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Thread: need help with applique

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    I am attempting my first appliqued quilt, and I am having a heck of a time. I used Heat N Bond fusible web, and am trying to just do a simple zigzag stitch on the edges. My machine keeps skipping stitches, the upper thread breaks and the needle gets gummed up. I'm not sure if it's all related or not. I have tried different needle sizes, different thread, different machines, and it still keeps happening.
    Right now my blocks look like crap and I'm ready to give up.
    There must me an answer out there! Lots of people can do this and make it look good, so I know I can too, I just need help!

  2. #2
    Senior Member triciasquilts's Avatar
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    Everything you mentioned happened to me when I first started doing applique on the machine. I found different types of thread needed different tensions, so play around with that on some scraps. Some threads are will break faster-you have to have the right needles with the right thread, plus on some of my rayons I will put a netting around the thread to keep in from coming off the spool too fast.
    I also found that putting a lightweight stabilizer on the back of the block really helped. Or even some batting. You can then cut away what isn't sewn down when you are done.
    Oh, also on the fusible, I found that using the lightest weight possible did better than the heavier ones. Hope this helps.

  3. #3
    Power Poster littlehud's Avatar
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    I know just what you are going though. I made my daughter a memory quilt with all her T shirts. I had gummed up needles and broken thread. Using a lighter weight fusible web would have helped. I'm learning as I go. My daughter loves the quilt. I call it the quilt from he**.

  4. #4
    Super Member MissTreated's Avatar
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    Not sure if it will help or not, but there is a product called "needle lube" that is suppose to help the needle slide much easier. Hope you find a solution. I love doing machine applique, but I hate this sort of difficulty.

    M

  5. #5
    Senior Member Extreme Quilter's Avatar
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    Did you try different sizes in a topstitch or a jeans needle? Those might help to pierce through a tough stabilizer.

  6. #6
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    When I applique by machine I only use wonder under by Pellon. What you used gummed up my machine too. So I have have stuck with the wonder under and never had a problem. I never change the tension on my machine and use a #11 needle on my Janome. I also have a tear away stabalizer under the fabric I am stitching down. Hope this helps. Marge

  7. #7

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    I think your fusible product is to heavy ,I've had the same problem and changed to a lighter product
    Hope this helps Wilma

  8. #8

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    Stephanie...just breathe!:))You can do this! I was scared to death w/applique too w/my machine and self taught myself. I think I checked out 50 books from the library only to be really confused as there are so many different ways!:))So, I picked out what interested me or I felt comfortable with and did it:)). If you were sitting here next to me, I'd tell you to go get one of your old acrylic soft brushes (w/o paint on it) and gently roll out the lint at your sewing machine light and down in the bobbin area...sounds to me that you might have a collection going on which breaks the threads:0). Then start up...if you are doing something like a fusible web on your fabric, ironing it on background then appliq. from there I agree w/some that you might be too thin and might need to put that tear-away stabilizer underneath your project to give thickness. Just go slow..start w/need down so you can lift your presser foot and move the direction of the fabric when going around points or curves. You can do this!:0)You will really enjoy this when you do it. One of my favorite ways to applique I picked up on the video at: www.allpeoplequilt.com I love the look in this idea! Keep us posted! Skeat

  9. #9
    Super Member Knot Sew's Avatar
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    I use a water soluble glue stick, the kid kind, :D and paper or coffee filters on the back, works great.......i tried the iron on fusible, several kinds and had a mess :D

  10. #10

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    Jul 2007
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    Hi, Heat & bond is way to heavy, I used it on some Mckenna Ryan, boy was I sorry, it "soaks" into the fabric fiber & makes it look crappy and very hard to stitch thru, gets the needle all gunky too. try something much lighter.

  11. #11
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    I personally think that Heat n Bond was created by the devil himself to capture and keep people in he**... I have used steam a seam 2 lite and had great luck in applique projects.

  12. #12
    Super Member vicki reno's Avatar
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    The problem may be a combination of wrong size needle for your project as well as the thread. If you are not using machine embroidery thread and have access to some, try that. If the needle gets gummed up, try wiping it down witha small alocohol swab--those little things that come in first aid kits. You may have to try switching out the neddles--use several maybe and then wipe all of them down at once. That would be faster than constantly pulling out the same needle to give it a wipe down. I switched to a product called fine fuse. It is more trouble because it has no paper backing and you will need a teflon pressing sheet so it doesn't stick to the iron. Iron it to the wrong side of a piece of fabric a little bigger than the size you want and then cut it down to size. It is then ready to fuse to the background piece and then stitch into place. It is lighter in weight than the other stuff and doesn't gum up the needle. I do mostly applique so I try to always have a few packs on hand. It is not cheap. about $3.00 for a pkg 23" wide by maybe 36" long, but if it eliminates the aggravation--well worth it to me.

  13. #13
    Super Member Quilting Aggi's Avatar
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    I like using the Sulky Tear Away Stabilizer... no glue to gum up the needle and easy to use and great results. I also make sure my thread is in the vertical position not horiztonal as it gives me better results. When its in the horiztonal position ,the thread tends to twist and will eventually break. I also use the Schmetz embroidery needles.

    Hope that helps
    Andrea

  14. #14

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    I guess I would be considered an "old fogey"! I still prefer to applique and embroider by hand. Somehow, doing it on the machine just isn't personal enough for me. Besides, I don't have all that trouble with the needles and fusing, etc. Just me and the fabric and my needle, and my recliner! ;)

    Madelyn

  15. #15
    Super Member Quilting Aggi's Avatar
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    Madelyn
    I much prefer hand quilting to machine any day too, but sometimes I like to take out the machine and play with some of my fancy threads!

  16. #16
    moderator
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    Did you use "Heat n Bond" Lite? There are two kinds, Ultra and Lite, the Ultra is not for machine sewing, and will gum the needle up, or worse break the needle. I have a whole whack of the Ultra, ordered some and they sent me the wrong type, so it's sitting rolled up under my ironing table because they were going out of business and I couldn't send it back.

    The Lite is what you use for applique you want to stitch. It's the purple label, not the red. :) I use the Lite all the time and have stippled my applique, top stitched it, did blanket stitch around it and never had a problem. :)

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