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Thread: Thread breaking during MQ practice

  1. #1
    Junior Member QuiltyLisa's Avatar
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    My top thread keeps breaking while I am practicing my machine quilting.
    What am I doing wrong here. I am using Coats and Clark 100% cotton machine quilting thread. I am stitching along and my stitches are looking even most of the time. just doing some basic loop-de-loops and stippling and then boom the thread snaps.

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

    Lisa

  2. #2
    Junior Member QuiltyLisa's Avatar
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    Also i checked the manual and everything they said, a scratched needle plate (needle plate is fine) scratched bobbin (bobbin is fine), scratched needle (new needle) so was wondering if I am putting to much pressure or moving the fabric too fast?

  3. #3
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Thread breakage is the worst problem I have with free motion machine quilting. I change needles, thread, tension and and sometimes that solves the problem and sometimes it doesn't. What works one time won't work the next time. :evil:

  4. #4
    Senior Member Stitching4Fun's Avatar
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    I have a long arm and I have the same problem sometimes. What I found is.........it is the thread itself. I change threads and....voila....... all is fixed. Sometimes you can just have a bad spool. I was getting so frustrating when mine kept breaking so I changed the thread and it stopped doing it.............

    try using another spool of thread.

    Barb

  5. #5
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    i agree with barb - its the thread. its could be a bad batch or maybe its old. even if you bought it just the other day it could be very old.

  6. #6
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    If it's old thread, I've heard that placing it in the freezer (in a baggie, I think) is supposed to re-hydrate it. Haven't done that myself.

    You might try switching to a larger needle and perhaps loosening the top tension slightly, to reduce friction on the thread.

  7. #7
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    I'm with everyone else thinking it's the thread. I tried using the Coats and Clark 100% cotton thread, and it drove me NUTS! My machine hated it. I switched to the Red Star thread and haven't had a problem since. (And it's a little less expensive than some of the other name brand threads).

  8. #8
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Somewhere on this board is a thread about thread. I seem to recall that C&C didn't fare well in the discussion. Red Star and those from Connecting Threads did much better.

  9. #9
    Power Poster SulaBug's Avatar
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    I too, agree with the other girls. Your thread must be the problem.
    I have had it happen to me also & I know how frustrating it is.
    Try buying another brand & see if it works better.
    Good Luck sewing!!
    :D :D :D :D

  10. #10
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I had that problem all the time when using Coats and Clark thread. I switched to Connecting Thread Essential thread and all was fine. ( well with the thread it was fine, I still need more practice with free motion quilting. ) I still use C&C for piecing.

  11. #11
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    There may be many reasons. I have found that the main reasons may be

    1. Wrong needle size. Sometimes we just take any needle and use it. You may not notice, but if it breaks mainly while you are sewing over the fabric that is folded on the back, you are sewing over 4 layers of fabric plus batting. If the needle is not very sharp or if it is too small, the friction will break the thread, even if you are using the most expensive one. I solve that by switching to a larger needle. Also in this subject, a small needle has a smaller hole and the friction of the thread agains the eye of the needle breaks your thread.

    2. Your bobbin case (if your machine has one) may have a small thread caught in it, changing the tension and making the thread break. Make sure there is nothing there. If you have a metal bobbin case, I use a pair of very fine pliers to make sure is clean.

    3. The tension in general. Not all fabrics are the same and even if it reads 100% cotton, the feel of it varies. Some softer fabrics, like Hoffman, Thimbleberries, etc may not make your thread break, but cheaper fabric may be more stiff and cause more friction, breaking your thread. When I was starting I used cheaper fabrics to learn and my threads were breaking. When I switched to better ones, it stopped.

    Remember that of all the things going on, the thread is the most fragile one and will break first before anything else shows.

    Good luck,

    Maria

  12. #12
    Suz
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    Schmetz makes a needle just for machine quilting. It has a long groove to carry the heavier thread and has a green striping on it to tell you it is the quilting needle. Suz

  13. #13
    Super Member JoanneS's Avatar
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    Make sure the spool doesn't have the rough part up which can catch the thread and break it.

  14. #14
    Super Member Butterflyspain's Avatar
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    I have the same problem here, have tried all the above ideas and have been advised to try a thread called Mettler.

    Havenīt done so yet but am going to try.

    Elle

  15. #15
    Senior Member Quiltntime's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltyLisa
    My top thread keeps breaking while I am practicing my machine quilting.
    What am I doing wrong here. I am using Coats and Clark 100% cotton machine quilting thread. I am stitching along and my stitches are looking even most of the time. just doing some basic loop-de-loops and stippling and then boom the thread snaps.

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

    Lisa
    I've had that breakage problem with Coats & Clark too. Now, I use only Sulky or Gutermann, both of those have less loose fibers that causes breakage. Hope this helps.

  16. #16
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Butterflyspain
    I have the same problem here, have tried all the above ideas and have been advised to try a thread called Mettler.

    Havenīt done so yet but am going to try.

    Elle
    It is very expensive but worth every penny. I love it.

    Maria

  17. #17

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    I have been trying to solve this problem as well. I notice that some of the other advice has helped, but not always. I also notice my thread only breaks when going around a turn while free motion quilting a stipple or circular pattern, but usually when going in the opposite direction than normal sewing. I am on a mission to figure this one out. I have tried different threads, and am going to look into that machine quilting needle. Good Luck!! Thanks, any advice is greatly appreciated as well!!

  18. #18
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    If you go with a metallic, topstitching or large-eye, (different names for the same style of needle) in the needle size that's correct for your thread, you may have better results. The larger eye causes less abrasion and weakening of the thread.

    There may also be defects in the eye of the needle that are shredding your thread, so changing the needle is always something good to try.

    Or maybe you're running your machine too fast for the speed at which you're moving the fabric? If your stitches are teeny-tiny, try slowing down the machine or moving your quilt faster to elongate the stitches and use the thread faster.

    The thread doesn't go straight from the spool down the path into the fabric - it kind of see-saws through the eye of the needle several times before it gets planted in the fabric.

    The smaller the stitches, the more times any given point on the thread is going to get rubbed through the eye of the needle. Use up the thread a little faster with longer stitches and it won't get as much abrasion.

    Hope that helps! :)

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