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Thread: Need Help sewing Denim Rag quilt

  1. #1
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    I am trying to finish a denim rag quilt for another organization I belong to (Operation Quite Comfort ) , this is my first full size denim quilt and am having a TERRIBLE time sewing it :cry: My Brother 6000 which is a computerized machine really revolted so I went with my old work horse the Brother 2125 and that machine is not happy .

    The thread keeps breaking over the Big Bulky seams . Should I loosen up the tension ? Make the stitsh length longer over the humps ? But then I am afraid it won't hold together when washed . How aften do you change your needle when sewing denim ? Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

    THANKS
    Sharon

  2. #2
    Super Member judy_68's Avatar
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    I use my old singer and have no problems with sewing denim. I don't change anything when I sew the denim.
    Judy in Ohio

  3. #3
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    I use a very very old Singer, nothing computarized about it, and slow down while sewing on large bumps.


  4. #4
    Super Member judy_68's Avatar
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    LOL gotta love the old singers.

  5. #5
    Super Member Tink's Mom's Avatar
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    Should I bring with my old BERNINA 1031 on Saturday??? She can sew anything, including leather.....She is officiallly retired, but she likes to travel, so, she comes with me to craft shows for me to do some work in down times...... :D

  6. #6
    Super Member oksewglad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharon b
    I am trying to finish a denim rag quilt for another organization I belong to (Operation Quite Comfort ) , this is my first full size denim quilt and am having a TERRIBLE time sewing it :cry: My Brother 6000 which is a computerized machine really revolted so I went with my old work horse the Brother 2125 and that machine is not happy .

    The thread keeps breaking over the Big Bulky seams . Should I loosen up the tension ? Make the stitsh length longer over the humps ? But then I am afraid it won't hold together when washed . How aften do you change your needle when sewing denim ? Any and all help would be greatly appreciated.

    THANKS
    Sharon
    Sharon
    1. Are you using a denim needle? They are stronger and sharper and pierce the fabric better.
    2. Are your seams pressed to one side or open? Maybe you could trim one of the seam allowance to reduce bulk.
    Good luck

  7. #7
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    That was my question, what size needle are you using?? The bigger the better!!! Someone else mentioned micro sharp/tech or something like that, needles too, they said they had a sharper point to them.

  8. #8
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    I am using the needles for denim and the seams are open .... I was suppose to have this quilt done and returned in 30 days and I am now beyond that :cry:

  9. #9
    Super Member justwannaquilt's Avatar
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    I just made a big rag picnic blanket out of blue jeans, I didn't have any trouble and I have a cheapo brother xl2600i from walmart! the only thing I did was made sure that when I was sewing over a set of seams I made sure one seam allowance was one way and the other one went the other way! That way the machine wasn't trying to go over 4-8 layers of denim at the same time.

  10. #10
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharon b
    I am using the needles for denim and the seams are open .... I was suppose to have this quilt done and returned in 30 days and I am now beyond that :cry:
    You might need a larger size denim needle.

  11. #11
    Super Member quilter1962's Avatar
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    Oh Sharon

    I do feel for you try not to get too worked up about it. I was going to suggest using a larger Denim needle too. Other than that I don't have any idea other than maybe taking it slowly when you get to where the seam blocks meet.:wink:
    I am sorry I have no other advice, I sew with a Pffaff & have no problems what so ever, good luck & remember don't fret now.

    Tisha

  12. #12
    Junior Member muffins's Avatar
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    Will soon be making a denim rag quilt and getting my denim ready by cutting out the denim from old jeans, some I bought at yard sales. I cut around the seams and didn't incorporate the seam. I will be placing a few pockets and a belt loop on a few squares, if I encounter any problems with the thick seam on those few pieces, I will stich them on by hand.

  13. #13
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    I have an old Singer and an even more ancient Pinnock (small industrial). The Singer copes with denim as long as I go slow on the tricky bits and use a denim needle (changed regularly). Before sewing I pound the thicker bits then give them a good press, keeping the seams open. It is not a quick process, so don't be hard on yourself. If you get really stuck or worried you could hand stitch using a sharp mattress needle, but you'll be ok if you just stick with it. Let us know how you go and post some pics.

  14. #14
    Super Member Gwyn's Avatar
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    When I but am using denim from jeans, I cut the seams off. Then I use a #16 needle. As I work along, the seams are ironed open to avoid huge lumps and bumps. When I include the pockets as part of the square, I cut it so I don't sew over a bug bump.

    Use a strong machine, a good strong needle, don't sew over pins and go really slow. Be patient. change the needle every few hours. That is what works for me. Gwyn

  15. #15
    Senior Member dizzy's Avatar
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    JUst go slow at it an do make sure you do have either a denim needle or
    a red needle with a purple end on it.that is what I used for my denim.quilt an i even had flannul on th back side of my squares.that rascule got heavy by the time I got through with it.but it makes a great camping blanket or even one over my couch when it's the rainy season so the pups don't get so much stuff on the couch.

  16. #16
    Power Poster RedGarnet222's Avatar
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    I also reccommend the denim needle, but also use a heavier, stronger thread. Like a ulpholstry thread.

  17. #17
    Moderator sharon b's Avatar
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    I am going very slow over the bulk, but still the thread is breaking :cry: There are no seams from the jeans themselves. It is a layer of denim, a layer of flannel and then the backing which is cotton. But when you get to the seams ( where you join) is when I am having all the problems. I oiled the machine, put in a new needle, new bobbin UGH :twisted:

    Where do I get the upholstery thread ? and do I use it the same as regular thread ?

    Thanks for all the suggestions

  18. #18
    Super Member judy_68's Avatar
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    When I made mine I use regular thread and I had no problems. My singer is great though. It will sew through anything as long as you go slow if its really thick.
    Judy

  19. #19
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sharon b
    IWhere do I get the upholstery thread ? and do I use it the same as regular thread ?
    Actually, you can purchase real jeans thread -- the yellow kind you see jeans sewn with. It's a little pricey, I think, and ummm yellow. You would definitely need a larger jeans needle to handle the thicker thread.

    It sounds to me as if your machine may not have enough raw power to pierce the denim. I know you have tried this on two machines, which makes this seem less likely, but still...... Do you know anyone who has a different machine you can try? If the machine itself is too weak for this job, changing the needle and/or thread isn't going to help.

    Is there a machine you can borrow? Or perhaps you could take some pieces to a dealership and see how other machines handle the job.

  20. #20
    Senior Member dizzy's Avatar
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    you can also get denium thread I know walmart did sell it because I got
    some an used it to sew my brothers welding jacket.An it was leather.

  21. #21
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    Just a thought....if I'm reading right, you have 3 layers, denim, flannel and cotton...Some people only use 2, the denim and then flannel or cotton for the back, if you are using 3 layers, the middle layer can be cut smaller, then before stitching your blocks together you do an x pattern over each little "sandwich" or a heart or a circle if you want to be different! That way, you only have 2 fabrics to sew through on the seams, but still get the warmth of the extra bit in the middle and the middle stays put because of the anchor stitching (oh, and dont go right to the edges if doing the x's, because you want your edges to fray nicely.

    Hope this helps....you may already know this...so hope I'm not being too forward...Hang in there and please don't let this get you down.


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