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Thread: Do you have a Janome Memory Craft 6600?

  1. #1
    Super Member KyKaren1949's Avatar
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    Do you have a Janome Memory Craft 6600?

    I bought a new Janome 6600 last October. I have always used Gutermann thread in my different Janomes, but this one keeps making birds nests on the bottom of my fabric. I've had it into the dealer at least twice a month or more since I've owned it. They've tried to adjust everything that could be adjusted and now are telling me it's the brand of thread I am using. It will sew fine for a few days and then all of a sudden knot up. When I take it in, it behaves and doesn't do this. They probably think I'm crazy!

    Have you had any trouble with a specific thread with your Janome? I

    spoke with a different Janome dealer at the Quiltfest in Pigeon Forge who told me that can't be. Gutermann is a good thread.

    Now I don't know what to believe. I have a ton of Gutermann thread. It will hurt big time to have to start all over again with a different brand.

    Has anyone else had this trouble with this specific model??? I am SO frustrated!!
    Karen in Kentucky

  2. #2
    Senior Member nycbgirl's Avatar
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    I use Guterman thread and have no issues with my Janome. I'm sorry you are having problems.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Dandish's Avatar
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    I don't have the 6600...what kind of sewing are you doing when you get the nests? Seams or FMQing or what? If it's seams, try using a "leaders and enders" - scraps of fabric that you put under the foot before you begin sewing, feeding your project right up under the foot immediately against/after the scrap, and sewing off again on a scrap at the end (like chain piecing). If you are FMQing - do you pull the bobbin thread up as you begin? Both of those things may help.

  4. #4
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    My Janome 9000 has never had any issues with Guterman.

  5. #5
    Super Member MacThayer's Avatar
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    I have the Janome MC9700, and have had the same problem. Janome's as a class can be very "thread fussy" and "bobbin fussy". However, there is no reason you shouldn't be able to use Gutermann thread in your Janome. And there is no guarantee that a different thread will produce better results, so don't let them sell you on that.

    Do make sure you are using bobbins meant for Janome machines. They say you can use "almost any" kind of bobbin. I'm here to tell you, "almost any" kind of bobbin doesn't work so well. I stick with bobbins specifically made for Janomes, and it helps a lot.

    If you still have any free lessons left from your purchase, I suggest you take your machine back to the store, ask for someone who teaches sewing (not a tech) and is familiar with the machine, and explain the problems you are having and ask for suggestions. You probably should make an appointment for this. Make sure you have them go over in great detail how to thread the machine and bobbin. Then make them watch you practice until they're sure you're doing it right, even if it takes several times. I finally figured out that a small threading error was causing part of my problem. Or sit down with your manual and go over threading, again and again. Make sure you're doing it right every time. This is no small thing. If you've only had it since October, you may not have the full "hang" of threading, especially if this is your first Janome. It took me several months to figure out what I was doing wrong. Sometimes I''d get it threaded right, and sometimes I obviously wouldn't. Sometimes I'd get that "THREAD ERROR" signal, and sometimes I wouldn't. I'd just have thread breakage or bird's nests under my fabric. Also make sure you are winding the bobbin correctly. Again a small thing, but an improperly wound bobbin can cause all kinds of problems, and every machine has its "secrets" for doing it correctly. No disrespect meant. I've been sewing since I could sit on my great-grandmother's lap while she worked the treadle. Every machine is different. I've made my share of mistakes with my newest "computerized" machine. I had lots to learn, because there was lots to learn. What you're getting here is stuff I learned the hard way!

    Make sure that the thread you're using on top is the same thread that is in the bobbin. I don't know why, but Janome's seem to require this. Every time I tried to use a pre-wound bobbin, I had bird's nests. You can still use different colors in the top and bobbin, if you like; just make sure they are both Gutermann threads. I hear the same thing from lots of other Janome owners who have owned their machines much longer than I have. In fact, I received this advice from a quilter with 3 Janome's who'd had one or another for over 20 years, and said they were all alike in this regard.

