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Thread: Tried a little FMQ

  1. #1
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    On my Sapphire 830. I watched the instructional video again and set as recommended. It won't work. The bobbin thread turns into a rats nest every single time. I have rethreaded everything SEVERAL times, I just replaced the needle last week and haven't sewn much since then. Each time the needle goes down I can hear the clicking of the bobbin and a sound like it's just spinning. I then changed all the settings back to normal and tried to sew a straight line, still a rats nest. I turned it off and back on and it sewed straight just fine. Set it to FMQ again.... Nope, rats nest.


  2. #2
    BlueChicken's Avatar
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    Have you tried rewinding the bobbin?

    I've only struck this problem once, and it seems the bobbin wasn't wound with enough tension.
    The course I did a couple of weeks ago, one of the things they said was that the bobbin needs to be firmer than it does for normal sewing.

  3. #3
    Super Member omak's Avatar
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    Are you sure that you have lowered the foot?

    I didn't think it could possibly make a difference, and once the quilt is in the machine, you put your needle down to bring up the bobbin thread ...
    take a couple of stitches in place and then go off to the races, but WAIT!
    Did you lower the foot? (Can you guess how I know that??? LOL)

  4. #4
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    That was going to be my question as well, Are you sure that you lowered the presser foot. Pull your bobbin thread up to the top and hold it to one side, Lower the presser foot, hang on to the loose threads and let 'er go!

    Been there and done that myself! :( :?

  5. #5
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    Yes, the foot is lowered. I bring up the bobbin thread too. I can move the fabric quite easily... until it's so tangled that some thread finally breaks.

    I will try a new bobbin this weekend.

  6. #6
    BlueChicken's Avatar
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    I'm lucky, my machine won't sew till the foot is down.

    Good luck, I hope you get it sorted. It's sooooo frustrating when you can't find what's causing the problem. Apparently some machines need everything perfect, and some are more forgiving.

  7. #7
    Esqmommy's Avatar
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    Wish I could help you Pam, but I'm still wading into the FMQ thing. I took a class about 5 years ago, and have been terrified ever since. It's one of the reasons I bought the Bernina so I could have the advantage of the Stitch Regulator.

    Where did you get your machine? If it was Sewing Machine Shop in WC, they are great about helping to problem solve!

    Good luck - sorry you're running into this mess. It's frustrating and depressing when all you want to do is create!!

  8. #8
    Super Member Barb M's Avatar
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    Oh dear, that's the same problem i had with the last tote bag i made a couple weeks ago, it kept gobbing up underneath, the only saving grace was that the lining of the bag covered up the mess. I've been doing straight sewing since, and played with my tension a bit, its doing good for straight sewing, im thinking of trying some freemotion again on just a scrap piece. I find it does it sometimes too if i'm just moving the fabric a bit too fast. Hope it works out for you

  9. #9
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    Are you using the little "R" foot or the spring embroidery foot? Did you drop the feed dogs? And did you set the menu to Free M Floating OR the Free M spring action to match the foot? I find that I have to play around with the tension as well even though it's supposed to have the fabric advisor ... I have the 870 & when I change to the Free M Spring Action it drops the tension to 3 .... I practice & usually end up by increasing it to about 4.8 ... it seems odd but otherwise I can't seem to get it to work. HTH

  10. #10
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    Yes, used the R foot. Yes, dropped the feed dogs. Yes, set it to FMQ on the display. I tried adjusting the tension down and the bobbin thread was pulling the top thread WAY through the bottom. I tried setting it up and that didn't do any better.

    Is there a setting for tension on the display? I only know of the roller lever tension at the top where the needle thread is.

  11. #11
    Junior Member sandiphi's Avatar
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    Are you sure you put the bobbin in the bobbin case correctly, with the thread going clockwise? Is the bobbin case in the machine right? Did you check to see if there are any loose threads in the bobbin area? Did you rethread and thread again.

  12. #12
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    Yep, I took the bobbin out and put it back in several times, making sure it was the right side up. I didn't open up the bobbin area and check it. Did re-thread everything several times.


  13. #13
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    Pam,

    Since you can sew straight stitches fine, my first though is that you may be moving the fabric too quickly for the sewing speed being used. The stitches are not being completely sewn, before the fabric is moved and causing the rats nest of threads on the back.

    You could try setting your machine for straight sewing and just drop the feed dogs. This would eliminate all the machine settings from the equation. The only variable would be the fabric movement.

