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Thread: FMQ: What am I supposed to do when...

  1. #1
    Senior Member JenelTX's Avatar
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    FMQ: What am I supposed to do when...

    I have a Brother PQ1500S, which I *love*. (Love, love, love!) I'm using it to FMQ a quilt I'm making for my stepson for Christmas. Every once in a while, it skips a stitch. I can see the thread go loose as it cycles through without pulling it through for that one stitch. So then I'm left with one stitch that is 2-3 times the length of most of the other stitches. Then I try to find creative ways to FMQ back to that spot so that I can stitch over it. But what am I supposed to do? What is the right thing to do? What would a professional quilter do? I want to learn best practices, and this board is my resource for that.
    Jenel Looney
    Assistant to Susan Mallery
    New York Times bestselling author

  2. #2
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    My machine does the same thing sometimes but only when I FMQ so I know it is not the machine but me doing something wrong. It happens when I move too fast or when I change the direction rapidly. Most of the time I do the same thing as you did but when the long stitch is too long I rip it and go back to fill in the space properly. You are not alone in this pickle. I hope this helps.

  3. #3
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    How often does it do it? If it is just occasionally, I have "fixed" a few spots by hand. I mark the spot with a safety pin and then later fix it by using a single strand of the same thread on a needle. I go up and down at the same distance as the regular stitching on either sides of the quilt where the long thread is laying. I carefully take a tiny stitch being careful to make it appear that the hand stitch over the laying thread looks just like a regular stitch. I knot and tie the thread and bury the end. It looks just like the rest of the stitching.
    Of course this only works if you only have a few spots to fix and would be too much work if it happened every 5 or 6 stitches. If it is happening every 5 or 6 stitches you need to find out what you are doing that causes it. Is it just this quilt? Batiks can cause some quilting problems, so can extra thickness in the seams. I find anything that kind of holds up the timely penetration of the needle can make it miss a stitch. You might try a sharper needle?

  4. #4
    Senior Member JenelTX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    How often does it do it?
    It doesn't happen as often as every 5-6 stitches, but probably 2-3 times in an hour of doing FMQ. I notice it most when I'm going over a seam, so I'm guessing that has something to do with it. Maybe I just need to change needles more often? I'll try that. I love your solution, though, of marking it and fixing it by hand later. My next quilt is going to be a wall hanging, so precise stitches will be more important as the stitches will be so very visible. (And there will be lots and lots of seams in the quilt I have planned. And it's primarily batiks.) I'll get some really high quality needles before I start quilting that.

    Thanks for the suggestion!
    Jenel Looney
    Assistant to Susan Mallery
    New York Times bestselling author

  5. #5
    Senior Member daisyboo9's Avatar
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    I have an Elna 7200, that I was able to buy a specific bobbin case to avoid that problem...see if brother offers such a thing. I have done FM on other machines that don't have that bobbin case and found if you slow down slightly when turning corners or coming to a point that will help as well (that is really just a matter of practising and finding your own timing and really knowing your machine) Also the suggestion about the needle is a very good one, change your needle on a regular basis. I have also had some issues with batiks. Last but not least, be aware of the thread you are using/needle size, make sure your top thread and bobbin thread are well matched because that can cause issues too. Good luck!
    creativity feeds the soul.

  6. #6
    Senior Member JenelTX's Avatar
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    Thank you! I'm using the same thread in the top and bottom, so they don't get any better matched than that. But I still really don't understand thread/needle configurations. I wonder if there's a book on that. I've read a few things online, but it's just not sinking in. I need to understand the why behind it.

    I've thought about doing a video of me sewing, and then slowing down the video so I can really see what's happening with the skipped stitch. What I love most about this machine is that it's a good, old-fashioned mechanical system. Nothing computerized, nothing fancy. A workhorse. I should be able to figure this out!

    I'll check to see what accessories Brother offers with this machine, whether there's a special bobbin case for FMQ. Thanks for the suggestion!
    Jenel Looney
    Assistant to Susan Mallery
    New York Times bestselling author

  7. #7
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I would try a higher number needle, like a 14 or 16 and make sure you aren't going to fast over the seams.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

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