Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 29

Thread: Not sure where/who to ask - help with darning foot/bobbin?

  1. #1
    Eff
    Eff is offline
    Member Eff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Fort Huachuca, AZ
    Posts
    24

    Angry Not sure where/who to ask - help with darning foot/bobbin?

    Hello everyone,

    I'm a young expectant mother trying my hand at my first quilt for our son. It grew from a joke of my husband (as I was sewing nursery decor/tapestry) to a very real project that I'm dying to complete before the birth (a week or two away). This is what I have so far (it's a Star Wars theme with hand-made appliqués, from scraps of fabric leftover from the nursery).



    The quilt top is finished. It's not perfect, it's certainly unorthodox and uneven (I did not have a rotary cutter, did not follow a pattern, etc.) and... well I'm sure I could win a few "ugly quilts" contests - but it was a labor of love and I'd like to quilt it now!

    I purchased a darning foot and installed it successfully on my machine. These are the steps I've taken so far.

    - The darning foot is the correct type for my low-shank machine, it goes up and down with the needle and I can move the quilt sandwich underneath it.

    - I have dropped the feed dogs.

    - I have adjusted stitch length to 0, lowered the tension and reduced stitch length to 0.

    And then I tried quilting (thankfully on a piece of scrap batting). I've been struggling for well over an hour. After only 2 or 3 stitches, even by just turning the wheel, my machine locks up and I find a bunched up knot in the bobbin case. I looked everywhere I could online, called the lady who sold me the darning foot, banged my head on the desk, rethreaded the machine, redid the bobbin...

    I'm at a loss. My machine is a cheap Singer Heavy Duty 4411 and from what I can see, even though I've lowered the feed dogs, the bobbin thread gets caught in the lowered teeth and starts going haywire immediately. Is that even possible?

    In the worst case scenario where I don't manage to free-motion quilt it, how horrible would cross diagonal quilting look, considering the "pattern"?

    Any advice would be helpful. Thank you so much,

    F.

  2. #2
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    N. Florida
    Posts
    4,609
    Blog Entries
    45
    I always hold onto my top and bottom threads before starting the machine so I don't have any nesting problems. I hold the thread ends for a few stitches before I let go.

  3. #3
    Super Member SuzyQ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    1,244
    I agree with annthreecats, I pull my bobbin thread up and hold it and my top thread for a few stitches. If I don't then it gets all tangled up. Good luck!

    Suzy

  4. #4
    Super Member mom-6's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    6,486
    I do not lower my feed dogs as I just do wavy diagonal lines. It seems to work just fine for me.

    And yes, it really does help to hold on to both threads as you are starting a line of stitching. If I forget I often end up with the knotted mess you described.

    Really like your quilt! Very nice, especially for a first one. Keep up the good work.
    legendarycandles.com
    Just discovered I qualify for FABLE (Fabric Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy)

  5. #5
    KLO
    KLO is online now
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    North Central, NC
    Posts
    2,565
    Blog Entries
    26
    I also hold my threads both top and bottom until I have taken three or four stitches. If I don't, I get a nest also. If that doesn't cure your problem, try cleaning your machine out completely as there could be a thread caught in the bobbin area or in the teeth area. Re-thread all again just to make sure you have it right. I have on occasion thought I had it threaded properly the second and/or third time I tried it but didn't for some unknown reason. A bit of a brain freeze perhaps? Hope you can get this working soon.

  6. #6
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    western NY formerly MN, FL, NC, SC
    Posts
    42,478
    Blog Entries
    43
    Welcome from Minnesota and happy quilting
    Your quilt top is terrific as your first. Best wishes in finishing the quilting and the new little one.
    Nancy in western NY
    before you speak THINK
    T – is it True? H – is it Helpful? I – is it Inspiring? N – is it Necessary? K – is it Kind?


