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Thread: Ugh! My machine makes the worst birdnests. What can I do?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013

    Ugh! My machine makes the worst birdnests. What can I do?

    Is there an easy way to get rid of birdnests? I've tried adjusting the tension and making sure the thread was taught before starting a stitch but I still get them. Any tips?

  2. #2
    Super Member woody's Avatar
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    Aug 2009
    Canberra, Australia
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    have you tried a new needle, my machine always acts up when the needle needs changing
    The biggest risk is the one not taken

  3. #3
    Power Poster alikat110's Avatar
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    Oct 2010
    Waco, Texas
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    How long has it been since you cleaned out the dust bunnies? Mine acts like this if I forget to clean it up. Hope it is nothing more serious! Best of luck.

  4. #4
    Junior Member QuiltnMyra's Avatar
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    Nov 2012
    Southern NSW Australia
    Some machines just 'do' this. Try using a leader (I call them thread bunnies). Fold a three inch square scrap into three lengthwise so that it is three inches long and about an inch wide, run this under the needle first and then lead on to your sewing. You can also use them as enders and save thread when you are chain piecing. I use them all the time.
    Mary B

  5. #5
    Gay is offline
    Senior Member Gay's Avatar
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    May 2012
    S.E. Queensland, Australia
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    Check that your top thread is threaded properly through the tension discs, and the same with the bobbin thread. If you can pull the thread through the needle while the foot is down, it's probably not threaded correctly, or the discs need tightening. Take off the plate below the foot and clean away all fluff from inside and outside the bobbin casing.

  6. #6
    Senior Member cindi's Avatar
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    May 2011
    Grove City, OH
    For me, the problem is always the top thread is being pulled down into the bobbin area. These are my only solutions. Hope they help.
    First, hold your top and bottom threads down against the throat plate when you take the first couple of stitches. This prevents the top thread from being drawn down into the bobbin area:

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    Next, use a "leader/ender" from there on out. A scrap of fabric. Just run it under the machine when you're ready to take your quilt pieces off the machine. That's your "ender". Leave it on the machine.

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    When you start sewing again, it will become your "leader" and you won't get nests. As you can tell, mine is well loved and well used. I've got about a dozen of these floating around my sewing machine. Saves thread - and the headaches of thread nests!
    Last edited by cindi; 07-24-2013 at 02:37 AM.

  7. #7
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
    western NY formerly MN, FL, NC, SC
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    sometimes there is a piece of thread or dust caught between the tension discs. when this happens, no amount of tension adjusting is going to help. take the tension disc assembly apart if possible and clean it thoroughly.
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak THINK
    T is it True? H is it Helpful? I is it Inspiring? N is it Necessary? K is it Kind?

  8. #8
    Super Member Gannyrosie's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
    New Orleans, La
    If none of the above suggestions help. It might be that your feed dogs timing is off and needs to be adjusted. Good Luck.

  9. #9
    Super Member nanna-up-north's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
    I usually hold the top and bobbin threads as I begin stitching. It's a habit I established years ago. But, if it drove me crazy because it happened too much, I'd be looking for a different machine.

  10. #10
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
    home again, after 27 yrs!
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    are you doing straight stitches or trying Free Motion Quilting? you didn't say. usually bird nests come with doing FMQ and not bringing the bobbin thread to the top and holding both threads for a few stitches. I hope you've solved your problems and are going strong now!

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