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Thread: 301 - help me tweak it, please

  1. #1
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    301 - help me tweak it, please

    Spent the afternoon getting my 301 ready for a new quilt project:

    brushed out lint, including under the feed plate
    oiled, including the bobbin raceway
    changed needle (double checked height of needle and flat side left) These are schmetz 130/705 aka 75/11
    cleaned upper tension discs
    adjusted upper tension so threads are locking in the right place
    mounted walking foot
    adjusted needle bar pressure for even feed
    doubled checked bobbin orientation in bobbin case
    changed top thread, double checked threading, needle right to left

    started sewing samples (diagonal seams to join 2.5" squares to 2.5" strips)

    and she's skittish at the start of the seam, either not feeding through (not catching in dogs?), or clotting up at the beginning of the seam on the bobbin side. Double checked, I am starting with the bobbing thread guide at the top of the stroke.

    Aack! What am I missing? (A heartfelt thank you for your help!)
    Lori

  2. #2
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    One thing that the 221/2 and the 301 seem to insist on is holding the thread tails or it will snarl underneath a little or sometimes it even sucks the threads down and winds up around the hook/race. That may help, as might leaders and enders. It sounds like you've covered everything else.

  3. #3
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    On my 401 I have to have a handle on the threads and I use a leader and/ender. I cut some pieces for leaders and enders and it's like putting 2 quilts together at same time. With me it's automatic.

  4. #4
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    Hmmm. I wasn't holding the thread tails. Usually if they are long I have less of a problem, but your comments helped me realize this was happening on the last project, too...which was why I dusted off the Pfaff 6074 to finish. I think I will have to do some fine searching w a flashlight in the bobbin area...perhaps some thread stuck deep. What is a leader? And will it work with starting a seam that splits a corner? Thanks.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by WIChix View Post
    started sewing samples (diagonal seams to join 2.5" squares to 2.5" strips)

    Aack! What am I missing? (A heartfelt thank you for your help!)
    As ArchaicArcane said, hold the thread tails or use a scrap or what Bonnie K. Hunter calls Leaders & Enders. Picture it, you are beginning a seam without fabric under the feed dogs. That little point where your needle is working is getting jammed down into your bobbin area. I've always worked with older machines so that holding the thread tails is second nature.
    Last edited by elnan; 01-03-2016 at 04:39 PM. Reason: tried to change wording, then tried to delete double post. Go with the second one.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by WIChix View Post
    started sewing samples (diagonal seams to join 2.5" squares to 2.5" strips)

    Aack! What am I missing? (A heartfelt thank you for your help!)
    As ArchaicArcane said, hold the thread tails or use a scrap or what Bonnie K. Hunter calls Leaders & Enders. Picture it, you are beginning a seam without fabric between the feed dogs and presser foot. That little point where your needle is working is getting jammed down into your bobbin area. I've always worked with older machines so that holding the thread tails is second nature.

  7. #7
    Senior Member quiltedsunshine's Avatar
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    When you say, "adjusted needle bar pressure for even feed." Does that mean you tightened or loosened the presser foot tension? If you tighten the presser foot tension, it may feed better.
    Annette in Utah

  8. #8
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    Tightened it. In searching for stuck threads in the bobbin area, I started to wonder about the bobbins. A few of mine are old, the rest are new. Some seem taller than others, and I thought the old ones were shorter. Got out DH's dial caliper to check. They ranged from 88 to nearly 94 microns tall (thick?) The oldest one was right about 90/90.5, so that sunk that theory. Then started looking at the bobbins, where the axle, if you well, joins the rims. The oldest bobbin was nearly smooth. Some newer bobbins had an inset bevel, effectively making it smooth. The bobbin I did most of my testing with tonight, .had a slightly raised joint. I did a bit more testing, not conclusive, but I think the raised joint may be interfering with the spin of the bobbin in the case. The thread snarls started at the close of my last project...likely with a freshly wound bobbin. Perhaps one of the knobby ones. That and that machine likes really long thread tails...about 6-7 inches, to start. I keep wanting it to like 3" tails! I will try to do more testing tomorrow after work, and will get pics of the bobbins to post.

  9. #9
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    Yes, the 301 are very fussy about the bobbins. I was advised to get Singer bobbins and not a generic type bobbin. So far, no problems. And you need to hold the ends of the threads to start off or use leaders and enders. Don't give up as the 301 makes beautiful stitches.

  10. #10
    Super Member Cari-in-Oly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WIChix View Post
    that machine likes really long thread tails...about 6-7 inches, to start. I keep wanting it to like 3" tails! I will try to do more testing tomorrow after work, and will get pics of the bobbins to post.
    Along with holding the thread tails, make sure the take up lever is just over the top of its travel when you start to sew. Should cut down on the super long tails. This is something else that used to be taught back in the day but isn't any longer, it's not necessary on todays machines.

    Cari

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