  7. #7
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Norfolk, VA
    Posts
    4,969
    Blog Entries
    1
    Cross-hatching would look fine. You could stitch around each of the blocks and possibly around the center object and the cross hatch in the white area but not thru the blocks. The blocks would stand out better. I think your son will love your labor of love. Years ago I made my son (when I was pregnant) a block quilt and today there are only threads (litterly) left of it but he won't get rid of it; he's 26. I'd love to find the fabric and make him a new one. I knew nothing about quilting back then; I tied it like I had watched my grandmother do. It'll be well loved no matter what you do. Check out Leah Days web site on FMQ; she's great and she does it all by a regular machine and if you ask her a question she'll try to answer you.
    Judy

  8. #8
    Super Member greenini's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Atlanta, Ga
    Posts
    1,552
    Blog Entries
    16
    You also might try setting your stitch length to 0 and make sure you're lowering the foot lever, sometimes it's easy to forget and leave it up. FMQ is a matter of trying to move your hands and foot at the same time and can take some practice. Lots of folks suggest you hold a pencil in your hand and move the paper to get the feel of it before you try it on fabric.

    Cross hatching would look just fine and I'm sure your baby will love the quilt to death because mommy made it!!

  9. #9
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    dallas tx.
    Posts
    4,566
    Blog Entries
    3
    I love the blocks. Don't quit until you get your answers. You'll be glad you finished it. So will baby. You will get answers from this board. They are very willing to help you over and over.

  10. #10
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    29,647
    Congratulations on your first top! Straight stitching will look fine. Check the batting package for how far apart the quilting lines can be to determine your pattern. I would start with a straight line of stitching from the top to the bottom in the center. I would then stitch outward from that line on both sides. If everything is still going well you will have it well anchored for further quilting. Good Luck!

  11. #11
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    2,047
    Are you pulling your bobbin thread up to the top of your fabric? When you start out you need to lower your needle into the fabric by hand, turning the "wheel" and then pull up the bobbin thread as it comes up. It is kind of like how you pull up the bobbin thread when you first thread your machine. Then hole both threads out of the way and make a few tiny stiches in place to anchor the threads. You may then cut them off short or just avoid them. Please go to daystyledesigns.com where you will find a ton of helpful info. Leah Day's website, she is also a young mom with a wealth of info. Plus her instructions are much better than mine Good Luck!

  12. #12
    Super Member sahm4605's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Blue Springs, MO
    Posts
    2,240
    I love the quilt. my hubby and bro and little guy all love star wars. I would take the evening off and relax. no sense in sending yourself into early labor. I would suggest when you go back to the project take a moment eat a peice of chocolate and then re-thread again taking your time and then load your practice peice and see how it goes. big thing is to relax. if you don't you will end up sending yourself into early labor. while a good thing to get to see the baby the longer they get to "cook" the bigger and healthier they will be.
    when life gets you down go and talk with a little kid. They will help you work out even the worst problems with their simple logic.

  13. #13
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Western Wisconsin
    Posts
    11,878
    Blog Entries
    1
    Are you (1) pulling the bobbin thread to the stop before starting to stitch, and (2) holding on to both threads ends for awhile when you start to stitch? If not, that could be the problem. You have to manually take one stitch in order to draw the bobbin thread up to the top, then hold tightly onto both top and bobbin threads before starting.

    You can also try it with the feed dogs up. Some people find it easier to control the stitching on a particular machine that way (even though it's free motion with a darning foot).

  14. #14
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Knot Merrill, Southern Indiana
    Posts
    5,713
    Yes to pulling up the bobbin thread and holding on to both threads when you take your first stitch.

    Not sure you need to set your stitch to zero though as with the feed dogs down, you control the stitch length. I don't think that's your problem (I'm not familiar with your machine), but its worth a try to reset it to your normal setting and trying that.

    nice top!! and welcome to the board!!
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  15. #15
    Super Member audsgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    3,654
    Blog Entries
    8
    Did you remember to lower your presser foot? Sometimes little things like that are overlooked. Your quilt looks fantastic! Happy baby!

