Free motion problem--thread breaking

Free motion problem--thread breaking

Post by Michelle C » Wed, 05 Aug 2009 23:11:32



Okay all you FMQs, I've taken your advice and worked on my speed.
Counter-intuitively to me, I've got to move my quilt slower, but keep
the speed up on my machine.  So far, so good (although my stitches are
kind of small).  The tension is right, and the "eyelashes" on the back
are gone.

Next problem--breaking thread.  I had this problem when my tension was
off, and I assumed the two were related.  Nope.  The thread is actually
shredding.  And strangely enough, when I first gave this a go on my
sample block a few weeks back, I don't recall breaking thread being an
issue.

Ideas?

TIA!
Michelle in Nevada, USA

P.S.  I looked at some videos of FMQ online.  My goodness, these people
make it look easy.

 
 
 

Free motion problem--thread breaking

Post by Laurie G. in C » Wed, 05 Aug 2009 23:19:03


First thought is to change your needle. Is it large enough for the thread
you are using?

Also, if you are pulling the bobbin thread to the top with your stitches,
you might loosen the bobbin tension (even more) so the top tension doesn't
have to be so tight (to get the bobbin thread up). This may also cause your
top thread to shred.

You should be able to move the quilt at whatever pace it needs with a good
speed on the machine to get nice stitches (and not too small of a stitch).
Finding the right balance is the key!

Once you find that balance, your FMQ'ing will dance! :-)

~~~~~~~
Laurie G. in CA
http://www.finishingtouchesquilts.com
http://community.webshots.com/user/lagrant7
~~~~~~~


Quote:
> Okay all you FMQs, I've taken your advice and worked on my speed.
> Counter-intuitively to me, I've got to move my quilt slower, but keep the
> speed up on my machine.  So far, so good (although my stitches are kind of
> small).  The tension is right, and the "eyelashes" on the back are gone.

> Next problem--breaking thread.  I had this problem when my tension was
> off, and I assumed the two were related.  Nope.  The thread is actually
> shredding.  And strangely enough, when I first gave this a go on my sample
> block a few weeks back, I don't recall breaking thread being an issue.

> Ideas?

> TIA!
> Michelle in Nevada, USA

> P.S.  I looked at some videos of FMQ online.  My goodness, these people
> make it look easy.


 
 
 

Free motion problem--thread breaking

Post by Witchystitche » Wed, 05 Aug 2009 23:30:07


You might need a larger needle. When I free motion, I usually use a 14
or 16. Occasionally, I will even use an 18. A cotton batting is denser
than most polyester battings and may need the larger needle. A poly
batting with a scrim may also need a larger needle.

Linda
PATCHogue, NY
Queen of Boxtops

On Tue, 04 Aug 2009 07:11:32 -0700, "Michelle C."

Quote:

>Okay all you FMQs, I've taken your advice and worked on my speed.
>Counter-intuitively to me, I've got to move my quilt slower, but keep
>the speed up on my machine.  So far, so good (although my stitches are
>kind of small).  The tension is right, and the "eyelashes" on the back
>are gone.

>Next problem--breaking thread.  I had this problem when my tension was
>off, and I assumed the two were related.  Nope.  The thread is actually
>shredding.  And strangely enough, when I first gave this a go on my
>sample block a few weeks back, I don't recall breaking thread being an
>issue.

>Ideas?

>TIA!
>Michelle in Nevada, USA

>P.S.  I looked at some videos of FMQ online.  My goodness, these people
>make it look easy.

 
 
 

Free motion problem--thread breaking

Post by Patt » Wed, 05 Aug 2009 23:27:38


The best tip I have had about this is to use a top stitch needle.
(Thanks again Sally!).  My needles were too small.  The larger eye
really helps reduce the friction.  When your machine is going fast, and
the stitches are small, you can imagine the number of times the same
piece of thread is going up and down and through.  Also, some threads
are less prone to shedding than others - even good quality ones.  The
best 'luck' I've had are with King Tut, and also (oddly enough) Sulky
rayons.
.


