SusanH.

New Lenni... Thread breakage, tension issues, jerky movements...

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Well, I must say that this is NOT what I expected... 

 

I loaded a practise quilt a few weeks back...  just could NOT get the tensions right, with minor loops and eyelashing on the back, and eyelashing on the front when doing anything curved... but I finished it.  It's a small lap-sized donation quilt for our guild, and no, I didn't pick it all out.

 

Now I loaded a couple of yards of fabric, just to practise on (which is probably what I should have done in the first place).  The top thread keeps breaking - anywhere from a few inches to a few minutes of stitching.  During all of this, I  went back to the USB stick and looked at the threading instructions again (Why couldn't APQS put that in the instruction booklet?)   I checked the instructions for bobbin loading, and double checked that the bobbin was loaded and installed correctly, changed needles, changed bobbins, changed type of thread, changed brand of thread. I removed the bobbin case spring, cleaned it, replaced it, rechecked the threading instructions, rechecked the bobbin loading instructions.   I loosened the rollers, tightened the rollers, loosened the side clamps, tightened the side clamps.  To no avail... the top thread keeps breaking.  I probably rethreaded the needle about 20 times.

 

Then I looked at the bottom...  it's horrible...  anything from MAJOR loops on the back, to so tight that the top thread shows on the bottom... 

 

All I'm doing is wasting thread and fabric...  

 

Also, when in stitch-regulated mode, the movement of the machine is very jerky... I was trying to make little circles, like pebbles (in between thread breaking) and the machine is so jerky that I can't do anything.  Is this normal?

 

Thanks for letting me vent... I'm so frustrated, I wish I had my old mid-arm machine...  I'd send this one back....  majorly disappointed...

 

 

 

 


Susan H.

French River, ON

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Hi Susan, I am sorry for your frustration, especially on a holiday weekend. I really believe there is a learning curve for tension. What type of thread are you using? What type of bobbins? If you have not thrown in the towel completely, I would try adjusting the top tension. If you are using prewound bobbins, then I would do the drop test to make sure your tension is right there too. Personally, I cannot do the drop test and get it right. I need to use the Towa Bobbin Guage. When I bought my Millie, several years ago, I had some headaches you are describing now. I was so frustrated. It took me a little time to "make friends" with my Millie and learn what made her tick. By the time I sold her, I had her figured out. I just bought a Freedom in February and I get it. Please don't give up. You are in a good place to vent, we have all done it at one time or another. We are here to help. If you don't get it, then all APQS first thing in the morning. Someone there will be more than happy to help you.


Mary Beth 

Powered by 2009 Freedom

Future winner of the Millie Sweepstakes

http://marysnutshell.blogspot.com/




 

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Hi Susan, I am sorry for your frustration, especially on a holiday weekend. I really believe there is a learning curve for tension. What type of thread are you using? What type of bobbins? If you have not thrown in the towel completely, I would try adjusting the top tension. If you are using prewound bobbins, then I would do the drop test to make sure your tension is right there too. Personally, I cannot do the drop test and get it right. I need to use the Towa Bobbin Guage. When I bought my Millie, several years ago, I had some headaches you are describing now. I was so frustrated. It took me a little time to "make friends" with my Millie and learn what made her tick. By the time I sold her, I had her figured out. I just bought a Freedom in February and I get it. Please don't give up. You are in a good place to vent, we have all done it at one time or another. We are here to help. If you don't get it, then all APQS first thing in the morning. Someone there will be more than happy to help you.

Hi Mary Beth...

I don't like the pre wound bobbins, so I wound a few of my own, some with YLI long staple machine quilting cotton, which I used on the top as well, and I also tried Connecting Threads Essential cotton thread, which is also a long staple cotton. Could you explain the bobbin drop test to me? I've heard of it, but not sure I understand what to do.

I'm just so disappointed and frustrated! Such a large investment and a huge upgrade from my previous mid-arm setup, and such poor results.

Should the stitch regulator be so jerky when doing small detailed work (like pebbles or small curlicues)? Or is that type of work done without being stitch regulated? Or could that also be a part of the tension issues? Sigh


Susan H.

