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Thread: FMQ-What am I doing wrong!!!?!!!

  1. #26
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    I have done this a few times. The bobbin was put in going the wrong direction. Q or P I keep the book handy to remind me that I have to put it in a certain way. Sickening but it easy to pull out just frustrating from all the work.

  2. #27
    Super Member nunnyJo's Avatar
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    don't know but you are brave for trying to FMQ

  3. #28
    Super Member quilter1's Avatar
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    You said that you had just changed to the darning foot- did you put the foot down? It's an easy thing to forget when the feed dogs are down.

  4. #29
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Every bit of advise given is good, Hope you get it resolved!!!!

  5. #30
    Super Member dhanke's Avatar
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    Does your stitch plate have a small round hole or a wide oval zig zag hole? I have similar problems if I forget to change to the small round hole plate.

  6. #31
    Senior Member omaluvs2quilt's Avatar
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    Yes, the small hole needle plate also helps : )

  7. #32
    Junior Member Bataplai's Avatar
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    I am by no means an expert, still learning here. From what I've learned, once your feed dogs are down changing your stitch length makes no difference. I never change any of my settings for FMQ (including tension). When I've had that problem, it's because I wasn't moving the quilt at the right speed to match the machine. Don't give up!

  8. #33
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    First of all it looks like your tension is way off. Sometimes just retreading, or brushing out your bobbins case will do the trick. But as far as you motion, that looks pretty good. Remember YOU are controlling the speed of the machine and the size of the stitches. What I generally tell students that have taken my FMQ classes, is to practice drawing a meander on a piece of a paper a few times. It kind of gets into your head what you want to do. And as far as the stitch size, picture a dot-to-dot in a kids book. If the dots are farther apart , the line is not as smoothly round. If there are more points, the line can be nicely rounded, even though the lines between the points is actually straight. It helps to remember that as you move your work around. If you stitches are getting too big, speed up the machine, and slow down moving the fabric. If your stitches are too small - move the fabric a bit faster. You are going for a stitch size about the same as you would piece with. Oh yes - remember to to relax and have fun!!

  9. #34
    Power Poster solstice3's Avatar
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    as others have said it is a tension issue. It is a very pretty piece, though

  10. #35
    Super Member tlpa's Avatar
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    I also have been so frustrated while trying to learn FMQ. Tension has never been right...then...I brought 3 of my machines in to be tuned..their normal check ups. When I got them back I wanted to test each one to make sure tension was right (last time I brought them back from repair I didn't test them and discovered 6 months down the road it didn't seem they were ever worked on..bummer..never again!). I started testing by doing FMQ with an early 90's Pfaff. I was excited that the FMQ was better than it ever had been before..straight stitch tension was fine..let me check the next one...an early 90's Bernina. FMQ stitch quality was even better than the Pfaff..., then lastly, check my old Bernina 931 (70's?) and the FMQ stitch quality was BEAUTIFUL!!! I was ecstatic! This is all to say...do you have another machine you can try it on? I even think my old Singer 15-91 might have a fantastic stitch if I could find a darning foot for it. I didn't touch the tension on any of these machines, put the feed dogs down and put stitch length to "0". My thought is perhaps these older mechanical machines are less fussy about tension and might handle FMQ better. It was such a relief for me to know that it wasn't all me...the machine I was working on really had a big part in making this a success. Don't give up! It isn't all a problem with how you are doing it.

  11. #36
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    That's a tension problem. You probably have to loosen your top tension. Do take that quilting out because it may not hold anyhow. FMQ isn't fast or easy to learn and you are doing fine. I did that when I was learning.

  12. #37
    amh
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    It looks to me like you have forgotten to lower the pressure foot.

    That is exactly what happens to me when I forget to lower the foot. The good news is -- it's easy to pull out.

    Hope this helps.
    Aileen
    Saskatoon SK Canada

  13. #38
    Super Member ArchaicArcane's Avatar
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    It's definitely tension related. Your stitching is beautiful, so once you have the tension figured out, I think you'll love the FMQ.

    Assuming that your tension setting is 0 - 9 for the needle thread tension, 9 is extremely tight. You should be breaking the top thread instead of having eyelashes on the bottom. If it's to 30 or something, then it's probably not enough needle thread tension.

