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Thread: Broken threads

  1. #1
    Member VIKINGQUEEN's Avatar
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    Broken threads

    Hello, Can anyone please tell me why my threads break on my quilts that I have already made? Is it my thread, stitches too tight, wrong stitch used,etc? Please help! I have 2 quilts that I've made & I keep hearing threads break & I don't want them to fall apart. Especially after all the work that I've put in to them.
    Sew much fabric....sew little time.

  2. #2
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    when are they breaking? when do you 'hear' threads breaking? is the seam threads breaking or are quilting threads breaking? are you hanging wet quilts? (the weight of a wet quilt can break the quilting threads) we need a bit more information before we can help you- it could be the thread was weak to start with...do a 'tug-test' on your thread---(take a length from the spool between your two hands & give it a tug- if it breaks easily the thread is too weak to use) I've never *heard* my threads break in a quilt before...what is happening to the quilt at that moment?
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  3. #3
    Member VIKINGQUEEN's Avatar
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    Its the quilting threads, not the seams that I made to put the blocks together. All I did was tug it a little to cover myself & I heard the thread break. It's happened twice on the same quilt & I saw broken threads on another quilt that I made for 1 of my grandsons. I did some stitch on the ditch quilting & those are the threads that I hear break. The threads that I use are new, so I didn't think that it oucld be the thread. Only recently did I realize that thread size in "free motion" quilting made a difference or not. Sadly, I bought some of my quilting thread at Walmart, without looking at the size. It just read "quilting thread". Looking at them now, some say 30W & some 50W, Machine quilting & craft. The brand is STAR. by Coats & Clark.
    Sew much fabric....sew little time.

  4. #4
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Not to be a snooty so-and-so, but I would switch to a better quality thread. Superior, Aurafil, etc. Avoid serger and embroidery threads.

  5. #5
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    Peckish - I know you aren't snooty! I use primarily Coats & Clark thread and I've never had threads break. Either with FMQ or STID. Maybe there is another reason Vikingqueen's threads are breaking.

  6. #6
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I would definitely switch to a better quality, stronger thread. Do you still have some of the thread? If so, hold a piece in both hands and "snap" the thread. Weak thread will break easily. Weak thread is not only associated with poor quality thread, but also with age of thread. It's possible that the thread you bought was old and not stored properly, or even a bad manufacturing batch.

    However, I am also wondering if the quilting was done with tensions too tight on the bobbin and top. When you quilt, you may need to loosen both tensions so the straight stitches have some "give". An easy solution to this for you would be to change from a straight stitch to a narrow zigzag stitch when you stitch in the ditch. The zigzag provides some "give" in the stitching line. The snapping of threads you are talking about in a quilt is the same as what happens when you sew stretchy fabrics (such as stretchy knits) with a straight stitch; the fabric has more "give" in it than the stitching line has, so the thread snaps.

    Also, what brand and type of batting did you use? And how long are your quilting stitches? Seems to me a high loft batting and a long stitch could combine to put extra stress on the thread, especially if the bobbin and top tensions are too tight.

    Edit: I just want to add that you typically do not want to use "quilting" thread in a sewing machine. Usually "quilting" thread is glazed and is meant for hand quilting. However, this kind of thread does not explain the thread breakage you are getting. Glazed thread does mess up your sewing machine, though.

  7. #7
    Super Member petthefabric's Avatar
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    When quilting I test the tension by sewing loops. If the loops pull together and make a little bubble, the tension is too tight, probably both top and bottom. If the threads are pulled to one side, forming eyelashes, that side the tension is tighter than the other side. Loosen the tension ( a little at a time) on the tight side.

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    I use the Connecting Threads polyester to quilt on my HQ16. No problems to date. Or at least no one has told me about any problems.

  9. #9
    Super Member Country1's Avatar
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    I also use Connecting Threads polyester thread on my Mid-Arm quilting machine. It doesn't like alot of threads, but I've never had trouble with this thread!
    Country 1

  10. #10
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    It could be the tension on your machine is too tight.
    The joy of the Lord is my strength.

