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Thread: Machine skipping stitches

  1. #1
    Super Member WMUTeach's Avatar
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    Machine skipping stitches

    I am seeking help from the pros on the Board and those who have solved this problem themselves. When using a simple straight stitch on a quilt sandwich, no problems smooth and even stitches without tension problems. When I reset for free motion quilting (dogs down, new needle, re-threaded the machine, changed the bobbin) it get skips in the stitching. It doesn't have a pattern to the skips. The skips are not on curves or in any predictable number of stitches.

    Any ideas of what the problem could be? I have a quilt with a deadline and would like to get it finished.
    Thank everyone.

  2. #2
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    You might try loosening the top thread tension just a bit. Also anylize the speed at which you move the fabric and the length of the resulting stitches. Another variable would be to use a larger needle.
    Last edited by peacebypiece; 05-28-2013 at 06:48 AM. Reason: typo

  3. #3
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    My Bernina would sew on regular stitching just fine but would skip on FMQ, walking foot and not sew at all on Zig Zag. I hit something while sewing and broke a needle and it had to have the timing re-set at the shop. Hope you have better luck.

  4. #4
    JLe
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    A very talented quilted suggested I use a finer thread in the bobbin and to speed up. That worked for me

  5. #5
    Super Member Charming's Avatar
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    One suggestion i heard was to shorten the stitch length when doing free motion (if you are using the default length of the machine 2.0 lower it to 1.5)
    Good luck
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  6. #6
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I would use a larger needle. Try a jeans or topstitch.
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  7. #7
    Super Member snipforfun's Avatar
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    If you re doing straight stitching its recommended to use a walking foot.

  8. #8
    Super Member grammy Dwynn's Avatar
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    Sometimes I will go back to basics ~ Clean machine (I have had skipped stitches when bobbin area is 'full' of lint). Re-thread both top and bobbin. When I'm quilting, whether with walking foot or FMQ, I use a Topstitch needle.
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  9. #9
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Try leaving the feed dogs up. A lot of quilters do free-motion with feed dogs up; they do not *have* to be down on all machines. Leaving the feed dogs up will sometimes correct the skipped stitches problem.

  10. #10
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaperPrincess View Post
    I would use a larger needle. Try a jeans or topstitch.
    I second this. What size needle are you using? When I quilt, I use a size 16 or 18.

  11. #11
    Super Member petthefabric's Avatar
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    Back to basics: clean and oil machine. If it's been a while, have it serviced and timed. Change the needle, matching the needle to the thread. Use a sharp/microtex not universal needle. Rethread. Has the machine always skipped stitches when FMQ? Last resort, leave feed dog up.

  12. #12
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    Depends on what thread you are using - I use King Tut and it is recommended to use a stitch needle 90/14. When I had problems with skipped stitches it was using the wrong size needle.

  13. #13
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    If you are moving the fabric too quickly it will catch the needle and slightly deflect it, causing the stitch not to form.

  14. #14
    Power Poster ube quilting's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunster View Post
    If you are moving the fabric too quickly it will catch the needle and slightly deflect it, causing the stitch not to form.
    Ditto This: You may be moving the fabric sandwich too fast and the needle is bending just enough to miss the take up.
    before you do anything else try moving just a bit slower and see if that works.

    I do like my top stitch/ metallic needles for all my sewing on DHMs.

    If slowing down doesn't work try all the other stuff.
    peace
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  15. #15
    Super Member WMUTeach's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone for your comments. I tried again last evening and again this morning and got the same skipping results. Frustrating! New needle, dogs up or down makes no difference. I do not have a stitch regulator on my machine, so that adjustment can't be made. This happens whether I am moving the sandwich slowly or quickly and it seems random. I did notice a slight tug on the spool of thread then a release and then.... a skip. Fiddled around with the spool, still the same results, skipping. I'll keep working on this until the quilt is DONE!

    I so appreciate all of your suggestions. I will try a larger needle to see if that makes the magic happen.

  16. #16
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    Just one more thing: since you are getting a tug on the spool try feeling around the edges of the spool (both ends) to see if there is a slight burr on it. That is what happened to be my skipped stitch problem. Once I took an emery board and filed down the little burr all worked well.

  17. #17
    Super Member klgls's Avatar
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    I would make sure the thread is not catching on the end of the spool where it has the little cut to place the thread in when storing. I have had that happen before.

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