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Thread: Help with Free-motion quilting Breaking too many needles

  1. #1
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    Hi everyone,

    I seem to be breaking a lot of needles when doing free motion quilting. I have lowered my feed dogs, put my pressure foot tension down as far as possible. What else can I do? The owner of my local Husqvarna shop suggested using a hoop. Any other suggestions.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    are they hitting something and breaking? maybe your moving the fabric while the needle is down? we all have trouble geeting our timing right at first

  3. #3
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    I guess my 1st question would be what kind of needle are you using? Sometimes I use the denim...sometimes the quilting....sometimes the topstitch.

    Then it just might be a timing issue on your part. It is hard to find just the right rhythm sometimes...

  4. #4
    Senior Member ddrobins1956's Avatar
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    Are you using a hopping foot? I had given up on ever being able to do free motion quilting until I starting using a hopping foot for free motion quilting. I'm still no expert but it's one hundred percent better than it was before.

  5. #5
    Senior Member daisyboo9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ddrobins1956
    Are you using a hopping foot? I had given up on ever being able to do free motion quilting until I starting using a hopping foot for free motion quilting. I'm still no expert but it's one hundred percent better than it was before.
    that would also be my question. Are you using the right foot? I just started fmq myself and I have a very old husqvarna too. My needles break if I pull the fabric the tinyest bit.

  6. #6
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    What size needle are you using? It may be too fine. I usually piece with a size 80 needle but fmq with a size 90.

  7. #7
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Is a spring loaded darning foot the same as a hopping foot?

  8. #8
    Senior Member gmcsewer's Avatar
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    I was told by a knowlegeable friend that a certain Husqvarna would not do free motion quilting so I didn't buy this used machine. It was a machine about 10 years old or so.

  9. #9
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    Yes, the spring loaded darning foot is the "hopping foot" Marge

  10. #10
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    I am using the foot that hops. I have been told by the store owner that this machine is a good one for fmqing. I have a machine quilting needle in it right now that is a size 80. Maybe I need to try a 90 instead, and then maybe I should try some different size needles.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    This wouldn't be a Sapphire would it? I have one, and had the same trouble.

    Check that the thread isn't getting hung up somewhere along the thread path - it can even snag on the spool. If you have the spool on the horizontal spindle, try the vertical. A separate thread holder might help, too.

    It's also possible that you nicked the needle plate after you broke a needle. You can use crocus cloth - a very, very fine sandpaper - to smooth out any burrs you might feel.

    If this is a Sapphire, make sure it's set up for free motion quilting. There's an item in the tools section for "pivot height," and you can try to set this to -2 --that hint is actually buried in the users manual.

    I hope this helps - good luck.

    Janet

  12. #12
    Super Member LindaR's Avatar
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    in the juki machine on the grace quilter I use 16/18 needles....after the quilt relaxes the holes don't stand out.

  13. #13
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    Loretta is absolutely right...you need to try all these things, then you need to "hold your mouth just right"..well, thats what my Mom used to always say..

  14. #14
    Senior Member ddrobins1956's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandpat
    Loretta is absolutely right...you need to try all these things, then you need to "hold your mouth just right"..well, thats what my Mom used to always say..
    and then stick your tongue out the corner of your mouth just the tiniest bit.....lol. Good luck , hope you figure out the problem, it can be very frustrating.

  15. #15
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I have been using size 90 topstitch needles... they seem to do well for me, and also if I choose to FMQ with embroidery threads.
    Thank you for answering my question :D:D:D

  16. #16
    Senior Member Dani's Avatar
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    Are you quilting too fast. I was having trouble with thread breaking and I think I am quilting too fast. Quilting slower gives you more control too.

  17. #17
    Senior Member pam1966's Avatar
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    thanks for asking this question, I've been having the same problem but just on one particular quilt. I never thought of using a denim needle. It's a Christmas quilt (well not gonna be done this year!) and I used some cheap polyester batting because it's just a wall hanging, plus some thick muslin for the backing. I'm going to pick up some denim needles and give it another try.

  18. #18
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    Thanks to everyone for your suggestions. I got some very very fine sandpaper, and smoothed out the throat plate. I did try a size 16 jeans needle, and my thread kept fraying, so I went back to a 14 quilting needle, and I did not break a needle at all. When I told my dh about some of the suggestions, he liked the sandpaper idea, so that was one of the first things I tried this morning.

    This board is wonderful with so many knowledgeable people on it.

    Thanks again

  19. #19
    Senior Member GiGi's Avatar
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    Fast feet, slow hands. If you are moving your fabric too fast, your needle will break. Slow your hands down and see if it helps. Thanks, GG

  20. #20
    Senior Member Extreme Quilter's Avatar
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    My bobbin winder on my Viking Designer I sometimes winds threads too tightly. If I happen to be free motion quilting quickly, the bobbin thread pulls on the needle and causes it to break. If I unwind a few inches of thread from the bottom and cut it off, I'm sometimes lucky enough to reach a part of the bottom that has been wound better and then my fmq goes smoothly. If not, I change my bobbin and try again.

  21. #21
    Dkm
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    I read all the other suggestions and they are right on. Here's another one. Does your machine have a 1/2 speed or can you adjust the machine speed. Remember to bring up your bobbin thread and when you start sewing don't jerk to get started. Make you some quilt sandwiches and practice first, then move on over to your project. Relax and enjoy your creativity.

  22. #22
    Senior Member shrabar's Avatar
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    Hus has what is called FAB U MOTION I bought one & it is wonderful

  23. #23

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    I found the reson for breaking needles is that you are moving your fabic to fast. try slowing down and make sure your thread is not catching on anything. hope this helps. Hot Grandma well my grandaughter thinks so anyway.

  24. #24
    Junior Member rdem's Avatar
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    I also have a husquvarna and had the same problem with the needle and the thread, tried all I could think of as well as the problem solver section in the handbook. It turned out to be the thread, was using gutterman varigated @ $13.99 for 300yrds. But it could be worse the machine could have been at fault.
    Another thing that can happen is if you move your hands faster than the needle is going you will break needle as it gets pulled to the side and hits the needle plate. hope this helps.

  25. #25
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Some of the varigated thread is a little thicker. Try using a topstitch or embroidery needle, that should keep your thread from breaking :D:D:D

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