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Thread: Trying to meander and THIS happened... (help)

  1. #1
    Junior Member HilaryK8's Avatar
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    Trying to meander and THIS happened... (help)

    Okay expert quilters, new quilter here. This is my FIRST TIME trying to meander. I'm working on a sewing machine cover. Sewing on a Singer 7436. I'm going along trying not to cross stitches, trying to keep my squiggles nice and tight-ish and even and I was pleased with the top considering it was my first time meandering. And then I flipped it over... SAD! This loopy stitch happened a few times. What is happening here and how do I fix it? Should I rip-it rip-it and re-do the ENTIRE thing?!

    PS - This picture shows the bottom/back
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
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    Those are called eyelashes... You probably need to increase the tension and go a little slower. They will go away with the right tension and looooots of practice.

    Your pattern looks great for your first go!!! It's hard to get consistent meandering.

  3. #3
    Senior Member AndiR's Avatar
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    This is the underneath side, right? Either your bobbin tension is too tight or your top tension too loose. Could the thread have jumped out of the tension disks? I would unthread both top and bobbin and thread over again. Pull on the bobbin thread when it's in the machine. Is it pulling out smoothly or does it seem to be hanging up somewhere? Are you moving the quilt sandwich too quickly for the speed you are sewing?

    I would take it out. Good news is it will come out easily, cut that bobbin thread in a few places, you should be able to pull it out easily and then the top thread will come right out.

    Check the things I suggested, then test it on a practice piece until it's flowing smoothly for you. Don't be discourage, it takes practice to get everything working together for FMQ, and your meandering is really nice for a first time!!!

  4. #4
    Junior Member HilaryK8's Avatar
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    I don't know if this is related or a completely separate problem but I assumed I was going too fast, so I tried to go slow on another part of the project. It's a smaller area so I was going to try to meander tighter. When I did that my sewing machine was skipping stitches or something. The top thread would completely miss the bobbin thread and then pick it up again. I did rip that out right away and took a picture and came straight here!

    misskira - This has a NAME? Appropriate... it looks like eye lashes. It makes me feel better that this happens often enough to have a name. haha.

    andir - This is the underneath. I'll try to rethread. My tension is set at "auto" right now. When I turn the dial it goes to + 1, +2, +3 and the other direction is - 1 -2 -3. What's the difference? And when I pull on the bobbin thread it's nice and smooth. Rethreading now then going to dinner. I'll check back tonight!

  5. #5
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    Those happen to everybody.

    It may be your tension, it may be your speed (you need to find the right hand speed/needle speed ratio). You might even need to just go slower on curves, but you are good on straight-aways.

    However, it could also be your needle (so put in a fresh one), or your fabric. I'm a somewhat experienced FMQer and got eyelashing on my last project. It only occurred on ONE fabric of a patchwork piece. The rest of the quilt everything was perfect. I ended up having to go really really slow, and ripping out a ton. Changing to a new needle helped a little bit, but it was a horrible pain. I had to turn the quilt over to check every section over this one fabric. I hadn't had any eyelashing like that in like 6-months, so I was not happy!

    Good luck!

  6. #6
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    The one good thing about eyelashes...they don't take long to get pulled out and start over!

  7. #7
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    I would take that area out and redo the meander. The general rule with tension is: If the problem shows on the top, it is the bobbin tension that is off. It the problem is on the bottom, it is the upper tension. Since you are showing some areas where there are no eyelashes, I would say that your tension is actually fine but your speed is off. It takes a while to find that "sweet spot" where the speed of the machine and the speed of you moving your top come together. Happy practicing!

  8. #8
    Super Member faykilgore's Avatar
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    My machine does not like to FMQ sideways. I try to limit long stretches of horizontal stitching. It think it has something to do with the way the thread pulls through the needle when sewing in that direction.
    Fay

    "You can't help that. We're all mad here." - The Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland.

  9. #9
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    This is totally not a tension problem. You're moving the quilt sandwich too fast for the speed of the needle. Fast needle, slow hands.

