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Problem with Fun Quilter by Nolting

Problem with Fun Quilter by Nolting

Old 07-20-2015, 11:53 AM
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Location: Michigan
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Do a web search for "nolting fun quilter groups" . There is at least one board out there that is dedicated to this product. Might get more info there
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Old 07-20-2015, 12:30 PM
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I think I can give some helps.
I have a TL18LS, but my first machine was an old Consew 27 and called a Nustyle.

Here is a good video by Jamie Wallen on setting bobbin tension:


Here is an old note that I share with others when they have issues with tension.

It's Marge Campbell ([email protected])...I'm posting a reply I put online in August 2009...this is how I manually test and set my tension on my longarm machines.
I don't have a Towa tension gauge, so I can't say much about them...I do know that if Jack Doe has his tension at 22 on the towa...that's not going to be the same for all TL machines...each machine has it's own preferences.

This was in reply to someone who had tension problem only in the middle of a quilt...so was probably a fabric to thread problem..so you will see reference to that. Also, the height of your hopping foot can cause thread problems also. On the TL18 LS (newer model), you adjust the foot itself, older model TL18's, you will have to ask or check your manual.

So...back to square one...do you have any of that batik left? can you pin it to
the practice piece? If so... set it aside for now.

Take out the bobbin case...using the basic, non mechanical way...test the bobbin

Holding the bobbin in the palm of one hand, hold onto the thread that comes out
with the other hand...with your palm under the bobbin case to keep it from
falling lower that palm and your bobbin should drop at an even pace with just a
slight hint of tension. If you have to shake the bobbin to get it to drop, you
need to loosen it a bit. If it free falls, tighten it a bit (1/8 of a turn
either way, depending on the result you got).

Check for lint...all around the bobbin hook area (remove the throat plate if you
need to in order to check all around the hook.

Once you are sure it's clean, put a tiny drop of oil on the hook asembly near
the front. Just a hair drop (lol, techinal term). Put the bobbin case back in
& replace the throat plate if you removed it.

Upper thread path: Check that the thread is going straight up off the cone, not
at an angle (the two bars for the thread holder should be one right above the
other). Now if you are using a spool & not a cone...You want to have a spool
cap larger than the spool over the spool, so the thread does not get caught in
the slit on the spool.

Check the Thread path...start with the guides (these are usually NOT a
problem..but check for burrs anyhows)...tension assembly. Check this by raising
the presser foot, now manually seperate the disks...can you see any lint or
debris in there? If so, you need to clean it out. Don't use canned air. If
you are unsure on how to take it apart, or don't want to..then at least run a
strip of fabric folded, or a pipe cleaner (not the metallic one) across the
tension pole that the discs are on. A q-tip might work...I use a piece of felt
sometimes also...anything that lets you get into the bar/shaft the rings are on.
Your check spring should be at about 11 o'clock. Check the area of the takeup
lever...any lint visible? A small artists brush should get it out. The rest of
the guides should be checked for burrs, and make sure there is room for the
thread to pass in the guide that is right above the needle.

The needle should have no burrs..run your finger and thumb (pinching the needle)
along the length of the needle...do you feel any rough area at the needle hole
or tip of the needle? If so get a new needle. Is the needle the right size for
the thread? 40 wt thread, I use a size 18 needle, but sometimes have to use a
size 20...depends on the thread.
Make sure the long groove on the needle is facing the front of your machine &
that the shank (part of the needle that has the indent at the hole only) is
facing the back of the machine (facing the hand wheel). Make sure the needle is
in far enough & tighten it. Thread the machine.

Once you thread the machine with the thread you want to use...with the presser
foot down...pull on the upper thread coming out of the needle...it should give a little resistance (tension), but not so much that you can't pull it out at an even, steady pace.
This is not like a home machine...your tension dial has numbers, but those are
reference points, not settings.
Make sure you have oil in the machine...two drops up top, and that pin in the
base should be about 1/2 way covered in oil when you test it.

Do a test stitch on the practice piece (not the batik yet).
First bring up the bobbin thread. Now...take several tiny stitches (think 15 -
20 st per inch)...I use the needle up/down button for this...hold onto both the
top and bobbin thread while you do this. This secures the thread. Now try
taking some stitches...I usually do a star and a loop...these pretty much will
cover any direction you may need to go. Check the underside...any eyelashes or
pokies? If you have eyelashes...turn the upper tension one full turn...so if
the number two is at the top of the dial...you want to have it there again once
you do the full turn. try again. should be little pokies or closer to perfect.
Turn the upper dial at half turns until you get one of two things...perfect
stitches, across a row, or the upper thread breaks after a short length of
stitching. If you get perfect stitches, great...if the thread starts to
break...reverse/loosen the upper tension one wind...test...if it does not break,
but pokies on the bottom... remove the bobbin, and loosen the bobbin tension 1/8
of a turn...try again.

