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Thread: thread

  1. #1
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    My new Baby Lock and I have a love/hate relationship. :?
    It's SO sensitive to EVERYTHING!!

    For the past several sewing days, the top thread has been breaking. I've read the troubleshooting guide and have done everything in there--and the thread breaks again. It just might take longer to do so. :wink:

    I had to switch colors to sew the CW binding--and switch back when I was done, so I decided to switch from Mettlers (which the machine seller said was a great thread!) to Gutermann (which I was told has lost its high quality) and no more breaking!!! :D

    I can't figure this machine out--I must learn what makes it happy and stick to that--I'm tired of having too much of the wrong thread. My old Singer ate anything!!

    I was told to not use cotton, just polyester...

    I did notice the dark brown Mettler left little dark brown lint piece all over--yuck.

    Tell me what thread you have the best luck with. What does your machine like?

  2. #2
    Senior Member CindyBee's Avatar
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    I have a Babylock too. I use both Mettler and Gutterman without a problem. When I buy the Mettler, I use the "silk finish". The dealer did say that it cuts down on fraying. I'm also using a Schmetz Universal 80/12 needle. Hope this helps!

  3. #3
    Cookn's Avatar
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    How often do you replace your needle and what size do you use ? When I'm piecing a lot I replace my needle daily and when the thread starts breaking I go up in size, usually end up with a 90/14. Also the type of needle does make a difference, a universal has a slightly rounded point and if the material is stiffer, I use an embroidery needle which has a sharp point.

  4. #4
    Jerrie's Avatar
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    I use the essential thread from connecting thread i love it give it a try i have two machine and it workd wonderful on both my first spool when i tried it broke all the time i think it was a bad spool but when i used it a while it stopped and never had another problem i been useing it for about 8 months

    Jerrie

  5. #5
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    If I am making a quilt top, I just use the quilting thread that Wal-Mart sells (I'm a cheap date). If I am sewing clothing, I use just the dual-duty. I believe the brand is Coats. I am afraid to say this for fear that it will turn my luck, but I have not had any trouble. I have a Elna, White, Brother, Paff, and have had a Singer and a Sears. Years and years ago there was some kind of spun poly thread that was horrible. I do keep scraps near my machine and sew samples to get the right needle, right tension, etc. Once I was using a metalic thread, ran out, changed to the next spool and could not keep it from breaking. I metioned this at my quilting store and the owner told me that the manufactorers have told her that this sometimes happens because of a problem with the thread itself. Also, on a recent quilting show --- I think Sewing with Martha -- a man who is vice-president, president (???) of Baby Lock demoed some fancy sewing which required satin stiches ---- he was using something from a bottle to drop on the spool of thread. He said this caused the thread to feed through all the twists and turns smoothly. Haven't we come a long way from just a spool of thread????????

  6. #6
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    Wow--thanks everyone. I wonder about the needle. When using the Singer--I changed my needle only when it broke from hitting a pin. Now I change it more often, but for the life of me it seems like a waste. Isn't it still sharp?? :roll: I need to learn more about needles...maybe I'll pick some 90/14s up and see what happens... I think I usually have 80/12 in there. I figured since I always sew with cottons it wouldn't make a difference.

    I'm not changing anything right now though---it's working!! :wink:

    Keep teaching me!! :D

  7. #7
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    Karla..I had no idea until I took a class how important your needle choice actually is to how your machine behaves. I have lots of different kinds of needles now for different activities and I DO change them frequently. If my machine in misbehaving...it is usually the needle...not the thread. You should change out your needle after about 8 hours of quilting. Sometimes when you think it is sharp, you can run it through your fingers and you will notice a tiny spur somewhere on it..that will cause the needle not to pick up the thread properly and cause you tons of frustration.

    I order my needles from jhittle...they are pretty inexpensive compared to the headaches not having the right one causes me. :wink:

  8. #8
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    sandpat--thank you. Can you give me a quick lesson on what needles you use for what? Do I ever need more than an 80 or 90 if I'm only using cotton fabric? I know when I finally make that ragged denim, I need another needle... but now??

    This time--I only changed thread and not the needle--so it was the thread. I think?

  9. #9
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    There was one thing I did not mention -- the bobbin area needs to be cleaned OFTEN!!! I'm sure you know to not use "canned air". I have learned to keep a soft brush nearby the sewing machines. If I have put a tiny tiny drop of machine oil on the brush it really gets after the lint and it is not necessary to put the oil on often, it sort of absorbs into the bursh. The sewing maching repair man and store owner is really really REALLY NASTY if a person brings in her machine with a build up of lint. He does not have any people skills, but he is smart enough to hire people who do. I try to be smart also --- no matter what is wrong with my machine, I am DOUBLE sure to clean it well before I take it to him!!!

  10. #10
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I vacuum my bobbin area with one of those hand held vacuums it works pretty good. The nozzel isn't big enough to do a really good job but it does get into places you cant reach with a brush.
    I wasted money on an attachment for my vacuum cleaner made just for sewing machines and it was a big hassle and did not work that well. Cost 10 dollars at Joanns sewing center. Dont buy one.

  11. #11
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    OK Karla, here is what I've been taught in a couple of classes and I've used the advice. It has worked out really well for me so far, AND it has made me much more conscious of making sure I have the "right" tool for the job.