    If all else fails, check the bobbin tension. That's right, the "third rail" we're not supposed to touch. My instructor at the shop I bought it from showed me how to do it, even though she wasn't supposed to do it, but she showed me that my tension was "off". How? By cutting a square of fabric, and sewing a straight stitch across the bias -- you know, the part of the fabric that has a slight stretch to it -- and then giving the fabric a couple of sharp snaps across the stitching. What happened is that the thread broke. She says that means the tension is too tight. If the thread breaks on the top, the tension on the top is too tight. If it breaks on the bottom, then the bottom tension is too tight. In my case, both broke. So we played with it. Loosened the top a bit. Then went after the bottom. There we unscrewed the face plate and lifted it up a bit. That exposed the bobbin case, and Lo and Behold, right there in the front was a small screw right on the bobbin case. I've been sewing a long time, and this screw looked exactly like the bobbin tension adjustment screw I had on the machine I had 30 years ago! Honest! And you adjust it exactly the same way. I used a tiny screwdriver I took from an eyeglasses repair kit to turn the screw. As you're looking at it, turn it 1/4 turn to the right to tighten the tension, or 1/4 turn to the left to loosen the tension. Never turn it more than 1/4 turn at a time. Just small increments. Then put the face plate back in place, but don't bother screwing it down in case you need to make more adjustments. Do the bias test again with the straight stitching, give it a snap, and see if anything breaks. When it gets to the point where nothing breaks, you tension should be perfect.

    I say "should be perfect" because of course you have to look at the stitches too. Are they neat and snug against the fabric on both sides? Is there any top thread showing on the bottom, or any bottom thread showing on the top? Shouldn't be. If there is top thread showing on the bottom, your bottom tension is too tight, and possibly your top is too loose. If there is bottom thread show in the top, then your bottom tension is too loose, and possibly your top tension is too tight. Just keep working away at it. It can be painstaking. If you see thread that loops below the fabric, then the bottom tension is definitely too loose. It needs to be snug up against the fabric, and the top thread should look like the bottom thread. I really don't know why the sewing machine people think we're too dumb to deal with bobbin tension. Mine was so loose, it really needed to be fixed, and it needed a quilter to recognize it. The techs who clean and repair the machines don't know anything about tension.

    If you get all of that fixed, and you're still having bird's nests, something is still wrong, and you need a Quilter familiar with your machine to help you, not a repair person. In the short term, you can start every row by pulling up the bobbin thread on the first stitch -- pull it right up to the top of the fabric --- and that will prevent bird's nests.

    Hope this has helped some. Keep at it! You have a lovely machine, and there is an answer to this problem! And it's not the thread!

    Warmest Regards,
    MacThayer

  6. #6
    Super Member annesthreads's Avatar
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    Ah, the old Janome "it must be your thread" excuse. I had that for years, when it wasn't "it must be your incompetence". In fact the problem was the machine - I had a lemon. If all the excellent advice above (which I'll be keeping - so helpful) doesn't work, I'd keep hammering at your dealer to do something about it.

  7. #7
    Super Member quilterella's Avatar
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    Yes, our Janome's can be thread divas. I have a Janome 6600 and now that I have it fixed again, I wouldn't trade it for anything...might have to get a new one some day soon LOL. Anyway, as to your thread question: MacThayer had several good points, however, I would go out and purchase ONE spool of Aurafil thread (50wt) and try it out, or try Mettler thread. Buy just one, give it a thorough run and see if the bird's nests are gone. Now, as much as I LOVE my 6600, she is a thread diva. She will chew up and spit out Gutterman and Coats and Clarks, but, sings like a canary when using Mettler or Aurafil. As much as I love these machines, if the bird's nests still occur then I might try a bobbin washer. Janome had isssues with their bobbins in the 6500 & 6600s and were supposed to rectify that problem with the 7700. Anyway, yes they are finicky machines, but, I still wouldn't trade her. I have a brand new Husquvarna Sapphire 875 that my DH bought me last summer, and I still prefer my Janome. Good luck and let us know how you make out.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Christine27's Avatar
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    My Janome 6600 isn't a thread diva but I've heard that they can be and that one machine will hate a thread that someone else's 6600 will love. My Janome longarm is a different story-completely fickle but behaves perfectly when someone from the store comes out or when we haul it in. Sorry I couldn't help.