Once you are happy with the stitch...try it on the batik you pinned/sewed to the
practice piece. Tweak the tension as needed.

One other thing...if your needle package has an FFG on it instead of an R or R
with another letter...it's a fine ball point...may not work well on a batik.
FFG are for knits...if so, you are probably really ok with that batik...this
type needle spreads the fabric instead of cutting through it.

Take a break...unpug lizzie for a bit...then try her again.
Remember Lizzie is not a domestic sewing machine, she is an industrial machine &
works differently than your home machine.


You can ignore the needle info (FFG, etc). The above is for a TinLizzie made machine...but the bobbin & top tension info is the same. What thread do you use? What size needle?

I'll read other notes to see if you gave more info. Hope this helps, if not...let me know and we can try other things.
Your machine (all machines) should be able to use any kind of thread.

Originally Posted by rebspy View Post
I purchased a Fun Quilter by Nolting and have yet to be able to produce ONE quilt. I am experienced at quilting, so I do know what I am doing.

The thread keeps breaking and I have done everything: changed to different thread, worked with tightening and loosening the bobbin, worked with the tension--loosening and tightening, and contacted the manufacturer numerous times with no resolve.

Before I give up and sell this machine, does anyone have any suggestions?
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Old 07-20-2015, 12:38 PM
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Check your entire thread path. On another machine quilting forum a Gammel owner was having a similar problem. Turns out the thread was rubbing against a part of the machine. It had actually worn a groove in the finish and there was a burr that caused constant thread breaks. Her solution, go to the sporting good section at Walmart and bought some fishing pole line guides to act as thread guides. She glued them to her machine head at the appropriate places and no more frayed thread.

Judi Madsen of Green Fairy Quilts also experienced this problem. Only what was happening with her, is the thread was puddling around the bottom of the cone then hanging up on it and snapping. She actually blogged about it a few years ago. I think her solution was pretty simple but I don't recall what it was. Maybe she cut a piece of batting to lay the cone on, or she was leaving the snap ring open. I can't recall exactly but it was a thing one could easily overlook. Sometimes it isn't all about the tension or how tightly the quilt is loaded on the rack.

BTW, not all LA manufacturers take your money and run. My machine has awesome customer service with 24-7-365 phone support.

Last edited by feline fanatic; 07-20-2015 at 12:45 PM.
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Old 07-20-2015, 12:52 PM
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Location: Littlefield, TX, USA
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The person who makes the Nolting machines is a great help. Go to the main website:

fill out a contact form. Make sure to let them know who your dealer is...even if them. Tell them you need troubleshooting help.

Be sure to include model number, when and where you bought your machine; what you have done to try to make things work; also be sure to leave your name and phone number (& email)...even if left on the form, include it in the note.

Let them know when you can have a phone & be by the machine to try some things they may want you to try. This is why TL company has gotten away from some of their dealers...the dealers were actually just sellers, not helpers.

Originally Posted by rebspy View Post
I purchased the machine online directly from the manufacturer, and they are not nearby. Once they have your money, they are not interested in servicing or helping.
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Old 07-20-2015, 04:29 PM
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I would call Nolting they are a very large company and customer service is very important to them! Tell them that the place you bought the quilter from is not helpful. I would bet $$ that they will make sure your issues are resolved! Good luck
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Old 07-21-2015, 01:20 AM
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Hope you have it fixed by now, but in case you don't, try adjusting the height of your presser foot -- just a little at a time. I have a KenQuilt short-arm, and if I accidentally change the height of the foot, I have all kinds of problems.
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Old 07-21-2015, 02:59 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Big Rock
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I have a Nolting and my dealer has been great. Dan who owns the company is also very good when it comes to having issues. I would say check the thread run and be sure it is coming off the spool easily. I had issues with one spool of thread as it kept catching and breaking the thread. Be sure you have used the thread holes correctly.
Good luck. You do not say where you are located. Maybe someone nearby could assist.

I love my Nolting. Just takes time to adjust to a new machine.
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Old 07-21-2015, 03:01 AM
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Great advice from everyone! Here are two more possible causes. 1) the needle is not inserted in all the way. Sometimes the vibration of the machine can loosen the needle to loosen a bit. 2) the machine is out of alignment. This will require service either by the factory or a reputable sewing machine repair service.
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Old 07-21-2015, 03:19 AM
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Are your rollers even with each other?
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Old 07-21-2015, 04:06 AM
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is there a dealer nearby? I had a fun quilter and had excellent help with it from my dealer. I loved it so much, I graduated to a Nolting Pro 24 and still get help from my dealer (I have had the later for about 6 yrs now)
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