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Thread: Help, Broken needles doing free motion

  1. #1
    Member haircut2's Avatar
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    Not to sure if it is my machine or me..... Not quite a beginner at free motion, but not a pro eighter. My machine seems ok to just sew. Start free motioning and just when I get cruizing along needle breaks. BAM
    Changed threads, cleaned every oriface, threaded and retreaded... Went thru about 10 needles in a 10 X 10 area. Didn't have this problem in past free motion projects.
    Any ideas why this is happening?
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Member haircut2's Avatar
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    and also the thread is shreading at other times. (and yes, have tried different threads) Viking Designer 1 machine

  3. #3
    Super Member scowlkat's Avatar
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    Sounds like you are trying to move the quilt too fast for the sewing speed. That is what causes me to break needles. Also could check your thread tension. Oh and one more thing, make sure your thread is not getting caught in that little slit some spools have (mostly Coats and Clark in my collection) to hold the tail of the thread.

  4. #4
    Super Member dhanke's Avatar
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    I agree, try speeding up the machine a bit
    Quote Originally Posted by scowlkat
    Sounds like you are trying to move the quilt too fast for the sewing speed. That is what causes me to break needles. Also could check your thread tension. Oh and one more thing, make sure your thread is not getting caught in that little slit some spools have (mostly Coats and Clark in my collection) to hold the tail of the thread.

  5. #5
    Super Member dilyn's Avatar
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    I had that problem with my designer 1 a while back. Turned out that the throat plate was a tiny bit loose and off center just a hair so that when I would start free motioning it kept breaking needles I took out the throat plate and cleaned under it and put back in place making sure everything lined up and was tight.

  6. #6
    Super Member quiltmaker's Avatar
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    I am wondering if you have the correct needle size...as you say yours is shredding. Is your thread on this project different..as in possibly thicker to cause this problem? The other solutions sound good especially tension issues.. I don't have this machine but was just wondering about the thead shredding problem as that is usually an incorrectly placement/put in needle or that the needle eye is too small for a particular thread. Hope you find out the problem soon as it can be so aggrivating to have these problems.

  7. #7
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    I think dilyn is right, every thing should be in the right position and tight

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    I have same machine,, occcasionally have same problems:
    Try these ideas,, they have worked for me in the past at different times:
    1 use dental floss & run it through the threading path,, sometimes there is lint buildup & causes thread to fray & break.

    2 check the plate where the needle goes down,, I. Had a small burr from breaking a needle & it kept catching & breaking the thread. DH sanded it with fine sandpaaper, problem solved.
    3 check that the thread is not hanging on, , caaught on spool or post. I find that if I use the netting it helps,, especially if using the horizontal spool.
    4 I also find that moving sideways instead oof up & down seems to result in less needle breakage.
    Hope these ideas help

  9. #9
    Super Member dilyn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gal288
    I have same machine,, occcasionally have same problems:
    Try these ideas,, they have worked for me in the past at different times:
    1 use dental floss & run it through the threading path,, sometimes there is lint buildup & causes thread to fray & break.

    2 check the plate where the needle goes down,, I. Had a small burr from breaking a needle & it kept catching & breaking the thread. DH sanded it with fine sandpaaper, problem solved.

    Great ideas! I hadn't thought of checking for burrs! I do have problems with thread fraying and will try the dental floss idea too!
    3 check that the thread is not hanging on, , caaught on spool or post. I find that if I use the netting it helps,, especially if using the horizontal spool.
    4 I also find that moving sideways instead oof up & down seems to result in less needle breakage.
    Hope these ideas help

  10. #10
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    if you pull too much on the fabric, the needle gets pulled too and then, being pulled, it hits the plate instead of going through the hole in the plate. the only answer to this problem is the old one--practice practice practice. You want to put your foot to the metal but not so fast with your hands. It is hard at first but does get easier. It has almost nothing to do with thread or needle size, sadly, just your pulling on it. (ask me how I know--LOL)

  11. #11
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    are you using a darning foot? with a spring on the shaft? that helps keep the fabric in place each time the needle is down in the fabric. prevents needle breakage.
    you should be doing fast foot pedal, slower fabric movement. sometimes very slow. depends on the design. but certainly not as fast as your foot speed. sometimes you can get carried away and start moving the quilt too much.