Quote:
>Okay all you FMQs, I've taken your advice and worked on my speed.
>Counter-intuitively to me, I've got to move my quilt slower, but keep
>the speed up on my machine.  So far, so good (although my stitches are
>kind of small).  The tension is right, and the "eyelashes" on the back
>are gone.

>Next problem--breaking thread.  I had this problem when my tension was
>off, and I assumed the two were related.  Nope.  The thread is actually
>shredding.  And strangely enough, when I first gave this a go on my
>sample block a few weeks back, I don't recall breaking thread being an
>issue.

>Ideas?

>TIA!
>Michelle in Nevada, USA

>P.S.  I looked at some videos of FMQ online.  My goodness, these people
>make it look easy.

--
Best Regards
pat on the hill
 
 
 

Free motion problem--thread breaking

Post by Robert » Wed, 05 Aug 2009 23:39:27


Here's a dissertation on threads (thanks to whoever posted this link a
long time ago):
http://quiltbug.com/Articles/thread-theory.htm

After you've waded through all the theory, changed needles, etc., your
thread might still break. Have a good look at the sole plate where the
needle goes down. Sometimes there's a rough spot, which you can fix
with an emery board. Might also just be old thread. Or maybe, in the
case of wild specialty threads, you might be trying to force a
relationship that just wasn't meant to be. Not that that ever stopped
us!
Roberta in D

On Tue, 04 Aug 2009 07:11:32 -0700, "Michelle C."

Quote:

>Okay all you FMQs, I've taken your advice and worked on my speed.
>Counter-intuitively to me, I've got to move my quilt slower, but keep
>the speed up on my machine.  So far, so good (although my stitches are
>kind of small).  The tension is right, and the "eyelashes" on the back
>are gone.

>Next problem--breaking thread.  I had this problem when my tension was
>off, and I assumed the two were related.  Nope.  The thread is actually
>shredding.  And strangely enough, when I first gave this a go on my
>sample block a few weeks back, I don't recall breaking thread being an
>issue.

>Ideas?

>TIA!
>Michelle in Nevada, USA

>P.S.  I looked at some videos of FMQ online.  My goodness, these people
>make it look easy.

 
 
 

Free motion problem--thread breaking

Post by Polly Esthe » Thu, 06 Aug 2009 02:48:00


I put a stingy drop of  Sewer's Aid  on both my spool and bobbin.  It think
it's silicone but it is also magic.  Your troubles could be as simple as a
defective spool of thread.  Change spools and see what happens.  And one of
my SMs did indeed have a burr on the throat plate.  Never was a problem with
anything except FM and then it would hang, stall and shred.  We had to get
out the serious magnifying light/lens to see it and file it smooth but it
can be done.  No *** supervision is required.  Polly
 
 
 

Free motion problem--thread breaking

Post by Sand » Thu, 06 Aug 2009 03:18:53




Quote:
> Okay all you FMQs, I've taken your advice and worked on my speed.
> Counter-intuitively to me, I've got to move my quilt slower, but keep
> the speed up on my machine.  So far, so good (although my stitches are
> kind of small).  The tension is right, and the "eyelashes" on the back
> are gone.

> Next problem--breaking thread.  I had this problem when my tension was
> off, and I assumed the two were related.  Nope.  The thread is actually
> shredding.  And strangely enough, when I first gave this a go on my
> sample block a few weeks back, I don't recall breaking thread being an
> issue.

> Ideas?

> TIA!
> Michelle in Nevada, USA

> P.S.  I looked at some videos of FMQ online.  My goodness, these people
> make it look easy.

Michelle, the good thing about small stitches is that they make your
curves look very smooth and curvy. <G> The bad thing is that they're a
*bear* to take out if you make a mistake.