    All of these are good for cotton thread:
    80/12 Microtex, 80/12 Jeans/Denim, 75/11 Quilting, 90/14 Topstitch

    These are good for Metallic thread:
    80/12 or 90/14 Metallica, 80/12 Metafil

    Some of the difference in the needles are that the Jeans/Denim 80/12 are much sharper than the universal and they will more easily go through all the layers of the quilt, especially when using cotton batting.

    The Microtex Sharp 80/12 is the best needle for quilting on poly batt..it will not dull as quickly and is meant for synthetic fabrics.

    The Metallic or Metafil needles are recommended for use on rayon or with metallic threads due to the larger eye which will not wear the thread as much.

    Some of this information came from Paula Reid of Batts in the Attic, and some of the information came from Libby Lehman.

  12. #12
    Super Member beachlady's Avatar
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    Thank you for the question Karla and thanks to all who gave the wonderful answers!!

  13. #13
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    My favorite thread is Essentials from Connecting Threads.

  14. #14
    Super Member Debra Mc's Avatar
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    My babylock Quilter's Choice Professionel is not so pickey but my Babylock Ellure Plus can be a B---h with thread. Change the needle. I have found it works more times than not & make sure it is threaded right. I kept having trouble with the thread breaking or eating it into bobbin case so I took apart twice to clean & finally found the problem. When needle broke, the tip wound up under bobbin case & I didn't know so make sure when you break one you find all the pieces.

  15. #15
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    The best machine thread I have ever used is YLI silk thread. Zero lint. For piecing I use Essential Thread. The best selling bobbin thread is Bottom Line from Superior and it's 100% poly. We had one lady in a quilt class and she was the type that nothing but 100% cotton would do for her quilts. She was beyond mad when she found out Bottom Line was a poly thread.

  16. #16
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BellaBoo
    We had one lady in a quilt class and she was the type that nothing but 100% cotton would do for her quilts. She was beyond mad when she found out Bottom Line was a poly thread.
    I know I'm being tacky...but don't ya' just love when that happens>>> :twisted:

  17. #17
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rose Marie
    I vacuum my bobbin area with one of those hand held vacuums it works pretty good. The nozzel isn't big enough to do a really good job but it does get into places you cant reach with a brush.
    I wasted money on an attachment for my vacuum cleaner made just for sewing machines and it was a big hassle and did not work that well. Cost 10 dollars at Joanns sewing center. Dont buy one.


    thanks for that tip, was thinking of doing just that. will use my ten dollars on fabrics and use a brush. :D

  18. #18
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sandpat
    OK Karla, here is what I've been taught in a couple of classes and I've used the advice. It has worked out really well for me so far, AND it has made me much more conscious of making sure I have the "right" tool for the job.

    All of these are good for cotton thread:
    80/12 Microtex, 80/12 Jeans/Denim, 75/11 Quilting, 90/14 Topstitch

    These are good for Metallic thread:
    80/12 or 90/14 Metallica, 80/12 Metafil

    Some of the difference in the needles are that the Jeans/Denim 80/12 are much sharper than the universal and they will more easily go through all the layers of the quilt, especially when using cotton batting.

    The Microtex Sharp 80/12 is the best needle for quilting on poly batt..it will not dull as quickly and is meant for synthetic fabrics.

    The Metallic or Metafil needles are recommended for use on rayon or with metallic threads due to the larger eye which will not wear the thread as much.

    Some of this information came from Paula Reid of Batts in the Attic, and some of the information came from Libby Lehman.


    As I was just going to buy some more needles for my machine, I printed out your info, should be a real help. thanks, patti :D

  19. #19

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    GF and I were talking about thread used in a sewing machine just yesterday. She makes cloth dolls and now is quilting also a beginner like me. She uses CC universal hand quilting thread that is Not coated in her machine. Says it works great and has been using it for a few years.

    Sandpat I second the thank you on the needle info. :D

  20. #20
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    The thread I like best if Aurifil. It seems more expensive than Mettler or C&C, but it's a huge spool, so it's a good deal in the end. The thread is nice and smooth and buries well in the seam, and also makes a nice quilted finish. Also, John Flynn's "So Fine" from Superior Thread is a good thread - for piecing as well as quilting.

  21. #21
    Super Member Barb M's Avatar
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    I sometimes find that if i change spools of thread, the thread will break. But i don't think it's a thread problem for me, i just think each spool of thread sometimes effects your tension just slightly differently. This is how you make sure your tension is right. Hold a threaded bobbin case in the air, grab the thread and let go of the case, you should be able to jiggle the thread up and down, and the thread should unwind from the case with each jiggle, it should neither just run free, or be frozen, and that is what the little screw on the bobbin case is for. I check my bobbin tension with each new bobbin i put in, it only takes seconds, and you just use your thumbnail to turn the screw a tiny bit either way, until the bobbin case drops easily, but not free-run, with each jiggle of the thread. Ok, once thats done, if your thread is still breaking, what is happening when your thread breaks? If my upper thread breaks, and it is just a quick loud snap, then the upper tension is just a pinch too tight, if the thread breaks, but you also notice that the spool of thread made a spinning noise when it broke, and the spool of thread is kind of spun in circles and un-spun some thread, then the tension is just a pinch too loose. I could never figure out tension for years lol, but have just figured it out last few months, and makes a huge difference. As for thread, my machine is a 40 year old kenmore, and the thread it prefers the best is uhmmm, lol, yep, wal-mart 3 for a buck thread. I know most people cringe at this, but this is what works for me :)

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