  9. #9
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    I have a 6600 that I have had for 4 or 5 years. I never worry about the thread I use in it. I use everything from cheap walmart thread to Aurifil in it and it does just fine. I have had to adjust the bobbin tension when I wanted to do bobbin work using metallic thread.

    Are you putting the covers on the thread? Those little disks that go on top of the spool pin after the thread.

    You may have a cracked bobbin case. Or, have you had the bobbin case out and got it back in wrong? I use Janome, Babylock and Dritz bobbins interchangeably in mine with no problems.

    Finally, I was at a retreat a few weeks ago and a woman asked me to come trouble shoot her 6600. She had the bobbin in backwards. Did not know it went a specific way and hadn't paid any attention to how it went it.

    Recheck every step of threading against the manual. Don't mistakenly take the thread through the bobbin threading on the top.

    I agree with going through lessons at your shop. If they can't make it sew right with your thread, it may very well be a lemon. I still think there may be a crack in the bobbin case.

    I am so sorry you are having these problems. I consider the 6600 a workhorse and it is my favorite modern machine I own. Never gives me a lick of problem. I service it myself and I clean it after each project.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Dyan's Avatar
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    I have a Janome 6600 and I use any thread in it.
    Dyan

  11. #11
    Super Member Raggiemom's Avatar
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    I hope the advice you've been given helps fix this issue for you. I use Guterman and Aurifil threads in my 6600 without any trouble. However, it doesn't like King Tut thread for some reason. My older Jamome is nowhere near as picky.
    Heather

  12. #12
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    Most often it is the top thread that is causing the problem. When the thread is made it has to be
    twisted or it would all unravel. As the thread is coming off the reel to sew it is twisting more as you
    go along and that interacts with the bobbin thread and it gets knotted from the twisting. If you
    take the reel of thread off the top and turn it over (top to bottom) it will untwist itself.
    So, whenever it starts to play up just turn the reel of thread over. Magic happens. It is all in the
    way the thread is made because it has to have that twist in it to stay together. If you are using
    an industrial machine it happens even faster because it can be sewing at 6000 to 8000 stitches
    per minute. It really is Magic. lol Gleniveve

  13. #13
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    same here. I don't think that is the problem.

  14. #14
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    best advice yet.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gleniveve View Post
    Most often it is the top thread that is causing the problem. When the thread is made it has to be
    twisted or it would all unravel. As the thread is coming off the reel to sew it is twisting more as you
    go along and that interacts with the bobbin thread and it gets knotted from the twisting. If you
    take the reel of thread off the top and turn it over (top to bottom) it will untwist itself.
    So, whenever it starts to play up just turn the reel of thread over. Magic happens. It is all in the
    way the thread is made because it has to have that twist in it to stay together. If you are using
    an industrial machine it happens even faster because it can be sewing at 6000 to 8000 stitches
    per minute. It really is Magic. lol Gleniveve

  15. #15
    Senior Member lfletcher's Avatar
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    I have a Janome 6500 and have never had a problem with any thread type. I have used it all including Connecting Threads, Coats and Clark, Mettler, Aurafil, Hemingworth, etc. I use polyester, cotton and rayon. I do not have any Gutterman so I can't speak directly to that, but I know other people use it without any problem. I do use the Janome brand bobbins made specifically for my machine. This could be the cause if you are using other types of bobbins.

