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Thread: I'm about to kill my machine!

  1. #1
    Senior Member wannaquilt1's Avatar
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    Does anyone know what causes the top thread to break when FMQ? It will be going fine for a few minutes and I'm making sure I go slow enough and everything will be going great then snap out of the blue it will snap. I don't know what to do i can't finish this quilt like this i just want to cry. My husband still won't tell me if i can get a new machine so i'm stuck with this one.

    do you think it could be because I spray basted it? does this have anything to do with it?

  2. #2
    Super Member vivoaks's Avatar
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    I couldn't see that the spray basting would be the cause, unless you sprayed it so thick that it's stiff! Have you tried re-threading the machine? Sometimes that's all it takes. If you're really upset, take a break until tomorrow if possible. Start fresh, after re-threading, and try again.

  3. #3
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    I doubt it is because you spray basted it. I just finished a a quilt with fmq that I spray basted and I didn't have any problem with thread breakage. I used King Tut for my thread this time and it worked like a dream.

    I also just finished fmq a tree skirt with metallic thread and it broke constantly. I figured it was the the thread since the King Tut worked so beautifully.

    Sorry no other advice from me.

  4. #4
    Super Member Crqltr's Avatar
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    Try changing your needle also...

  5. #5
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    There are several possibilities.

    1) How old is your thread?
    2) What is your thread weight and what kind is it (ie cotton or poly, and who is manufacturer). Ditto the first two questions for the bobbin thread.
    3) What size needle are you using?
    4) When was the last time you replaced your needle (in aprox hours of machine usage)?
    5) Have you COMPLETELY re-threaded your machine? Remember, don't ever pull the thread out backwards through the tension discs to un-thread when the presser foot is down!! Always lift the presser foot first - or even better - snip the thread from the spool then pull the thread out from the needle through the machine.
    6) What kind of batting are you using?
    7) What kind of machine are you using (make and model)?

    Other than these things the other two possibilities off the top of my head are top tension and hand speed vs machine speed. But always start with the above questions first. If you answer those for us, we might have a better idea what could be wrong and make suggestions.

  6. #6
    Super Member EasyPeezy's Avatar
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    Try a new needle. There might be a small burr that is not visible to the eye.
    This happened to me the other day and after I changed needle no more
    breakage. Didn't seem like it needed it but it did apparently. ;)

  7. #7
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    When I had a thread snapping, I found it was the thread. It was an expensive machine quilting thread but it was making a little lint ball as it came to the needle. I changed threads and it was fine. If you are using a thread with the little slit on the spool side, that can catch and break the thread. If you are pulling your sandwich or the sandwich has drag on it, that can bend the needle enough that it clips the thread on the throat plate. Have you checked the tension and made sure the needle isn't bent? A bent needle can also clip the thread on the throat plate. I hope you can find the problem.

  8. #8
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Loosen your tension to 0 and go up 1/2 at a time.

    My husband still won't tell me if i can get a new machine so i'm stuck with this one. ???????

  9. #9
    Senior Member Little RoO's Avatar
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    Oh my....you sound so like me earlier this week when I posted a problem about my Janome and FMQ....I was at breaking point ...when Annaquilts suggested leaving the feed dogs....WOW what a different...I think I may have to take my machine in for a tune up though after messing so much with the tension....I haven't got a clue wether it is right or not because I have played with it so much! But tonight......Feed dogs up....away I went....first time since I have had this machine ( 2 months)....beautifully balanced FMQ with lovely tension front and back.....way to go so happy....did the whole border of a baby quilt.
    Just keep perservering....ask loads of questions and someone on this board will have the answer for you.....Good luck

  10. #10
    Senior Member angiecub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan
    When I had a thread snapping, I found it was the thread. It was an expensive machine quilting thread but it was making a little lint ball as it came to the needle. I changed threads and it was fine. If you are using a thread with the little slit on the spool side, that can catch and break the thread. If you are pulling your sandwich or the sandwich has drag on it, that can bend the needle enough that it clips the thread on the throat plate. Have you checked the tension and made sure the needle isn't bent? A bent needle can also clip the thread on the throat plate. I hope you can find the problem.
    I agree with Tartan on the possibility of the thread getting caught on the spool. I've also had problems sometimes with the thread winding on the spool pin. It is maddening. I hope you figure it out so you can finish your quilt. If it pieces fine, I would guess it's not your machine.

  11. #11
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    Just a question: How can you FMQ with the feed dogs up?

