't break, the back of my quilt looks like a birds nest.... I am totally frusterated! I have switched types of thread and needles. I am at a lost. I have things so screwed up with my tension, I'm not sure what to do now. The past few attempts go fine for 4-5 inches, then it skips several threads (almost like tacking) and then the thread "freys". Any help would be GREATLY appreciated...

  2. #2
    Super Member ceannastahr's Avatar
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    I don't have a stitch regular and I don't have a viking machine on my Grace frame. But I had the same problem. It was me. I realized that if I started moving faster then machine was sewing I would have skipped stiches. That will also cause the thread problem too. It dose take some getting use too. Mke sure your guilt is taunt not tight on your frame. Also that your needle is sharp. I made a crib size sandwhich just to practice on till I got the hang of it. I also put it on frame before I start quilting a new project just to warm up. Espically if its been awhile since I last used frame. Hope this helps

    Oh I have a Juki TL 98 QE on a Grace sturdy Lite

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    How new is your machine? Does it need servicing? Maybe they could get the tensions adjusted. I use a long arm and had to learn to slow down too. I would out run the regulater and would end up with long stitches. Good luck, and keep trying.

  4. #4
    Vicky Navarre's Avatar
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    Thank you for the suggestions, I have been busy piecing for a quilt just to give me time to think about this challenge. So my DH decided to give my long arm a try :shock: (I hope this face shows me holding my breath!) He too initially had problems, but put all the setting back and adjusted the roller bars - IT WORKED :!: He had problems here and there - but overall IT WORKED (he is hired)... I took a few turns and was very pleased. Found out when the bobbin thread runs out, it messes with the tension, but rethreading takes care of that... Whew, now I can't wait to finishing the piecing on this quilt and give quilting a turn...Happy New Year Everyone.

  5. #5
    Member lakerc's Avatar
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    Angry frustration

    Quote Originally Posted by Vicky Navarre View Post
    HELP. I recently purchaed a Viking Mega quilting machine and Gracie table w/stitch regulator...I have practiced and practiced, but I have problems with the tention? and thread breaking. When I adjust the tension so the bobbin tread isn't too tight, my top tread breaks. When I adjust the top thread so it doesn't break, the back of my quilt looks like a birds nest.... I am totally frusterated! I have switched types of thread and needles. I am at a lost. I have things so screwed up with my tension, I'm not sure what to do now. The past few attempts go fine for 4-5 inches, then it skips several threads (almost like tacking) and then the thread "freys". Any help would be GREATLY appreciated...
    My only help is that I am experiencing the same thing. I had a Pfaff grand quilter and added a Hinterber original frame and life has been a nightmare ever since: breaking thread, non stitching, tension issues out of control. I feel there must be light at the end of the tunnel - Im ordering an ebook on machine quilting. GASP!
    Karen

  6. #6
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    You might consider buying a Towa bobbin tension gauge.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=r...&v=c02F_F_Fyxo

  7. #7
    Super Member
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    on a long- or mid-arm, you have to adjust the tension for different threads. At least on my HQ16, a small turn on the upper thread just won't cut it. Think in terms of half-hour or three-quarters of an hour for each upper adjustment. However, you should adjust the bobbin first. Look for you-tube videos for your set-up, see if the mfr. has on-line videos. After the bobbin tension is correct, then turn to the upper thread to adjust. It takes time and practice (ask me how I know! LOL). Stick with it, it sure is worth it.

    Laurie

  8. #8
    Super Member soccertxi's Avatar
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    My 1st reaction is to ask what size needle you are using? I have found that most new machine quilters are using a needle that is too small for the speed and friction of machine quilting. I would suggest a top stitch or jeans needle if your machine takes a domestic sewing machine needle. Be sure to get your needle advise from someone who quilts on a FRAME...I had to argue with a young man in an industrial sewing machine shop. He wanted to sell me a machine quilting needle. It was fine for quilting on my domestic machine, but not on my frame! His boss finally had to tell him to give me what I was asking for!(I started on a table top frame with a Juki and then a Handiquilter16) The needle gets alot of torque and needs to be sturdier than you think. Even if you are not breaking the needle, you could need a bigger one. My long arm uses a 16 or 18 depending on the type of thread. Hang in there! Its TOTALLY a process...I have been there...frustrating!
    Beth in AZ
    www.bzyqltr.blogspot.com
    Innova 22' with Lightning Stitch and Pantovision
    Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too can become great. Mark Twain

  9. #9
    Super Member
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    WOW-

    I like this thread. Maybe I do not want a mid arm machine after all. I thought they would be easy to use - no problems.

    Thanks for posting this thread. It shedded some light on what is really happening at times.

  10. #10
    Super Member LindaR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by soccertxi View Post
    My 1st reaction is to ask what size needle you are using? I have found that most new machine quilters are using a needle that is too small for the speed and friction of machine quilting. I would suggest a top stitch or jeans needle if your machine takes a domestic sewing machine needle. Be sure to get your needle advise from someone who quilts on a FRAME...I had to argue with a young man in an industrial sewing machine shop. He wanted to sell me a machine quilting needle. It was fine for quilting on my domestic machine, but not on my frame! His boss finally had to tell him to give me what I was asking for!(I started on a table top frame with a Juki and then a Handiquilter16) The needle gets alot of torque and needs to be sturdier than you think. Even if you are not breaking the needle, you could need a bigger one. My long arm uses a 16 or 18 depending on the type of thread. Hang in there! Its TOTALLY a process...I have been there...frustrating!
    I totally agree with this...I use a size 18 most of the time...size 14 just can't take the fast speed and hold up...try that
    Retired and living in NE Michigan

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