Free motion problem--thread breaking

Free motion problem--thread breaking

Post by Michelle C » Thu, 06 Aug 2009 07:15:02



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.

Hi Sandy,

The thread is shredding.  Since needle size seemed to be the concensus,
I changed to the largest one I had.  Sorry, I don't know the size.  In
any case, it is considerably larger than the one I was using.  Changing
the needle allowed me to go about twice far as I was able to with the
smaller one, but it is still shredding.

And if you happened to read any of my other posts, my hope that the feed
dogs had something to do with it proved to be wishful thinking.

As for thread type, I'm using regular dual duty sewing thread.

Thanks Sandy!
Michelle in Nevada, USA

 
 
 

Free motion problem--thread breaking

Post by Michelle C » Thu, 06 Aug 2009 07:16:48


I'm going to have to check out the "Topstitch" needle.  I changed to the
largest needle I had, considerably larger than the one I had in the
machine, and was able to go about twice as far before the thread shredded.

Thanks!
Michelle in Nevada, USA

Quote:

> 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


>> 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 07:18:08


Thanks Patti.  Hmmm.  Something to consider.

Best regards,
Michelle in Nevada, USA

Quote:

> '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.
> .


>> 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

 
 
 

Free motion problem--thread breaking

Post by Michelle C » Thu, 06 Aug 2009 07:20:11


Unfortunately, hoping the feed dog change was the problem proved to be
wishful thinking.  Changing the needle to a larger size did enable to go
about twice as far before the thread shredded.  So that helped, but
going 4 inches instead of 2 before that happens isn't going to work for
an entire quilt.  ;-)

Thanks Patti!
Michelle in Nevada, USA

Quote:

> 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!
> .


>> 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 Paulin » Thu, 06 Aug 2009 07:32:54


Hi Michelle,

I just finished a 2 day machine quilting workshop with Jill Schumacher.
(Where in Nevada are you?  I noticed on her calendar that she is teaching
some classes at Quilters Corners in Wellington, NV
http://www.quiltmakertothequeen.com/CALENDAR.DOC)  By far, she is the best
FM quilting teacher I have had.)

Jill recommends using a Schmetz Microtex Sharp Needle.  She also recommends
going slow & steady, instead of pedal to the metal, as most quilt teachers
teach.   I would try going slower & see if it makes a difference.  It could
be that your thread is breaking if your machine is sewing fast, but your
hands aren't in sync with the machine.  Jill recommends a #60 for nylon
thread, cotton & silk & a #70 for decorative threads, such as rayon & silk.
I was able to find the Microtex needles at TSWLTH.  Hope this helps.

Pauline
Northern California


Quote:
> Unfortunately, hoping the feed dog change was the problem proved to be
> wishful thinking.  Changing the needle to a larger size did enable to go
> about twice as far before the thread shredded.  So that helped, but going
> 4 inches instead of 2 before that happens isn't going to work for an
> entire quilt.  ;-)

> Thanks Patti!
> Michelle in Nevada, USA


>> 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!
>> .


>>> 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 Michelle C » Thu, 06 Aug 2009 08:27:59


Hi Pauline,

I did find that slowing down a bit helped with my aforementioned tension
problems.  Maybe I need to slow down further?  I'll give it a try.

Ah Wellington.  That's at the other end of the state.  :-)  I'm in
Pahrump.

Thanks Pauline!
Michelle in Nevada, USA

Quote:

> Hi Michelle,

> I just finished a 2 day machine quilting workshop with Jill Schumacher.
> (Where in Nevada are you?  I noticed on her calendar that she is
> teaching some classes at Quilters Corners in Wellington, NV
> http://www.quiltmakertothequeen.com/CALENDAR.DOC)  By far, she is the
> best FM quilting teacher I have had.)

> Jill recommends using a Schmetz Microtex Sharp Needle.  She also
> recommends going slow & steady, instead of pedal to the metal, as most
> quilt teachers teach.   I would try going slower & see if it makes a
> difference.  It could be that your thread is breaking if your machine is
> sewing fast, but your hands aren't in sync with the machine.  Jill
> recommends a #60 for nylon thread, cotton & silk & a #70 for decorative
> threads, such as rayon & silk. I was able to find the Microtex needles
> at TSWLTH.  Hope this helps.

> Pauline
> Northern California



>> Unfortunately, hoping the feed dog change was the problem proved to be
>> wishful thinking.  Changing the needle to a larger size did enable to
>> go about twice as far before the thread shredded.  So that helped, but
>> going 4 inches instead of 2 before that happens isn't going to work
>> for an entire quilt.  ;-)

>> Thanks Patti!
>> Michelle in Nevada, USA


>>> 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!
>>> .


>>>> 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 Polly Esthe » Thu, 06 Aug 2009 08:30:41


Aha!  Michelle wrote, in part "As for thread type, I'm using regular dual
duty sewing thread."
    Probably you mean Coats & Clark poly/cotton.  NOT the best choice for a
beginner.  After you've gotten comfortable with FM, you can use any thread,
ribbon, computer cable or spider webs if you take the notion.  Your life
would be easier if you'd change to a 50 wt cotton just until you have all
the other variables resolved.  Polly

"Michelle C." > The thread is shredding.  Since needle size seemed to be the
concensus,

Quote:
> I changed to the largest one I had.  Sorry, I don't know the size.  In any
> case, it is considerably larger than the one I was using.  Changing the
> needle allowed me to go about twice far as I was able to with the smaller
> one, but it is still shredding.

