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Thread: HQ16 owners--I need help

  1. #1
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    Trying to quilt...began to have tension problems. Took the quilt off....picked out the bad stitches, (AFTER trying numerous fixes) but with no luck....YESTERDAY and ALL this morning. Took the quilt off, put on a "practice" piece very similar to my quilt. I have worked HOURS on trying to get it adjusted.. :( It's doing a combination of things....sometimes long, skipped stitches....sometimes railroad tracks on top.....sometimes it will not pull up the bobbin thread....sometimes won't stay threaded!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!SCREAM!!!! I've tried adjusting the bobbin when the top looks too loose. I've adjusted the top tension until I'm crazy!! It seems like when I have the needle all the way up into the shaft, it won't work period!! I've pulled it down just a dab, and it seems to want to sew better, but it still won't do what it's supposed to do. I'm afraid the lower it any more....might mess up the stitching mechanism???? Any suggestions?!!!! Please, I hope so.. I've even tried different threads....changed needles....changed size of needle...HELP!!

  2. #2
    Senior Member luvstoquilt301's Avatar
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    You have to start from #1. Get your bobbin tension right. There are videos on the HQ site to help if you do not know how to do that.
    I use only bottomline prewounds and they fall quickly into the palm of my hand when holding the bobbin up.....looser is better than tighter.

    Use a thread you KNOW works on top and bottom for now. Take out the thread and rethread the whole machine--make sure the needle is in the right way. Make sure the thread is seated in the tension disks. Tighten it all the way------then back off about 7 full turns. You are now back to factory set.

    Now try stitching and see how it goes.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvstoquilt301
    You have to start from #1. Get your bobbin tension right. There are videos on the HQ site to help if you do not know how to do that.
    I use only bottomline prewounds and they fall quickly into the palm of my hand when holding the bobbin up.....looser is better than tighter.

    Use a thread you KNOW works on top and bottom for now. Take out the thread and rethread the whole machine--make sure the needle is in the right way. Make sure the thread is seated in the tension disks. Tighten it all the way------then back off about 7 full turns. You are now back to factory set.

    Now try stitching and see how it goes.

  4. #4
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    Thanks, I've tried all of those things, except..viewing the videos on the HQ site. I'll do that next. Thanks again.

  5. #5
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I have a Tin Lizzie. This link really helped me. General instructions would apply to any machine.

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-114933-1.htm

    Oh, and get your manual out and rethread using the instructions. Just in case ;-)

  6. #6
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    Paperprincess....I will try the methods you mentioned...especially in pulling the thread from the needle... and begin the adjusting..it seems like mine is always way too tight...very hard to pull, but if I loosen it, then I have other issues. Seems like I can't win. I did reread my manual and rethreaded....MANY times. :)

  7. #7
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I have a Fusion, but I have a friend with an HQ 16. We were having all kind of problems with her machine, and finally turned the needle just a teeny tiny bit and it worked.
    When my Fusion came back from a different dealer she had really messed up my tension. I was not impressed. I tightened the top tension all of the way. Lowered it 4 turns like I had been told, and slowly one turn at a time lowered it more until it worked the way I want it.
    Also, the videos on the site are really good. I got them on a dvd with my machine and have watched them several times.
    If the thread is popping out of the upper tension it will also cause big problems. It has to be in really tight. Mine had never done this until it came back from the other dealer.

  8. #8
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    Sadiemae, thanks. I can't find much in the way of help videos on the HQ site....not much there. Am I looking in the wrong places? I have found that if I have my needle all the way up in the shaft, it is NOT going to work. If I lower it just a dab, it helps, but doesn't solve the problem completely. And, It does seem to help to turn the needle just a hair. I remember reading that someone turned theirs to 5 o'clock, but the manual says NEVER to turn it that way, but it can be turned to 7 o"clock. Anyone know??? My dealer warned me that this will ruin the stitching mechanism....NOT to do anything but 6:00. But manual did say it could go to 7:00....makes me wonder what he knows??? He's not much help anyway.

  9. #9
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    luvstoquilt....when you place your bobbin in the palm of your hand, and pull slightly on it, should your bobbin thread be able to start pulling out?? Mine will stand up in my hand as the video suggests, but it will not pull out of the bobbin.....is that tooo tight then?

  10. #10
    Super Member Dawn Hendrix's Avatar
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    Yes its to tight then. I had your problems

  11. #11
    Super Member Dawn Hendrix's Avatar
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    I had my bobbin in backwards...it fixed everything.when the bobbin is in your hand the thread should come off the bobbin clockwise.

  12. #12
    Super Member Dawn Hendrix's Avatar
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    When you let the bobbin hang down it should slowly come off the bobbin. Sorta tighter than a yoyo ...

  13. #13
    Senior Member luvstoquilt301's Avatar
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    HQ videos---go the the home page---then go under Education----then Help me----there is a long list there.

    I run my bobbin looser than they recommend. This allows the top tension to be a little looser and helps eliminate thread breaking as much.

  14. #14
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    Well, I've tried all the suggestions...did get my bobbin thread right....it now slightly pulls off the bobbin...guess it was too tight. I will sew about an inch just fine and then the inch long stitches happens...I've tried to sew and keep adjusting the top tension....keeps happening. I'm SOOO frustrated!! Have 2 Quilts of Valor I need to get done....do frustrated. I'll work an hour or so, and then walk off and leave it a while...go back...UGH!

