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I am having trouble with top thread breaking. I have changed pigtails checked thread plate retreaded changed needles and one have changed the hook assembly. Still breaking. I am using a different thread than before to see if the thread is the problem and same thing. Thread breaks every 3-6 inches. I emailed APQS service 2 weeks ago and have received no response. Looking for help before I decide to chuck this whole damn machine. I am a weekend only quilter and hate this machine at this point because I can't successfully quilt anything

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Hang in there!  Even if APQS Service hasn't gotten back to you (shame on them after two weeks), maybe we can help you remotely.  First thing, though, post this again, in the APQS Help Forum, just in case Dawn or someone else from service is monitoring.

 

Now, what kind of thread(s) are you running, top and bottom?  What size needle?  Does it change on a different quilt sandwich, especially one you have successfully quilted on before this?  Can you post digital photos of what's going on?

 

Where are you located?  If you've got an active APQS Rep nearby, he or she may be willing to come to you and help you through this.  Don't turn your machine into a boat anchor just yet......

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I am using superior highlight on top, bottom line on the bottom.  Size 4 needle. I struggled through 2 other quilts doing the same thing before I started this one, and did all the above before starting.  Still makes no difference.  I have been trying to figure out where the thread is breaking, but, now I have broken another needle.  So everything is just a big fat mess.  I contacted apqs for help in finding someone who might be able to service the machine, bue as I said,I received no response.  I am in Woodand CA, just north of Sacramento, CA.  I had hoped to talke to someone at Pacific international last week, but of course, APQS wasn't there.  I work full time and only quilt on the weekends and have always had issues getting support with the machine decides to mess up.  I am so frustrated and really am regreting purchasing the machine.  I seem to get onlyr frustration and no real sense of accomplishment with this machine.

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The fact that you are breaking needles (more than one?  or just the most recent one?) says that it's probably not the thread path, pigtails or anything in the top thread path.  You said you replaced the hook assembly - at what point did you do that?  And how close did you set the hook to your needle?  The hook should pass JUST behind the needle but not deflect it.  And check your hook retaining finger - it should be enough into its slot to keep the inner basket from rotating, but not more than 1/3 the way in, or the top thread can't move freely around the hook assembly.

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I just finished replacing the hook assembly tpday  and then tried to use the machine, it broke the thread then broke the needle.  We followed the instructions on the video and on the few pages of instructions that I received with the machine.  Now I have broke a second needle.  I just give up at this point.  I hate this machine and feel abandoned by APQS.  I have turned off the machine and have given up ever using it again.  I have struggled and struggled and asked for help and received none. 

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Shelly, when you're ready to approach the machine again, please give me a call at (509) 671-1467.  Maybe I can help you, maybe I can't - but I know that there are a lot more happy, confident APQS quilters out there than unhappy, frustrated owners.  I'd love to have a chance to move you from the second group to the first......

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God Bless You. Thank you for trying to get from second group to the group that loves their APQS machines. I have also had alot of issues. Since I only quilt for myself and do not do this as a business, I try to figure out on my own, and leave the time for those of you that need to make a living doing this, but I will tell you this, the person that came to my house to help me get set up when I first got my Millie last June really messed up my machine. After she left, noone and I mean noone will ever touch my machine unless it's Mr. DeLosa. I get where this person is coming from. I am frustrated also and have not turned on my machine in 6 months.

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Shelly and Diane,   I don't see where there were any tension changes.  Maybe you just need to loosen the top thread, but not enough to let it loop on the back.

 

A call to APQS is the best way to go, in my opinion, but working cuts down the available time or obliverates when you can call and they are still open.

 

I had a LOT of trouble with my machine, until Amy told Himself a few things.  Now he doesn't mess with it at all unless she tells him to, and what to do to it.

 

Believe me, frustrations ran high on this end.. and on Amy's end, I'm sure.   

 

Back to tension, your bobin may be too tight, your top tension too tight, or both.

 

Do you have a wad of batting in the first guide coming off the cone?  I soak it (almost) with Sewers Aid, a silicone that harms nothing that I've heard of, and that tames the wild threads, and makes it easier to sew nicely.

 

When adjusting the top tension, it is not like the domestic machines.  You have to turn it at least half a turn to adjust it just a little bit.  Try looser, tighter,

loosen or tighten the bobbin, and check how it looks on both sides, as you go.

 

Tension can be very frustrating to start, although once you get it, you get it.

 

I have 3 bobbin cases... one for extra small threads, one for regular, which can cover a wide selection of threads, and one for King Tut and other heavier threads.. It is well worth the investment.

Also the little metal flap on the bobbin, check under it for even a tiny bit of lint.. I use a very narrow straight pin to barely lift it.  If there is lint, I either blow it out or use another very slim pin to get it out.   Just a wee bit of lint can cause problems.  I check mine with every bobbin change.  I wouldn't suggest a screw driver be used, and further risk scratching the bobbin or the flap.

 

I have heard people say they have trouble running Highlights.  I use it with no problems.. If there should be a problem, tension is the first thing I would check.

