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Top Thread Breaking/Shredding while free motion quilting NEED HELP!

Top Thread Breaking/Shredding while free motion quilting NEED HELP!

Old 07-21-2015, 06:58 AM
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Angry Top Thread Breaking/Shredding while free motion quilting NEED HELP!

Hello, I'm new to this group - hope I'm doing this right...
I am struggling with top thread breaking and shredding while I'm free motion quilting. I have a Janome 1600P (mid-arm) on a quilt easy frame. Superior 50 wt on top & bottom, tried many different needles, threads, rethreading, etc. Machine is newly serviced.

She sews fine on a sandwich pulled through the machine by hand (not on the frame). When I try to quilt a quilt on the frame, I literally sew about 6 inches before the thread starts skipping stitches and eventually shreds and breaks. I called the tech that serviced her, he didn't have any ideas. Fast or slow, doesn't make a difference.

I've had this set-up for about 8 years and it has always been a struggle to find the right combination. I'm at the end of my rope!
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Old 07-21-2015, 07:12 AM
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If it is sewing fine when you are not frame quilting you may have an issue with how your quilt is loaded in the frame or a problem with how high you have your take up roller set. You may have the quilt loaded too tight on the frame. Or the spacing is incorrect for the sandwich and the machine bed. This topic, although for a different problem, had loads of great suggestions:


PS, edited to add welcome to the board.

Last edited by feline fanatic; 07-21-2015 at 07:17 AM.
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Old 07-21-2015, 07:31 AM
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I quilt on my Bernina but have you tried another type of thread? I have read enough posts here that some threads work great on some machines and give problems on others. You might want to try doing and Advance Search, click on these words in the upper right corner and the site should take you to a list of options. Put description like "thread breaking" and read the previous post. Lots of information. And by the way, welcome to the board.
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Old 07-21-2015, 07:43 AM
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I would suggest Jamie Wallen's bobbin tension youtube video as a start. Put a practice piece on the frame and get out a piece of paper. Every time you adjust something, write it down. Sounds like tension is too tight someplace or you have a burr that is shredding your thread. I have a different system, but my bugaboo is getting lint or a thread between the bobbin raceway and where the bobbin case sits. If I get ANYTHING in there, BAM...shredding. I have turned into a troubleshooting queen! I even had the President of my system's company adjust my machine. NO PROBLEMS...as soon as he left BAM..shredding. I have been where you are! Take a deep breath and take one step at a time. (I always seem to find a solution after I cry...makes me so mad, but time after time. :sniffle: > solution.). Here is the link to Jamie's video. PM if you want. I am just hanging around today (sick dog, teen post-dental surgery and a cluttered house...)


PS I have even had trouble with certain battings and backings. When I FINALLY finished a quilt and loaded another, not one problem. Also what size needle are you using? one dealer steered me to a Schmetz machine quilting needle. those are for DSM and NOT machines on a track frame! TRUST me on this! I am quilting with an 18 right now. I also use a 16 and rarely anything but those two.

Last edited by soccertxi; 07-21-2015 at 07:47 AM.
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Old 07-21-2015, 08:17 AM
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Sounds like a timing issue to me. I had that same type of problem (although not as severely as it seems you do) on my Handi Quilter. Service insisted it was timed correctly, but it was constantly shredding the thread. I determined that the machine was actually stitching through the top thread (the needle was piercing the top thread). Was not reproducible with a stationary setup. I finally got lucky - last time they timed it, they must have tweaked a bit in the right direction, and it has been fine (knock on wood) ever since. Now I have the tools to time it myself, next time something goes out.
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Old 07-21-2015, 10:48 AM
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I have a Janome 1600P also and have the same problem on an older HandiQuilter frame. I notice when I am trying to do FMQ not on the frame that I can feel (hear) the threads popping thru the fabric when my timing is off with the needle. While I suspect some of that may be involved when on the HQ frame, I have been VERY frustrated too. Sometimes I can go multiple passes and sometimes only a few stitches. I know it must be a combination of the things mentioned, but I haven't figured it out yet either. If you do find the answer, pls post it.
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Old 07-22-2015, 04:13 AM
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hi there i have a 1600p and a gracie frame are you pulling it too tight? i also use 50 weight thread top and bottom. my sure stitch is set on 5 and my tension on front of machine is right in the middle of the slot. i have never changed that.
do you oil the spots by the bobbin really good i do that about every 10 hours. or if it has been setting for a while
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Old 07-22-2015, 04:17 AM
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oh another thing. your not going to fast are you?
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Old 07-23-2015, 04:15 AM
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If the thread is breaking and shredding, consider the possibility there may be a burr somewhere...it could be the bobbin case which holds the bobbin or the needle plate. The burr on the case can be gently smoothed out with a special stone or very fine sandpaper. If you see marks on the needle plate, then the machine could be out of alignment and needs to be adjusted professionally. I had the same thing happening to me recently and it had been serviced by the factory so the alignment was not the cause. Finally found the culprit....me! The needle was not quite in all the way...just enough to stay in but still slightly down. Once I reinserted the needle, the problem was solved.
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Old 07-23-2015, 05:07 AM
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I don't have a long arm. I find when quilting on my Juki TL98QE I must oil the race when putting in a new bobbin or it will cause the thread to break.
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