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Thread: bobbin tension? not catching stitch in FMQ

  1. #1
    Super Member JanTx's Avatar
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    bobbin tension? not catching stitch in FMQ

    All of a sudden when I FMQ the needle will seem to jump and I'll have a stitch that's an inch or so long. If I keep running the machine it will eventually catch and the normal stitches will start to appear. I'm going crazy trying to fix this. No problem with straight sewing. It's as if the bobbin thread is not catching for a stitch or two. I've taken everything apart and removed the dust bunnies, threaded and rethreaded both top and bobbin.... even adjusted the top tension even though it doesn't seem as if this is the issue. I've read the trouble shooting section of the manual.... I have restarted - only to have these big stitches, have the thread break, even had the needle break - over and over and over again. I'm sooooo frustrated.

    I'm using a Brother 9000 which has a top loading bobbin. On my older Brother there's a screw in the bobbin case that allows you to adjust the tension, but there's nothing in this to adjust.

    Perhaps that's not even the issue ....

    suggestions?
    So many quilts, so little time.

  2. #2
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    I think if the tension is appropriate when straight stitching, it might not be a tension problem. I think maybe you are moving your fabric faster than your needle. Does it happen when you FMQ a straight line or perhaps on a curve? When I took my FMQ class, I had this happen alot, especially when I changed directions quickly. Also, the instructor told our class that once you drop your feed dogs, there isn't any tension on the threads, top or bottom. . .
    No one has ever become poor by giving. - Anne Frank
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  3. #3
    Super Member JanTx's Avatar
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    Good point - it doesn't have to happen on a curve, but it does happen there. I don't drop the dogs - I'm using an open toed darning foot and leave the dogs up. What's driving me crazy is I've done ... 5 - 6 table toppers and 3 lap quilts with NO trouble then on the last two ... many problems. Perhaps getting overconfident and moving fab too fast??? Slow hands; fast machine is what I'm aiming at.

    Your post made me think - my previous projects were mainly meander, though I did one with a flower. This time I'm doing leaves with loops in between the leaves - perhaps this is more direction changes? Have to think on that one. The flowers went off without a hitch, but were more predictable movements....

    Thanks for the input. I've put it all on time out and am doing some piecing - then I'll try again.
    Last edited by JanTx; 05-27-2012 at 09:44 PM.
    So many quilts, so little time.

  4. #4
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanTx View Post
    Good point - it doesn't have to happen on a curve, but it does happen there. I don't drop the dogs - I'm using an open toed darning foot and leave the dogs up. What's driving me crazy is I've done ... 5 - 6 table toppers and 3 lap quilts with NO trouble then on the last two ... many problems. Perhaps getting overconfident and moving fab too fast??? Slow hands; fast machine is what I'm aiming at.

    Thanks for the input. I've put it all on time out and am doing some piecing - then I'll try again.
    You should try dropping your feed dogs! I don't know how you are FMQ with them up!!! Does the darning foot "hop" up and down? When I do FMQ, I turn the speed on my machine way down, the lowest it will go to prevent me from getting to anxious with my hands! As my confidence and groove improves, I will then turn up the speed on my machine.
    No one has ever become poor by giving. - Anne Frank
    Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheQuiltedPig

  5. #5
    Super Member JanTx's Avatar
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    The foot does not hop. I'll try it, but ... it's worked a charm on everything else.
    So many quilts, so little time.

  6. #6
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    Recently (April?) Fons and porter had article on fmq and described this....it happens to me too. The lady said as you fmq the needle bends/flexes a bit because everything/fabric is in constant motion and thus the needle/thread timing can not catch resulting in skipped stitches. She said slow doen. There might have been a needle size change suggestion too. It was a good article. I read it in the bookstore but have been meaning to get a copy of it. Hope I described it ok.

  7. #7
    Super Member JanTx's Avatar
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    Okay - did an entire block with no breakage or skipped stitches so Auntpiggylgn you solved the problem. NOW ... tell me how I was able to do the flowers and the meander with the dogs up?

    I'm also going sooooo slowly - so both of you nailed that one. Getting over confident, I reckon!
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    Last edited by JanTx; 05-27-2012 at 10:30 PM.
    So many quilts, so little time.

  8. #8
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JanTx View Post
    Okay - did an entire block with no breakage or skipped stitches so Auntpiggylgn you solved the problem. NOW ... tell me how I was able to do the flowers and the meander with the dogs up?

    I'm also going sooooo slowly - so both of you nailed that one. Getting over confident, I reckon!


    Pure luck, I would guess!!! Glad you are back in business!!!
    No one has ever become poor by giving. - Anne Frank
    Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. - Martin Luther King, Jr.

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheQuiltedPig

  9. #9
    Super Member woody's Avatar
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    My Brother also seems to FMQ better with the feed dogs up, might be just a quirk with Brothers LOL
    The biggest risk is the one not taken

  10. #10
    Senior Member GemState's Avatar
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    I don't always put the feed dogs down when I FMQ. Sometimes I feel I have a little better control with them up.

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