  15. #15
    Senior Member luvstoquilt301's Avatar
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    You will be able to get help Tuesday from HQ on the phone. But that is a long ways off. They can talk you through just about anything.

    Did you buy yours from a dealer? I bought my used so use HQ as my go to people. Just leave it alone and find something else fun to do--some piecing project----something that is EASY and fun.

  16. #16
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    Yes, I bought mine used from a dealer in my city. He has not been much help....he did come out one time before my 90 day warranty (with him) was up. I guess I will try calling he HQ people Tues. Just need to forget about it a while, as you said. But, I just keep thinking surely there's something I can figure out. I've been a pretty good trouble shooter the last year, because I have some sort of tension issues with nearly every quilt. Not this time!! Thanks.

  17. #17
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    Yes, I did buy mine "used" from a dealer here in my city. He gave me a 90 warranty...came out 2 times before the warranty was up. Seemed to be fine when he left. But, I've always had tension problems with each quilt...have to work a while to get it just right. But, never like this. So, I guess I'll have to just call HQ in SLC next week. I just hate to give up....I'm a very patient person, and have always been able to troubleshoot and get it going. Not this time!! I have noticed from time and again, that when my bobbin gets low or runs out, I have problems. Get a bobbin filled and get back to it, and the tension adjustments start all over again. Crazy!!

  18. #18
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    Whoops...thought my first post didn't go through....sorry

  19. #19
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misoop
    Well, I've tried all the suggestions...did get my bobbin thread right....it now slightly pulls off the bobbin...guess it was too tight. I will sew about an inch just fine and then the inch long stitches happens...I've tried to sew and keep adjusting the top tension....keeps happening. I'm SOOO frustrated!! Have 2 Quilts of Valor I need to get done....do frustrated. I'll work an hour or so, and then walk off and leave it a while...go back...UGH!
    How long have you had your machine? It may need to be cleaned and serviced by a dealer. I know that is no help, but it may need it. Sorry for all of your frustration. I will say that when you call Salt Lake they are wonderful to help as much as possible. I even had a question they couldn't answer quite awhile ago and an HQ instructor called within a half hour.

  20. #20
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    Glad to hear that they are very helpful. I got my machine a year ago, and it had been used very little by the previous owner. I got the impression that she had lots of trouble with tension, but the dealer assured me it was "just the user" not the machine. I had read that longarms are notorious for their "picky tension" , etc....so I didn't think too much about it. And, I've had pretty good success...the norm, I think....having to tweak here and there on every quilt....but not like today and yesterday!! I've probably quilted 10-12 quilts on it. What do ya think?

  21. #21
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by misoop
    Glad to hear that they are very helpful. I got my machine a year ago, and it had been used very little by the previous owner. I got the impression that she had lots of trouble with tension, but the dealer assured me it was "just the user" not the machine. I had read that longarms are notorious for their "picky tension" , etc....so I didn't think too much about it. And, I've had pretty good success...the norm, I think....having to tweak here and there on every quilt....but not like today and yesterday!! I've probably quilted 10-12 quilts on it. What do ya think?
    With only 10-12 quilts it shouldn't need serviced. I think it is just be naughty, kind of like a little child. I think they will be able to help you at HQ. It may just be some little thing that is out of wack.

  22. #22
    Super Member soccertxi's Avatar
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    How tight is your quilt top? I had lots of problems with my HQ at first. I had to learn about not to over tighten the top or backing, what kind of thread my machine liked and even one batting that gave me FITS. One backing was awful too. Keep in mind everytime you figure something out, you are learning to troubleshoot for the next time. (and yes, I got VERY frustrated..and even thought of selling my set up)Keep your head up and take a deep breath!

  23. #23
    Member sewweary's Avatar
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    make sure the thread is seated in the tension, you have to put the thread in like you are flossing, you can tell when the thread is seated. I missed mine once and had the same problem.

  24. #24
    Senior Member suziehammond's Avatar
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    Had similar probs once. Ready to beat up the dog or take my frying fan to the HQ in frustration! For me it was the fact that it was wrong needle. I thought the ones I p/u at JoAnns were fine and they seemed to work OK when I put them in. Later got very cranky. You have to use the German ones that come in the fancy case. Groz-Beckert. They are slightly longer and the shaft is slightly different(Had to come all the way to Chile to have a guy explain to me that this is like a commercial machine and it needs these special needles to be it's happiest!) They come from 110/18 and on down to 75's. They are more $$ so I didn't get them b4. Went for the cheaper ones assuming they's be ok.

    Just a thot.

  25. #25
    Senior Member MamaHen's Avatar
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    Check to see if your bobbin case has been dropped. It may be bent or there may be lint in it. Put your bobbin in the palm of your hand or on a flat surface with the thread coming off counter clockwise (to the left), then place your bobbin case ontop pull your thread through the slot and under the spring.
    I have a Avante and have no trouble with it except when I mess up the bobbin. To save me lots of trouble with the bobbin tension I purchased a Towa bobbin tension gauge, a life saver and recommend it highly.
    Good luck.

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