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Thread: FMQ - despair!

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    Senior Member annesthreads's Avatar
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    I have a Janome 4800 QE, which I've owned for about 6 years, a wonderful machine for piecing, but when I try FMQ I get the top thread coming through on the bottom of the quilt. I have sat with a practice piece and gone from 1-9 on the tension control, moving it up half a number at a time, and there's no setting at which this doesn't happen. It improves a bit around no.7. but is still not good. The shop say there's nothing wrong with the machine and it must be me. I have tried all sorts of threads and needles. The only near-success was with embroidery thread - but I don't want to be limited to just one type. I would be grateful for any help or advice on thread, needles, technique, before this machine goes through the window. OK, it's not top of the range, but it wasn't cheap either, and I do think that to expect a "quilter's edition" machine to quilt isn't unreasonable!

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    Super Member quilterella's Avatar
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    A friend that has that machine was having the same problem. After a large repair bill and still having the problem, she contacted the Janome headquarters and they advised her to try a different bobbin. This did work, why, I don't know, but it has been fine ever since. So maybe try a different bobbin!

  3. #3
    Super Member lindyline's Avatar
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    I'm sorry you're having so much trouble, but the only advise I can give you, is practice, practice, practice. Took me forever to get the hang of it, and I still muck it up every now and then.And I've got a singer, not top of the lline, and not bottome of the line either. Have you tried Little Genie Magic Bobbin Washers. They really helped me at the start, now I don't need them, but maybe they would help you. Keep with it.

  4. #4
    k3n
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    Quote Originally Posted by annesthreads
    I have a Janome 4800 QE, which I've owned for about 6 years, a wonderful machine for piecing, but when I try FMQ I get the top thread coming through on the bottom of the quilt. I have sat with a practice piece and gone from 1-9 on the tension control, moving it up half a number at a time, and there's no setting at which this doesn't happen. It improves a bit around no.7. but is still not good. The shop say there's nothing wrong with the machine and it must be me. I have tried all sorts of threads and needles. The only near-success was with embroidery thread - but I don't want to be limited to just one type. I would be grateful for any help or advice on thread, needles, technique, before this machine goes through the window. OK, it's not top of the range, but it wasn't cheap either, and I do think that to expect a "quilter's edition" machine to quilt isn't unreasonable!
    Top thread on the bottom is usually too loose a tension but that can't be the case here as you state you tried all tensions - you say you tried several threads and needles - I have a Janome 6600 and get the best results with Superior Threads - Bottom Line in the bobbin and Masterpiece in the top. Are you trying good quality, branded threads? I also use an 80/12 Schmetz needle. I have the Janome blue dot bobbin case for FMQ, but I wouldn't get the problems you describe with the regular case and the supplied FMQ foot so I don't think that alone is the issue. Do you know about the Janome Yahoo Group? There's lots of tips and advice on there and sign up is free... :-D

  5. #5
    k3n
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    Also does that model have a foot pressure adjuster? For FMQ I reduce mine from the 3 it's on for piecing right down to 1... the other thing that just occurred to me - you are lowering the pressure foot and the dogs are down right? Sorry, trying to cover all possibilities here...

  6. #6
    Senior Member annesthreads's Avatar
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    I'm very reassured to hear that I'm not the only one. I've seen posts on other forums that suggest that some Janome machines have this problem. I presume the bobbin that your friend got was the one they've produced specially for FMQ. I think I'll have to give it a try. But it annoys me that Janome have never been honest enough to say "yes, that machine has a known issue with this, and this is how you solve it". I could live with that - no machine can be ideal - but the implication from them and the dealer that it must be all my fault has been very unhelpful, wasted a lot of time and destroyed my confidence and enjoyment.

  7. #7
    Senior Member annesthreads's Avatar
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    I've just had a quick look at your website K, and will be going back - some fabulous work there!
    I've tried all sorts of threads, but Superior are my favourite. Thanks for suggesting the combination, as I've been very unsure what might be best. I'll try that size of needle too - I think I have a different one at the moment.
    You may see my post appear in the Janome forum!
    Thankyou for all your help - I'll report back!

  8. #8
    Senior Member annesthreads's Avatar
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    I don't think it does have a foot pressure adjustor, but I'll check. Yes, I usually(!) remember to put the pressure foot down, and I've tried feed dogs down and up. Thanks for checking - always worth going back to the basics. I even used the manual to check I was threading the machine correctly (after 6 years!).

  9. #9
    k3n
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    Quote Originally Posted by annesthreads
    I've just had a quick look at your website K, and will be going back - some fabulous work there!
    I've tried all sorts of threads, but Superior are my favourite. Thanks for suggesting the combination, as I've been very unsure what might be best. I'll try that size of needle too - I think I have a different one at the moment.
    You may see my post appear in the Janome forum!
    Thankyou for all your help - I'll report back!
    You're welcome and good luck! I love my Janome and have heard others say that they can be thread and needle snobs, so I almost exclusively use Schmetz and Superior - however, when I'm thread painting on an art quilt for eg, I sometimes chuck in any old poly or rayon that's laying around just because it's the colour I want and no problem! I really hope you get it sorted - I feel your frustration! Can you go into a dealership or to a quilt show at one point and have an FMQ on a different machine? That would reassure you that it wasn't YOU? :-D

  10. #10
    k3n
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    Quote Originally Posted by annesthreads
    I don't think it does have a foot pressure adjustor, but I'll check. Yes, I usually(!) remember to put the pressure foot down, and I've tried feed dogs down and up. Thanks for checking - always worth going back to the basics. I even used the manual to check I was threading the machine correctly (after 6 years!).
    The other thing I use, but it wouldn't effect tension, is a Sew Slip mat... and yes sometimes I get mad because it's not working and then I unthread everything and start from scratch - and it's usually operator error! Somedays though, it just doesn't flow and I have to go away and leave it. Next day, sit down again, nothing different in the machine, thread, quilt etc and I can FMQ again! :shock: :lol:

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