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Thread: Help!!! Straight line quilting stitches breaking

  1. #1
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    Help!!! Straight line quilting stitches breaking

    I hope someone can help me. I am straight line quilting a large (120x120) quilt on the diagonal both directions for a square that looks like a diamond. I had sewn about 1/3 of the first direction, when I went to turn the quilt for next line I gave the quilt a little tug and my finished stitches started to break. I checked the other lines of stitching and they all break with a tug. This quilt is to be used and it will be tugged on so now I am removing all the stitches and will start over. But I don't know how to correct the problem. I am using King Tut #40/3 ELS Cotton. I did the break test and it is very strong. I am using a Juki TL-2010Q with a walking foot. Do you think this could be a tension problem? If so which tension do I adjust?

  2. #2
    Super Member judy363905's Avatar
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    I will be watching this link...are yiu using the same stitch length you usually use? Are you stitches flat to the surface of your quilt? Sorry that is the only things that come to mind with information your provided hole someone else will know the answer.

    Judy in Phx, AZ

  3. #3
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    Before re-quilting on your quilt I would make up a test quilt sandwich and sew a few lines and see what happens. If it is the thread, get rid of it - or save it for basting only. I can't image it being the tension without seeing it in the quilting with lots of puckering. You can try different thread and see if it keeps happening.
    Are you using the same thread in the bobbin as you use on the top? Some people say that polyester thread will cut cotton thread. I have not had this problem. I did have some very old thread do it - but it was over 70 years old and that doesn't seem to be the situation here.

  4. #4
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    I am making a test quilt piece. I am using same thread in the bobbin. The thread seems very strong when I wrap it around my fingers and break it take considerable force. I don't plan on taking any chances I am changing to stronger polyester thread. There are no puckers the seams lay flat and looked good. So much for looks. LOL

  5. #5
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    What is the stitch length? My suspicion is that the stitches are too small. I usually sew mine at 3 or even 3.5 mm.

    Are you using a walking foot and are you going nice and slow?

    Do you have all of the quilt well supported on the table or does any of it hang over and cause drag over the edges of the machine?

    All of those issues can contribute to problematic stitches. Good luck.

  6. #6
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    Fabric stretches on the bias. You are stitching on the diagonal so if you pull the stitching line, the fabric may stretch enough to break the thread. I don't know if changing the thread would make any difference. I might try stitching diagonal lines with a loose zig zag so the lines have some give? I have a cute serpentine stitch on my Bernina that works well.

  7. #7
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    If you could tolerate the look - set your stitch at a very narrow zigzag and use the regular stitch length (2.5 or so - depending on what you like) - the narrow zigzag would allow for some "stretch" on the diagonal.

    Basocally - what Tartan just said.

  8. #8
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    Thank you for all your help. I spent most of this afternoon resetting the tension and stitch length on my machine and checking stitches on a test quilt. I can now sew on the diagonal and not break stitches unless I really stretch the fabric. Just to be safe I am going to use a stronger thread that didn't break even when I really stretched the test quilt.

  9. #9
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    Did you cut the thread before turning the quilt to start a new line of stitching? My stitches will break if I tug with the thread still in the needle.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadQuilter View Post
    What is the stitch length? My suspicion is that the stitches are too small. I usually sew mine at 3 or even 3.5 mm.
    This was my first thought too. Stitches need to be longer for quilting as they also have to go through the depth of the fabric and batting.

  11. #11
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    My avatar was stitched diagonally along with many other quilts and never had a problem with thread breakage. I still use Mettler Silk wrapped thread. Might be the weight of a king size, I don't know. Never made anything larger than a queen. I like the look of cross hatching.
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

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    It is my guess that you are using cotton thread. Change to a poly thread and you should not have the breakage. I say this as that has been my experience with cotton thread. I quilt on a longarm machine; stitching in all different directions. Early in my business, I stitched a simple crosshatch border with cotton thread and found that I had thread breakage. A simple tug would break the cotton thread. Not many weeks ago I had a customer ask why I refused to use cotton thread when quilting. I handed her a cone of cottom thread and asked her to try to brake off a piece. She easily broke off a piece; then I gave her a poly wrapped poly cone and asked her to break off a piece. As much as she tried, she was unable to brake a piece off the poly cone. Questioned answered.

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    I do quilting on a L/A, but I think the principle is the same.........as mentioned your fabric is being sewed on the bias...more " give" from fab than thread and long lines may cause breakage. The way I was taught to do diagonal cross hatching on full top, is by doing a large V or W across several rows...this sort of balances the stress......no problems with breaking threads...so far anyway...10+ yrs

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    Super Member madamekelly's Avatar
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    Just a caution in case this is your problem. If you store your thread where the sun shines on it, your thread will degrade in the area the sun hits, so when you use it to sew, it is very weak in that area, and will break. I had some older thread I bought disolve, about every three to four inches when I washed the skirt I used it on. What a mess! Now my thread lives in a dark closet. It is not pretty to look at that way, but it only takes one of these incidents to learn a valuable and expensive lesson.
    If you always do, what you have always done, The results never change. Change is the wings you give yourself.

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    Senior Member sherian's Avatar
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    can you use cone thread (poly) on babylock embroidery machine. I have been told to only use the small thread,
    Florani ?

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    Sherian,
    I have the Babylock Elegante and I use the large cones all the time with the cast iron thread holder set behind the machine and in line with thread guides. You must watch the thread and make sure it does not get caught and I thread it through the bobbin guide as well. Also often I use silicone spray and netting for the thread. The silicone on the thread is really nice and helps it glide through the machine. Did 150 placemats for my cousins son wedding and only had problems on 1 or 2 of them. The thread I use is mixed some Hemingworth, Sulky, Coats and Clark and now am using Glide. Hope this helps.

    Lisa

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    Yes I was using cotton thread but I am now using a very strong polyester thread. I had tested the King Tut thread and thought it seemed strong enough. That is the last time I use it for crosshatch. I should have known better. I made a test piece and I couldn't break the polyester thread no matter how hard I pulled on it.

  18. #18
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    Hello...I learned a good lesson from a very experienced quilter....She let me know sometimes the thread sometimes ages and starts to brittle a bit. his sometimes causes breakage. She brought out some stuff and dabbled a little on the spool length on the thread. I asked her what she was putting on the thread and she said silicone gel. (it also comes in a spray). She told me it brings old thread back to life and puts elasticity back in the thread and it would stop the breakage.....Sure nuf...Worked!!!!! I know have some...And have used it. I had some thread that gave me same issues and now...I can use it again.works like a champ. You can find it in any sewing machine shop. Haven't looked for it in Joanns, but did find it in a sewing machine shop.

  19. #19
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    did you lower the feed dogs that might be the problem or sounds like tension too ,try looking it up with superior threads the needle could be wrong size for your thread
    we can make our plans but the out come is in god,s hands nellie diaz

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