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Thread: Help! Top thread keeps breaking!

  1. #1
    k3n
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    OK - I'm stabilising the edge of a quilt before binding and my top thread keeps breaking. Tension is set where it always is for this - 3.5. I changed the needle for a new one, I even tried a different spool of thread in case it was 'faulty' although it's the same brand I always use and never had trouble before. And I unthreaded and rethreaded in case something was wrong there. It sews for about a foot then snaps! Grrrr! I'd just SID quilted the whole quilt with it - no problem; it's a new (to me) machine I recently bought off a friend and I can't believe it's faulty; any ideas, anyone?

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    that is weird that it's acting up now

    do you think something may be stuck in the threading path?

  3. #3
    Senior Member AtHomeSewing's Avatar
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    It is almost always: Needle, Thread or Tension.

    Is the eye of the needle large enough for the thread?
    Also, Needles can be faulty.
    Is your bobbin area clean?
    Is the thread getting caught on the spool?
    You are positive the machine is threaded correctly?

    If everything else seems fine, adjust your upper tension.

  4. #4
    k3n
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    you can open a door on the end of the head, where the light bulb is. I had a look in there but couldn't see anything. I've put it away in disgust and got the old one back out! I thought of getting DH to have a look at it tomorrow - he's home late tonight and probably the last thing he'll want to do is surgery on my sewing machine! I just thought maybe someone here had had the same problem and could think of something I missed! How would I check the threading path other than what I've done?

  5. #5
    k3n
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    Quote Originally Posted by AtHomeSewing
    It is almost always: Needle, Thread or Tension.

    Is the eye of the needle large enough for the thread?
    Also, Needles can be faulty.
    Is your bobbin area clean?
    Is the thread getting caught on the spool?
    You are positive the machine is threaded correctly?

    If everything else seems fine, adjust your upper tension.
    It's a brand new schmetz needle but I can try the one from my old machine which I KNOW is fine. I just whizzed my little brush round the bobbin and feed dogs - I always do that aftter quilting to get rid of the fuzz. Nope, the thread is sitting fine on the spool; and I checked my threading and am positive it's done right; could the tension discs be faulty? I tried reducing the tension to 2 which is way low and it STILL did it!

  6. #6
    Super Member Ducky's Avatar
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    K, this may be a stupid question, so forgive me.... Did you call your friend and ask if she ever had the same problem?

  7. #7
    k3n
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ducky
    K, this may be a stupid question, so forgive me.... Did you call your friend and ask if she ever had the same problem?
    Ermmm - I thought of that but I thought I'd try you guys first; I didn't want her to feel that I was complaining! :oops:

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    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    There can be lint stuck between the tension discs in the upper thread path. If you have some *unwaxed* dental floss, you can try sawing that back and forth between the discs. (Do not used waxed dental floss!)

    You didn't change the bobbin, did you? I once fixed a machine that was having this problem because the user had inserted the wrong plastic bobbin (one for another machine). The two bobbins looked very similar so it was an easy mistake to make.

    If there is a tiny piece of thread caught anywhere in the lower area, that can cause this problem also. I usually take the entire bobbin assembly out and look carefully everywhere to see if I can spot a piece of thread. Check the bobbin case also; sometimes there is a tiny piece of thread caught in the spring tension mechanism where the thread feeds out.

    Also check that the thread on top is not getting caught in the spool as it unwinds. I have had it hang up intermittently on the little nick in the spool designed to hold the thread end in place, and that can cause the thread to break too.

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    k3n
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    I DID change the bobbin! I'll go and change it back to the metal one that came with it! I thought the one I put in would fit - they're the universal ones I got and used fine with my old machine; will let you know how i get on! Thanks!