As for your breaking thread, where is it breaking? If it's shredding in
the needle, you probably need a different kind of needle. What kind and
size of thread are you using? The eyes in different kinds are specially
suited to some types of thread, and a too-small eye in a too-small
needle can cause shredding.

--
Sandy in Henderson, near Las Vegas
sw.foster1 (at) gmail (dot) com (remove/change the obvious)
http://www.sandymike.net

 
 
 

Free motion problem--thread breaking

Post by Sally Swindell » Thu, 06 Aug 2009 03:33:49


You beat me to it, Pat! Also the groove in a Topstitch needle is
deeper/longer so the thread sits in it and is protected as it goes
through the fabrics.

Sally at the Seaside~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~uk
http://community.webshots.com/user/sallyswin

Quote:

> The best tip I have had about this is to use a top stitch needle.
> (Thanks again Sally!).  My needles were too small.  The larger eye
> really helps reduce the friction.  When your machine is going fast, and
> the stitches are small, you can imagine the number of times the same
> piece of thread is going up and down and through.  Also, some threads
> are less prone to shedding than others - even good quality ones.  The
> best 'luck' I've had are with King Tut, and also (oddly enough) Sulky
> rayons.
> .


>> Okay all you FMQs, I've taken your advice and worked on my speed.
>> Counter-intuitively to me, I've got to move my quilt slower, but keep
>> the speed up on my machine.  So far, so good (although my stitches are
>> kind of small).  The tension is right, and the "eyelashes" on the back
>> are gone.

>> Next problem--breaking thread.  I had this problem when my tension was
>> off, and I assumed the two were related.  Nope.  The thread is
>> actually shredding.  And strangely enough, when I first gave this a go
>> on my sample block a few weeks back, I don't recall breaking thread
>> being an issue.

>> Ideas?

>> TIA!
>> Michelle in Nevada, USA

>> P.S.  I looked at some videos of FMQ online.  My goodness, these
>> people make it look easy.

 
 
 

Free motion problem--thread breaking

Post by Michelle C » Thu, 06 Aug 2009 03:40:27


Okay, I'll try changing the needle to a larger size (it's worked okay
with regular stitching, but maybe FM is different?), and if that doesn't
work, I'll look at my bobbin tension.

Thanks!
Michelle in Nevada, USA


Quote:
> First thought is to change your needle. Is it large enough for the thread
> you are using?

> Also, if you are pulling the bobbin thread to the top with your stitches,
> you might loosen the bobbin tension (even more) so the top tension doesn't
> have to be so tight (to get the bobbin thread up). This may also cause your
> top thread to shred.

> You should be able to move the quilt at whatever pace it needs with a good
> speed on the machine to get nice stitches (and not too small of a stitch).
> Finding the right balance is the key!

> Once you find that balance, your FMQ'ing will dance! :-)

> ~~~~~~~
> Laurie G. in CA
> http://www.finishingtouchesquilts.com
> http://community.webshots.com/user/lagrant7
> ~~~~~~~



>> Okay all you FMQs, I've taken your advice and worked on my speed.
>> Counter-intuitively to me, I've got to move my quilt slower, but keep the
>> speed up on my machine.  So far, so good (although my stitches are kind of
>> small).  The tension is right, and the "eyelashes" on the back are gone.

>> Next problem--breaking thread.  I had this problem when my tension was
>> off, and I assumed the two were related.  Nope.  The thread is actually
>> shredding.  And strangely enough, when I first gave this a go on my sample
>> block a few weeks back, I don't recall breaking thread being an issue.

>> Ideas?

>> TIA!
>> Michelle in Nevada, USA

>> P.S.  I looked at some videos of FMQ online.  My goodness, these people
>> make it look easy.

 
 
 

Free motion problem--thread breaking

Post by Michelle C » Thu, 06 Aug 2009 03:41:33


A bigger needle is starting to sound like a theme.  :-)  Thanks for
mentioning the sized you use Linda.

