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Broken threads

Broken threads

Old 05-30-2013, 02:01 PM
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Default 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.
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Old 05-30-2013, 02:09 PM
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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?
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Old 05-30-2013, 02:38 PM
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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.
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Old 05-30-2013, 02:42 PM
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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.
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:18 PM
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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.
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Old 05-30-2013, 03:43 PM
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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.
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Old 05-30-2013, 04:26 PM
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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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Old 05-30-2013, 08:30 PM
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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.
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Old 05-30-2013, 08:38 PM
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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!
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Old 05-31-2013, 06:00 AM
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It could be the tension on your machine is too tight.
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