  10. #10
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    I used to have this problem, but when I slowed down no more eyelash stitches.

  11. #11
    Junior Member HilaryK8's Avatar
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    Okay, Next question then... this really only happened in two areas. The whole FMQ was done in one session so it's one continuous thread. If I rip out just one area how do I tack down the rest of the thread so it doesn't unravel with time? I am going to continue to practice before I do this "for real" again.

    This is WAY harder than people make it look on you tube.

  12. #12
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    Top tension is to loose because you forgot to put your pressure foot down.... It is the most common reason for eyelashes.

  13. #13
    Super Member RkayD's Avatar
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    Love that fabric! =)
    A bed without a Quilt is like a Sky without Stars..Sew On!

  14. #14
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    I have the same problem. I am going to practice some more too.

  15. #15
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    i havn't read al the responses but did you do a practice piece before you tried the real thing? If not one must always practice first and work out the errors before tryig on the final piece. My opinion is rip it ript rit it befaue it will not be strong enough to hold up. and can get snagged in use.

  16. #16
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen View Post
    This is totally not a tension problem. You're moving the quilt sandwich too fast for the speed of the needle. Fast needle, slow hands.
    Agree 100%

    If it was a tension issue you would see it happening with the areas that were straight as well as the curves. Because it is only happening with the curves I agree that it your hand speed is too fast for your machine speed.

    It's usually best to increase the machine speed as opposed to decreasing the hand speed - but your hand speed should decrease a smidge when you go around curves.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  17. #17
    Senior Member sylviak's Avatar
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    When you go back to re-meander (is this a word??), start a half inch or so back and go over the stitching. Then when you get back to the stitching again, go a bit further over the stitching. That should secure the stitching.

    Also, does your machine have a little lever for increasing or decreasing the speed? Be sure it is on the fastest setting. You might try experimenting with increasing the top tension and see it that helps, but eyelashes tend to happen on curves because you will have a tendency to speed up as you make the curve. Keep the machine at the same speed and move your fabric at an even speed. Some people listen to music to keep their speed even!

  18. #18
    Super Member Grace MooreLinker's Avatar
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    I found going to fast caused the eye lashing, when I first started to FHQ.
    Freedom is costly and quilting keeps us busy...

  19. #19
    Super Member kuntryquilter's Avatar
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    Your top tension is too loose or the thread has slipped out of the tension disk. This happened to me and after I tightened the top tension 1 full turn, no more eyelashes.

  20. #20
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    If you have a knee lift for your presser foot be sure you are not leaning on it

  21. #21
    Member annasgirl's Avatar
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    When this happens to me on my Singer, it's because I did not have the free motion foot in the down position. It's easy to forget because the foot never really touches the fabric, but it makes a BIG difference if you forget to lower that foot! Good luck with your "free styling" as my DD calls it!

  22. #22
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    Machine quilting does not do well on auto tension as the foot is gliding above the fabric instead of setting down on it as you do with regular sewing - Also I found it takes a fairly high tension to get rid of the eyelashes. Now what I do is make a small sandwitch with some of the scrap and the same batting and sew and get the tension right on it, then do my project. Best of Luck!

  23. #23
    Senior Member luana's Avatar
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    HilaryK8, I hope you are feeling better about your first meandering. Did you notice how many of us know exactly what you are experiencing? We've been there-done that. You are getting good advice. I would suggest that you always warm up with a practice sandwich. That way you can adjust the tension or your speed without taking out stitches. Good luck!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen View Post
    This is totally not a tension problem. You're moving the quilt sandwich too fast for the speed of the needle. Fast needle, slow hands.
    I agree! This is not a ternsion problem. The problem is that you are going to fast on the curves. Try slowing down when you do curves both with your machine speed and how you move the fabric. also do not worry aboiut small eyelashes since they will probable disappear when quilt is washed and becomes puckered.

  25. #25
    Super Member nabobw's Avatar
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    You are going around the curve to fast.

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