Best regards,
Michelle in Nevada, USA

Quote:

> You might need a larger needle. When I free motion, I usually use a 14
> or 16. Occasionally, I will even use an 18. A cotton batting is denser
> than most polyester battings and may need the larger needle. A poly
> batting with a scrim may also need a larger needle.

> Linda
> PATCHogue, NY
> Queen of Boxtops

> On Tue, 04 Aug 2009 07:11:32 -0700, "Michelle C."

>> Okay all you FMQs, I've taken your advice and worked on my speed.
>> Counter-intuitively to me, I've got to move my quilt slower, but keep
>> the speed up on my machine.  So far, so good (although my stitches are
>> kind of small).  The tension is right, and the "eyelashes" on the back
>> are gone.

>> Next problem--breaking thread.  I had this problem when my tension was
>> off, and I assumed the two were related.  Nope.  The thread is actually
>> shredding.  And strangely enough, when I first gave this a go on my
>> sample block a few weeks back, I don't recall breaking thread being an
>> issue.

>> Ideas?

>> TIA!
>> Michelle in Nevada, USA

>> P.S.  I looked at some videos of FMQ online.  My goodness, these people
>> make it look easy.

 
 
 

Free motion problem--thread breaking

Post by Michelle C » Thu, 06 Aug 2009 03:42:54


Definite trend here.  Patti you are the 3rd person to mention needle
size.  :-)

I'll keep in mind the thread issue too.

Thanks!
Michelle in Nevada, USA

Quote:

> The best tip I have had about this is to use a top stitch needle.
> (Thanks again Sally!).  My needles were too small.  The larger eye
> really helps reduce the friction.  When your machine is going fast, and
> the stitches are small, you can imagine the number of times the same
> piece of thread is going up and down and through.  Also, some threads
> are less prone to shedding than others - even good quality ones.  The
> best 'luck' I've had are with King Tut, and also (oddly enough) Sulky
> rayons.
> .


>> Okay all you FMQs, I've taken your advice and worked on my speed.
>> Counter-intuitively to me, I've got to move my quilt slower, but keep
>> the speed up on my machine.  So far, so good (although my stitches are
>> kind of small).  The tension is right, and the "eyelashes" on the back
>> are gone.

>> Next problem--breaking thread.  I had this problem when my tension was
>> off, and I assumed the two were related.  Nope.  The thread is
>> actually shredding.  And strangely enough, when I first gave this a go
>> on my sample block a few weeks back, I don't recall breaking thread
>> being an issue.

>> Ideas?

>> TIA!
>> Michelle in Nevada, USA

>> P.S.  I looked at some videos of FMQ online.  My goodness, these
>> people make it look easy.

 
 
 

Free motion problem--thread breaking

Post by Michelle C » Thu, 06 Aug 2009 03:47:38


Thanks for the article, Roberta.  I'm going off to read it in just a minute.

And I'll be having a look a the sole plate too!  Sometimes I have heard
a little crunchy sound right around the time the thread starts to
thread, which made me wonder if I wasn't hitting the plate somehow. I
thought maybe the needle was hitting the side, although in watching it,
   I never saw it get pulled off center to the point that it should do
that.

Hmmm.  You know, I just realized something.  When I first started
practicing, I simply set my stitch length to zero and didn't worry about
the feed dogs.  Later, I found a well-hidden switch that allowed me drop
my feed dogs, and I'm thinking that's when my thread shredding problem
may have started....  Something to investigate.

Thanks!
Michelle in Nevada, USA

Quote:

> Here's a dissertation on threads (thanks to whoever posted this link a
> long time ago):
> http://quiltbug.com/Articles/thread-theory.htm

> After you've waded through all the theory, changed needles, etc., your
> thread might still break. Have a good look at the sole plate where the
> needle goes down. Sometimes there's a rough spot, which you can fix
> with an emery board. Might also just be old thread. Or maybe, in the
> case of wild specialty threads, you might be trying to force a
> relationship that just wasn't meant to be. Not that that ever stopped
> us!
> Roberta in D

> On Tue, 04 Aug 2009 07:11:32 -0700, "Michelle C."

