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Thread: Eyelashing/ skipped stitches on top of quilt- Please HELP!!

  1. #1
    Senior Member Just-Lee's Avatar
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    I am new to the quilting world, but I am trying really hard. I seem to be having problems with eyelashing and skipped stitches on the front side of this wall hanging, regardless of what I set my tension to. I am quilting 3" stars on this quilt and it continuously skips the "point stitches. You can see where the needle went down at the point, but it still somehow skips it. I only seem to have this problem when I use cotton machine quilting thread and it's fine when I use regular poly???? Also, the cotton thread is one of the large, fat rolls and I have to have it on my vertical pin. I know this can cause tension problems, but I am not sure which way it takes it.

    Anyway, if anyone could give me any ideas/ suggestions, I would greatly appreciate it.

  2. #2
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    I would totally clean and rethread the machine both top and bottom to see if that helps. I'd probably take the cone and put it in a cup behind the machine as well. Is your needle new and the correct size?

  3. #3
    Senior Member kraftykimberly's Avatar
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    Are you using a quilting needle in your machine? It can really make a difference.

  4. #4
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Also, are you FMQ or using a walking foot? I know I was guilty of a bad habit when doing FMQ - because the foot is "loose" and I can easily remove the fabric without raising the foot via the lever - I did not always raise the lever! I'm learning! I now know that this can cause tension problems. So if your either threading the machine or pulling on the thread from the needle when the foot is in the down position ... stop!

  5. #5
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    Make sure the machine is threaded correctly and sewing well when sewing a straight line. Change the foot to a darning or hopping foot, drop or cover the feed dogs to prepare the machine for FMQ. Make your layers and thread the machine with thread that you know works well for your machine. Start by taking a few stitches in place and start to move. The trick to prevent the eye lashes is to set the machine at a medium to slow speed and press the foot pedal to the max. Also don't move the fabric too fast. Fast needle and slow hand will give you nice stitches. As you get more experience you can increase the speed of the needle. If after this you still have the same problems, try changing the tension a little at a time. Don't change more than one thing at once. otherwise you will never know what corrected it. By increasing the speed also you will prevent the skipped stitches. This happen because you move the fabric before the machine as a chance to complete the cycle. Once you have it working fine you can switch to a smaller thread. I find that not every machine is good for FMQ. If after trying everything the problem is still there, it may not be you. It may as well be your machine.

  6. #6
    Super Member tjradj's Avatar
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    If the eyelashes are on the top, it means either the top tension is too high (not likely as the thread would prob break first) or there is not enough tension on the bottom. Check to make sure you have the bobbin in correctly (thread winding off the right way - check your manual) AND check to make sure the thread is going through the tension device properly. There are ways to check the tension of the bobbin inside the bobbin case - it should just drop with a bit of resistance when you hold it up by the thread, and not unwind freely. If you have a front or side load bobbin that is. Top load bobbins are a bit tougher to gauge. Check your manual, and also check out YouTube videos on "bobbin tension"

  7. #7
    Senior Member Just-Lee's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone. Well, first of all, I don't know how to do free motion yet and probably wouldn't even try on this machine. Secondly, I have stenciled the star outline and am just sewing it. I put in a brand new schmetz 80/12 quilting needle and have re-threaded twice. It sews fine on the straight parts of the star and only skips/ eyelashes exactly at the point, where you would pivot & turn, one stitch at a time. I have a Husq. Viking Emerald 203, which I completely despise, but it's only been used for 3 other small projects. I am also a fanatic cleaner of my machine and clean after EVERY project, since the only thing I know how to do is rag quilt...lol.

    @Maride...I thought you HAD to use cotton when quilting and could not use the poly?? That's what the Viking dealer told me anyway...

  8. #8
    Senior Member Just-Lee's Avatar
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    Oh yea, I have also had the tension anywhere from nearly 4 all the way to 2, so I don't see how that could be it either. Maybe I am just supposed to be one of those "quilt-top" only people..lol :(

    It's a drop in bobbin and I know absolutely nothing about messing with bobbin tension and the thought terrifies me! lol

  9. #9
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just-Lee
    Thanks everyone. Well, first of all, I don't know how to do free motion yet and probably wouldn't even try on this machine. Secondly, I have stenciled the star outline and am just sewing it. I put in a brand new schmetz 80/12 quilting needle and have re-threaded twice. It sews fine on the straight parts of the star and only skips/ eyelashes exactly at the point, where you would pivot & turn, one stitch at a time. I have a Husq. Viking Emerald 203, which I completely despise, but it's only been used for 3 other small projects. I am also a fanatic cleaner of my machine and clean after EVERY project, since the only thing I know how to do is rag quilt...lol.

    @Maride...I thought you HAD to use cotton when quilting and could not use the poly?? That's what the Viking dealer told me anyway...
    A little secret...you are free to use whatever you want whenever you want as long as it works for you. Yesterday I was in a rush to finish a gift and didn't have a piece of batting big enough. So, I took a piece of bright yellow felt and used that as batting. While quilting it with 100 wt silk I noticed a few eye lashes and all of a sudden the thread broke. I switched to 60 wt thread and it worked beautifully. The corners laid against the wall perfectly and my mitered corners were perfect. Is my little secret. The recipient will know, since I told her the quilt is not to be washed already because of paints used in it. Remember, whatever works.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Just-Lee's Avatar
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    Thank you Maria :) My local Viking dealer/ LQS says you must use cotton, so I didn't know. I am always made to feel like a complete idiot when I am there, so I just stay away, even though I really need to take some classes. I will try to post a picture tomorrow after my radiation treatment, which might better show what is going on.

    Thanks so much everyone- you all are truly great! :D

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