    I had to look a second time at the photos, but I don't think your upper threading is right (again, assuming that 9 is the tightest setting on your tension dial)

    In your photo, you have the occasional loose thread on the top as well. There's a lot of thread being pulled through without enough regulation. I think that your tension disks aren't holding the thread enough. Either there's fluff holding them apart, hence your need to crank up the tension setting, or the thread is just laying in the tensioner, not right in between the disks.

    ETA: or as others have mentioned, the presser foot is up, and you're effectively sewing with 0 tension.

    Clean your tension disks on the top (a little dental floss helps) , make sure the bobbin thread is leaving the case in the correct direction, drop your thread tension to about midway and rethread the machine.

    When I thread, I do it in a weird way (which breaks the "rule" of threading always with your presser foot up) but I don't have issues with the tension disks not having a good grip on the thread.

    1. Thread the machine with the presser foot up until you've threaded through the tension disks
    2. Drop the presser foot
    3. Grab both sides of thread as it enters and leaves the tension disks
    4. give a gentle tug so that they're fully seated into the tension disks (if the thensioner is one of the "exposed" ones like on the older machines, and the thread makes a "V" going in and coming out of the tensioner, you can tell by how close the threads are to each other if they're fully seated)
    5. Raise the presser foot, and continue threading the rest of the machine.

    With my very limited experience with FMQ, I find I tend to have to lower my needle thread tension a smidge from regular sewing on some machines, but if you lower at this point without finding the actual source of the problem, you'll end up with nests.

    ETA: What machine are you using to do this? If I can see a photo of it, I can help with the tension settings.

    Additionally, here's a test you can try to figure out which thread tension is giving you fits:
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/vintage...ml#post5941686
    Last edited by ArchaicArcane; 03-22-2013 at 10:46 AM.

  14. #39
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    Remember the adjustments, to the right is tighting and to the left is loosing: righty-tighty and lefty-loosey

  15. #40
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    BoBbin was probably in backwards or not in correctly..this happened to me twice...we are now using bobbins with the magnet core so this does not happen again.....
    The best kind of sleep from Heaven above...
    is under a quilt homemade with LOVE!

  16. #41
    Junior Member bonitagaye's Avatar
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    Your foot (hopper on mine) is not down! Hope I am not too late to help!
    Bonitagaye...proud new Gramma

  17. #42
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    The text below is from a document that I think was on the Handiquilter web site, written by Dick Fuller. It's very helpful.

    Top Thread Breaking
    1. Try different thread or put thread in the refrigerator for several
    hours.
    2. Replace needle and ensure the scarf faces the throat of the
    machine.
    3. Check thread path. Re-thread the machine if necessary.
    4. Use larger needle to reduce needle deflection.
    5. Loosen fabric roller.
    6. Adjust Needle-Bar so all of the Needle-Eye can be seen while
    looking into the Hook Basket with the Bobbin Case removed.
    7. Time: Turn machine forward with Hand Wheel and place the
    POINT of the Sewing Hook in the middle of the scarf of the
    Needle as it rises 3/32” (less than 1/8”) from the lowest position. The Hook should almost touch the Needle.
    8. Polish Hook Point with fine (800) Emery Cloth.
    9. Hopping Foot at the lowest point of it’s stroke should be the
    thickness of one dime or three business cards.
    10. Loosen top tension.
    11. Tension Check Spring broken. It should be at 11 o’clock.
    12. Turn thread cone/spool upside down.
    13. Turn the Needle slightly to the right.

    Loops on Under Side of Lining Fabric
    1. Moving machine too fast for selected needle speed.
    2. Tighten (to the right) top thread tension adjustment turn at
    a time until corrected.
    3. Clean under the Tension Spring on the Bobbin Case.
    4. Bobbin thread not in tension spring delivery eye.
    5. Put a sock on thread cone.
    6. Check thread path on machine.
    7. The stationary finger that holds the Hook Assembly and prevents it from turning should be to 2/3 into the
    depth of the notch.
    8. Oil Bobbin Case.
    9. Replace/repair Bobbin Backlash Spring.

    Loose thread Tension on Top Fabric
    1. Tighten Tension Adjustment (turn clockwise).
    2. Loosen Bobbin tension.
    3. Center the thread cone directly under the guide.