> And if you happened to read any of my other posts, my hope that the feed
> dogs had something to do with it proved to be wishful thinking.

> As for thread type, I'm using regular dual duty sewing thread.

> Thanks Sandy!
> Michelle in Nevada, USA

 
 
 

Free motion problem--thread breaking

Post by Michelle C » Thu, 06 Aug 2009 08:54:10


Thanks Polly.  Will do!

Best regards,
Michelle in Nevada, USA

Quote:

> Aha!  Michelle wrote, in part "As for thread type, I'm using regular
> dual duty sewing thread."
>    Probably you mean Coats & Clark poly/cotton.  NOT the best choice for
> a beginner.  After you've gotten comfortable with FM, you can use any
> thread, ribbon, computer cable or spider webs if you take the notion.  
> Your life would be easier if you'd change to a 50 wt cotton just until
> you have all the other variables resolved.  Polly

> "Michelle C." > The thread is shredding.  Since needle size seemed to be
> the concensus,
>> I changed to the largest one I had.  Sorry, I don't know the size.  In
>> any case, it is considerably larger than the one I was using.  
>> Changing the needle allowed me to go about twice far as I was able to
>> with the smaller one, but it is still shredding.

>> And if you happened to read any of my other posts, my hope that the
>> feed dogs had something to do with it proved to be wishful thinking.

>> As for thread type, I'm using regular dual duty sewing thread.

>> Thanks Sandy!
>> Michelle in Nevada, USA

 
 
 

Free motion problem--thread breaking

Post by DiMa » Thu, 06 Aug 2009 09:36:01


I just love the way all you wonderful quilty people help.
I have learned another lesson on FMQ - check the needle size and the thread
type.

Practice, practice, practice tomorrow.
Thank you all so much.
--
Di
I'm creative!  You can't expect me to be neat too.
Vic Australia
To reply please remove # in email address.

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 10:01:13


Sooo much of that needle business has to do with your own SM.  Mine doesn't
give a happy hoot whether I use a size 60 or a 110.  OTOH, she gets
positively *** if I let one go blunt.  If you have to give up violin
lessons and the downstairs maid, for goodness sake, spend some money on good
needles.  Polly


Quote:
>I just love the way all you wonderful quilty people help.
> I have learned another lesson on FMQ - check the needle size and the
> thread type.

> Practice, practice, practice tomorrow.
> Thank you all so much.

 
 
 

Free motion problem--thread breaking

Post by Robert » Thu, 06 Aug 2009 22:14:55


Another thing in the long list of things to remember:
The tension on the bobbin thread is designed to work best when the
thread pulls off the bobbin in the normal direction. When you FMQ, the
piece moves backwards and sideways quite a lot of the time. You may
notice this is when the thread tends to snap. If so, you might need to
slow down even more.

And something else:
I just finished quilting a piece where the top was Perfectly Pressed
(modest blush). Pressing took longer than stitching! I pressed Every
Seam to the dark side, clipping at  intersections so that bit would
press open, flipping each section to the correct side. My normal
pressing style is pretty good but based on the principle of "finished
is better than perfect". This one, however, went all out for
perfection. And guess what, it was so smooth and easy to quilt, no
lumpy threadbreaker spots anywhere! Went together easily too.
Roberta in D



Quote:
>I just love the way all you wonderful quilty people help.
>I have learned another lesson on FMQ - check the needle size and the thread
>type.

>Practice, practice, practice tomorrow.
>Thank you all so much.

 
 
 

Free motion problem--thread breaking

Post by Michelle C » Fri, 07 Aug 2009 03:28:24


Hi Roberta,

Thanks for the info.  Like you, Pauline suggested I slow down, and that
has helped.  Polly told me I need to be using cotton thread rather than
my usual sewing thread, so I'm going to get some.  And I tried loosening
  the top tension (a lot of the sites I'd read said to tighten the
tension).  Even with the regular sewing thread, I was able to go a lot
farther without the thread breaking--and still avoided eyelashes on the
back.  I *think* I'm making progress (she says with fingers crossed!).

I can see where "perfect" ironing would make a difference.  The thread
does seem more likely to break over the seams.

Thanks so much!
Michelle in Nevada, USA

Quote:

> Another thing in the long list of things to remember:
> The tension on the bobbin thread is designed to work best when the
> thread pulls off the bobbin in the normal direction. When you FMQ, the
> piece moves backwards and sideways quite a lot of the time. You may
> notice this is when the thread tends to snap. If so, you might need to
> slow down even more.

> And something else:
> I just finished quilting a piece where the top was Perfectly Pressed
> (modest blush). Pressing took longer than stitching! I pressed Every
> Seam to the dark side, clipping at  intersections so that bit would
> press open, flipping each section to the correct side. My normal
> pressing style is pretty good but based on the principle of "finished
> is better than perfect". This one, however, went all out for
> perfection. And guess what, it was so smooth and easy to quilt, no
> lumpy threadbreaker spots anywhere! Went together easily too.
> Roberta in D



>> I just love the way all you wonderful quilty people help.
>> I have learned another lesson on FMQ - check the needle size and the thread
>> type.

>> Practice, practice, practice tomorrow.
>> Thank you all so much.