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Thread: Pfaff Grand Quilter and NG Frame...Venting!!!!

  1. #1
    Super Member ScubaK's Avatar
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    So, I bit the bullet.
    I found a New Generation frame on Craigs list for Cheap. It was in fantastic condition...really great. Like the frame...
    After getting it home...realized that I don't want to put one of my machines on it and it needs a 9inch mid arm dedicated machine. I find a Brother locally but was sold out from under me. So I ordered a Pfaff Grand Quilter 1200. Great Price!!!
    I am having a dickens of a time to get this thing to quilt more than 4 or 5 inches at a time.
    I did a search here, I did the trouble shooting on the Pfaff and NG home sites...I am so ready to throw this out a window.
    I knew Pfaffs were finickey, but this takes the cake!!!I'm hating this right now...and I need to vent.
    But, as little as I have gotten to FMQ with this, it is SO COOL!!! I really want to explore this and LA more!
    Thanks,
    Kirsten

  2. #2
    Super Member sewwhat85's Avatar
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    so sorry better luck next time you try

  3. #3
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    Loosen tension and slow down...... What happens is you move to fast, the needle hits the hook and your thread snaps. Just like with FMQ on the domestic the rule is: fast machine slow hands.

    Good luck and keep at it. After you master your beast you will wonder what the fuss was all about.

  4. #4
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    I don't agree with the statement "Just like with FMQ on the domestic the rule is: fast machine slow hands". There must be a balance between the speed of the machine and the movement of the hands to produce even consistant stitches. . fast machine and slow hands make little bitty stitches. Some quilters do well with fast machines but it has been my experience with many students that fast machines loose control and produce wonky stitching.

  5. #5
    Junior Member SewSydney's Avatar
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    I have a Pfaff Grand Quilter but not on a frame. I have found it is a bit fussy with the type of thread you use, you must have the same in bobbin as well and it is happier with pure cotton thread, however it has taken a bit of trial and error and patience to get the best out of it. There is a Grand Quilter yahoo group that may be of some help to you, I think you will be happy if you persevere.
    Good luck!

  6. #6
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    Make certain you are using the correct needle and it is properly sized for the thread being used. The Pfaff GQ 1200 and it's siblings (Viking MegaQuilter and Janome 1600P, all made by Janome) use special high-speed needles. They're labeled HLx5.

    If the top thread is breaking, you may want to reduce the number of holes being used in the 3-hole pretensioner. With Gutterman 100% cotton, I use only 2 holes. But with other threads you may need to use only 1 hole. And be sure to use good quality thread.

    Also, you may want to set the speed slider to the middle setting, which lowers the top speed of the machine. These machines are capable of running twice as fast as our normal domestic sewing machines at 1,600 stitches per minute.

  7. #7
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    My guild has that machine on a frame. One of the members discovered it is happier with pre-wound bobbins. You have to go slower than you think with this machine or the thread breaks.

  8. #8
    Super Member ScubaK's Avatar
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    Thanks to all of the great suggestions.
    I will try it for a bit later today!
    I am using the HLx5 90/14 needles and King Tut thread!
    Slowed it down.
    Kirsten

  9. #9
    Super Member BKrenning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScubaK
    Thanks to all of the great suggestions.
    I will try it for a bit later today!
    I am using the HLx5 90/14 needles and King Tut thread!
    Slowed it down.
    Kirsten
    How did you get King Tut thread through a size 14 needle? I have a size 16 on my quilter now and can't get King Tut through it. Definitely try a larger eye needle, loosen the top tension, and you might use fewer holes on the pre-tension bar. It might take a combination of several things to get the results you're looking for. If you're breaking King Tut thread, though, I would definitely be looking at needle size & tension first.

  10. #10
    Senior Member DebbyT's Avatar
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    I have a Brother 1500s on a Gracy frame. Had the same issue. Called the store where I got the machine from and he advised me to make sure the rods the fabric is rolled on are not too high. They were. I lowered the rods till I could see the flat of the machine outlined on the fabric of the quilt, just lower than level, and it was smooth sewing.

  11. #11

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    I am equally as frustrated. Not only is my top thread constantly breaking but my bottom tension is way too loose. I have tried adjusting all the things suggested on the Yahoo group page and still, wanting to throw this thru the roof. I have spent over 5 hours trying to do a lap quilt for a gift and should have had the binding on and done by now.
    I am open to any and all suggestions.

    Amy

  12. #12
    Junior Member eashka's Avatar
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    I have a Pfaff Grand Quilter Hobby 1200 and I have never had a problem with it breaking the thread. I guess I got a special one because I use any kind of thread on top (cones) and prewound bobbins. It is the greatest but I had to quit quilting with it in the frame. I do my piecing with it and my straight line quilting because it sews so good. I took the frame to the basement because I am disabled and could not use it any more. Just keep trying. Good luck!

  13. #13
    Super Member BKrenning's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amyjojo
    I am equally as frustrated. Not only is my top thread constantly breaking but my bottom tension is way too loose. I have tried adjusting all the things suggested on the Yahoo group page and still, wanting to throw this thru the roof. I have spent over 5 hours trying to do a lap quilt for a gift and should have had the binding on and done by now.
    I am open to any and all suggestions.

    Amy
    Take it off the frame and sew like normal with piecing foot and feed dogs up. Tweak any tension settings necessary. Also, make sure you are using the right size & type of needle for the thread & fabric you are using. Once you get it working off the frame then we can figure out what's going on with the sandwich. There are too many variables so rule them out one thing at a time.

