Thread Breaking Issues...Please Help


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I have an easy quilt and panto on the machine (millie) and 15 more quilts in the waiting, so I'm a little stressed. My top thread keeps breaking and I'm so frustrated I want to cry. I have changed the needle, checked at least 6-7 times for burrs, re-threaded and checked the path, the check spring looks to be in the correct spot, I have played with the tension, the thread is kinda curled once it breaks if that helps anyone. Im using king Tut superior thread on top and so fine on the bottom (i have always used this combination). I have 100% cotton batting....the quilt is not pulled too tight... Anyone have any other ideas I can try. I'm backed up and this quilt should have been off yesterday and it looks like it wont come off today either. I'm trying to keep it cool but I really want to throw a big baby fit...

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Here's another thought:

 

When I am adjusting my top thread tension, it is important that you have enough tightness (tension). If you don't then your thread will move unevenly through the tension discs and it will cause it to break. So the way I adjust my top thread tension (always) is I follow Linda Rech's tried and true method. I have used this method for years and years and it works like a charm. I thread the machine, including the needle, and I pull on the thread (evenly and smoothly) and while doing this, I tighten (or loosen) the tension disc until the spring is is approx 8:00 o'clock position. I also make sure that as I am pulling on the top thread, that I don't feel any bumps, bouncing or uneven tension. Uneven tension as it goes through the discs will cause your thread to break. Turn the knob a little tighter (not looser) until you feel a smooth tension as the thread runs through the discs.

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I have played with the tension for hours and still can't seem to find the problem. I can go about 8 to 9 inches with perfect stitches top and bottom and then it will break. I have re-threaded it twice just to be sure, checked pig tails for burrs, checked the bobbin casing for burrs (can't find any) changed the needle twice. I have played with the tension like stated above making sure the tension is smooth and even ....it still breaks....A person would think after 5 years of quilting on this machine I would have it all the tension issues figured out...NOPE! So so thankful for all your suggestions, I will keep trying and pray I can get it figured out.

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I had been fighting thread breaks for a while. After talking to Brenda at APQS I started all over. Turns out my top and bobbin tension was too tight. Mine kept breaking what looked like at the needle but I had changed needles several times, checked for burs, changed bobbin case, ect. Anyways she sent me an email I could send it to you if you think it might help.

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wow, this forum is great and I appreciate all the help unfortunatley I still have the same problem. Changed the thread, completely rethreaded, checked for burrs (stil can't find one), I loosened all the tension and gradually tightened as soon as I got the thread without railroad tracks on the back it breaks on me. Seems to break when I'm curving to the right (facing the machine from the front). I really can't believe I'm starting my third day with this....so frustrated.

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I don't know is this will help, but I was having trouble with fraying and breaking. I also looked at everything, my husband put tape over the screw that holds the pigtail and voila! no more shredding or breaking.

Now the thread I was using is Superior's new Magnifico. I had used the thread before and did not have a problem, put this color just seemed to be different. Anyway just thought I would pass the info on.

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Tracie, it sounds to me that your hook to needle clearance has grown from age and wear. If you are using a 4.0 needle try going up to a 5.0 needle, if the breaking stops then that tells you need to move your hook closer to the needle. It is pretty easy to do but nerve racking the first time you do it. Give Dawn Cavanaugh a call on Monday and she will help you with this.

I know the thread breaking all of a sudden can be frustrating but this should fix it.

Good luck.

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Tracie,

If you experience breakage directionally, really look at the needle plate hole. First remove the front needle plate screw and loosen in the back one. Then swing the plate around to the side and tighten it so that it holds the plate firmly in place for you. Next drop a length of thread into the hole and slide it all around the hole thoroughly. If it catches in the slightest, you will need to buff that spot out with emery cloth.

Let us know how it is going!

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Thanks everyone! I'm looking forward to a new day tomorrow and hoping to figure it all out. No burrs on the plate, I checked all that when I checked for the burs. I did find that the screw just above my pig tail was rough so I gently buffed that. The only thing left for me now is possibly a hook to needle issue. I took the weekend off from sewing, my youngest (15) made it to the High School State Swim Meet this weekend and my middle son (17) had his senior night football game. I put all my sewing stress away and enjoyed my boys' accomplishments for a few days and now I'm not so stressed! I'm looking forward to figuring out this thread mystery of mine :)

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If you still get railroad tracks on the back, it sounds like your bobbin is too tight, and the top tension is too loose..  Try one at a time.. the top tension takes a whole turn to do much.. just a wee bit won't help do anything but use up time.  The bobbin, I find I can use my thumbnail and give it maybe the turn of the thickness (Not Width) of a small screwdriver.. maybe 1/64th of an inch.. try that and see what happens.  I think I'd try to loosen the bobbin thread first.  Most of my tension issues have to do with the bobbin,  and then it's just because of the change in thread.

 

Some Sewer's Aid has been recommended before, by all means try to use some.  Static was so bad in the sewing room yesterday, that I had to use static guard on the two layers of fleece I'm working with.  Also finally had to dunk the whole cone in mineral oil.  That works wonders, too.

 

My Penny likes the quilt sandwich rather tight.  I tried loosy and found out real fast, that it's NOT fun to try and pick out threads on fleece.  She doesn't like loose woven fabrics either. and I mean she wants it tight enough to barely show the machine under the sandwich, not sagging down.

 

Rita

 

P S  When you dip in mineral oil, have OLD rags handy to squeeze the excess off the spool/cone, and to set the oil container and cone on, when you dip.

 

If you blot or squeeze the oil off, it doesn't affect the quilt at all.  I've searched the first several threads I've dipped and have yet to find a mark.

 

Good Luck.

Edited by RitaR
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Tracie,

 

It sounds like you got lots of good advice here, and I can't think of anything else to try, but I sure hope you get this problem worked out…I've dealt with this before too and it ended up being my needle plate, I have also heard that you can run a piece of dental floss through the bobbin area to maybe get any stubborn fluff or thread that may be hiding and giving you a problem.  I would just buff everything down that you could, clean it really well and try a new spool of thread.  I had a beautiful spool of variegated superior thread that just never would behave, but once I changed the thread all worked ok again…sometimes you never know…I use superior so fine 95% of the time and it always works well otherwise.  

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