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Frustrated - ready to give up fmq

Frustrated - ready to give up fmq

Old 11-05-2015, 11:30 AM
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Default Frustrated - ready to give up fmq

Whenever I fmq, my top thread keep breaking. I have tried different threads and lowered the tension but it keeps happening. very frustrated. Any advice?
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Old 11-05-2015, 11:35 AM
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You will soon get lots of good advice here but my first thoughts are - are you sure your machine is threaded correctly? Needle in correctly? And are you bringing up your bobbin thread and putting the presser foot down? Wait for more suggestions and then let us know how it goes.
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Old 11-05-2015, 11:43 AM
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Try a needle with a larger hole, such as denim or metallic. Sometimes thread breaking is due to moving the fabric too fast. Try slowing down just a bit.
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Old 11-05-2015, 12:09 PM
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I had to put on music. It helped me move my fabric at an even tempo. Slow down. All else fails take a class on fmq.
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Old 11-05-2015, 12:16 PM
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I suspect you haven't quite got your speed and hand movement quite mastered. I took a class with David Taylor and discovered I was trying to FMQ too fast. He stitches at a ker-chunk..ker-chunk speed. Say that sound under your breath as you try it next time. That sound should be the speed of the machine needle stitching.
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Old 11-05-2015, 12:18 PM
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Try changing the brand of thread too. My machine like to shred threads too and it shreds threads like Mettler but Guttermann seems to be the one that it likes. I also have less problems if I leave my feed dogs up and change the stitch length to zero. Keep trying
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Old 11-05-2015, 12:43 PM
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What machine are you using? What kind of thread? What kind of Needle? This will help us help you. You could be pulling the fabric thru and not sliding it. You may have to much pressure on your foot. Your fabric needs to glide thru. You may be moving your hands to fast for what your machine can handle. You may without realize it put to much pressure or drag on the fabric causing tension on the needle and thus the thread. Most Domestics like a slow waltz pace and you have be moving easy and smooth.

Also what thread my machine likes when I piece will break when I try and FMQ
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Old 11-05-2015, 01:28 PM
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On most all machines, your tension doesn't change when you turn the dial if the pressure foot is engaged.
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Old 11-05-2015, 01:54 PM
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What foot are you using? I hated FMQ till I started using an open toe darning foot of good quality. I'm still not good at it, but I'm not frustrated any more.
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Old 11-05-2015, 02:08 PM
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Have you tried starting with fairly small quilt sandwiches, maybe placemat size or even slightly smaller? That way you can eliminate drag as one of the culprits and look at other possibilities like the type of needle, thread tension, etc.

Try using a new topstitch needle in 90/14 size. Worn needles can cause thread to shred.

Also be aware that build up of thread can also cause thread breakage, so if you are trying to quilt a pattern that requires travel stitching along the same path multiple times, that can cause breakage if you are not using a good strong thread.

Check your needle plate for burs, they can also cause thread breakage.

Make sure your bobbin is inserted into the bobbin case properly. Check your manual to see if the thread from your bobbin should hang down from the left or the right side as you insert it into the bobbin case. An incorrectly threaded bobbin case can cause top thread breakage

Next, using a small practice sandwich try the following:

With your presser foot up, loosen your top tension slightly.

Thread your machine, making sure your presser foot is up so the thread goes into the tension discs correctly. Thread your needle. If you lowered your presser foot when you threaded your needle, raise it and pull the end of your thread toward the back of the machine, it should feel smooth and have little to no resistance. If you feel resistance or it doesn't pull smoothly, rethread.

Using a small practice sandwich try the following:

Relax your upper body and try to move your hands smoothly. Start out moving in a line or a gentle curve to see how that feels. Don't try changing direction, just go in straight lines, or gentle curves at first. Try to speed up your machine without speeding up your hands. If your machine has a slider bar to control the speed do not set it too slow, better to start out with the machine a little too fast for your hand movement than the other way around. Try some straight lines and gentle curves moving from front to back, then try some from left to right, etc. Next, try doing some large circles. If you are having success with those movements and no thread breakage, it's time to try doing changes of direction. Start out with something easy like a series of undulating horizontal or vertical lines. Once you're able to do those it's time to work on an easy all over pattern like stipples.

Hope all that helps.

Last edited by rryder; 11-05-2015 at 02:17 PM.
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