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Thread: What am I doing wrong?

  1. #1
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    Yesterday, I was trying to practice some free motion work, but I have a problem that I haven't seen addressed on here. It will be doing fine, but then it starts skipping stitches and a few stitches or a couple of inches later, it will start stitching again. Any advise, or it it my machine? HELP!

  2. #2
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    I think your speed might be the problem. The speed you are moving the fabric, I mean.

  3. #3
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    It will do it when I haven't changed the speed of the machine or how fast I am moving the fabric. It just won't make the stitches and then starts up again.

  4. #4
    Super Member joeyoz's Avatar
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    For some reason it is not picking up the bobbin thread. It could be something simple as a itty bitty piece of lint. Try cleaning out your bobbin case really good, re-thread your machine, try a new needle (even if you started with a brand new needle).

  5. #5
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    I'll try that. Thanks

  6. #6
    Senior Member crashnquilt's Avatar
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    Is the fabric on the quilt batik? If so this might be the culprit. With batiks I always use a larger needle.

  7. #7
    Super Member Tiffany's Avatar
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    I'd say to try a larger needle. What size are you currently using?

    I would also suggest cleaning your machine. It always amazes me how much lint gets into my machine from free motion quilting. :roll: I am pretty diligent in cleaning my machine, but nothing beats taking it in and getting it done professionally from time to time. If it's been a couple years, you may want to have your machine serviced, just to be sure there isn't an underlying problem developing.

    I've only just begun to learn to machine quilt myself so I don't have the experience to give any other advice. I'll be watching this thread with interest to see what the experts in machine quilting suggest.

  8. #8
    Super Member kwhite's Avatar
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    I may know what it is. I went to a FMQ class in Oct. My friend was having that problem. Her machine was not built for FMQ and when I would pull the fabric forward it was fine but when you would push it away from you it would skip stitches right and left. The book said you can with that machine but it does not work at all. Try an experiment. See if it is the direction.

  9. #9
    Luv2Kreate's Avatar
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    I was having this problem too. I cleaned the lint, changed the needle and also re-threaded top and bottom threads. I also noticed that you have to have your quilt balanced just right. When mine isn't it will pull and I get skipped stitches!

  10. #10
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    You might try to tighten up your tension also. Just a wee bit.
    I was trying to sew 2 pieces of flannel together the other day and mine would do the same thing. I did 2 things. Tighten up the tension a tad, and changed my top thread to a larger spool. Not sure which one was really the one that did it, but after I did both things, it worked just fine for me.
    Good luck
    Bev

  11. #11
    Super Member Tiffany's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kwhite
    I may know what it is. I went to a FMQ class in Oct. My friend was having that problem. Her machine was not built for FMQ and when I would pull the fabric forward it was fine but when you would push it away from you it would skip stitches right and left. The book said you can with that machine but it does not work at all. Try an experiment. See if it is the direction.
    Oh! That's right! I had a friend who had this same problem. I didn't pay attention at the time because I thought I would always be a hand quilter. That was almost 20 years ago. :lol: Old age, arthritis, and lack of time to quilt everything I need to have forced me to learn to machine quilt. I guess the moral is to "Never Say Never." Now that I am learning to machine quilt I will remember this.


  12. #12
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    sometimes it's the foot. are you using a foot made for that purpose or making do with a multi-use foot? they aren't all good at all tasks. try to borrow another kind of foot and see what happens. email the company and ask them. they try very hard to accomodate you.
    also , check the bobbin case. make sure the tension is right and that it's clean.

    and i have to say that when you use a machine for different purposes, sometimes you have to thread in different ways. even in the longarm, when i change thread, for example, i often have to rethread in an entirely new way, bypassing some guides and using others that i normally don't use, so that the tension changes in a new way.

  13. #13
    Senior Member yourstrulyquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fatnsassy
    Yesterday, I was trying to practice some free motion work, but I have a problem that I haven't seen addressed on here. It will be doing fine, but then it starts skipping stitches and a few stitches or a couple of inches later, it will start stitching again. Any advise, or it it my machine? HELP!
    And sometimes it's the thread and/or needle. If your machine is a Viking, you'll want to use good thread, and definitely NOT Dual Duty! Vikings don't like it. I had my machine in the shop three times before I really got the message. I don't know about other machines.............

  14. #14
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    I was going crazy with the same problem yesterday. Finally my husband suggested I chang needles. Its bee fine ever since. My needle was to small for the job.

  15. #15
    Super Member Joan's Avatar
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    Be sure you are using quality thread, too.

    I took a FMQ class and brought some old Coats & Clark thread. I had the same problem plus a lot of thread breaking. The bobbin was full of lint and tiny pieces of thread. It was very frustrating!

    Also, it helps to wear those special gloves for FMQ, it really makes a differance. I wouldn't say that unless I found it to be true.

  16. #16
    Super Member kwhite's Avatar
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    Oh one more thing that doesn't make sense unless you really think of it. Make the machine go AS FAST AS IT CAN (hands still go slower). Put the stitch length to zero so there is no timing on and put the pedal to the metal. It does make sense though cause the needle is out of the fabric more and your movements don't put stress on the thread when it is out. The thread breaks less and you can get a smoother line.

  17. #17
    Super Member Tiffany's Avatar
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    Any time I have ever taken a class on thread, the instructors have said to NEVER used Coats & Clark or Dual Duty thread. Of course after hearing that I went home and looked through threads and as you can guess, I'd been using Coats & Clark for everything. I made the switch to better thread (my favorite is Aurofil!!!!!!!) & was amazed at how much better & easier it was to piece/quilt. I'd definitely recommend using good thread & save the cheaper stuff for things like basting. JMO.

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