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Thread: What started as a quick five minute job........help!

  1. #1
    Senior Member ruby2shoes's Avatar
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    What started as a quick five minute job........help!

    DD2 sent me a photo of my granddaughter (18 months old) putting her Humpty Dumpty to bed in the dolly cot I gave her for the first time. Well of course my heart melted into a big grandma blob of mush and then when DD2 mentioned the lack of bedding for poor Humpty my grandma heart that had melted to a blob started to melt all the more! You know where this is going don't you!!!!

    A quick scramble through my off cuts presented me with a couple of pieces of thinnish polar fleece of dubious quality and some left over batting. Right I thought, how long can it take to whip up a little dolly quilt with a simple hatch quilting? Man, I could do that before I go to bed tonight...easy peasy. Hmmmm now wait, the Bernina is set up "mid quilt" with quilt ensconsed...hmmmmmmm...eyes off old Janome set up with its walking foot in preparation for some QAYG blocks I do on and off. Perfect! I leap with great enthusiasm over to the Janome clutching my sandwiched Humpty quilt and off I sailed, err sewed only to find that I can't for the life of me get the tension right. The top stitching looks perfect but underneath the top thread is looping and the bobbin thread just pulls straight out no matter how much I increase the tension! I even tried lowering the tension with no joy there. Is there something special I have to do when quilting polar fleece?
    This is starting to feel like an epic journey I neither have the time nor the patience for! Humpty Dumpty may have to just sleep cold!

  2. #2
    Super Member Cybrarian's Avatar
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    I'm no expert on machines, but I'm not sure the fleece is the problem. Unless you tried sewing on something else and the tension was fine? When I'm having a problem like you describe I go down the list, sewing a line of stitches on a scrap at least similar to my project to check if I have solved the problem. My list includes: rethreading top and bobbin threads, changing the needle, changing the bobbin, trying a different thread, cleaning out the bobbin area. Hope you find the problem, Humpty Dumpty's cold!
    “Come to me all you who are weary and I will give you rest”~Jesus

  3. #3
    Power Poster ManiacQuilter2's Avatar
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    I have a Bernina and never have any problem with the tension but I have never stitched polar fleece. Sorry! Is it time for maintenance service??
    A Good Friend, like an old quilt, is both a Treasure and a Comfort

  4. #4
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    I agree. You don't want more problems down the road. Good luck.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cybrarian View Post
    I'm no expert on machines, but I'm not sure the fleece is the problem. Unless you tried sewing on something else and the tension was fine? When I'm having a problem like you describe I go down the list, sewing a line of stitches on a scrap at least similar to my project to check if I have solved the problem. My list includes: rethreading top and bobbin threads, changing the needle, changing the bobbin, trying a different thread, cleaning out the bobbin area. Hope you find the problem, Humpty Dumpty's cold!

  5. #5
    Super Member Deb watkins's Avatar
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    I have a Janome, and found that when the bobbin is being a bugger, I need to rethread the machine, take out the bobbin and replace and I know it sounds silly - but I need to shut off the machine and turn it back on.
    Deb Watkins - I woke up today on the right side of dirt. It is a good day.

  6. #6
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    I have three Janome's and never had problems with the tension. Sounds to me like the bobbin is not threaded ccorrectly. I agree with Deb. Turn the machine off and re thread the whole thing

  7. #7
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    when sewing fleece I lengthen the stitch and loosen the tension a bit.

  8. #8
    Super Member Bree123's Avatar
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    Ha! The things we do for our tiny loved ones. My niece had me running all around the house looking for pinking shears so we could make a tiny quilt for "Baby Aurora" (that's the baby version of Sleeping Beauty). I ended up giving her a couple jelly roll strips & a slice of batting. We quilted it with purple thread in a basic stipple. And of course, she insisted I help her write Aurora's name on it because she was convinced that someone might try to "steal Baby Aurora's beautiful quilt because it's so nice & then Baby Aurora would be cold."

    The things that we do for the little ones. Wish I'd thought to take a picture. Please do post us a picture of Humpty's stylish new bedding once you get your machine working properly.

  9. #9
    Power Poster Onebyone's Avatar
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    I have a Bernina, Brother, Janome, and Singer. I have experienced tension problems with each one at one time or another. I change needle, new bobbin, and re thread with different thread. Also try turning the wound bobbin over. The machine may have a preferred way the bobbin thread unwinds. Sometimes I never find out the problem after I walk away and next time it sews perfectly.
    I believe giving what I can will never cause me to be in need.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member ruby2shoes's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone but alas...new needle, rethreaded, changed bobbin and brushed around inside...nup, no fuzz bunny culprits or loose bits of thread, Janome was serviced about 12 months ago and now gets minimal use, lengthened stitch, shortened stitch, whacked up tension, whacked down tension, altered presser foot pressure (as much as the old Janome can as I think it's always been a bit dodge) and lastly turned machine off and then back on. sigh, still the same........starting to look wistfully over at the Bernina who doesn't look as though she wants to get involved in this project at all.......sigh, okay, just for "a laugh" I tried doing a sandwich with flannel pieces instead of the polar fleece. AND guess what!!!!!! The Janome instantly became my friend, sewing perfectly balanced stitches like there was no tomorrow!! So Humpty is going to get a quilt afterall but it is going to be a flannel raggy rather than a posh polar fleece. End of story. I guess if the old Janome was my only machine I would want to persist to see what it's aversion to the polar fleece is but as I predominantly use the 710 now I'm not going to worry...life is too short, Humpty needs a quilt post haste and I have a possible motorbike purchase looming this morning once this is all done and dusted!
    Thanks everyone for your ideas and commiserations, have a nice day.