  16. #16
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Upper Michigan
    Posts
    8,568
    Blog Entries
    14
    Cross hatching is fine. I've used it so would out lining or u can tie it. U did great on your first!! Keep it up! Can't wait to see more!! Congratulations on the baby too!!

  17. #17
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    13,232
    Your quilt looks great! Good luck with the baby!
    SueDor

  18. #18
    Senior Member QuiltingCrazie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Las Cruces, NM
    Posts
    751
    Love your quilt one of my sons love Star Wars! No one else has asked but what thread are you using? Sometimes if you try to use non cotton on a cotton sandwich it can result in knots. I ask because my new machine is really picky where my old machine didn't care if I used a cotton poly blend. I have major tension problems now if I don't match the thread and fabric. Good luck and would love to see the finished quilt!
    *Rachel*

  19. #19
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    howell, Mi
    Posts
    2,320
    Another thing you should do is lower the pressor foot, even though there is no pressure on the quilt, it needs to be lowered. Your quilt is very nice. Good work on your first project and welcome to the board. By the way, cross hatching would look very nice. Since it is so close to "D" day, that might be a good choice.
    Sue

  20. #20
    Senior Member sculpyfan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Arlington,Tx
    Posts
    361
    I think you just got you training wheels off you bike and now you want to try driving a mototcycle ! FMQ has a steep learning curve. I think your best bet since you have so little time is to do straight line quilting. Might take a look here and check other U-tube sites.
    http://www.freemotionquilting.blogsp...-quilting.html

  21. #21
    Super Member May in Jersey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    2,549
    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    Congratulations on your first top! Straight stitching will look fine. Check the batting package for how far apart the quilting lines can be to determine your pattern. I would start with a straight line of stitching from the top to the bottom in the center. I would then stitch outward from that line on both sides. If everything is still going well you will have it well anchored for further quilting. Good Luck!
    This type is the easiest to do for new quilters, no stoping and starting so you don't have to tie off the beginning and ending threads and you don't have to drop the feed dogs but use your walking foot. I first make a little trial quilt, top fabric, batting and backing, and try my stitch length out to make sure it isn't pulling on top or bottom. My Pfaff's default stitch is 2.5 but for straight line quilting I usualy change the stitch length to 4. Good Luck, you baby will have a one of a kind quilt. May in Jersey
    Last edited by May in Jersey; 03-06-2012 at 08:05 AM.

  22. #22
    Eff
    Eff is offline
    Member Eff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Fort Huachuca, AZ
    Posts
    24
    You ladies are awesome.

    I took apart the machine yesterday, thoroughly cleaned out the lint in the bobbin case, changed the bobbin, rethreaded, reinstalled the darning foot and restarted.

    This time, I held both threads for the first stitches and... ta-da! I had a few beginner issues and I'm sure my patterns are messy and uneven - but I successfully free-motioned a small quilt. Very proud - and thanks to everyone for the great advice!



    The quilt is in the washer right now (hopefully it survives). I didn't know you could make your own bias tape so I used what I had bought at Joann's (double folded quilt bias tape) - but I'm less than impressed with the results. The next one will be made from yardage and sewn by hand.

    I think I'm hooked!

    Thanks again, everyone - now I'm gonna read through these boards and soak up the knowledge I should have had before I started...

  23. #23
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Mableton, GA
    Posts
    8,409
    I think your quilt is amazing! That it is your first try is even more so. You are on your way to being a wonderful quilter!!!

  24. #24
    Banned
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Sturbridge, Ma
    Posts
    4,014
    Cross Hatch it. Don't struggle with trying to free motion until you feel comfortable with the technique.

  25. #25
    Super Member Pinkiris's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    NE Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,287
    Blog Entries
    2
    You did a wonderful job!! May the Force be with you in the weeks ahead-lol! Most problems (quilting and otherwise) can be addressed by wise folks on this board. Welcome from NE Wisconsin.
    Sue

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.