I'm at my wits' end here. A couple of months ago, I was embroidering just fine, and then my upper thread somehow frayed, with part of the thread still going through the needle, and the frayed part hanging up behind it. I immediately noticed the machine sounded a little strange, and glanced over at the machine to make sure it was okay. The thread hadn't even broken yet, since I was sitting literally inches from the machine. I fixed the frayed thread, and tried to continue the embroidery. However, the machine has never embroidered correctly since then.
Here's what I've done, and some comments:
- Changed the needle, figuring it may have a burr on it. It didn't make any difference.
- Cleaned the machine as thoroughly as I possibly can. Didn't help.
- Changed and rethreaded the upper thread numerous times. Didn't help.
- Tried a new bobbin. Didn't help.
- This is the same exact thread I've been using since I bought the machine.
- The ONLY way I've found to get it to embroider even "SEMI"-acceptably is to turn the upper thread tension to "high normal". Previously it was set on 4. Currently it's set just a shade below 6 (9 is the highest possible setting). It bird-nests nearly every other time, ruining the embroidery. If the tension is set lower, it always bird-nests.
- There doesn't seem to be a way to adjust the bobbin tension at all.
- Turned the machine off, then back on. I've even unplugged it. Neither helped.
- I've felt along the bobbin, the bobbin case, and everywhere I could reach to see if I could feel any burrs or any place the thread might be snagging. There's nothing.
- The machine does change over to a regular sewing machine, but I use it as an embroidery machine only. The only thread that's been used it in is embroidery thread.
And below are some photos showing what the machine is doing. At best, the top threads are too loose, even with the tension being set so high. If you flip the embroidery over, the white bobbin thread barely can be seen. In other words, most of the back side stitching, especially the satin stitching, is created by the colored upper thread. (Hope that makes sense.) At worst, it bird-nests, and ruins the embroidery completely.
Any suggestions? My only guess at this point is that the upper tension is fried. Thankfully I did buy the extended warranty, but I got the machine at Walmart, and don't have any experience with their extended warranties. I'd really rather not send the machine off to be fixed if there's something else I can check from my end. I've got Christmas gifts to work on!