  11. #11
    Member VIKINGQUEEN's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your help & suggestions. I'm going to check into every suggestion made & hopefully 1 or the other will solve the problem. I think that my problem may just be a combination of all of the above, tension too tight, because I do get "eyelashes", but only on 1 machine. The other 2 that I've used at other times, do fine. Even my old antique Kenmore makes beautiful stitches. Lots of fuzzies from the Walmart threads on my Viking, but not so much on my Kenmore or Elna. All have the little white "Bobbin Genie" in them for easier thread flow too. Hmmm.... If I do a straight stitch & usually set it at the "stretch stitch" setting when quilting. As for Batting, I use the Warm & Natural & if I want a little more "POOF", I double it, But I stay away from cheap brands so won't get too many fuzzies in my sewing machine.
    Sew much fabric....sew little time.

  12. #12
    Member VIKINGQUEEN's Avatar
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    P.S. I don't want to be a "THREAD SNOB" either, so I have tried Superior & Aurifil. Love them both. A little pricy, but I guess I'll have to invest so no more broken threads & ruined quilts. Never used Serger threads for quilting, no matter how tempting it is.
    *** 2 more questions for you all experienced quilters?***
    To prewash or not prewash quilting fabric, if not prewashed, could that be why threads are breaking?
    Sew much fabric....sew little time.

  13. #13
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    The quilts that I've made using the cotton-covered Coats & Clark Dual Duty threads are still going strong - after many years and many washings!

    Maybe it's because I bought the Coats & Clark threads at someplace other than WalMart?

    (I am very sure that any C&C thread purchased at WalMart is equal to any C&C thread purchased elsewhere - just in case someone might think that C&C thread sold by WalMart is inferior to the C&C thread sold at JoAnn's)

    When I did have threads 'pop' - it was because the tensions on the machine had gotten way off. When one thread is laying totally on the surface, there is no 'give' in that thread - so any stress -especially on/in a seam sewn on the bias - that will cause breakage.

    After I noticed that issue - I did the seams over after I got the tensions adjusted properly.
    A thread that is almost 'floating' is quite easy to pull out.
    Last edited by bearisgray; 05-31-2013 at 01:30 PM.

  14. #14
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    I am very sure that any C&C thread purchased at WalMart is equal to any C&C thread purchased elsewhere - just in case someone might think that C&C thread sold by WalMart is inferior to the C&C thread sold at JoAnn's.
    Actually, this is not out of the realm of possibilities. One of the ways Walmart keeps their prices down is by buying seconds (products that did not meet strict quality assurance standards) from the manufacturers.

  15. #15
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VIKINGQUEEN View Post
    To prewash or not prewash quilting fabric, if not prewashed, could that be why threads are breaking?
    No, I don't think so. A lot of us do not prewash fabric. Your problem is unusual. I think that if it is the straight-line stitches that are breaking (stitch-in-the-ditch) it is some combination of machine tension, needle type and needle size, and quality of thread issue.

  16. #16
    Member VIKINGQUEEN's Avatar
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    So can you please tell me what IS the correct size needle, thread, etc, when quilting, free motion or straight stitch? I have alot of needles, Top Stitching, Quilting, etc, all Schmetz. No Skimping there! But when it comes to quilting, I just can't seem to get it right. My stitching to make the quilt itself are all good.

    **To Bearisgray** You made a very good observation. I have always had very tight stitches, straight or otherwise. It was just recently, that I noticed just how tight they were, when I had to tear something out & the stitches were so tight that my smallest seam ripper could not get underneath the stitches to rip them out. ***

    My favorite sewing machine & most user friendly that I have is a Husqvarna Viking Desinger SE. My other 2 favorite machines for just piecing or sample stitching are my Kenmore & my little ELNA 1010, both very friendly & uncomplicated , non-computerized sewing machines, which make perfect stiches, especially free motion quilting, but too small to quilt large quilts.
    Sew much fabric....sew little time.

  17. #17
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by VIKINGQUEEN View Post
    I had to tear something out & the stitches were so tight that my smallest seam ripper could not get underneath the stitches to rip them out.

    That right there is probably your number one problem. The stitches should NOT be that tight.


    Quote Originally Posted by VIKINGQUEEN View Post
    So can you please tell me what IS the correct size needle, thread, etc, when quilting, free motion or straight stitch?


    You can find tons of useful information at Superior Threads website.

    http://www.superiorthreads.com/educa...e-right-needle

    http://www.superiorthreads.com/media...tion_Guide.pdf

  18. #18
    Member VIKINGQUEEN's Avatar
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    Thank you so much! Have a Tearr-rrific weekend! LOL!
    Sew much fabric....sew little time.

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