AnnaH

Needles tips keep breaking on George

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Hello, I had the day off from work today for President's Day and was looking forward to finishing up two kid quilts for charity.  The first one went smoothly.  Then the second quilt after lunch--a totally different pattern from the first-- caused me and George great headaches.  I broke the tip off two brand new needles.  I have to admit that the quilt I was working on had thick seams because it was foundation-pieced on muslin.  I also used spray starch on some of the fabrics to keep them crisp while cutting.  Do any of you think that might have been the problem?

 

Anyway, I think I will finish the second quilt this coming weekend using my Bernina until I can figure out (hopefully with your expert advice) what is going on with George and the needles. 

 

Any advice you can share would be appreciated. Thanks!  --Annabelle

 

PS:  I have been away a long time from this forum and am glad to be back.  I took a couple years' break while I went back to school and then my husband and I moved to a smaller house after our youngest child went away to college last fall.  I now have a sewing studio on the ground floor overlooking the lake.  I was hoping George would be very happy there.  But now I am not so sure! :(

 

 

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did you put the needles in backwards? i only ask because i have and they usually bend to the point where they won't stitch. 

 

the needle has a groove running along the bottom part of it that faces the front. the thread lies in this groove. 

 

i know you knew this...yet, i am thinking you probably just forgot!  ;)


Kristina at website http://withakquilting.blogspot.com/ and personal blog http://froggybottomquilting.blogspot.com/

 

Hoppily quilting along with FROGGER - my Green Millennium, and TOAD - my Liberty. Quiltazoid equipped too!

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Anna,

 

The needle breaks are most likely caused by the bulky seams and residue from the starch, along with any remaining foundation paper still in them. When you encounter thick seams (this is true on George and the stand up machines) the needle requires plenty of motor force to drive it through the heavy seams. (If you've ever hit a heavy seam on a domestic machine, you may have noticed it laboring hard to get through, or it may even "stop" on the seam and not penetrate the quilt...then you have to help it along by turning the fly wheel.)

 

On George, if you happen to be moving a little more slowly to avoid bending the needle in the first place (and consequently also not pushing the foot pedal much), the motor actually doesn't have enough "oomph" to push it all the way through. Imagine trying to drive a nail into a piece of wood with light hammer taps instead of a few firm blows:). Without enough power behind the needle, it flexes and will either break before completely entering the fabric, or it will break by striking the needle plate. That's because the fabric pulled the needle out of alignment with the needle hole.

 

Try pushing the pedal a little harder to increase the sewing power. In addition, check the height of your hopping foot. If it's set for standard quilts and batting (a single business card will slide under it when you lower the needle all the way by hand with the fly wheel) and then this particular quilt's seams and bulk create too much height, then the foot pushes the fabric around instead of hopping up on top. It can then cause the needle to catch the fabric at an angle, and that pulls the needle out of alignment. Your manual addresses how to raise the foot if that's the case.

 

Hope this helps!


DA6F15FEDD9F8F152708CED82003B151.png

APQS Customer Service & Education Director

1-800-426-7233

dawn@apqs.com

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Great advice from Dawn (as always).  You didn't say what size needle you're using.  Maybe go up a size or two?  My George has powered through a foundation pieced Indian Orange Peel...tons of seam allowances plus I always starch heavily plus I was dumb enough to use TWO wool batts.   George can quilt sandwiches that would definitely 'stall' my Bernina.  I'm confident that you can make this work.   Please let us know how it goes.  Nancy in Tucson

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Hello, everyone!  Thank you for your replies.  What Dawn told me now makes perfect sense about the bulky seams and starch.  And to answer Mrs. A., I use Groz Beckert 134 MR San 11  #18 (MR 4.0)   10 Nm 110/18 needles.  Those are what came with my machine and I have been buying them from Superior Threads. Which is the larger size? I see there is a #19 also for sale at Superior Threads.

 

Thanks a lot!  --Annabelle

 

 

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Annabelle, as long as the needles are not titanium coated (gold-colored) they are fine. Titanium needles can introduce other variables that cause issues. Here's how needles convert from "longarm lingo" to standard machines:

 

MR 3.5 = size 16

MR 4.0 = size 18

MR 4.5 = size 19/20

 

You may see smaller or larger needles than those above, but your George would need to be re-timed to handle anything different from those.


DA6F15FEDD9F8F152708CED82003B151.png

APQS Customer Service & Education Director

1-800-426-7233

dawn@apqs.com

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Thanks, Dawn.  So if a quilt is on the thick side, I should use size 19/20?  I never even thought about changing the needles size as I never had a problem until now.  If that's the case, I'll put it on my Superior Threads shopping list.

--Annabelle

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Hi Annabelle,

A thicker needle may help, but it also may whine at trying to work through the thick seams. Start with your 4.0 first and use a little more motor speed to help drive the needle through. The 4.5 can help with heavy thread too.


DA6F15FEDD9F8F152708CED82003B151.png

APQS Customer Service & Education Director

1-800-426-7233

dawn@apqs.com

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