Battynurse

Will I ever be able to quilt?

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So I ordered bobbin cases last week from APQS and they finally came today. They snap right in perfectly so it was the bobbin case. I still can't get it to work though. When I try to sew after a couple of stitch attempts the top thread gets wrapped around the whole housing and is stuck. Admittedly I may have done something to mess up positioning last week in my attempts to figure out why I couldn't fit the bobbin in. Not sure what I should do, maybe load up the head and drive down to my closest APQS dealer?

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So many things to check before you pack up your baby for a road trip, Battynurse.

 

Are you bringing your bobbin thread to the top and making some securing stitches before you take off?

Are you able to easily bring up the bobbin thread?

          Does it pull easily through the needle plate hole?

          Have you done a drop test or used a Towa gauge to test if the bobbin is too loose?

 

Is the hook retaining finger properly positioned? It's that metal piece that is screwed to the underside of the base. It should be slotted in only far enough to stop the rotation of the bobbin assemble.

 

How is your top tension. A pull on the top thread through the needle should deflect the U-shaped tension assemble spring down between a quarter-inch and a half-inch.  A firm pull on the thread should show that the thread rides smoothly through all changes in direction--through pig tails, the tensioner, L-guides, and the eye of the needle.

 

How is your timing? Was it ever stitching OK after you bought it? If not, timing might be your problem. I won't go into that here---there are great videos and instructions for correcting timing accessible on the home page.

 

Wishing you good luck and an easy fix. Have you had a beginner class? It's invaluable.


Linda Rech

Finely Finished Quilts

Millennium on Bliss rails--hand-guided

http://www.topperquilttools.com

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I'm located in or nearly in Southern California, about 90 miles north of LA.

Linda, I've tried bringing the thread up to the top but I've only been able to do it once. It doesn't seem to easily pick it up in order to pull it up. It's not sewing a few stitches. I don't know what a drop test is and I don't have a TOWA gauge. Near as I can tell the hook retaining finger is correctly positioned and also near as I can tell the top tension is ok. With my machine being older I don't seem to have a needle up down that takes just a single stitch. I push the button on the handles and it sews.

I've never been able to get it to sew as I just today got a bobbin case that fits.

I haven't taken a beginners class, I thought about it but wondered since my machine is older. Plus if I was going down to Rancho Cucamonga for a class it seems like it wouldn't hurt to take the actual machine head with me.

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If you can't pick up the bobbin thread, your timing need adjusting. I imagine it would be best to have someone familiar with the machine show you the ropes. If it isn't a hardship for you to take the head to a dealer, they could get you squared away and confident that you made a good decision. You might arrange for them to come to you, if you're willing to pay for time and travel.


Linda Rech

Finely Finished Quilts

Millennium on Bliss rails--hand-guided

http://www.topperquilttools.com

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BattyNurse:

 

I believe this is Dawn telling you how to load the needle.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YSQ23P3bWw

 

Myself, with all the frustration you have had so far, I would simply take my machine head down to my local APQS dealer and have them show me how to use it.  It would make your life so much easier, and less frustrating.  

 

If the local dealer is too far away, contact your local quilt store and get the name of the President of the local quilt guild.  I would bet money someone in the guild has an APQS machine.  Maybe even one just like yours.  Contact them, and see if they will allow you to take your machine head to their house, and have them show you how to use it.  You will find that you local guild(s) will support you, and provide you tons of knowledge and encouragement.  I know mine does.  

 

I wish you the best of luck, and hope you are up and running soon.  Once this beginning frustration level is over, I am sure you will love your machine.  Take care, and have a great evening.

 

Cagey


May your threads be balanced, and your bobbin forever full….

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I am planning to join the local quilt guild, I'm new to the area I'm living in so I hadn't yet. That said the APQS store nearest me is about 150 miles away. I contacted the dealer and he's going to call me tomorrow about bringing it down next week.