    Lana
    the Quilting Dreamer
    Lansing, MI

  12. #12
    Junior Member simplyme's Avatar
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    I have had this problem in the past too. You should always rethread and than change the needle. Even if it is a new needle change it again. Also, check to see if you are using the right needle for the thread you are using.

  13. #13
    Super Member Lindsey's Avatar
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    Use a large eye needle preferrably a denim needle. drive slow but go fast.. thats what I read.. Your machine should go faster then you push the fabric..

  14. #14
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quilting Dreamer
    Just a question: How can you FMQ with the feed dogs up?

    Lana
    the Quilting Dreamer
    Lansing, MI
    Lots of folks swear by this method! i use a spring foot and there's a special setting on my machine for this foot. i noticed that each time it takes a stitch the feed dogs come up.

    regarging the OP thread issue. I would try loosening the tension a bit.

  15. #15
    Super Member LivelyLady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Quilting Dreamer
    Just a question: How can you FMQ with the feed dogs up?

    Lana
    the Quilting Dreamer
    Lansing, MI
    I prefer to leave my feed dogs up when FMQ, you do that by putting your stitch length to "0".

  16. #16
    Senior Member wannaquilt1's Avatar
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    ok i'll try changing the needle I've done everything else suggested on here already... i've changed thread, rethreaded many times, changed bobbin, done feed dogs up and down to no avail. I wonder if it's the needle or thread. the thread is just coats and clark from walmart and i just bought it but who knows maybe it sat there forever. it could also be catching on that plastic thing they cut out. i hate those things. i have tried 2 different spools but maybe i'll wind to a bobbin and put that on top and see if that helps? I'll answer that list of ? and see if this helps any :)


    1) How old is your thread?

    I just bought it but may have been sitting at the store?

    2) What is your thread weight and what kind is it (ie cotton or poly, and who is manufacturer). Ditto the first two questions for the bobbin thread.

    It's poly coats and clark all purpose thread.

    3) What size needle are you using?

    a topstitch needle

    4) When was the last time you replaced your needle (in aprox hours of machine usage)?

    i replaced it b4 starting this quilting.

    5) Have you COMPLETELY re-threaded your machine? Remember, don't ever pull the thread out backwards through the tension discs to un-thread when the presser foot is down!! Always lift the presser foot first - or even better - snip the thread from the spool then pull the thread out from the needle through the machine.

    Yes many times

    6) What kind of batting are you using?

    Poly high loft

    7) What kind of machine are you using (make and model)?

    Brother CS-6000

  17. #17
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    I like the feed dogs up, too. I had some breakage problems earlier this week. The thread was much finer than my machine usually sews with and it just wouldn't behave. I adjusted the tension and the quilt's almost done without another hitch. Another problem - probably the main one was that I forgot which machine I was on and threaded it from the wrong side, but that won't apply to you.

  18. #18
    Super Member sewwhat85's Avatar
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    maybe try a bigger needle

  19. #19
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Of all the questions you answered ...

    I'm not familiar with the thread you are using. I've never FMQ'd with a poly so I have no idea if the type of thread might be your problem. Do you have any other thread available?

    Other than that it could be your hand speed is too fast for your machine speed. Either slow your hand speed, or increase your machine speed. Your machine speed should remain a constant but your hand speed should slow down in curves.

    Have you practiced FMQ on scrap sandwiches first? Are you familiar and comfortable with it? If not, I can't sress enough how much it helps to make practice sandwiches (same material, batting, needle and thread you are using) and get comfortable first. Don't expect to just jump into FMQ - it takes time. LOTS of time. Sure some are quicker than others, but it will still take many hours before you are even comfortable and uniform.

    Good luck.

  20. #20
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    wrong needle thread combination is my guess, try a bigger needle

  21. #21
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I read somewhere that leaving the feed dogs up while FMQ will eventually cause problems with your machine. I'll see if I can find where I read it.

  22. #22
    Senior Member shnnn's Avatar
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    Try flipping the spool over in case it's catching on the notch

  23. #23
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    What did you use to spray baste your quilt? Make a new sample quilt sandwich using exactly what you are trying to quilt now. Don't spray baste it, pin it or hand baste it a bit. See if your thread breaks.

  24. #24
    SMR
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    Try a different spool of thread. I've had recently purchased thread that breaks over and over and then use a spool from mom's old collection that sews perfect. Agree about changing needle also.

  25. #25
    Junior Member agdetrick's Avatar
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    is the top thread and bobbin thread the same? that took me a long time to learn...called manufacturer of my sewing machine after being on hold on the telephone line and he said try the same thread on top as you have on the bobbin.

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