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Thread: So frustrated! Why wont my machine do freemotion correctly

  1. #1
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    I am new to quilting. I finished my quilt top and it turned out great. I wanted to do some freemotion stippling on the outer perimeter and watched video after video and even read a few books. I started practicing. EVERY time the same thing. The top thread ends up with a huge nest on the underside of the quilt. Even at best I have a large loose loop of the top thread on the bottom. I have adjusted the tension in small amounts from +3 to -3 and NOTHING has helped. I have left the feed dogs up (have a supreme slider in place so it wont move the fabric) because one instructor said this might help and it made no difference. I have a singer 7426. Does anyone else this model or a singer that can help me shed some light on a solution here. There is no way to adjust anything on here but thread tension, stitch length and needle placement. I have tried matching threads in top and bottom, using poly thread on top and bottom. I just have no idea what I am doing so wrong. PLEASE HELP ME! Till now my experience with quilting has been such a positive one. But I am so stuck. There is a DVD that helps but I am not going to buy one that will simply tell me the same things I have already been told in the utube instructions and then have the added frustration of having paid money I dont have and STILL be stuck.

  2. #2
    Super Member Theresa's Avatar
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    There was another person on the Board recently having the same difficulties with the "nest". Do a SEARCH from the topics at the top of the page and you'll find lots of helpful information. (Am sooo sorry. This has got to be very frustrating.)

  3. #3
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    Are you sure you're putting the presser foot down? (I miss this occasionally and this is the symptom I get)

  4. #4
    Super Member Honchey's Avatar
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    Your top thread could be jumping off the take up lever...the bobbin thread might not be engaged in the bobbin casing.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Rymer's Avatar
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    this was the problem I was having when mine made the "nest" on the underside. make sure it's down! hope it is as easy as this! good luck

    quote=thepolyparrot]Are you sure you're putting the presser foot down? (I miss this occasionally and this is the symptom I get)[/quote]

  6. #6
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    Yes, I could see me missing it once, maybe twice but I have so many practice sandwiches that have the same mess on them and I cant see me doing it every time.

    I wish so much that someone had my model and could give me some direction on tension. It is working fine doing all other sewing and works fine with the walking foot. But the minute I go to freemotion it is the same story over and over.

  7. #7
    Senior Member 1000projects's Avatar
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    first, make up a practice sandwich. That way you won't be damaging your nice quilt.

    next, do a total re-thread - bobbin, top thread, AND replace needle. Check for lint in the bobbin case.

    finally, turn off the machine, count to ten (or have a cup of coffee) an turn it back on.

    check your machine one last time with a "regular" stitch.

    good luck!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Honchey
    Your top thread could be jumping off the take up lever...the bobbin thread might not be engaged in the bobbin casing.
    sorry, new to sewing so could you please elaborate what you mean.

    Ironically, I took to sewing fast and LOVE it! I am disabled with Lupus so finding this has been a dream come true..very theraputic. The sewing part I did great. I have my first quilt finished (had to go with SID to finish it. It was a dresden plate and I love it. But would have preferred to do freemotion filler work on it.

    Will a singer do FM?

  9. #9
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    Congratulations on getting your quilt made, by the way! :)

    Does your machine have a drop in bobbin (lies horizontally in the case) or a vertical bobbin? (stands up on end in the bobbin case)

    Do you have a practice sandwich for testing your stitching? I just use two pieces of muslin with a piece of batt in between. Lets me test the tensions, designs, etc, without committing them to the quilt.

    Practice on your sandwich and get all the quirks ironed out before taking it to the quilt. :)

    Thread your machine with the presser foot UP, so that the thread can get all the way in between the tension disks, but don't forget to lower the presser foot before you actually start sewing. The way this foot is made, it can look like it's lowered when it really isn't. There isn't such an obvious reminder there to put it down.

    Big loops and nests on the underside almost always indicate that there is not enough tension on the needle thread.

    This can be from not lowering the presser foot, from not threading the machine with the presser foot up, from a piece of debris between the disks that is preventing their clamping onto the thread, etc. Something is preventing there being enough tension on the needle thread. :)

  10. #10
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    if the nesting is sporatic, it's possible that your thread is not feeding smoothly. perhaps a thread net over the spool would help.

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