    Also, on my Viking Platinum, there are 2 ways to wind the bobbin. One method goes through the needle. The other is the normal top of the machine method. I'm guessing you use the top of the machine method. Most people do. Perhaps using the other method will give better results.

  14. #14
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    I will try again but I don't think I was moving it too fast. Actually, I think this bobbin was wound through the needle. I don't usually do that but was in the middle of something so did it quickly that way.

    I'll try another bobbin.

  15. #15
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    Esqmommy, I got it at the Viking dealer inside Joann's in Concord. They are supposed to be starting up classes but the last time I asked they haven't yet.

    I really want a long arm! I don't even know if I want to quilt with a normal machine! I wouldn't have anywhere to put it though. If the housing market wasn't so bad I would SERIOUSLY be thinking of selling my 5 bedroom house and getting a loft-style or something so I could have ROOM.

  16. #16
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    Pam, Just have a wall knocked down between 2 of the bedrooms. Then you'll have plenty of room. I have my short-arm in a 9x11 room with my other sewing table and ironing board. I even have to have the closet door open to get to the back of my short-arm. Needless to say, it's a bit cozy in there. But it's workable. I'm sure you have room for one of the 18" models with a 10' table somewhere. I could fit that one in my same space.

  17. #17
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    lol... I almost edited my post and said that. I have talked to my son about it as he is a union carpenter. The master bedroom and the second largest bedroom are on one side of the hallway, the other side is 3 small bedrooms in a row. I am thinking of taking out the two walls in the center one and putting one wall between the two, making both of them larger.

    Right now the 3 rooms are my sewing room, home office, and a guest bedroom that has my Grace hand quilting frame in it. The frame practically goes wall-to-wall in that room.

  18. #18
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    Pam, with the R foot, make sure you check the box for FLOATING free motion, not the SPRING free motion. I have the same machine, and I had issues with it when I first tried free motion. One of my issues was that I was trying to use the spring feet from my old Viking. I expected them to work, but they didn't. I suspect it had something to do with the automatic presser foot sensor. Another was that I didn't have the foot all the way up. Sounds like that should be obvious, but with this machine, it's easy to think it's up when it's only part way up.

    Last time I brought it in to the dealer, she had me try another foot, this one is a spring foot, part number 412 54 17-45. I like it better than the R foot and it works beautifully! My thread doesn't tangle up now and the back looks as good as the front. Oh, set the fabric sensor to C, that seems to help as well.

    I think a lot of the issues I've read about with the 830 are due to user error/lack of training. It does take some getting used to compared to any other machines I've used. Good luck! :)

  19. #19
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    My very first sewing experience with my brand-spankin' new machine ended up in a rat's nest to where I had to take out the throat plate and cut out the thread mangle. It felt like doing open heart surgery.

    Turns out, the top thread had jumped one of the retaining slots and I didn't notice.

    My old machine had a flaw in the bobbin casing and it was doing weird things as well.

  20. #20
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    I'll check the settings again. I had the fabric sensor on B as the video showed.

  21. #21
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pittsburgpam
    I'll check the settings again. I had the fabric sensor on B as the video showed.
    The C setting was a suggestion from the dealer because of the batting. Works well for me.

    She also recommends filling the bobbin while the machine is threaded because it puts more tension on it. I've only done that a couple of times. Old habits are hard to break!

    For the most part, I love this machine. The extra room is great! But, I'm still reaching for the lever to raise the presser foot! :)

  22. #22
    Super Member pittsburgpam's Avatar
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    I just tried a few more times. Setting on C, FM Floating, feeds down, foot down, pulled bobbin thread to the top. I can go just a little ways and the top thread breaks. No tangles though.

  23. #23
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pittsburgpam
    I can go just a little ways and the top thread breaks.
    Is your needle in correctly? I had that happen and the needle was in backwards. (Don't ask how I mananged that)

  24. #24
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    Pam, has your thread snapped off inside? That center section of the front between the thread guides comes off. Towards you and up if I remember correctly. I had a thread stuck in there once. I think it can come off the thread guides sometimes, based on things I've read in the past.

    Maybe it (or you) need a break for a few. What if you shut down for a few?

    On thing I have NOT had to do was to mess with the tension.

  25. #25
    Super Member thimblebug6000's Avatar
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    Sith the R foot .... Go to tools...set @ free M floating .. and then at the top of that menu....change your thread tension by using the right arrow to raise the # ... then click the tools again to accept & restart. HTH

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