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Thread: What causes bobbin thread to jam up?

  1. #1
    *QuilterWannabee*'s Avatar
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    Tried to stitch around my quilt top/batting/backing and the bobbin thread is wadding up underneath and in the bobbin case. Doesn't seem like the feed dogs are moving, either. Since it behaves ok when I just sew two pieces of cotton fabric together, is it a problem with the thickness maybe? I compared the mattress pad I'm using with a small piece of regular batting and there is not much of a difference in thickness. Hoping someone can help. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Super Member Ducky's Avatar
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    Have you checked in a manual as to the tension that you need for thicker material? Also, make sure your bobbin is turning in the right direction. I have to put the bobbin in with the thread turning clockwise.

    It's probably neither one of these things, but it's a thought! :P

  3. #3
    Power Poster Lacelady's Avatar
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    Sometimes I think it is just sheer cussedness, Quilter - anything to prevent you from being able to sew! Seriously thought, re thread everything, even if you think you already did that. And I mean right from the thread spool down to the needle. I kept doing that once, but didn't realise that my thread wasn't in between the tensions discs correctly. Are you using the same thread top and bottom? Sometimes using a different thread in the bobbin doesn't work so well when quilting. I hope you can sort it out soon, and get back to the sewing.

  4. #4
    *QuilterWannabee*'s Avatar
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    Believe me, when I'm in a jam, I appreciate ANY thoughts. I did adjust the tension. I'm learning it's a good idea to do a test patch before I start, too, so problems aren't always a surprise. Thanks!
    Quote Originally Posted by Ducky
    Have you checked in a manual as to the tension that you need for thicker material? Also, make sure your bobbin is turning in the right direction. I have to put the bobbin in with the thread turning clockwise.

    It's probably neither one of these things, but it's a thought! :P

  5. #5
    *QuilterWannabee*'s Avatar
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    I hear you...I rethreaded, rebobbined and still had a problem. I was using the same type of thread in both, and when I changed the bobbin thread to another - no more problem! Strange, but true, maybe? I must say - it's always an adventure! lol...this is a baby quilt, and I cannot imagine doing a bed size, complicated one. Whew, does my admiration grow and grow for what I see on the board.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lacelady
    Sometimes I think it is just sheer cussedness, Quilter - anything to prevent you from being able to sew! Seriously thought, re thread everything, even if you think you already did that. And I mean right from the thread spool down to the needle. I kept doing that once, but didn't realise that my thread wasn't in between the tensions discs correctly. Are you using the same thread top and bottom? Sometimes using a different thread in the bobbin doesn't work so well when quilting. I hope you can sort it out soon, and get back to the sewing.

  6. #6
    Power Poster Lacelady's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by *QuilterWannabee*
    I hear you...I rethreaded, rebobbined and still had a problem. I was using the same type of thread in both, and when I changed the bobbin thread to another - no more problem! Strange, but true, maybe? I must say - it's always an adventure! lol...this is a baby quilt, and I cannot imagine doing a bed size, complicated one. Whew, does my admiration grow and grow for what I see on the board.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lacelady
    Sometimes I think it is just sheer cussedness, Quilter - anything to prevent you from being able to sew! Seriously thought, re thread everything, even if you think you already did that. And I mean right from the thread spool down to the needle. I kept doing that once, but didn't realise that my thread wasn't in between the tensions discs correctly. Are you using the same thread top and bottom? Sometimes using a different thread in the bobbin doesn't work so well when quilting. I hope you can sort it out soon, and get back to the sewing.
    Told you sometimes it is sheer cussedness. Who would have thought it didn't like your choice of thread in the bobbin? There is no rhyme nor reason for these things, but I am glad you are sorted and now able to stitch again.

  7. #7
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    My old Sears Kenmore is picky about the threads. It requires me to pull both threads to the back of the machine and hold on tight or it will bundle up. The old Singer I used in high school (okay - that was 40 yrs ago!) did the same thing. You might try pulling to the back and hanging on to see if that helps.

  8. #8
    *QuilterWannabee*'s Avatar
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    I have a Singer, too. It's a Genie. Was my mother-in-law's first machine and when she upgraded about 20 years ago, she gave the Genie to me. Too bad she's not still around to finally see me use it! Although she wasn't the greatest sewer, she was a heck of a lady, lol. She made me a dress with a real crooked waist one time, but I did wear it! With a VERY WIDE belt ;) I will try this if I have the problem again, tks.
    Quote Originally Posted by amandasgramma
    My old Sears Kenmore is picky about the threads. It requires me to pull both threads to the back of the machine and hold on tight or it will bundle up. The old Singer I used in high school (okay - that was 40 yrs ago!) did the same thing. You might try pulling to the back and hanging on to see if that helps.

