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Is your machine picky about thread? My Pfaff 130 is!

Is your machine picky about thread? My Pfaff 130 is!

Old 11-17-2011, 02:24 PM
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Default Is your machine picky about thread? My Pfaff 130 is!

Go ahead, ask me how long it took me to make a 10-Minute Table Runner. *waits while you guess* About two hours...but most of that was spent arguing with my machine.

My LQS is rabid about cotton thread for cotton quilts, and carries Gutterman thread. My Nelco I take to class is fine with it, but the Pfaff...not so much. And it's fine in the bobbin, just not on top. The thread breaks every 10 stitches or so, usually more frequently. I changed the needle. I rethreaded. I loosened the tension until the stitch was sloppy and it still kept breaking. I dug out my copy of Alex Askaroff's Tension Fixer and started working my way through the steps. Is it an unbalanced twist? No, not that. Maybe the spool was too big? Wound some onto a bobbin and no, that wasn't the problem either. And then, somewhere in there, he said something about cotton thread occasionally being problematic for some machines. Aha!

So I went back to my old standby, Coats and Clark All Purpose. I tightened the tension to where I usually keep it, and it was fine. Perfect, even. Wonderful long seams of nice balanced stitches. I finished the runner in about 20 minutes. Then I put the Gutterman back in, determined to make it work.

It still doesn't. *Nothing* I do makes the thread not break. What gives? Anybody got any insight, or is this just one of the quirks I'm going to have to live with? How critical is the 'cotton for cotton' rule? I've used C&C for years with no issue, but I'm a newbie to quilting.
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Old 11-18-2011, 04:07 AM
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My Husquvarna Viking Designer I sews just fine with cotton thread, but the minute I try to free motion quilt with cotton thread on that machine, I end up with mess. It loves rayon thread for free motion. My babylock loves all threads. Yes, I think each and every machine has it's own quirks -- you just have to figure out what it is and then baby that machine. With all the decorative threads available to us now, I think the rule cotton with cotton no longer applies.
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Old 11-18-2011, 05:05 AM
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My Pfaff 130 is not fussy about type of thread at all. It takes Gutterman just fine, as well as any garage sale thread I feed it. This is my main machine, and I love it -- it sews fast. I do not do free motion quilting, so I can't say how it would act with that.

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Old 11-18-2011, 05:48 AM
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I'm going to keep fiddling with it today. There's got to be a way to make it do what I want! (I dunno why I think that-my computer never does...) I have a hard time believing it can't deal with something as ordinary as cotton thread, given its age.

I also have a date with my OSMG this weekend about a different machine; I'll ask him if he's got any insight/advice while I'm there.
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Old 11-18-2011, 06:56 AM
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My Pfaff is a year old, an Expressions 3.0, and it will not sew with Gutermann thread. The shop I bought the machine from is very aware of this also, as they are not surprised if a customer comes in with this complaint.
It sews fine with Madira, Sulky, and another brand I can't remember, so i just don't buy Gutermann.
Good Luck trying to get it to work, or just decide that machine isn't going to play nice with Gutermann and use other threads with it and save yourself a haedache.
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Old 11-18-2011, 07:16 AM
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My old machines (FW-301, etc.) will sew with any thread I choose to put on them. My newer machines-not so much-they are much fussier about what thread they like. There are other cotton threads out there that may work a little better on your machine. I think each machine has it's little quirks. If your LQS only offers Gutterman thread, they are missing out on many other very nice brands of cotton thread, a lot of people like Gutterman but I find it very linty and much harder to use than some of the other cotton threads. That is JMHO not meaning to knock any brands. And please don't tell your LQS but I don't always use just cotton for my cotton quilts, I love shiny thread and use that all the time to perk up my quilting. hehehe!
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Old 11-18-2011, 07:29 AM
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My Pfaff sews fine with Gutterman as long as I use it on both the bobbin and on the top. If I use 2 different kinds of thread I have problems.
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Old 11-18-2011, 11:42 AM
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My 130 (the one I used to own) wasn't at all fussy about thread. Sometimes I wonder if these machines are partly human.....hahahahaha
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Old 11-18-2011, 11:46 AM
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None of my machines are fussy about thread. It would be a HUGE dissappointment if I paid big $$ for a top machine only to find out its fussy.
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Old 11-18-2011, 12:37 PM
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We just had our local sewing machine repairman as our guest speaker at our guild mtg last night. Wish you could have been there! He talked lot about thread, needles, tension issues...Some spools of thread are made to give up the thread from the top, others from the side. My pfaff has an upright post and a side mounted post to hold the thread. I think most machines do. From what I understand, unless you are making an heirloom quilt, it type of thread does not matter. Synthetic threads could outlive the cotton fabric, and also over time could cut into the fabric, since it is stronger. If I were you, I would just set that thread aside and use what works. Life it too short and you have too many projects to finish (if you are like me). Enjoy your hobby ; )
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