    Some thread just does not work in some machines. It's too linty, too brittle, too uneven in thickness, too slick, etc.

    Does your machine have the 3 hole pre-tensioner before going through the tension dial? Some people only use the first & third hole.

    What kind of thread & needle are you using? Is the bobbin in correctly? One step at a time. You will get it figured out.

    I was putting together a raggy denim, corduroy & flannel quilt earlier this week and managed to break 5 needles. 5 needles on a tiny little baby quilt! Denim needles don't seem to like corduroy or flannel. Also, the corduroy was causing my thread to fray and snap. I was using Coats & Clark all purpose but I think there is something wrong with this spool or there is a much bigger difference between all purpose and dual duty than I expected. Had I been less stubborn, I would have switched to a machine quilting thread to piece the stupid thing but it was working fine until I started assembling the bigger pieces together. Drag on the needle from the heavy material is what caused most if not all the needle breaks. I also tried a 100-16 titanium quilting needle and that wouldn't even go through the multiple layers in some areas.

    Today, I fixed a tear in hubby's barbecue cover using the same type needle (100-16 denim) that didn't want to work on the raggy quilt but I used cotton machine quilting thread top and bobbin and my sewing machine just zoomed right through that chore.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Numa's Avatar
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    I'm sorry you are having so much trouble with your 1200. I love mine. I don't use a frame but have used poly thread, cotton thread, Schmetz needles (denim, quilting and universal). Never a problem. I FMQ and straight stitch with it. I did buy a walking foot to use when straight stitching. I usually use it in the middle "speed", Hope it gets to working better for you.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Numa's Avatar
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    I'm sorry you are having so much trouble with your 1200. I love mine. I don't use a frame but have used poly thread, cotton thread, Schmetz needles (denim, quilting and universal). Never a problem. I FMQ and straight stitch with it. I did buy a walking foot to use when straight stitching. I usually use it in the middle "speed", Hope it gets to working better for you.

  16. #16

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    after 6+ hours and many a tear, not to mention all the tearing out of loose bottom thread, I think it is actually better, not exactly sure why, though, which is equally as frustrating.

  17. #17

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    I also have a Pfaff Grand Quilter on a quilting frame and was having alot of problems with the thread breaking. After reading the manual I found out that I had the needle inserted incorrectly in the machine. The flat side of the needle should be facing the right side as you are facing the machine. Once I corrected this I no longer have problems with the thread breaking.

  18. #18
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BKrenning
    How did you get King Tut thread through a size 14 needle? I have a size 16 on my quilter now
    Agreed. I use either 16 or 18 in my Janome 1600.

  19. #19
    Super Member kristen0112's Avatar
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    First love your name LoL. I bought a Bailey home Quilter and a grace pro GMQ frame at had a hard time at first. I found a group for Bailey owners on yahoo groups you may find one for the Pfaff Quilter there and get some help. Good luck.
    Quote Originally Posted by ScubaK
    So, I bit the bullet.
    I found a New Generation frame on Craigs list for Cheap. It was in fantastic condition...really great. Like the frame...
    After getting it home...realized that I don't want to put one of my machines on it and it needs a 9inch mid arm dedicated machine. I find a Brother locally but was sold out from under me. So I ordered a Pfaff Grand Quilter 1200. Great Price!!!
    I am having a dickens of a time to get this thing to quilt more than 4 or 5 inches at a time.
    I did a search here, I did the trouble shooting on the Pfaff and NG home sites...I am so ready to throw this out a window.
    I knew Pfaffs were finickey, but this takes the cake!!!I'm hating this right now...and I need to vent.
    But, as little as I have gotten to FMQ with this, it is SO COOL!!! I really want to explore this and LA more!
    Thanks,
    Kirsten

  20. #20
    Super Member LindaM's Avatar
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    Also check that you have a finger width of room between the quilt roll that sits within the harp, and the bed of the sewing machine. You have to adjust the height of the take-up bar as you go - the more quilt you have rolled, you have to raise the bar.

    Good luck!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by SewSydney
    I have a Pfaff Grand Quilter but not on a frame. I have found it is a bit fussy with the type of thread you use, you must have the same in bobbin as well and it is happier with pure cotton thread, however it has taken a bit of trial and error and patience to get the best out of it. There is a Grand Quilter yahoo group that may be of some help to you, I think you will be happy if you persevere.
    Good luck!
    I was going to say this as well..they are really picky about needles and threads!

  22. #22
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    Yes, slow down. I had a Phaff Grand Quilter. It did the same thing. It is a fast machine but you will have to go slower. Later, I moved onto a Gammill. Good luck.

  23. #23

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    I am having exactly the same problems, any suggestions? I am so frustrated with it right now.

  24. #24
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    I see this is an old post, hope you still have the machine. I have had a pfaff grandquilter 1200 for about 5 years and I have never had trouble with it. I had more trouble with the frame it was on. Make sure the roller is on the machine bed and that you have good quilting thread. I have used several kinds. I just up graded to a 18 by 8 sold under pfaff or viking made by tin lizzie. Im learning to use it. It is a lot more picky and likes to break thread. I will get it lined out eventually.
    good luck and patience

  25. #25
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    A friend has a similiar set up and found that her frame was not totally level and square. It took some tweaking and now runs smoothly. She also loves the Glide thread in the bobbin.

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