  16. #16
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    As a last resort, I'd take it to a different janome dealer. Sometimes the problem is with the tech doing the work and this may be a problem that just needs a different set of eyes. I've been to the point of madness before and took a machine to a different tech and he fixed the problem instantly and free of charge. You never know...
    mea

  17. #17
    Senior Member Marni's Avatar
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    I have the 6600 and the only thread problem I've had is when I forgot to put the disc on top of the spool-sometimes the spool starts to spin-and that really throws the tension off. If the disc doesn't work-another trick is to use the felt pad on the bottom of the spindle which again stops the spool from spinning.
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  18. #18
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    ditto ditto ditto to all the good suggestions already given.

    I got my 6600 in September, so just ahead of you ... and have not had any problems of this nature. Nor with my preceding three Janomes! And believe me, I have sewn miles and miles since I got my 6600.

    Just ahead of that, I discovered Aurifil thread ... and started to use it. I heard/read all the horror stories about it being a thread diva, so decided to stick with the Aurifil. And it's been clear sailing!

    I tpo had LOTS of Gutterman threads, some Mettlers, but it's hard to go back, once I tried the Aurifil as it makes a much nicer seam! Now that I am more than familiar with the 6600 and know there's no problems ... I have been using my Gutterman stash, and so far, no problems! xxxxxfingers crossedxxxxx!!

    With all that's been said, I think your best tip is to buy that one spool of Aurifil (or whatever your dealer recommends) ... and give it a try. You have mentioned that your dealer has offered that as a solution, yet it appears you have not taken that suggestion. You can prove them right ... or wrong! If right, then the problem is solved ... if wrong, then let the dealer figure out the solution.

    Being that it's working just fine when you take it to your dealer ... it would appear there is indeed something different happening. Are they using your thread? Are you doing any of the sewing? As already suggested ... sit and sew along with your teacher/dealer ... and perhaps there's some little things you are missing when you are home and DIY which are causing the problems.
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  19. #19
    Super Member TerryQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nycbgirl View Post
    I use Guterman thread and have no issues with my Janome. I'm sorry you are having problems.
    What she said.
    The Trike Riding Quilting Diva

  20. #20
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I don't use Gutterman thread at all and never have. But I have been able to use two different weights of thread in the bobbin and the top without a problem.

    Another possibility is your top thread may be jumping out of the take up lever. Try threading it from left to right instead of right to left.

  21. #21
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    I've had my 6600 for a while and recently had problems. As many times as I've threaded this machine I never would have thought that threading would have been the problem. I cleaned it, changed needles, all the stuff we all do when trying to figure out the problem. Somehow, the thread had come out of the # 5, 'down take' from the tension dial. (hope that makes sense) I threaded it again and voila, no problem. How it ever got that way is a mystery. So, whoever said check and recheck the threading of your machine was 'spot on'.

    BTW, I've been using Gutermann for a long time (found a good deal on it). As soon as I run out, I'm going with Aurifil. I hope you find the problem and soon. Nothing worse than machine problems.

  22. #22
    Senior Member omaluvs2quilt's Avatar
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    My 6600 didn't like the gutterman either, but that was several years ago. I switched to Aurifil and use that almost exclusively now. I did use the coats n clark and didn't have any issues, except lint.

  23. #23
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    I have the 6600 machine and have no problem with it. I use all different kind of threads and no problem. But I have a 10001 with the same problem and what I see is that the thread pick up arm is losing the thread. Don't know what to do to fix the problem sometime it works great and other it drives me crazy.
    Labug

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dyan View Post
    I have a Janome 6600 and I use any thread in it.
    Same here, although mine CAN be a diva every once in awhile.
    If you feel like you're special...it's 'cause you are!
    Momto5

  25. #25
    Senior Member skowron5's Avatar
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    I see someone suggested the disc on top. I have a problem with thread if I don't have it on. You have to make sure it is not too tight. I love my 6600 other than the 1/4 foot is not a true 1/4 inch. I have to move my needle over to get a true 1/4 inch. Just think for what they cost this shouldn't be a problem.

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