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Thread: So much trouble with free motion

  1. #1
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    I thought I would be smart and make up some squares to practice my free motion on. That part was okay. I continually kept breaking the thread and had to keep re-threading the needle - I tried everything. the machine did fine with regular foot and sewing, just when I dropped the feed dogs and started free motion I ran into trouble. I changed the needle, cleaned the bobbin case, re- threaded needle (only about a 100 times) fiddled with the tension, up and down. Changed thread, twice. Then finally put in bobbin thread for the top thread and so far so good. I don't know what in the world caused this, nor what else could of been done. Anyone have any comment? or input of what I was doing wrong.

  2. #2
    CrystalKicks's Avatar
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    Practice practice practice!! You'll get it...I always have to refer to my manuel to get the settings for free motion just right....

  3. #3
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Maybe your machine just doesn't like that one brand of thread for FMQ? Maybe it isn't strong enough?
    I have read that other members have trouble with certain brands...
    Maybe someone else will have better advise... :wink:

  4. #4
    Super Member Darlene's Avatar
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    Were you using batting and a backing for your squares? Maybe this could be it if not.

  5. #5
    grammynan's Avatar
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    This may seem stupid to ask but are you using a free motion foot?

  6. #6
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    Can you slow down really slow and see what happens? I know when I get too fast I have problems.

  7. #7
    Super Member joeyoz's Avatar
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    I noticed when I first started quilting that when I didn't use a thread stand the thread would get wound around the stem. It would just wind tighter and tighter and then break. Especially since you are going pretty fast when quilting. Also, if you are trying to move the fabric too fast it pulls on everything and will cause the thread to break and can also cause you to break needles.

  8. #8
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I found going to a large size needle stopped the thread breakage for me. Even when the charts all say a certain size needle for a certain size thread, it never works out for me. One tip that will save you tons of frustration:

    Keep a notebook of what brand name and size of thread and what needle brand and size you used when you find a combo that works. I have found C&C thread will work find for super fast quilting but the expensive King Tut will give me fits.

  9. #9
    Super Member joeyoz's Avatar
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    You are so right BellaBoo. I use size 90/14 needles for quilting.

  10. #10
    Super Member Barb_MO's Avatar
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    Sometimes when I'm sewing with spool thread, the thread gets caught in the slit made at the bottom of the spool to keep the thread from unwinding.

    i was hand trouble yesterday with freemotion my top thread was all loopy on the underneath side....I ended up having to set the top tension as high as it would go and then it worked fine.

    If you are using a hopping foot, try not dropping the feed dogs. See if you can still freemotion.

  11. #11
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    Thanks all for your help.

  12. #12
    Super Member Katrine's Avatar
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    You don't say which needle you were using - try using one with a bigger eye which causes less stress on the thread - like a Topstitch 90/14 or 80/12. I keep a note of which threads "like" which needles.

  13. #13
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    Could possibly be a "burr" on the one of the areas the thread runs through?

    like mentioned above, larger needle eye, catching on the spool, tension. is the thread "old"?

    what machine are you using? maybe someone here has the same machine and can give you some tips..

  14. #14
    Super Member Deecee's Avatar
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    You mention using your regular foot. Are you changing this to your darning (free motion foot) before dropping feed dogs and doing free motion?

  15. #15
    jpg
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    Leah Day's blog has an article on thread tension at http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.c...-tangles.html. Check out her 365 days quilt designs--she has made me think outside the box for free motion quilting. I used to just look through pattern books--now I don't have to do that. It is much more fun not always having to trace the patterns onto paper and then tear it off the quilt.

  16. #16
    cande's Avatar
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    jpg, when I clicked on that link, this is what I got:
    Page not found
    Sorry, the page you were looking for in the blog 365 Days of Free Motion Quilting Filler Designs does not exist.

  17. #17
    jpg
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    In Leah Day's site, http://www.daystyledesigns.com/index.htm go to Free Motion quilting blog and scroll down to the 2009 blog archive and click on Tension tangles for December.

  18. #18
    jpg
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    Your question and my correction crossed--don't know why the copied addresses sometimes don't work. Enjoy her quilting designs--I did one quilt with 30 different patterns for the 30 blocks--turned out real nice.

  19. #19
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    Katrine thanks, I am using a 90/14 needle

  20. #20
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    Watterside I am using a Brother Innov'is 1500D

  21. #21
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    Believe it or not, (that's the same machine i had at the time) mine did the same thing. Anyway, after a couple of frustrating days of it, it just stopped.
    I believe it has something to do with the way we move our machine. Maybe we have to just get everything in sinc. I don't know. Crazy huh!!!
    I haven't had a problem since.

  22. #22
    Baywatch quilter's Avatar
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    I have a Pfaff... and it will not even on pain of death... work with invisible thread in the bobbin....so it may be your thread....or your needle... you need to match the correct type and size of needle to your thread. If you sew 50, 60 weight thread...an 80 (Size 12) will work fine. If you use heavier weight thread... 40, 30,... you will need a larger needle... a 90 or even 100. If you have 60 weight in both top and bobbin..you can use a 70 needle. Hope this helps... and good luck. :mrgreen: :lol: :mrgreen:

  23. #23
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    I think it probably is just me. I want to do this so bad. I also think there are little gremlins out there that say ok let's get her frustrated. lol

  24. #24
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    There are so many variables in this thing. I keep trying though. None of the videos I watch explains thread - needle etc.

  25. #25
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    Well, one more time. I took bobbin case apart again, and lo and behold there was a big "wad" of stuff in it. Put back together and I have been able to quilt a pattern (sort of ) on a big square. Go figure. I hope it continues to do right.

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