  10. #10
    Super Member quilter1962's Avatar
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    My old Pfaff used to play up sometimes like this & usually it was the tension discs needing adjusting only very slightly. On one occassion I discovered it was due to an uneven threaded bobbin. Sorry other than that I don't know what to suggest - maybe:

    Stroke it gently & tell it Mummys loves you - SO GET TO WORK :lol:

    Tisha - Good Luck :wink:

  11. #11
    k3n
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    You didn't change the bobbin, did you? I once fixed a machine that was having this problem because the user had inserted the wrong plastic bobbin (one for another machine). The two bobbins looked very similar so it was an easy mistake to make.
    You are a GENIUS and I am an idiot! Changed back to the bobbin that came with it and sewed on the whole binding - no problem! Thanks so much! AND to everyone else for the ideas and support as well. Now I'm off to order some spare bobbins that fit! :lol:

    And Tisha - I apologised to it humbly, begged it's forgiveness and proclaimed my never ending love - and I swear it purrrrred as it sewed! :wink:

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    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    Are you using a walking foot? I have trouble if I dont.

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    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k3n
    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    You didn't change the bobbin, did you? I once fixed a machine that was having this problem because the user had inserted the wrong plastic bobbin (one for another machine). The two bobbins looked very similar so it was an easy mistake to make.
    You are a GENIUS and I am an idiot! Changed back to the bobbin that came with it and sewed on the whole binding - no problem! Thanks so much! AND to everyone else for the ideas and support as well. Now I'm off to order some spare bobbins that fit! :lol:

    And Tisha - I apologised to it humbly, begged it's forgiveness and proclaimed my never ending love - and I swear it purrrrred as it sewed! :wink:
    K, was here earlier, and came back to see if you got the problem solved. I see you have...YIPPPEEE!!! Prism99 is good, I agree!!! :D
    I didn't leave a reply first time, bc, one, i forgot...hubby needed help, and 2- when it comes to mechanical...better off calling ghostbusters, than me. I can use a screwdriver, cut a board, sometimes nail a nail...and paint...not much help, beyond that. Glad problem is solved! :D

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    Super Member Tink's Mom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k3n
    I DID change the bobbin! I'll go and change it back to the metal one that came with it! I thought the one I put in would fit - they're the universal ones I got and used fine with my old machine; will let you know how i get on! Thanks!
    :oops: I always tell a customer that a universal bobbin is not advisable for most machines.....They are made to specs that are not close enough to make a consistant stitch on touchy machines.....Save your money and purchase the correct bobbins, it will save you in aggrivation.

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    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Great! I will remind myself all day long of my genius status!!! :P

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    Super Member quilter1962's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k3n
    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99
    You didn't change the bobbin, did you? I once fixed a machine that was having this problem because the user had inserted the wrong plastic bobbin (one for another machine). The two bobbins looked very similar so it was an easy mistake to make.
    You are a GENIUS and I am an idiot! Changed back to the bobbin that came with it and sewed on the whole binding - no problem! Thanks so much! AND to everyone else for the ideas and support as well. Now I'm off to order some spare bobbins that fit! :lol:

    And Tisha - I apologised to it humbly, begged it's forgiveness and proclaimed my never ending love - and I swear it purrrrred as it
    sewed! :wink:

    K

    So pleased you got your baby up & running bet you feel a right Rodney DOH LOL.
    What model do you have - mine doesn't purr LOL :wink:

    Tisha

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    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    K...so glad you found out the problem...bless you prism!!!....it is always in those pesky little details isn't it??? :lol: :lol:

    And Tish....you probably did't pet your machine just right.. :wink:

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    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandpat
    K...so glad you found out the problem...bless you prism!!!....it is always in those pesky little details isn't it??? :lol: :lol:

    And Tish....you probably did't pet your machine just right.. :wink:
    my machine repair guy told me that if the bobbin chase is metal, the bobbin should be metal. if the bobbin chase is plastic, the bobbin should be plastic.

  19. #19
    Super Member omak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by k3n
    OK - I'm stabilising the edge of a quilt before binding and my top thread keeps breaking. Tension is set where it always is for this - 3.5. I changed the needle for a new one, I even tried a different spool of thread in case it was 'faulty' although it's the same brand I always use and never had trouble before. And I unthreaded and rethreaded in case something was wrong there. It sews for about a foot then snaps! Grrrr! I'd just SID quilted the whole quilt with it - no problem; it's a new (to me) machine I recently bought off a friend and I can't believe it's faulty; any ideas, anyone?
    Did you change the length of the stitches? Sometimes, sewing through so many layers of material, the small stitches we use for piecing just cannot handle two layers of binding (+ the seam allowances when you hit them) + two layers of quilt/front and back (plus any seams you run into) and the batting on top of that! I lengthen my stitches from the 2 or 2.5 for piecing all the way up to 4 ...

