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Thread: What to do when thread frays

  1. #1
    Junior Member quiltease's Avatar
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    Hi,
    I'm machine quilting and my thread keeps skipping, fraying and breaking. This is a reversible quilt so there are LOTS of seams front and back, which I believe to be my problem. I'm using a 12 sharp and coats and clark cotton covered poly thread. Because I've already had to rip out some of the quilting (because of the thread breaks), it's left good sized holes where the needle pierced the fabric (all 100% cotton), so I'd rather not go with a larger needle. The thread is new, the needle is new. Would using a heavier thread, say for hand quilting, help?
    Or should I get a needle with a larger eye?
    Thank you to everyone for your help!!!
    bev.

  2. #2
    Super Member Maride's Avatar
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    When the thread breaks the problem is usually the needle. Go with a larger one. Is your fabric 100% cotton? Some fabrics other than cotton can fray the fabric too. When you pull on the thread, Does it break? If it doesn't your thread is not the problem. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Super Member janRN's Avatar
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    I'm not an expert at FMQ (barely kindergarten level) but I had problems with my thread fraying. First off, I was using the wrong pressure foot-changing it to the darning foot helped some. The biggest help was getting a needle with a bigger eye. The others I used were quilting needles but when you look at them the eye is smaller.

    I don't know if any of this will help-hope so.

  4. #4
    Super Member Quilter7x's Avatar
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    Take a length of thread off the spool and wind it around your fingers as if you were going to be using it like dental floss. Put your thumbs against it in the middle and stretch it. If it breaks easy, it's your thread that's the problem and you need to toss that thread. Even though the thread is new, it could be a bad batch.

    You also might have a burr on your throat plate. Check it to be sure because that will definitely fray/break threads.

  5. #5
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure Superior Threads recommends a #90 top stitching needle for quilting (larger eye than a regular needle). Here's their lowdown on needles:
    http://www.superiorthreads.com/educa...e-right-needle
    and
    http://www.superiorthreads.com/media...erenceHome.pdf

  6. #6
    Junior Member quiltease's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone. You're right, the problem is not the thread (darn it, that would have been an easy fix). So tomorrow I go and buy a Topstitch needle. Thank you Prism99 for the sight!! Funny, I used to use a topstitch needle for quilting and now have no idea why I switched.
    Thank you all for your suggestions. I've never been let down by you good folk out there.
    bev.

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