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What is my machine doing ? extremly unhappy ...


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Can someone help me please ? I quilted half a quilt and everything was perfect, now I just realized that my machine

has been making a mess on the underside !!!

I have changed the needle, put in a new bobbin, cleaned the bobbin case holder, the bobbin area, and it is still

like this.

I will have to unpick at least 10 inches of quilted area :-(

What can I do to stop that ???

thanks

Lisa

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Make sure you have your bobbin is inserter correctly, turning clockwise when you pull the thread. Make sure you don't have a bit of lint under the bobbin finger. Check to make sure the thread isn't catching on the cone or somewhere along the thread path. Completely re-thread. Put in a new needle.

Maybe Dawn will come to the rescue. Its odd that the first part of the quilt was fine, and only the last 10 inches are messed up.

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The strange thing is, it started to happen before I changed to a new bobbin ? I changed the bobbin again, different brand even ?

and it happens mainly in corners, where I change direction ?

I rethreaded, cleaned everything, put some oil on the bobbin, let it run without thread, nothing seems to change ??

I took the quilt out of the machine and will put in a practice piece tomorrow, but what do I do ?

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Are those loops bobbin thread or top? If they're bobbin thread, your bobbin is not stopping when you do. All good advice above about the backlash spring and lint under the finger.

If that white thread is top thread, you need to corral that top cone. Use a thread net, put a piece of batting in the first L-shaped guide to control the thread flinging off the cone, and thread through all three holes in the three-hole guide above the tensioner, This will tame and control the path of the top thread so it's pulled evenly all along the thread path. Sewer's Aid is your friend--especially with thicker cotton thread.

Are your bobbins firm--not squishy? Wow--that sounds like a personal question, doesn't it! :D

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Hi Lisa,

That white thread is definitely your top thread. When you see loops of the top thread like that, either there's something funky going on with the top thread path or tension, or there's a burr on the hook assembly that's catching the top thread and taking it around the hook assembly more than one time, forming the bird nests and extra loops.

I know you've already tried several of my proposed solutions, but it just helps me to plow through and list them all, lest I forget the most obvious one:):

1. Completely remove the top thread from the machine, and then check these things:

  • Make sure the first large wire thread guide points directly above the cone.
  • Add a small piece of batting to the large opening in that guide to keep the thread from jumping around (photo below). The batting should rest on top of the thread, the thread shouldn't travel inside the batting.
  • Look at the 3-hole thread guide right next to the tension assembly. It should not slide around, and its bottom hole should point to 8:00 when you think of a clock face. Any closer to 7:00 or less will let the top thread slop around between the tension disks instead of keeping it snugly between them.
  • Check the tension assembly out. If you've never disassembled it before, now's a good time to check it out. Start by removing the tension knob completely. Then lay all the parts out in order as you remove them. You'll get down to the point where all that's left is the tension check spring, and the threaded shaft of the tensioner coming out of the machine. Wipe the shaft clean, and then check out the check spring itself. If you flick it with your finger, it should snap back against the flat section that acts like a "stop" for it. If it doesn't snap back, that may be the problem. (It may need tightening or replacement...let me know if that's the problem and I can walk you through it.)
  • Reassemble the tension assembly, wiping off the tension disks thoroughly before you replace them. They go on first, "round side to round side". Next goes the larger tension disk "washer"....it will nestle into the outside tension disk to keep them together. Follow that with the large spring that looks like a tornado. The large end goes toward the machine. On the next part, examine it carefully and feel it to discover which side has little protruding "ridges". Both sides may appear to have ridges, but you want to know which one has the rough side. That rough side must face OUT when you put that back on. The ridges on that little washer rub against the ridges on the back side of the tension knob and keep the knob from turning by itself.
  • Voila! You've got the tensioner back together! Now screw the knob back in until its outer flat edge is "flush" with the center threaded shaft on which you attached it. This is a good "starting point" for all tension adjustments going forward.
  • Examine all of the thread guides to make sure none of them has a burr or groove.
  • Insert a new needle, making sure it's all the way up into the needle bar.

