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Thread: Tips to FMQ with metallic thread?

  1. #1
    Super Member Bree123's Avatar
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    Tips to FMQ with metallic thread?

    I am using a 90/14 Topstitch needle with Gutermann metallic thread. 0 stitch length, FMQ foot #29, top tension lowered to 2, feed dogs down. My machine is flush to table with Supreme Slider. And I use Machinegers.

    But ... thread sometimes is too loose on the back and forms nests, especially at quilting intersections. I have a solid white cotton back, W&N batting, and a Christmas print front. Fabric is very basic cotton from JAF. There is no piecing. Itís a whole cloth that I will later sub cut into coasters.

    I usually only quilt with cotton or silk thread. Are there any tricks to working with poly? Any tricks to working with such a thick thread other than switching to a basic cotton in either the top or bobbin? I really like the look when it turns out. I did figure out the only way to start/end is with microstitches because itís too thick to tie & bury.

    All ideas are appreciated! Iím trying to finish this tonight!

  2. #2
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    If the metallic is the flat kind of thread, I have seen it passed through a packing styrofoam peanut to keep it from twisting.

  3. #3
    Junior Member osewfast's Avatar
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    The few times I've successfully used metallic thread, I had to use a metallic needle.
    It was still a struggle - metallic thread can be a nightmare. I tend to come up with grand ideas for using it...but end up using it very sparingly for highlighting things.
    Good Luck!

  4. #4
    Super Member Bree123's Avatar
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    Thanks, Tartan, Iíll keep that in mind for the future. This one is thick. It is polyamide wrapped around a polyester core. It is probably comparable to a 28/2 cotton, but the metallic gold flecks off and gets caught when Iím sewing.

    Iíll try a few different settings to see if maybe I can get a slightly better result. Just wish I understood more about this type of fiber & how it behaves when stitching. Probably wasnít the best idea to pick a new-to-me thread when I didnít have much time to practice. It just looked so pretty in the store!
    Last edited by Bree123; 12-21-2017 at 03:41 PM.

  5. #5
    Super Member Bree123's Avatar
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    Thanks, osewfast, Iíll see if I canít find one around here somewhere. Gutermannís thread guide suggested a 90/14 Topstitch, so thatís why I picked that. The top of the quilt looks great, but the back is such a mess.

  6. #6
    Super Member bjchad's Avatar
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    Sounds like tension issues and possibly speed issues. You might need to slow down. I donít know about the Gutermann thread. I work with Superior metallics and they are very easy to work with.

  7. #7
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    I've used it with a walking foot well but never tried FMQing with it. too many chances for it to shred.

  8. #8
    Super Member Bree123's Avatar
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    It seems the issues are occurring wherever I backtrack. Can I not do backtracking with decorative threads?

  9. #9
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    You need to use a thread stand also. The thread needs to travel a distance so it doesn't kink up.

    You may even need a thread net.

    Some tips here for you. Please do not put thread near the hand wheel as shown in pic. It can get tangled in there and cause problems too.

    http://www.emblibrary.com/EL/ELProje...oductid=PR1131

  10. #10
    Super Member rryder's Avatar
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    Any chance you ca put it in your bobbbin and quiltfrom the back? That would be my go to solution in a situation where the thread isnít behaving when put through the needle for FMQ.

    Rob
    1955 Singer Featherweight 221/ Late 60's early 70's White Selectronic 970/
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  11. #11
    Super Member newbee3's Avatar
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    You need a needle for metallic thread also slow down the speed if you can

  12. #12
    Super Member Bree123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rryder View Post
    Any chance you ca put it in your bobbbin and quiltfrom the back? That would be my go to solution in a situation where the thread isnít behaving when put through the needle for FMQ.

    Rob
    I had wondered the same thing. That might work with a different version of the design. I think the problem is that Iím used to quilting mainly with a 40-50wt Aurifil cotton at 3/4 - 1/2Ē spacing. Or even a 100wt silk with microquilting.

    I forgot that with such a thick thread, I canít do the tiny bows that are 1/8Ē spacing. The thread just piles up in a mess ... especially when I have a thick thread top & bottom (normally, for the bobbin Iíd never use thicker than a 40wt unless I was doing bobbinwork and had something lighter up top, but I liked how the back looks with metallic, too).

    Iím changing my design (still outlining the print, but without details) to have a 1Ē spacing, which should still work for 4Ē coasters. No more thread problems now.

    Thank you to all of you for helping me tonight. This new medicine seems to be affecting me more than I realized. I could have spent all night trying to figure this out if it werenít for all of your help. QB members are the greatest!

  13. #13
    Super Member quiltingshorttimer's Avatar
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    the only time I used a metallic it was a mess--kept breaking, etc. and I wasn't even FMQ. I did use a regular poly in the bobbin cause the metallic was so darn thick--definitely use a metallic needle.

  14. #14
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    I use SULKY gold metallic with either metallic or topstitch needle. I use bobbin thread for the bobbin and most times do not have issues with my Babylock or my Pfaff. Use 3.5 stitch setting for quilting.

  15. #15
    Super Member Watson's Avatar
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    When I used metallic thread I had to put it in on a thread stand about 2 feet away from the machine. Sounds funny, but it worked because it gives the thread time to unwind before it starts going through the thread path.

    Watson

  16. #16
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    If the metallic is the flat kind of thread, I have seen it passed through a packing styrofoam peanut to keep it from twisting.
    On my Bernina, I use an upright bobbin with the Sliver type threads to keep them from twisting. I also have to loosen my top tension quite a bit. And I always use a metallica needle. I don't know what the magic is with these needles but they seem to work really well.
    Patrice S

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  17. #17
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Wine. Lots and lots of wine.

  18. #18
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    It sounds like you are doing everything correctly. The only other thing is I've found with metallic threads is don't try to speed along like you do with regular thread. A nice medium speed seems to work best.

  19. #19
    Super Member cashs_mom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peckish View Post
    Wine. Lots and lots of wine.
    That would probably help. Or maybe you just wouldn't care as much if it didn't work
    Patrice S

    Bernina Artista 180, Singer 301a, Featherweight Centennial, Rocketeer, Juki 2200 QVP Mini, White 1964 Featherweight

  20. #20
    Senior Member kat13's Avatar
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    There are several you tube videos on using metalic thread..

  21. #21
    Super Member Dodie's Avatar
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    I had so much trouble with metalic thread that I switched to yemet thread same look but goes through the machine as good as a other thread I have a Pfaff and a Bernina and they both seem to love it. It is a little pricey but well worth it

  22. #22
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    Everyone has given great suggestions. One of the things that I use is a 90/14 stretch needle. I know it doesn't make sense but that's what I use on my machine to quilt with all the time. Since, your bobbin is messing up, it sounds like it might be a problem with your top tension. I would adjust it and try some test stitching on a scrap. I would think maybe, you have the tension too low. I have used metallic to quilt with quite a lot in the past. I've tried all brands and can usually get it work. Good luck.

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