  11. #11
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    Humpty Dumpty slept on a cot,
    Covered up warm, Humpty was not.
    All the quilt tension
    and loops - did I mention?
    For Grandma and Humpty is just so gut-wrenching'!

  12. #12
    Senior Member ibex94's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Material Witness View Post
    Humpty Dumpty slept on a cot,
    Covered up warm, Humpty was not.
    All the quilt tension
    and loops - did I mention?
    For Grandma and Humpty is just so gut-wrenching'!
    lol! Good job!

  13. #13
    Super Member Crqltr's Avatar
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    I just did the same thing! Cradle quilt cute as could be with baby doll...but so bare. Poor thing was sleeping on bare wood! So I dug deeper and found some scrap satin and made sheets and pillow case and of course a mattress! Great birthday present for my daughter and she is 34 .. I found her baby doll packed away so she got it all together! Cradle was made by grandpa so she was happy to get it back.

  14. #14
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    The key to fleece with my Janome is a STRETCH needle. Sews. perfectly. I prefer the walking foot also, but not essential.

  15. #15
    Senior Member ruby2shoes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Material Witness View Post
    Humpty Dumpty slept on a cot,
    Covered up warm, Humpty was not.
    All the quilt tension
    and loops - did I mention?
    For Grandma and Humpty is just so gut-wrenching'!
    You've made my day and given me a good chuckle!

    Hmmmm, stretch needle......now that I didn't consider...forgot that fleecy is a knit fabric, it's been that long since I sewed with any knits and I just automatically reached for the packet of needles close at hand.

    post script.....yep, that was the problem. Dunce hat for me and a sit in the corner (maybe with a wine!)
    Last edited by ruby2shoes; 11-27-2015 at 08:01 PM.

  16. #16
    Super Member fivepaws's Avatar
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    When I have a tension problem as you describe, I find that rethreading my needle solves the problem nine times out of ten.
    All my grand-children have paws.

  17. #17
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    What size needle are you using....try a 90/14 ......long stitch aND see if the needle size was the culprit.

  18. #18
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    Glad Humpty will be warm in his bed under his quilt.
    Penny

  19. #19
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    [QUOTE=ruby2shoes;7388359]Thanks everyone but alas...new needle, rethreaded, changed bobbin and brushed around inside...nup, no fuzz bunny culprits or loose bits of thread, Janome was serviced-----

    Have you tried a Ball Point needle. Polar fleece is a knit, thus needs a Ball Point needle.

  20. #20
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    Oops. Sorry, someone (actually two someones) have already suggested that.

  21. #21
    Super Member Yooper32's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=quiltmama22;7389371]
    Quote Originally Posted by ruby2shoes View Post
    Thanks everyone but alas...new needle, rethreaded, changed bobbin and brushed around inside...nup, no fuzz bunny culprits or loose bits of thread, Janome was serviced-----

    Have you tried a Ball Point needle. Polar fleece is a knit, thus needs a Ball Point needle.

    thanks for re-assuring my mind on needle names. I am sitting here saying to self, "stretch needle, what in the name of time is a stretch needle?" Maybe I said a few different words, in the original dissertation.
    Yooper32 aka: Donna B

  22. #22
    Super Member Battle Axe's Avatar
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    Don't forget to make a little quilted envelope for any teeth that may fall out. Goes under the pillow. Make it big enough to easily hold a quarter.

  23. #23
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    I have had similar problems, tried all the things you have, and it finally came down to my Janome "not liking" either the thread in the bobbin or my top thread! If you haven't already, switch brands thread, & use same in bobbin & top. Good luck!

  24. #24
    Super Member IBQUILTIN's Avatar
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    Congrats to Humpty and the little GD. I am sure all will be happy and have a snuggly good night. Perhaps you will want to give the Polar Fleece a little bit of attention at a later time, when the holidays are not presenting such a crunch. You should be able to sew fleece with no trouble, so drag out that manual and see what you need to do to be able to sew on a fabric with that much pile.

  25. #25
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    Ruby, bless your grandma's heart. We turn ourselves inside out for the little ones. I am amused by your description, but it can be so frustrating when the machinery doesn't cooperate. Good luck and hope Humpty rests warm and comfy.

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