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    Super Member omak's Avatar
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    should have read the whole thread, I see :roll:
    I have never heard of a plastic bobbin case, but my repairman did tell me that if my machine came with plastic, stay with plastic, and when the machine came with metal bobbins, stay with metal bobbins - - the reason being is the timing in the bobbin area is timed for those particular weights.
    I'm glad you got your machine up and running again.

    One time, I had a machine that I couldn't get to sewing. I kept it laying around for months and then finally I REALLY needed to sew with it. I tried one thing after another, INCLUDING trying to tear it apart, before I decided I should pull out the owners' manual and start from the very basics. I shouldn't tell y'all this, but it turned out that I had put the needle in backwards! I was home alone, but you can just imagine what kind of an idiot I told myself I am!
    The real miracle is that I EVER figured out that the needle was backwards ... cannot tell you how I figured it out yet, but I did! so, I am sort of proud of myself, even if I am an idiot! LOL

  21. #21
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    as far as i know, the bobbin case is always metal. you're right about that. the bobbin case fits into a .....hmmm .... round space with a spindle poking up or out in the center, depending on whether you have a front loader or top loader. that round, empty space is called a chase, (it has another name that escapes me right now). the bobbin case rolls back and forth in there, hooking the upper thread to make the stitches. the chase on many newer machines are made of metal/plastic combos. those are the ones that Ernie the Repair Guy (my hero!) says should be loaded with only plastic bobbins. if the chase is made of all metal, then the bobbin should be metal.

  22. #22
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    Hip hip hurray. Glad you found the problem and all is well. Have fun sewing.

  23. #23
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by butterflywing
    as far as i know, the bobbin case is always metal. you're right about that. the bobbin case fits into a .....hmmm .... round space with a spindle poking up or out in the center, depending on whether you have a front loader or top loader. that round, empty space is called a chase, (it has another name that escapes me right now). the bobbin case rolls back and forth in there, hooking the upper thread to make the stitches. the chase on many newer machines are made of metal/plastic combos. those are the ones that Ernie the Repair Guy (my hero!) says should be loaded with only plastic bobbins. if the chase is made of all metal, then the bobbin should be metal.
    race? B?

  24. #24
    k3n
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tink's Mom
    :oops: I always tell a customer that a universal bobbin is not advisable for most machines.....They are made to specs that are not close enough to make a consistant stitch on touchy machines.....Save your money and purchase the correct bobbins, it will save you in aggrivation.
    I've just emailed the company that supplied the machine and asked to order some bobbins made for it. It's not easy to know as it's a machine the shop had made as an 'anniversary' model - it doesn't have a brand name.

    Thanks again all for the support and advice; my DH pointed out that HE suggested I change the bobbin but that I apparently pay more attention to you guys than to him! :D

  25. #25
    k3n
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltncrazy
    Quote Originally Posted by butterflywing
    as far as i know, the bobbin case is always metal. you're right about that. the bobbin case fits into a .....hmmm .... round space with a spindle poking up or out in the center, depending on whether you have a front loader or top loader. that round, empty space is called a chase, (it has another name that escapes me right now). the bobbin case rolls back and forth in there, hooking the upper thread to make the stitches. the chase on many newer machines are made of metal/plastic combos. those are the ones that Ernie the Repair Guy (my hero!) says should be loaded with only plastic bobbins. if the chase is made of all metal, then the bobbin should be metal.
    race? B?
    Yup - I call it a bobbin race. And mine's metal, and I must be psychic because when I emailed the supplier, I asked for METAL bobbins - don't ask me why, I always bought plastic before, maybe I'm not such a complete idiot after all? :D And Susie, NOT using universal makes complete sense when you think about it - DH says it's like an amphibious car - no good as a car OR a boat! :wink:

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