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More frustration with GrandQuilter

More frustration with GrandQuilter

Old 05-10-2010, 07:29 PM
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OK, I know you're tired of hearing my requests, but I am ready to throw this machine through a window!

We have quilted 1 quilt on our GrandQuilter. We had lots of issues, and even took the machine to the shop. We got all our issues worked out and finished quilting the first quilt. It looks great (if you don't look too close) and I'm sure the 5-year-old it's going to will never notice the problems with it.

We took that one off the frame and put the next one on. We were so excited because we learned a lot on the first quilt and just knew the second one would go much better. We got one row almost quilted and had a thread break about 8" from the end of the row. I re-threaded and finished the row, then moved to the next row. About a foot into the row the thread broke. I "unsewed," rethreaded, and started sewing again, but got another break. I pulled thread and bobbin, cleaned the bobbin area, wound a new bobbin, rethreaded everything, and started sewing again. At the beginning it skipped about 3 stitches, then quilted fine for 3 or 4 inches, then broke the thread again.

I'm embarrassed to call the shop again, but I may have to do it. One thing we discovered is that we thought we had bought 100% cotton thread for practice and then for the first quilt. When I looked closely I discovered that they are both 100% polyester. That means I completely quilted Eli's quilt with 100% polyester thread. Oh well, too late to do anything about it now.

The current quilt is being quilted with Connecting Threads thread that is 100% cotton. I bought several spools based on recommendations from this board. That could be my problem. If it is, I am fine with switching back to polyester if that's what it takes. I'd really rather stick with cotton but at this point I HAVE to get some quilts done. Will I be ok with polyester thread? I have read that it will eventually damage the cotton - is that true?

Can anyone think of anything else that could be my problem? I have adjusted tension, but if I loosen it, I get loops on the bottom, and if I tighten it, I get a break immediately.

Thanks in advance,

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Old 05-10-2010, 07:36 PM
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Can't help with any of your other problems but I have heard that polyester thread is stronger than cotton and will cut into the quilt over time. Maybe your machine will like cotton covered polyester thread?
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Old 05-10-2010, 07:59 PM
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I was in a lecture about threads & she said there is no issue using polyester thread. I would take hundreds of years to do anything to the material. If you have issues with the grand quilter you should ask the store. They can help.
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Old 05-10-2010, 08:17 PM
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Did you change your needle?
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Old 05-10-2010, 08:59 PM
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My guild has the GrandQuilter. Mostly we've discovered you need to slow down to keep the thread from breaking. We also discovered the prewound bobbins work very well for minimal tension problems.
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Old 05-10-2010, 10:03 PM
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The homequiltingsystems group at http://groups.yahoo.com is a great resource for problem resolution. You might want to join.

Bob at Superior Thread demonstrates that polyester thread is not necessarily stronger than cotton thread. There's a video at his website. These days it doesn't seem to make a difference whether you use cotton thread or polyester thread, although brand and type may make a difference.
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Old 05-11-2010, 03:15 AM
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Location: SCF WI
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I don't know much about your machine or quilting but I would suggest changing spools of thread. I had picked up a spool of thread to do applique and it broke...broke... broke. I went and bought a new spool and had no problem. I was told thread gets old and when it does it breaks.

Good luck... I know it must be very frustrating.
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Old 05-11-2010, 06:27 AM
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Are you using the same thread on top and in the bobbin? What size thread is it? Is the needle too small or too large for that thread? Is your quilt level with the bed of the machine and less than a pinky finger's distance above it? What speed setting is your machine on (high, medium, low)? Is it the top thread or bottom thread, which is breaking? If it is the top thread, how many holes are you threading the machine through in the pretensioner? Is it a normal spool type or cone type thread? Are you using the telescoping vertical thread guide?
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:20 AM
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Try removing the clamps from the ends of the fabric, there may be too much tension from them.
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Old 05-11-2010, 07:24 AM
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Your machine is different than mine, do you have the quilt rolled correctly on the bars and if the quilt is rolled too taut the thread will break also. A professional quilter told me she use embroidery needles or topstitch needles.
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