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Does your sewing machine like/dislike certain threads?

Does your sewing machine like/dislike certain threads?

Old 11-10-2020, 07:44 PM
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Default Does your sewing machine like/dislike certain threads?

I have spent a frustrating two weeks struggling to FMQ my latest quilt. I began using a cone of "Brand A" 40 weight thread. It has been a disaster. This is a brand with a reputation for quality. Many skipped stitches, sometimes "skips" as long as an inch in length. I changed the needle twice. Didn't help. I took the machine into the repair shop. They checked it out and said it's fine. I came home, tried again -- skipped stitches, thread breaking repeatedly, snarls on the underside. Now I'M snarling! Tried a spool of "Brand A", rather than the cone. More disasters. I switched over to a spool of "Brand B", a thread I've used before. No problems, perfect results. Is this normal??

I had never sewn from a cone of thread before. Does that make a difference? It did seem that the bobbins I wound from it were a bit sloppy. Not sure if there's something I'm supposed to do differently with the tension as the thread comes off the cone and goes onto the machine. At any rate, I sure have got a lot of mess to dig out with my seam ripper! Help!
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Old 11-10-2020, 09:31 PM
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A friend of mine gave me a modern Bernina with the advice that it was fussy with threads but liked Aurifil. It doesn't seem all that fussy to me, but then I'm not using fancy threads either and I just switched to buying Aurifil as my default because I like it fine too. This year I'm trying So Fine as a bobbin thread in my domestic/piecing machine for the first time, it's working well although I've had to make a few adjustments. I used Dual Duty for top/bottom/quilting for years and have only recently gotten into different threads.

Some machines might be fussier with the cone set up. I'm able to use my small cone of So Fine to wind bobbins but I don't think I'd try sewing with it on the Bernina, and I wouldn't like a large cone, I'd definitely want a stand.

My friend's long arm, we couldn't wind a decent bobbin to save our lives and started buying prewound bobbins. Our lives got about a thousand times easier once we switched to the prewounds, and that was when I first really started doing things with different weight threads top and bottom.

I know you tried changing the needle, did you also try changing the size or type? I really like the Microtex Sharps if I'm quilting on batiks, I find it really helps in terms of skipped stitches and such.

I typically piece with a 10 needle and then typically go up to a 14 for the quilting, but sometimes a 12 works better depending on the fabric/batting combination. And I've gone larger too.

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Old 11-11-2020, 02:05 AM
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My machine actually does not like any polyester or polyester blend thread. Doesn't matter the size of the spool, doesn't matter the brand. It can be old thread or brand new thread, if there's polyester in it, forget it.

I might get two or three dozen stitches that are perfect, then the thread starts to shred. I have to constantly stop, pull out the shredded thread, clean out the bobbin, re-thread the machine, try again. I've tried different size needles, cleaned my machine, wound countless bobbins thinking my bobbin winding was the issue but nope. My machine just won't accept polyester or polyester blends. 100% cotton or it throws a temper tantrum.
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Old 11-11-2020, 03:01 AM
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If you noticed that the bobbins looked a bit messy after winding, I would think that's likely to be your problem. Try again with a properly wound bobbin to see if that fixes the problem.

None of my machines are picky about thread.

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Old 11-11-2020, 03:34 AM
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If you were using a cone, did you have it on a cone stand a little ways away from the machine and then threaded through all the guides on the machine? I ask because you said you used a spool next and the spool worked, so it could be that it was the fact that the thread was on a cone that was the problem.

Both my Singer-branded Janome and my BabyLock Tiara will take any combination of anything, so long as I make sure to give cone thread and invisible thread enough space to unravel (un-kink?) itself before it gets to the guides.

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Old 11-11-2020, 04:11 AM
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My viking is not picky about thread in the least. It will sew beautifully with anything I throw at it. Sounds to me like the issue is your cone and it's set up. Cone stands - commercially available or cobbled together homemade ones - work a charm. And that was probably the reason for the sloppy bobbin winding with it as well.

Good luck!
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Old 11-11-2020, 05:09 AM
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Did you wind new bobbins with "B" thread? or

Did you use the "A" bobbin with the "B" thread?

The bobbin may have caused the issues if not wound firmly. It also matters how the thread rolls off the spools or cones.
My machines stitch with any thread or combo. I love pre-wound bobbins and use them frequently.

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Old 11-11-2020, 05:47 AM
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My Bernina rarely cares what thread I use. If I use Sulky Sliver, I have to loosen the upper thread tension. Otherwise I can use anything without adjustment. My Juki on the other hand can the fussy about some threads. I have found that I have to do some tension adjustments with it to get it to stitch correctly with some thread.

Just for your information, I was having problems doing FMQ on my Juki with Aurafil which I'd never had problems with. The machine had just been serviced and I was stumped. I'd done all the usual, changed needle, re-threaded, wound a new bobbin and nothing seemed to help. I was talking to my friend at quilt guild and telling her how frustrated I was. She told me that she had had that same problem with her machine and finally discovered that it was the spool of thread! It sounded unlikely to me, but I had tried everything else so I got a new spool of thread. I wound a new bobbin, threaded it up and it sewed just fine! No more breaking thread or any problems. I never would have thought that the spool of thread could be defective.
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Old 11-11-2020, 05:53 AM
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When FMQ I only use glide both in top and bobbin. I"ve been spoiled by Glide. I use to use other threads but it always turns out wackie for lack of a better word. I got tired of skipped stitches, little balled clumps and the like. A good thread means better quilting even on a DSM.
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Old 11-11-2020, 06:21 AM
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My machines (domestic and longarm) will take any kind of thread I use. In the domestic machines (Bernina, Pfaff, and vintage Singers) I have used Coats & Clark cotton as well as Glide polyester. In my Juki longarm I have used Kind Tut and Glide. I recently purchased some cones of Superior for the longarm, but haven't tried them yet. I initially encountered some shredding problems with the Glide polyester in my longarm, but after loosening the needle tension, the problems vanished.
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