  9. #9
    Super Member MollieSue's Avatar
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    I just had this issue and discovered the bobbin thread wasn't wound quite right. It was almost the end of a spool, so I'm guesing it just didn't wind evenly. I wound another bobbin, and it's been fine.
    :-)

  10. #10
    *QuilterWannabee*'s Avatar
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    Yeah, isn't it just great when you finally get things going again! It's definitely the antidote to my frustration. I have to laugh at myself, every time I can't figure a problem out, I go right to, "Darn it, I am just going to buy a NEW sewing machine." Isn't that awful? I know I can't do that right now, but I always want the quick fix.
    Quote Originally Posted by Diana Rainer
    I just had this issue and discovered the bobbin thread wasn't wound quite right. It was almost the end of a spool, so I'm guesing it just didn't wind evenly. I wound another bobbin, and it's been fine.
    :-)

  11. #11
    Super Member MollieSue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by *QuilterWannabee*
    I have to laugh at myself, every time I can't figure a problem out, I go right to, "Darn it, I am just going to buy a NEW sewing machine." Isn't that awful?
    You're a better person than me - I go right into wanting to look for a hammer to pound it! :evil: I don't have a lot of patience for when it doesn't work right! lol!!!
    :D :D

  12. #12
    *QuilterWannabee*'s Avatar
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    Ok, Diana - I must confess...I NEVER just say "darn it!..." :evil:

  13. #13
    Super Member Tink's Mom's Avatar
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    I'm glad that you mentioned the Genie...I have worked with this machine in the past....there isn't a lot of room under the pressure foot on this machine.....Is it possible that you forgot to put the pressure foot down, due to the fact that it was snug under the foot???
    If the pressure foot isn't down, the tension is not engaged and creates lots of birds nest....Can you tell that I have done this :oops: :oops:

  14. #14
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    There is a class of singer machines that were not made to sew thick fabric. I have a 347 and read up on this one it said don't sew denim or heavy fabric light sewing only...i guess that's why it was a designer series

    My newer machine does that if you miss a eye while threading.

  15. #15
    *QuilterWannabee*'s Avatar
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    geez, I hope I didn't do that, but anything is possible! One time I was wondering why it wasn't sewing and realized I didn't turn it on, duh. I guess we all have these moments. Agree, there is not much room!
    Quote Originally Posted by Tink's Mom
    I'm glad that you mentioned the Genie...I have worked with this machine in the past....there isn't a lot of room under the pressure foot on this machine.....Is it possible that you forgot to put the pressure foot down, due to the fact that it was snug under the foot???
    If the pressure foot isn't down, the tension is not engaged and creates lots of birds nest....Can you tell that I have done this :oops: :oops:

  16. #16
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    We have all gone through these obstinate occurances with our machines: bobbin wound wrong, presser foot down so thread is not in disks, lint behind the bobbin case, and yes, not turned on. The three items that have eliminated a lot of frustration for me are: put in a new needle, check to see if the thread is in the last loop just above the needle and always pull thread out a few inches before sewing, even on the computer machines. As my son, the engineer, says, "Mom, remember your working on an inanimate object. Think of it as a puzzle." Let us know how you're doing.
    Mary Ellen
    FL

  17. #17
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I bought a package of Bobbin Genies and they really work. I haven't had a bird nest at all. They prevent static which causes backlash in the bobbin. Also Fil Tec makes commerical prefilled bobbins with a tiny magnetic core that keeps the bobbin perfectly in place. Now they make them for home machines. They work great for machine quilting, no backlash at all. Not for drop in bobbins though.

  18. #18
    Super Member Debra Mc's Avatar
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    Evil trolls from Hell. My embroidery machine is so picky. Bobbin must be wound almost perfect. I really don't know. Sometimes I change the needle if all else fails. Clean out the case & hole & make sure no gunk or fuss is in there. Couldn't live without canned air. When all else fails use a new bobbin freshly wound.

  19. #19
    Super Member mimee4's Avatar
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    Are your feed dogs all gunked up with lint? I had that problem once and once was enough.

  20. #20
    Junior Member muffins's Avatar
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    Many times the problem with bobbin thread jamming/bunching up is that you need to bring up your bobbin thread to the top of your fabric when you start sewing.
    Good luck
    db

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