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Thread breakage

Thread breakage

Old 04-30-2013, 07:34 AM
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Okay, I'm not too new at FMQing, have done a few quilts. My problem is my thread keeps breaking. I am usng an embroidery needle, started out using cotton thread....no good! Too many breaks! Then I switched to a polyester. It's doing better but still breaks every once in a while. I have made every adjustment I know how to. Any ideas?
I have a Sapphire 870.
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:41 AM
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I am very new to machine quilting but I have found out when my thread breaks, my needle needs replace. It is either dull or the wrong size. Hope this helps
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:44 AM
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Why the embroidery needle, why not a quilting needle or sharp 80/12?
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Old 04-30-2013, 07:54 AM
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I use a machine quilting needle that is SCHMETZ 75/11. You may have to try a few different needles to see what your machine likes. It also could be a speed/hand problem that breaks the thread. Check the thread path to make sure it is flowing smoothly.
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Old 04-30-2013, 08:56 AM
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Try a larger needle, especially if you're using a frame. I use a size 18 on my frame.

Your thread might be brittle. Sharon Schamber dips her thread cones in white mineral oil (and no, it does not leave spots on the fabric, if you use the right oil.)

And as Tartan said, speed might be a factor. Try slowing down a bit.
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Old 04-30-2013, 10:14 AM
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I have the 870 too -- like it a lot. My settings: free motion spring, tension 3.6-3.8, and pivot at -2. There is also a method using the feed dogs up with zero stitch length for floating free motion -- with this method, you can use the push button start/stop and your only concern is moving the fabric. If you are interested in the specific settings, please let me know.
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Old 04-30-2013, 11:12 AM
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your needle needs to be the correct size for the thread being used- visit the Superior Threads website- where you can download & print charts that tell you which needle (type and size) to use with the different threads, (type and weight)...what each is good for- and plenty of hints, tips & help...it's a good resource. could be the problem is the embroidery needle- their *eye* is shaped differently and might be fraying the thread. also, if the needle has been used for more than 8 hours it might just be time to change it to a new one- correct size, type needle with the {corresponding} correct thread, type & weight will make a difference- as long as it's a nice, new, sharp needle....for quilting people generally choose a 'sharp', 'universal' or quilting needle. i would only use an embroidery needle if i was doing specialty, embroidery stitches as my quilting- then i would need to use an embroidery thread.
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Old 04-30-2013, 01:47 PM
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Hulalulu, yes I would love your settings! Thank you so much for your help.

As far as using an embroidery needle, I was recently told to use those at my LQS by a very experienced machine quilter. But today I stopped in to see the Husky dealer and had a quick lesson. Right now I am using an Inspira quilting size 90 needle and life is good!

Thank you all for all your suggestions!
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Old 04-30-2013, 02:19 PM
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This info is for free motion quilting using zero stitch length with feed dogs down, for the Sapphire 870, etc. It was originally posted on the Sapphire group page at Yahoo groups: Set machine for free motion floating, use your "R" foot (darning), set fabric at "C" for heavy, leave feed dogs up, set stitch length at zero, needle down and use an embroidery needle. Have found that you can use any open toe foot, and embroidery needle may be optional (am using a Superior topstitch 80/12 titanium -- for just about everything). Once you have gotten used to this a little, use your start/stop buttons, and set a speed you are comfortable with -- then all you have to think about is the movement of the fabric -- if you get spooked, hit the foot pedal and the machine will stop. I just did a little practice to be sure I have all the settings right -- my needle doesn't seem to want to stay down, but it's still working perfectly, not an eyelash or whiplash to be found .... have fun!
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Old 04-30-2013, 04:04 PM
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I've had very good luck with topstitch needles, size 16 for FMG on the frame. If the thread is breaking, check to see if the quilt top is too taut on the frame. If it is, the rail needs to be lowered a bit to allow the top to lay on the surface.
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