French River, ON

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Hang in there, Susan!

 

The first thing to get under control is the tension. Thread the machine correctly all the way through the needle. Pull the thread towards the left and watch the U-shaped spring of the tension assembly to see how much it deflects as you pull. At rest, the spring should be at the 10 o'clock or 11 o'clock position when looked at straight on. You're trying for the spring to deflect from 11 o'clock to 10 o'clock (or a bit more)---or 10 o'clock to 9 o'clock (or a bit more). The thread should be pulling smoothly. Adjust the tension knob until the deflection is close to what's listed. If you don't own a bobbin gauge, use the drop test to set the bobbin tension. Jamie Wallen has a video on line that's helpful. Get both tensions set and use a practice piece to pull up the bobbin thread. A smooth pull on the each of the threads should feel the same if you have good tension. Test on your practice piece, doing ribbon candy turns to check for bad tension in the curves. Adjust, staying within the parameters , until you have balanced stitches.

 

As for the breaking thread, it might be a separate issue. Tug on the thread to see if it's strong enough---it shouldn't break easily. Use Sewer's Aid (liquid silicon thread lubricant) to keep the thread cool and smooth. When the thread breaks, use the fly wheel to place the take-up lever in the up position. Take the end of the thread and bring it, without pulling any extra thread out, back towards the needle. See where the thread broke. It always breaks on the high point of the take-up lever so you can see if it's breaking before the eye or after. If it's before, you're looking for something above the needle plate interfering with the feed of the thread. It can be a rough pigtail guide, a rough screw near the thread path, a thread sock with a rough spot, or the thread may be flailing out and catching on something. Investigate by stitching while watching for something going on in the path.

 

If the thread is breaking below the needle plate---check the hole for a burr, check the hook for a burr, and check that the hook retaining finger is seated properly. It's that metal piece fastened just under the needle plate that keeps the assembly from rotating. If it's too far into the slot it will catch and snap your thread.

Wishing you an easy fix and a calmer quilting future. 


Linda Rech

Finely Finished Quilts

Millennium on Bliss rails--hand-guided

http://www.topperquilttools.com

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One suggestion I got when first starting out was to use a good quality poly thread like OMNI or so fine and just use it for a while....I did that and and now more comfortable with adjusting my tensions and have started using other threads and some pre-wounds as well as winding my own.  yep, non-stitch regulated is smoother when doing smaller stuff.....the machine tries to keep the stitches equal length when in stitch regulated so you are fighting that wonderful feature when doing the small stuff...using smaller stitches can help a bit.  I haven't mastered running non stitch regulated yet but like doing it because it is so much smoother...I just turn the speed up and ignore the inconsistent stitch length...bad I know...but I am concentrating on listening to the motor speed and trying to keep that sound consistent so hopefully, my stitching in non-regulated mode with improve.  Hang in there...I too wanted to start out being perfect...but alas...there is that silly learning curve.  LIn

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oh...I forgot to mention...I started out with a mid-arm...had my struggles with that machine too at the beginning..but got comfortable with it and missed it when I first got Lucey and had some struggles with the tension on Lucey...but now, I have to say, Lucey stays and is much easier to work on...and my mid-arm which I never got rid of, is now off the frame and I am considering it as a piecing machine as it has a wonderful straight stitch.  No way would I go back to it.  LIn

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What an excellent video! Thank you!

Part 1... Did the bobbin tension test... Per Jamie Wallen's test, my bobbin tension was way too tight... I've loosened the screw and have my bobbin tension just as his video shows.

I love his explanation of how the threads merge in the quilt sandwich... Gives you a great reference point...

Stay tuned for Part 2... After coffee and a shower!


Susan H.

French River, ON

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Susan:  I'm late to the discussion, but if you have bird's nests on the back, and you have pulled the bobbin thread and held the top thread when you started, the problem is too loose top tension.  The top thread gets pulled down, tangles, and breaks because of the tangle. You've apparently already discovered that your tension wasn't balanced.  The best way to adjust tension is to start with the top thread too tight, and then loosen until you get the stitch balance you're looking for.  Sewingpup gives good advice.  Start with some really strong thread combos, master tension with them, then move to the more difficult choices.  I'd recommend YLI Longarm Professional (not their cotton quilting thread) or Superior's Sew Fine, both of which are poly threads.  These are probably the least demanding of all the threads.

