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Thread: Brother NS30 tension will not allow machine quilting- help!

  1. #1
    Super Member noveltyjunkie's Avatar
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    My Brother NS30 and I have had some tough times together on the tension front, but, as far a piecing goes, we have gotten to know one another sufficiently well that I can always provide a new needle or rewind a bobbin when things are tough and now our relationship is pretty trouble free.

    So, today I decide to try to do a little SITD on it. it has quilting stitches on it- it must be able to deal with this, right?!

    I pop in a test sandwich with two pieces of scrap cotton and a bit of bamboo batting I am planning to use for a baby quilt.

    Oh dear. The tension is just disastrous. The top thread is way too tight. I put in a new needle. No change- a new bobbin- nope! I adjusted the tension dial, one tiny click at a time and even with the top thread tension turned right down to zero, it is still pulling the bobbin thread up and, even if it did not look awful, the thread can just pull out.

    Am I destined to hand quilt this whole top? Is my machine out to drive me to drink? Was I really bad in a previous life? WHAT IS WRONG?

    Sob sob. Sewing is not supposed to be this hard, surely?

    Has anyone any tips for me? I am so sad and disappointed!

  2. #2
    Super Member amazon's Avatar
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    Ohhh, sorry your having trouble! ? 1. Have you oiled your machine lately? 2. Are you using the darning plate to cover your feed dog?My Brother is a 5130 and does reasonable well on FMQ. but it does love the oil. I sew on a antique Household machine now, so I have forgotten alot on the Brother. I think cjosmommy has one, you might contact her thru a PM .

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by noveltyjunkie
    My Brother NS30 and I have had some tough times together on the tension front, but, as far a piecing goes, we have gotten to know one another sufficiently well that I can always provide a new needle or rewind a bobbin when things are tough and now our relationship is pretty trouble free.

    So, today I decide to try to do a little SITD on it. it has quilting stitches on it- it must be able to deal with this, right?!

    I pop in a test sandwich with two pieces of scrap cotton and a bit of bamboo batting I am planning to use for a baby quilt.

    Oh dear. The tension is just disastrous. The top thread is way too tight. I put in a new needle. No change- a new bobbin- nope! I adjusted the tension dial, one tiny click at a time and even with the top thread tension turned right down to zero, it is still pulling the bobbin thread up and, even if it did not look awful, the thread can just pull out.

    Am I destined to hand quilt this whole top? Is my machine out to drive me to drink? Was I really bad in a previous life? WHAT IS WRONG?

    Sob sob. Sewing is not supposed to be this hard, surely?

    Has anyone any tips for me? I am so sad and disappointed!
    I'm having the same problem right now on my Brother (basic Computerized Quilting Brother). I thought I was the only one having trouble. I have a yellow-gold backing and dark fabric in the rectangles. And if the dark doesn't show through to the bottom, the light color shows through to the top.
    I'm definetly going to try oiling first before I do any more sewing (I'm using a walking foot) and see how that works. Thanks for bringing this problem to the attention of these marvelous quilters. :thumbup:

  4. #4
    Super Member woody's Avatar
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    I have a Brother NS30 and it has given me no trouble quilting, except once. After some frustration I found the top thread was wrapped around the spindle where the tread goes.
    Maybe try rethreading all from scratch or using another thread.
    Are you using a walking foot?

    I wish I had a better answer.

  5. #5
    tooMuchFabric's Avatar
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    Check that your top thread has not slipped down around the spool holder, this can happen and will cause the top thread to act like it is caught on something, making the top tension "tight."

  6. #6
    Super Member noveltyjunkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by amazon
    1. Have you oiled your machine lately?
    No- last time I had trouble with it the wise woman at the place I bought it told me it does not need to be oiled and I should never oil it. She seemed to know what she was talking about, but maybe not?

    Quote Originally Posted by amazon
    2. Are you using the darning plate to cover your feed dog?
    No. I have the feed dogs up, because it feeds through pretty well and when I put them down it was all bunching up.

  7. #7
    Super Member noveltyjunkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woody
    I found the top thread was wrapped around the spindle where the tread goes.
    Sorry for being stupid- which spindle?


    Quote Originally Posted by woody
    Maybe try rethreading all from scratch or using another thread. .
    Already tried that :-(

    Quote Originally Posted by woody
    Are you using a walking foot?.
    I have tried it with and without. It works better with, but it is still pretty bad.

  8. #8
    Super Member noveltyjunkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tooMuchFabric
    Check that your top thread has not slipped down around the spool holder, this can happen and will cause the top thread to act like it is caught on something, making the top tension "tight."
    This sounds like the spindle suggestion from the last post, but I dont understand which bit you mean- do you mean just the plastic sticky-out bit where I slide the spool on to sew? There is nothing wrapped around that.

    Any more inspiration? Please ?!!!

  9. #9
    Senior Member ncsewer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by noveltyjunkie
    My Brother NS30 and I have had some tough times together on the tension front, but, as far a piecing goes, we have gotten to know one another sufficiently well that I can always provide a new needle or rewind a bobbin when things are tough and now our relationship is pretty trouble free.

    So, today I decide to try to do a little SITD on it. it has quilting stitches on it- it must be able to deal with this, right?!

    I pop in a test sandwich with two pieces of scrap cotton and a bit of bamboo batting I am planning to use for a baby quilt.

    Oh dear. The tension is just disastrous. The top thread is way too tight. I put in a new needle. No change- a new bobbin- nope! I adjusted the tension dial, one tiny click at a time and even with the top thread tension turned right down to zero, it is still pulling the bobbin thread up and, even if it did not look awful, the thread can just pull out.

    Am I destined to hand quilt this whole top? Is my machine out to drive me to drink? Was I really bad in a previous life? WHAT IS WRONG?

    Sob sob. Sewing is not supposed to be this hard, surely?

    Has anyone any tips for me? I am so sad and disappointed!
    With all the things that didn't work, I wonder if you have a piece of thread caught in the internal workings of the machine. It doesn't have to be big to create a mess and it could be in the tension mechanism or even in the bobbin area. Can you take out the bobbin and shine a light in there to see if anything is stuck? If you can't see anything wrong and all the suggestions everyone made don't work, it might be a trip to the sewing machine Dr.

  10. #10
    Super Member noveltyjunkie's Avatar
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    Thanks ncs- I was wondering about that. I will give a really good once over and keep my fingers crossed, but so much of the workings are inaccessible I'd have to be lucky to solve it that way I think.

    Did I mention that the tension is just fine for piecing? It is only the thick jobs that it can't cope with.

    Meanwhile, I am handquilting- good practice I suppose!

  11. #11
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Can you adjust the pressure on your presser foot? Maybe loosen it up a bit?

  12. #12
    Super Member noveltyjunkie's Avatar
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    Well I am learning a lot about the holistic nature of the sewing machine! I had never thought of the presser foot but I will investigate!

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