  12. #12
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    You definitely a larger needle to prevent the thread from shredding. About the needles breaking, you may be moving too fast or moving the needle too slow. If you move the fabric while the needle is still coming down, it will pull the needle and make it hit the plate. This may be caused by your speed, but it may also be caused by the sewing surface around the machine. If the room is humid the fabric can not slide smoothly over it and cause the needle to break. You may also want to check that the darning foot is not bent. Sometimes it may be a little bent and the needle hits is and that's why the problem doesn't happen when sewing a straight line. Trying to straighten it if it is obviously bent may break it. If that's the case you may need to remember to move the needle before sewing to avoid hitting it.

    Pretend to sew with no thread or fabric and just watch the needle go up and down to see if it is hitting something. If is doesn't break try again with no thread but with a small practice sandwich. It may show where the problem is.

    Hope this helps.

  13. #13
    Member haircut2's Avatar
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    Well, thanks for all replies... So frustating... so went to my dealer and tried fmq on the designer at her shop... no problem! So I have narrowed it down, Filed the small bur on the stitching plate... Noticed the stitch plate was loose, tried sewing with out thread not a problem. a bur somewhere in the thread or bobbin? Went back to the sewing store and dropped her off. Gave a list to check, and having her cleaned (been too long) so I pray when I get her back I will be happy :)

  14. #14
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    Good luck. I pray it will work the way it should.

  15. #15
    Super Member lalaland's Avatar
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    The speed of your machine should match the speed you move your fabric around.

    If your fabric is "dragging" on your machine, you might consider investing in a teflon slider so you don't feel like you are "fighting" the fabric as you FMQ.

    If you needle is shredding the thread, the eye of the needle is probably too small for the thread you are using. I recently took several classes in FMQ and the teachers recommended using a 90/14 Topstitch needle as these have bigger eyes and will accommodate just about any thread.

  16. #16
    Super Member quiltjoey's Avatar
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    I have a D1 and started FMQ and kept breaking needles. Thought whoa this can't go on. When all else fails, read the manual! I dragged that huge thing out to troubleshoot. When I set it on quilting FM, it told me which needle and thread to use which I wasn't doing correctly. Changed every thing the way the book said and It has worked fine ever since. Some time it just the thread, too, My machine knows more that I do....
    Good luck with cleasn

  17. #17
    Super Member tjradj's Avatar
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    You've had some good advice. Taking the machine in for her spa day is a good move.
    Then you need to trouble shoot your relationship with your princess.
    It may just be that you are becoming more confident with your FMQ, and haven't upped the settings to go along with that.
    Shredded thread - is almost always a needle issue. Either the eye, or the actual needle size is too small for the thread or fabric. I usually use a 12 for regular sewing, but use a 14 for FMQ. Topstitch needles do have larger eyes.
    Once you are moving the fabric quicker and more confidently, you also need to speed up the machine to match.
    Make sure you're not speeding up going around curves - a common problem. If you are, you'll get eyelashes on the back. Try to keep a consistent speed.
    Then there is the usual - could be a bad needle, could be a bad spool of thread, could be just the wrong thread for that fabric, could be the wrong needle for that fabric, etc, etc.
    I find if I've left my FMQ for a while, I need a breaking in period again before things get humming. It's like my machine and I need a little romance to get going! LOL

  18. #18
    Member haircut2's Avatar
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    I did have a ton of suggestions and did try most of them although I was using a 12 needle. Hmmmm, the thing that made me think it was my machine and not me is cuz I am always right! hahahaha actually I could tell by experimenting with the dealers machine. Time will tell when I get my machine back. Dealer told me about the Bernina machine with the stitch regulator..... tempting!

  19. #19
    Super Member chairjogger's Avatar
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    watch the Utubes out there.. one said it was your tension.

    love the utubes.. good luck !!

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