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Thread keeps snapping!

Thread keeps snapping!

Old 12-03-2015, 03:23 AM
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Default Thread keeps snapping!

It is driving me crazy and I can't seem to fix it! I've started my very first FMQ on an actual quilt, having been happy with my practise sandwiches, but the thread just keeps snapping. The tension seems fine (I think). Just to complicate, although I usually use the Gutermann poly thread, I'm using their cotton thread, because I wanted the variagated, and it only seems to come in cotton. Could there be something I should be doing differently?

Thank you for any suggestions (particularly any that don't involve ripping out and starting again with different thread - I really like the look of the threads I chose)

Last edited by QuiltnNan; 12-03-2015 at 06:07 AM. Reason: autocorrect? caused wrong word?
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Old 12-03-2015, 03:43 AM
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Since you think the tension is okay, the first thing I would do is to rethread the machine and put in a new needle. Take out and reinsert the bobbin, also. If that doesn't work, try a needle with a larger eye.
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Old 12-03-2015, 04:01 AM
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Are you using a topstitch needle? How about size 14? When you start to FMQ on a large project after doing small practice pieces there is a tendency to be more concerned with managing the bulk of the quilt rather than managing the amount of the quilt that is in your quilting area-perhaps there is drag around the needle area. Another possible problem is the speed you are sewing-because of the size of the quilt you need to slow down to maintain control. Please don't change your thread but try the suggestions that I know you will be receiving as the ladies of the board wake up for the day.
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Old 12-03-2015, 04:53 AM
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Much grateful thanks for your suggestions! Although I'd rethreaded the top thread multiple times, I hadn't thought to do the bobbin thread too, so have done that, and I've now changed the needle (which was new in, but I guess we can always get a dud, huh?). I don't have any 14 needles (I'm using size 12 quilting needles), but will stock up next time I can get out - and look into the topstitch needles as well.

I think drag around the needle may also be a factor (there's a lot more quilt to catch than in a little practise sandwich, isn't there!), and I am trying my best to manage that better.

And, fingers crossed, it seems to be working! Thank you again! As a novice quilter, I really, really appreciate the assistance people can offer.
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Old 12-03-2015, 04:58 AM
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Check to see if your thread is hanging up somewhere. If the spool has a notch for tucking in the loose end, make sure that the thread isn't coming off that end of the spool.
My vertical thread stand has an arm the thread goes through and if that is not oriented correctly the thread can hang up for me. Since my cat likes to "help" she sometimes moves the arm.
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Old 12-03-2015, 05:11 AM
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I usually only use this on metallic thread but the next time you are in JAF, pick up a some of this stuff. It works well to lubricate the thread thru the needle:
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Old 12-03-2015, 05:49 AM
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Try using a needle with a bigger eye. The time I used a variegated cotton thread for FMQ it kept making a little lint ball just before going through the eye and breaking. It was quite annoying to re thread but when the needle actually snapped and scared me half to death, I change to a larger eye needle.
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Old 12-03-2015, 06:48 AM
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I concur that a larger needle might do the trick. I use a variety of threads for FMQ and machine and I agree that I should just use a size 18. Yes, that sounds like a huge needle but it works for us!
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Old 12-03-2015, 07:22 AM
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the torque of free motion quilting makes it necessary for a larger needle. I concur on the jeans or top stitch needle. See if you can find a pack that has more that one size. Slowing down might help and maybe making a sandwich of the same fabrics/batting you are quilting with and trying that might help also. I have found that some fabric/batting combos are trickier than others. With batiks, I need to slow down-those are tighter woven and the needle seems to need a bit more oomph to pierce the fabric. Keep a record of what you tried and how it worked. it will help trouble shooting in the future! Ask me how I know!
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Old 12-03-2015, 08:13 AM
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Depending on your machine, you might try switching the direction of the thread spool pin. Some machines are just finicky. Aurifil, like Guterman, is a cross wound thread, which means it "should" sit upright on the spool pin. However, for some reason on my new machine, Aurifil always breaks when I set it upright so I use it on the sideways spool pin. Strangely, my old machine only had an upright post for the thread & I had no issues with that.
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