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Thread: Help me, Wise Persons of the QB!!

  1. #1
    Senior Member Sarah in Brooklyn's Avatar
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    Help me, Wise Persons of the QB!!

    So I'm trying to practice my FMQ, and it's pretty ugly, but tonight something happened that I can't explain. I've just figured out how to bring up the bobbin thread. I'm working on these silly potholders I made to give to family. So I bring up the bobbin thread and work on a nice spiral design, but when I look at the back, it's all thread nests and horrible! What did I do wrong? I thought that if the bobbin thread was up that wasn't supposed to happen! I've thrown away about half a spool of thread - it happened twice! I'm going to bed now but I hope in the morning you will all tell me what I'm doing wrong.

  2. #2
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    One guess might be that you didn't put your presser foot down before you started sewing. I know you will get lots of good suggestions from our board!!

  3. #3
    Super Member QuiltingKrazy's Avatar
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    You need to adjust your tension. Try a few scrap pieces with FMQ and see if that helps. Also re thread your machine that has solved my problems many times.

  4. #4
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    A good night sleep will work wonders. You can tackle it fresh in the morning and it sounds like tension problem that you may have to fiddle with. The Superior Thread co has a nice diagram for how to get a balance stitch and I use it so often that I printed it out for myself. It has the little stick figures that tell which tension you need to adjust. It could also be what you are trying to quilt through. Before doing any FMQ I always try a sample on a scrap sandwich of the same fabric and just sew a straight line to check the stitches. As someone mentioned, you have to put the foot down even though it doesn't rest on the fabric to engage the tension on the upper thread.

  5. #5
    Super Member azwendyg's Avatar
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    Like already mentioned, it seems like it has to either be the presser foot not down, or the upper tension needs to be tightened, or maybe even just needs to be re-threaded. Keep at it, you'll be fine!
    Wendy

  6. #6
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    You mention learning how to bring the bobbin thread up, but you don't mention holding both threads tightly when you start quilting. Are you doing that?

  7. #7
    Super Member woody's Avatar
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    My machine always throws a tantrum and I have a horrible mess on the back when the needle needs changing. Do you have a new needle in the machine?
    The biggest risk is the one not taken

  8. #8
    Senior Member Sarah in Brooklyn's Avatar
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    These are all great ideas and I will tackle it again when I get home from work. It could well be the presser foot - I'm not sure I had it down. I will let you know - thanks so much!

  9. #9
    Senior Member teddysmom's Avatar
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    I can't help you since I hand quilt.

  10. #10
    Super Member sandyl's Avatar
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    Happens to me when the bobbin is not in correctly. Turning from the wrong way perhaps?

  11. #11
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    I also use gene washers...it works great...makes a huge difference preventing that issue. Another thing I do is cover the feeddogs, keep them up...I use the slider but you can use a business card or some people here use oven liners. I bought one yesterday but have not used it yet.

  12. #12
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    It's happened to me too at the beginning of FMQ, and in my case it was because I didn't have the quilting presser foot down even though I was holding the two threads. Hope that's all it is in your case.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Sarah in Brooklyn's Avatar
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    It was the presser foot. I just tried it again, and while my lines are still horrible, my threads stayed where they were supposed to. Thank you!!

  14. #14
    Senior Member luana's Avatar
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    I love a story with a happy ending :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by sandyl View Post
    Happens to me when the bobbin is not in correctly. Turning from the wrong way perhaps?
    I suffered with this until I accidentally found out you have to put thumb pressure on the bobbin when inserting it and the thread tail, or it won't catch on the invisible "hook". Went thru lots of thread and two trips to the technician before she thought to mention it.

  16. #16
    Super Member Amythyst02's Avatar
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    When ever I forget to put the presser foot down, my machine beeps at me!!! and will not move
    Amythyst

  17. #17
    Super Member duckydo's Avatar
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    This has happened to me lots of times, and it is usually t hat I don't have the presser foot down. Try that, but also like someone else suggested hold on to the thread when you first start

  18. #18
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    I am just starting to learn the FMQ. It will definitely be A LOT of practice....I was playing around with a scrap piece again yesterday and after about 30 minutes of frustration....I discovered that you have to put the presser foot DOWN. It made a BIG difference.....but I still need a lot of practice to master this skill. I have watched a ton of videos and I can't remember hearing that little bit of very important info??

  19. #19
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    The Superior Thread co has a nice diagram for how to get a balance stitch and I use it so often that I printed it out for myself. It has the little stick figures that tell which tension you need to adjust.
    Tartan, thanks so much for sharing this info. Just printed off those little stick figures for my own reference. This board is the best!
    http://www.thingsthatarenotperfect.blogspot.com/

  20. #20
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    You also have to lower the presser foot or , if you have a Pfaff, place the presser foot lever half way between up and down.

  21. #21
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    Was the bobbin wound correctly? Once in a while, if my bobbin gets wrapped wonky, I have the same problem. Change to a fresh bobbin, completely rethread the machine, put a new needle in and try, try again! Good luck!!

  22. #22
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    Such a simple solution! I've never FMQ'd, but know I have to attempt it. I hope I remember to lower the presser foot when I finally get started. I, too, love this board!

  23. #23
    Senior Member kathidahl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    A good night sleep will work wonders. You can tackle it fresh in the morning and it sounds like tension problem that you may have to fiddle with. The Superior Thread co has a nice diagram for how to get a balance stitch and I use it so often that I printed it out for myself. It has the little stick figures that tell which tension you need to adjust. It could also be what you are trying to quilt through. Before doing any FMQ I always try a sample on a scrap sandwich of the same fabric and just sew a straight line to check the stitches. As someone mentioned, you have to put the foot down even though it doesn't rest on the fabric to engage the tension on the upper thread.
    Nice diagram...thanks for sharing...

  24. #24
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    This sounds like it could be the problem - it's easy to do when FMQing as the foot isn't tight on th fabric . Another thing is that perhaps you threaded it with the presser foot down and it didn't get caught in those tension discs. Ask me how I know this! Haha!

  25. #25
    Member filewizard25's Avatar
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    This is embarrassing to admit, but I'm a newbie. I had my needle actually in backwards and it did that... I tried EVERYTHING before discovering I had put the needle in backward.

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