 

By starting with this kind of thread, you eliminate a lot of thread related problems, which allows you to master other machine operations, like tension, movement speed, stitch length etc.  Similarly, I'd keep to easy quilting (something like a random meander) staying away from ruler work and patterns until you feel completely comfortable starting, stopping, pulling up bobbin thread and tying off.  That will give you time to get a feel for the machine, and it's operation.  The fewer variables, the fewer things to puzzle over, and quicker discovery.  Good luck.  Jim 

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Hi Susan,

I am in the same boat with my new Millie. I completely understand your frustrations and thanks everyone for encouraging us! I have had tension issues as well, first I was having flatlining on the back, now I'm having flatlining on the front. I've been So Fine 50 on top and magna glide prewounds in the bobbin. My back stitches are beautiful, it's just the top frontlning. My rep even came out today to take a look and of course it worked great for her but I did learn some things. After I changed a bobbin, it went back to flatlining. I am so extremely frustrated especially since I do this as a business. I also have a 16 yr old Gammill that is my workhorse but this seems to be a completely different animal. I'm trying not to lose my patience totally but it's close to happening.

Reading above that I'm not the only one that has had these issues makes me feel better. I guess I just wasn't expecting the big learning curve since I've been doing this so long and that threw me. I really, really want to be friends with my Millie but she's resisting me! I guess I just need to keep trying to figure her out and find out what makes her happy. I hope she tells me soon because she's exhausting me!

Kim

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Hi Kim,

 

Just a thought...as the change occurred after you changed the bobbin.....is there a difference in how you put the bobbin in between the Millie and Gammill?  One of my DSM's has the thread coming off the bobbin in the opposite direction then my other ones and I am always having to think a lot when putting in a new bobbin...also, I have read that sometimes there may be a bit too much thread on the pre-wound bobbins and some just have to be pulled off...I do that sometimes with the ones I wind myself.   I used to have some flat lining too and now not so much but I sure don't know why. OH....I changed the tread path on the top thread!!!  Maybe that was it...I am running so fine mainly and sometimes OMNI!!!!!   I had to change the thread path on the OMNI to get it to balance with the so fine and use only two holes instead of the three....and the flat lining in the curves went away!!!!  Do you think that might have been it???    Lin

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I actually changed the thread path for the OMNI to just going through two of the holes...I think I just skipped the middle one.  And as I am lazy....I found that this also worked fine when I used so fine in both the top and the bottom.  With the OMNI, I just could not loosen the top tension enough and now it seems more balanced.  I just do the test on the bobbin where you can stand the case and bobbin on edge when holding it in the palm of your hand and pulling on the thread end,  but can not lift it off the palm and I have decided that once I get the bobbin tension adjusted that way....I will play with the top tension and changing the thread path a bit if it does not balance right...so far that has worked but I just quilt for me so I don't have a lot of trial time in on my theory.....I don't have one of those bobbin tension gauges yet.  Lin

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Did you get your tension issues resolved. I am going to buy a Lenin and you ate the first one I've heard that has had problems.

Hi! Yes I did get everything cleared up! It took a while because we were on an extended trip, then my rep got injured. But she came through and actually came up here to my home, did some tweaking, changed my thread path and gave me my new owner class. I was very please.

I just finished our sons's wedding quilt without a problem!

And I have the "L" bobbins.


Susan H.

French River, ON

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Oh how well I know about bad tension. On my first machine The Qnique on a 10 foot frame. I went through it with her. And everything was my fault. Once I saw Helen Godden's take on tension and Jamie Wallen's take all on Youtube. Well Ill just say they helped me a lot. And when I recently got my Lucey, She didn't give me one problem. Perfect stitches buried in the sandwich. What an awesome machine. I still have my old machine and havent even used it since I got Lucey.

Just be patient, and soooo sorry about your frustration.

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