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Batty:  You don't have a single stitch or needle up/down on your Ult 2.  You need to manually cycle the machine in order to pull the bobbin thread up.  Here's how:  With your right hand hold the top tread end, with your left hand rotate the hand wheel clockwise cycling the needle down through the fabric and back up until the take-up lever (and the needle) is nearly to the top of it's movement.  The bobbin thread should come up through the quilt sandwich, pulled by the top thread you're holding.   It will not "release" until you reach the end of the cycle.  Then it should come up easily.  You should have your bobbin in the case so that when you pull the thread, the bobbin rotates clockwise.  You should leave a thread "tail" about 3-5 inches long when you snap your bobbin case into the bobbin basket.

 

If you cannot get the bobbin thread to pull up after trying this several times. you most likely have a timing problem that must be corrected.  Good luck.  Jim

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Thank you Jim. I must have had a total brain fart that it didn't occur to me to turn the wheel manually. I forgot that was there. I do think it's a timing issue and likely caused by me from my attempts to get the bobbin stuff figured out last week.

Thanks everyone else for the info and advice as well.

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You could have a piece of thread caught under the needle plate, down in the hook. My innova stitches great - but- it does the same thing as yours when i have a broken bit of thread trapped in the hook. You have to remove the needle plate and rotate the hook with the wheel to find it. IF it is a bit of thread, you can drop oil on the hook while rotating it by hand, to get this to loosen so you can grab it with tweezers. 

Debbie


Debbie

Jackson, Ga.

 

 

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Well I spent my afternoon getting very familiar with my hook and the timing video from APQS. I had finally gotten it all reset and when I put thread in to sew I got some stitches but I also got a nest on the back and a bunch of top thread wrapped many times around the hook until it broke the thread. The upside is I know the parts of my machine fairly well. Down side is what it still isn't sewing correctly although I did get it to do some stitches.

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Congrats on successfully tackling some mechanics of your machine. It gets less daunting the more you do.

 

Nests are caused by--

Not bringing up your bobbin thread before you start. Hold onto the thread and make some securing stitches before you hit go. Without a needle positioner you can bring up the thread, hold onto it, and jiggle back a forth for a few stitches after you hit go. That will place several stitches on top of each other and secure the start. Can you begin at a lower speed? That might give you a better feel for the starts and stops.

Bobbin backlash. That's where the bobbin keeps spinning after you slow down or stop. Remedied by tweaking the backlash spring in your bobbin case. Remove the spring and pry the two fingers out a bit. Or replace the spring or entire bobbin case.

Bobbin tension too loose.

 

Try making some stitches manually. I know it's a pain since you'll need to us the flywheel to make the stitches, but maybe that will show you where the thread starts misbehaving. You'll be able to feel the resistance when a nest is forming. 

Hoping for an easy fix. Hang in there...


Linda Rech

Finely Finished Quilts

Millennium on Bliss rails--hand-guided

http://www.topperquilttools.com

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Ok, so I had brought my bobbin thread up and still got a nest. I had loosened the bobbin tension a little so I will try to re tighten it. I also had a bunch of top thread wrapped around the hook assembly which finally broke my top thread. I've tried setting the machine to a lower speed until I get used to things but if I set it to less than 4 or 5 it doesn't do anything. The bobbin case is new but per the website since I'm using magna-glide prewound bobbins I took the spring out.

I still could take it down to the store but I hate to have it gone for a long time and I'd love vie to see if I can fix it myself.

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Batty:  You need to hold the top thread and bobbin thread until you've locked them by hand (several manual stitches) before you hit the "go" button.  If you let go of it before it's locked it's like you didn't do it to begin with.  It's tedious, but necessary.

 

Your speed control doesn't seem to be working properly.  Your machine should stitch from very slowly to very rapidly as you turn the speed control dial.  Remove the bobbin case, unthread the machine (just past the take up lever), and press the "go" button.  Turn the speed control knob from beginning to end and gauge how fast or slow the machine stitches.  If there isn't a great deal of difference, there is something wrong with that control.  Proper speed control will help you get started.  Good luck.  Jim

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Thanks Jim. The needle doesn't go at all if I turn the dial under 3 and when I'm on a faster speed the machine seems to speed up and slow down without turning to speed knob. It's not a big difference but there does seem to be a difference. That said its all finally sewing!

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