>> Okay all you FMQs, I've taken your advice and worked on my speed.
>> Counter-intuitively to me, I've got to move my quilt slower, but keep
>> the speed up on my machine.  So far, so good (although my stitches are
>> kind of small).  The tension is right, and the "eyelashes" on the back
>> are gone.

>> Next problem--breaking thread.  I had this problem when my tension was
>> off, and I assumed the two were related.  Nope.  The thread is actually
>> shredding.  And strangely enough, when I first gave this a go on my
>> sample block a few weeks back, I don't recall breaking thread being an
>> issue.

>> Ideas?

>> TIA!
>> Michelle in Nevada, USA

>> P.S.  I looked at some videos of FMQ online.  My goodness, these people
>> make it look easy.

 
 
 

Free motion problem--thread breaking

Post by Michelle C » Thu, 06 Aug 2009 03:49:32


Quote:

> I put a stingy drop of  Sewer's Aid  on both my spool and bobbin.  It
> think it's silicone but it is also magic.  Your troubles could be as
> simple as a defective spool of thread.  Change spools and see what
> happens.  And one of my SMs did indeed have a burr on the throat plate.  
> Never was a problem with anything except FM and then it would hang,
> stall and shred.  We had to get out the serious magnifying light/lens to
> see it and file it smooth but it can be done.  No *** supervision is
> required.  Polly

I've never heard of Sewer's Aid.  I'll have to investigate!

I'll be looking at the plate too.  As I was just now typing to Roberta,
I realized that my thread shredding problem seemed to begin when I
learned how to drop the feed dogs.  Before I'd been setting my stitch
length to zero and ignoring the dogs.  Something to consider.

Thanks Polly!
Best regards,
Michelle in Nevada, USA

 
 
 

Free motion problem--thread breaking

Post by Patt » Thu, 06 Aug 2009 04:48:45


'Looking at the sole plate' has reminded me of another 'thing' to
consider!

(Isn't there masses of info. that is connected with FMQ?)

Until I read a recommendation on here, I had always just used the usual
zig-zag sole plate.  I then bought a single hole plate - there were many
opinions that led to an easier ride with FMQ if one used the single hole
plate.  It certainly gave me more confidence (maybe that was all?), but
my FMQ certainly improved.  The thread has nowhere it can run to.  Not
all machines give you the option, and they are quite expensive.  I
bought one because my quilting was letting down my piecing very badly.
I don't think I'll ever be good; but 'adequate' has now been achieved.
.


Quote:
>Here's a dissertation on threads (thanks to whoever posted this link a
>long time ago):
>http://quiltbug.com/Articles/thread-theory.htm

>After you've waded through all the theory, changed needles, etc., your
>thread might still break. Have a good look at the sole plate where the
>needle goes down. Sometimes there's a rough spot, which you can fix
>with an emery board. Might also just be old thread. Or maybe, in the
>case of wild specialty threads, you might be trying to force a
>relationship that just wasn't meant to be. Not that that ever stopped
>us!
>Roberta in D

--
Best Regards
pat on the hill
 
 
 

Free motion problem--thread breaking

Post by Patt » Thu, 06 Aug 2009 04:50:43


I quite often leave the feed dogs up and set the stitch to zero.  My
machine isn't particularly slippery, so it makes little difference, from
that point of view; but I think I get a 'steadier' passage!
.


Quote:
>I've never heard of Sewer's Aid.  I'll have to investigate!

>I'll be looking at the plate too.  As I was just now typing to Roberta,
>I realized that my thread shredding problem seemed to begin when I
>learned how to drop the feed dogs.  Before I'd been setting my stitch
>length to zero and ignoring the dogs.  Something to consider.

>Thanks Polly!
>Best regards,
>Michelle in Nevada, USA

--
Best Regards
pat on the hill