2. Re-thread the machine through the needle eye and pull on the thread to get a feel for tension. You should feel a steady pressure, not jerky and not spilling loose. Watch the check spring by the tension assembly (you checked its "snap" earlier). When it's resting with no thread tug, the bottom curved part should rest at about 11:00; when you pull the thread through the needle, it should pull down to about 9:00. If it doesn't, let me know.

3. Do a small test sample at this point. Since you've completely disassembled the tensioner, you'll most likely need to adjust the tension at this point before you proceed. The larger loops of top thread coming down through the quilt indicate that on those stitches, the top thread had no tension. Make sure the top tension is tight enough to form good stitches.

4. If things look bad even after you've tightened the top tension, then it's time to look for that scratch or burr. It's amazing how one little burr can cause so much trouble! The attached document walks you through that.

5. Random thread looping can also be caused by improper needle bar depth or hook retaining finger depth. It wouldn't hurt to review your machine's settings to those you can see in the timing video. (Don't worry, I'm not suggesting that you have to re-time the machine. But sometimes things like a broken needle, hitting a ruler, etc., can change things just enough to have an impact. Here's the link:

http://www.apqs.com/instructional-videos/?vid=xWeqiuvwk5E

6. Check your hopping foot height. Take the thread from the needle, move the machine off the quilt, and then turn the fly wheel by hand (always turn the fly wheel clockwise, or toward the ceiling on the left side of the machine) until the needle is as far down as possible. Then grab a business card and try sliding it under the foot from all sides. It should go under the foot with a little resistance and not crumple up. If you have no resistence at all, the foot may be too high and that can cause looping (it's like forgetting to put the presser foot down when you are piecing....you get a very ugly snarl!) I've attached another file to help you do that.

Well, this list is plenty long so far with things to check, Lisa. Let's start with these and see what we come up with. Let me know how it's going, or call us at the factory and we'll help!

Hook Maintenance Instructions.pdf

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adjusting hopping foot height.pdf

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Are those loops bobbin thread or top? If they're bobbin thread, your bobbin is not stopping when you do. All good advice above about the backlash spring and lint under the finger.

If that white thread is top thread, you need to corral that top cone. Use a thread net, put a piece of batting in the first L-shaped guide to control the thread flinging off the cone, and thread through all three holes in the three-hole guide above the tensioner, This will tame and control the path of the top thread so it's pulled evenly all along the thread path. Sewer's Aid is your friend--especially with thicker cotton thread.

Are your bobbins firm--not squishy? Wow--that sounds like a personal question, doesn't it! :D

thank you Linda,

it is the top thread which makes little nests in the corners, I have batting on the first guide and I have used half of that huge cone without problems

which is the annoying part, it all worked perfectly before

So I guess I really have to take some things a part as Dawn describes..

Lisa

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Lisa,

Timing is not bad, it just takes a little patience. And actually, it may simply be a burr (that's the more likely culprit given what your photos look like.) Get a magnifying glass and really look that hook assembly over carefully. Check the part of the hook that looks like the "thumb of a mitten" on your left hand. The needle goes down in that spot, and if it breaks it often is because it struck that area.

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good morning from Germany,

it looks like I managed to get my machine right again, I still have no idea what it was, but my practice piece looks fine ?

I re-threaded the machine, I cleaned everything again and I took part of the hook ensemble apart and cleaned it, I found

no scratches or anything.

thank you all, I really hope it is ok now

Lisa

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  • 3 weeks later...

Just to finish this topic off :

I attended the maintenance class with Mark, wow, thanks a lot, that was so helpful !! now I do not panic anymore when someone mentiones "timing" ;)

We discussed serveral reasons why my machine was making these loops and I guess it was very very simple : I used prewound bobbins wound on plastic

spools they seem to do an extra spin when you stop ! thats why I had these loops at the end of a straight line. So I got rid of them, my embroidery machine

actually likes them, and Lisa and Lucey are fine ! an extra drop of oil in the bobbin area and I was able to finish this quilt in not time and it looks great :

http://www.lisaskreativseite.blogspot.com

Thank you Dawn, thank you Mark and all the others here who tried to help me out !!

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