    Machine Hard To Move
    1. Raise Take Up Roller to clear the machine lower arm
    by ” to ” or the width of your finger.
    2. Thread clogging wheel(s).
    3. Center wheels on the track groove by adding or removing
    washers.
    4. Increase Hopping Foot height.

    Skipped Stitches
    1. Replace Needle, insert all the way up with the scarf
    toward the throat of the machine.
    2. Re-time (See #8 Top Thread Breaking).
    3. Take-Up Roller too high.
    4. Loosen Fabric Roller.
    5. Polish Hook Point with fine (800) Emery Cloth.
    6. Thread not on Check Spring Arm.
    7. Check thread path on machine.
    8. Hopping Foot too high.
    9. Tension Check Spring at 11 o’clock with moderate resistance.
    10. Correct gap between Needle and Hook.

    Needle Breaking
    1. Replace Needle and tighten Needle Set Screw.
    2. Use larger needle.
    3. Moving machine too fast for speed setting.
    4. Re-time (See #8 Top Thread Breaking).

    *Note on Timing: Adjust the Needle Bar height first. While in the lowest point of the stroke, look at the sewing hook, and the entire needle eye should be visible. None of the needle above the eye should be seen. Ensure the Needle Bar does not rotate from its original position before tightening.

    A proper stitch has both the bottom and top threads meeting at the center of the layers. The top thread and take-up lever have much greater affect on tension adjustment than the bobbin tension. The take-up lever takes the slack out of the top thread as the needle comes up out of the fabric.

    Thread can become wrapped around the encoder wheel, causing the stitch regulation mode to malfunction. Grasp the thread-end with tweezers and move the machine to pull and unravel the thread.
    Last edited by cathyvv; 03-22-2013 at 05:43 PM.

  18. #43
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    When I have eyelashes on the back of a quilt, after checking the bobbin tension and that the machine is threaded correctly, here's what I do on a practice sandwich:

    1) Turn the top tension to it's lowest setting, start sewing, check the results - which I expect to be bad at that point.

    2) Adjust the top tension to the next higher setting (1/2 turn on my HQ16), sew a bit, check results. If top tension is your problem, the eyelashes should be somewhat smaller.

    3) Continue doing (2) until the tension is even/the eyelashes no longer happen while quilting.

    This seems to work well for me.

    Good luck.

  19. #44
    Senior Member quilter in the making's Avatar
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    Your pictures look exactly what is happening to me with my Janome. So frustrating to me. I hope you have gotten some good hints here to fix your problems. I have gotten many ideas to try with mine.

  20. #45
    Super Member coastienest's Avatar
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    I don't know what the problem is because I have not been brave enough to quilt my quilts. Sad part is, I have no desire. I love to pick out the fabric, cut out the pieces and stitch it all together and then send it out to be quilted. I give you tons of credit for wanting to learn. Keep at it and soon you will be a pro!
    Everything in life happens for a reason.

  21. #46
    Super Member justflyingin's Avatar
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    Mine did that when I had a bit of thread stuck in the tension disks. I had to clean it out (which took some doing) before it worked right. I've had to do this a few times now. Probably I use too cheapy of a thread.

  22. #47
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    I have had that happen when I forgot to lower the presser foot. My machine lets me lessen the pressure when free motion quilting and sometimes I forget to lower the presser foot. There is a button to lessen pressure.

  23. #48
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    Try all of the above and get some of those great little teflon washers for the bobbin case. They are called "Magic Bobbin Washers and can be found in some of the notions catalogs ie Nancy's Notions, Clotilde etc. You might even find them in a LQS.

  24. #49
    Super Member LindaMRB's Avatar
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    Tension is way off - one side too tight, the other too loose. I've seen that on my machine for no apparent reason. It's an old machine and I just jiggle the settings until it settles down.
    Here is some good news: It's so loose, it should come out easily!
    Good luck!

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by quilter in the making View Post
    Your pictures look exactly what is happening to me with my Janome. So frustrating to me. I hope you have gotten some good hints here to fix your problems. I have gotten many ideas to try with mine.
    I had a lot of similar issues with a Janome but they extended to regular sewing. I ended up taking it in for service, and it did sew better. They probably adjusted the top and bottom tension...not sure.

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