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Quilting is a Puckered Mess

Quilting is a Puckered Mess

Old 05-30-2015, 01:13 PM
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Default Quilting is a Puckered Mess

I'm at my whit's end. I'm having so many problems with the tension on this quilting. I started quilting with prewound bobbins, and had to adjust the tension constantly. It just kept changing. Rip it... Rip it...

I went to a quilt show yesterday and asked the HQ rep. what she thought was the problem. She said it could be the paper ends on the prewound bobbins and humidity. She suggested that I take off one side and if that didn't help remove the other side. I fussed with it for hours last night and finally gave up.

I resorted to winding my own bobbins, and it seemed to give me a nice even stitch. I quilted two blocks this morning and the puckering began. I spent hours ripping it out and tried a different pattern on a different block. They are a puckered mess. I haven't had this problem before.

I'm using an HQ16 machine and YLI monofiliment thread in the top. The only thing different that I am using on this quilt is the Superior So Fine thread in the bobbin, and muslin for the backing.

These pictures look better than in person. Any ideas on what to try next?
Attached Thumbnails puckered-mess-1.jpg   puckered-mess-2.jpg  
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Old 05-30-2015, 01:22 PM
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I would try changing both threads. What do you usually use?

If the quilting was fine and then suddenly went into pucker-mode, chances are very high that there is a thread caught somewhere in the tension assembly. Could be caught between the upper thread tension discs, or it could be in the bobbin area. Did you take a pin and clean underneath the bobbin case tension spring? Also you may need to take a strong light and magnifying glass to the bobbin area; sometimes just a wisp of thread gets caught somewhere in the mechanism.

One other possibility is that the upper tension spring could need to be changed; they wear out. However, that is probably the last thing I would do.
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Old 05-30-2015, 01:43 PM
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Very pretty quilt - Hope you get the quilting to work!

Last edited by QuiltnNan; 05-30-2015 at 06:09 PM. Reason: language
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Old 05-30-2015, 02:19 PM
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Oh dear I feel your pain and upsetment.

I have no solution for you other to say that my machine does not like different thread in the bobbin. I have to use the same thread top and bottom.

I hope that you can sort the problem out and finish off your lovely quilt.

Good luck and let us know how you get on.
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Old 05-30-2015, 02:43 PM
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Check your machine manual to see what tension # they recommend when using monofilament thread. My machine is usually at a 3 tension and the book recommends a 7 tension for the monofilament. Also, some prewounds are much thinner than the thread we use for piecing.
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Old 05-30-2015, 05:46 PM
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​I am thinking the monofilament thread is stretching as it stitches. I would try a different thread on top but that's just a guess.
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Old 05-30-2015, 06:54 PM
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I would have to agree with Tartan...use a pale pink top thread (like Sew Fine #50) and Bottom Line in the bobbin - that combo works brilliantly with my longarm. Are you floating your top? I find that if I don't want problems, I have to pin the top to its own leader/roller. I also measure from the center after every roll, pinning and basting both sides to keep the everything nice and flat.
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Old 05-31-2015, 04:31 AM
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I too agree with Tartan. Change out the mono-filament thread and see if that resolves your problem.
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Old 05-31-2015, 04:53 AM
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Hmm, you say the only thing different is your bobbin thread. So you have used the YLI monofilament before without issues in you HQ? Is your YLI monofilament cross wound on the spool or stack wound? If it is stack wound and you are putting it on a vertical spindle it is causing the thread to really stretch when feeding through all the tension discs. Once it is sewn in the quilt all that stretch tension is off the thread and it is springing back to it's original size, as Tartan suggested. If you have used this spool without issue before, I am thinking it has gotten down far enough on the spool to cause the problem and stretching badly as it feeds through all the thread guides and tension disks on you HQ. A stacked wound spool will behave itself much better if it is fed on a horizontal spindle, so the spool can actuall spin as it unwinds, not feeding off the top of the spool. If it is cross wound your top tension may be way too tight or you have yourself a defective spool (it can happen!). I agree with the others, switch out to a light pink or white thread and see if that doesn't help matters. I am sorry you are going through all this. It is very frustrating but think of it as a learning experience.
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Old 05-31-2015, 04:59 AM
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According to what I heard the guy from Superior Threads..with monofilament, you almost have to have take the tension down to 0 - or no tension at all. But who am I to know? I'm just guessing.
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