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Thread: Free Motion Quilting--HELPPPPPP!!

  1. #1
    Junior Member craftychick's Avatar
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    Hi Everybody. I have a dilemma. I'm trying to teach myself free motion quilting now that I bought a new Pfaff that has feed dogs that drop. I was playing with scrap fabric and it was working fine, then it starts to act up (or maybe it was the machine operator). I start getting long stitches, 3-4 inches long, and then the top thread breaks. After this happened about 4 times I gave up. The bobbin thread doesn't look too bad, but I think I'm doing something wrong with the top because it keeps breaking. Can someone, anyone help me???

  2. #2
    Senior Member sue z q's Avatar
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    Pretty basic ideas here, but check the top threading, is the bobbin turning the correct way, and is the needle in the right way. I'll be watching to see other suggestions

  3. #3
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    it sounds like the top thread is hanging on something. completly unthread the machine and start over, be sure it goes thru the tension discs where it should and be SURE to put the foot down, pull the bobbin thread to the top and hold onto to both as you start stitching, make a few then stop and cut those threads

  4. #4
    Super Member Raggiemom's Avatar
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    Clean out the bobbin area, rethread?

  5. #5
    Super Member hobo2000's Avatar
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    Slow down, Slow and steady. You'll get the feel.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Kat Sews's Avatar
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    Are you sure that they are just long stitches? Sometimes my machine skips stitches when I change direction on a square type corner in the pattern if I don't come to a complete stop before I change direction. Check your owners manuel for correct settings on your machine for FMQ, or it may be listed as darning.

  7. #7
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    Fast machine, slow hands. You are probably moving the quilt too fast for the speed the needle is going.

  8. #8
    Super Member QBeth's Avatar
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    I agree with all the above. One other thing to check is that the top thread isn't getting caught in the slit on the spool for securing the thread when storing.

    A good guide for FMQ, including other helpful information, is Harriet Hargrave's book on Heirloom Quilting.

    Good luck and keep practicing!

  9. #9
    Super Member knlsmith's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen
    Fast machine, slow hands. You are probably moving the quilt too fast for the speed the needle is going.
    This made me smile! This was my biggest problem when I first started. I even have a super fast machine! LOL (janome 1600)

  10. #10

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    also, make sure your quilt is kind of bunched on the table. if it is hanging over the side, then it will pull and add extra weight.

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