 

As for APQS response it is possible your email was accidentally deleted.  Amy gets Hundreds per week I'm sure, in addition to phone calls.. She's a whiz but not, as we are not, perfect.

 

Also, Amy can listen to your machine over the phone and diagnose what the problem is.  The Whiz Kid she is.

 

Please don't give up.  It probably would help had you followed up with another email in one or two days.. or if you can be off work and call her, that would be best in my opinion.

 

Dawn Cavanaugh is another  whiz kid, and so are other owners..

 

Good luck.. and don't be afraid to call if youi can, either Dawn or Amy.

 

Rita

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Diane,  You and Your machine are just as important for getting help as anyone is.  You paid for the machine

and are entitled to help just as we pro's are.

 

Do Not hesitate to call APQS  You Did buy that help with your machine.

 

I understand your hesitancy but in this case, you are just as important and entitled to help.

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Oh my gosh! While I can fully understand your frustration, I can't understand why you don't get on the phone and call.  Speak to a live person to be reassured that it can be made to work, and work well. Call Barb, for goodness sake. It hurts my heart that you're so frustrated. I can imagine it's hard for you to see others able to quilt nicely while you are in quilter's hell!  :blink:

 

(My thought---it's that hook retaining finger. Figure out what it is and where it sits, and make sure it's only slotted in far enough to stop the rotation of the assembly. If it's in too far. it'll snap the top thread. Especially a heavier thread like Highlights. That thread probably isn't a great one for newbies. Better to try a thinner thread like So Fine or any cotton thread like Signature. No King Tut, though!)

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Not a newbie. Just an intermittent user. I have used the highlights and bottom line and I have always been fine. This started and I have done everything that has been suggested including changing the tension changing the bobbin changing the bobbin case. Hard to talk to APQS when I leave my house at 7am ca time and get home at6:30 pm ca time. Doesn't make much sense to call someone when I am 30 minutes away from the machine. I didn't quilt for most of the last year because my Dad had cancer and I spent all my free time and almost all available vacation at work traveling back and forth between Kansas and California until his death. Now trying to get back to quilting and it isn't working. If Barb is available today I will call I was just so frustrated yesterday that it would not have done any good.

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Ok got up this morning determined to figure this out. I unthreaded and opened everything back up. Readjusted the

Finger. Seems to have helped. Breaking every 12 inches now. Put in a different bobbin. Seems to be working. Put old bobbin in starts breaking again. Throw that bobbin away. Wind new bobbin with color I need on bottom. Seems to be working. Put my original top thread in. Starts breaking again. When I pull thread off the spool. Doesn't come off smoothly. Ok throw out thread. Put a new highlights thread in and seems to be working. Load quilt back to where I was workng. AND I have quilted one entire row without a break. -about 45 inches of a pantograph. I think the tension is good.

Barb. Lost track of time as I moved from one test to the next. It appears I had multiple problems. Fingers crossed that I can actually finish this quilt. I have several I need to get complete for end of year babies, birthdays and Christmas and I only quilt for myself but have missed 3 weekends of quilting.

Thanks for help and support and for Puttng up with meltdown.

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Shelly great to hear you seem to have your problems sorted.

If you have dropped your bobbin then it may be out of round and have been causing some of your problems.

 

 I have previously had problems with Highlights and put it back on the shelf.  It is a slippery thread and may need a thread net to stop it pooling at the bottom of the spool, Where it can catch on the slit in the base.

One of these days I am going to take it off the shelf and work through my problems I have with using it.

 

For now enjoy your quilting and find your happy place again.

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No worries, Shelly!!  I just hate to see someone soooo frustrated!!  Just remember, that all of us here on the forums are here to help you, not just APQS Service (who I hope you will hear from soon).  Don't wait until you're ready to chuck your Millie out the window - that's when the "perfect storm" of issues is hard to diagnose.  If you hit a problem, post it here, and maybe we can keep you from meltdown next time!! ;)

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Shelly,

We are so sorry you have had such difficulty! I will investigate as to why your email went unanswered. In the meantime, we are so glad that with the help of this forum and other quilters here, you have been able to make progress. I understand it is difficult to call when you are working and we are two hours ahead of you. Here is my cell number: 515-205-2504. Please call any time and I will do my best to help. if I am unable to answer the phone right at that minute, please leave a message so that I can get back to you as quickly as possible. We want you to be happy!

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Well that was way too optomistic. It has now broken for the 4th time in 45 inches. I give up for today. Tired of fighting it. I have Friday off this week and will try to call APQS just too frustrated to do anything more today and don't want to get to theoint I was yesterday. So stopping now

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Shelly, you are wise to take a break.  I too was very frustrated with issues once and ended up having to retime my machine.  It was challenging for me, but once I figured out where I was going wrong (with Amy's help from APQS, a good light and a magnifying glass) everything came together.  I had a customer quilt on at the time and feared ruining it, but all came out fine.

 

I'm confident you'll get it figured out Friday and it will work like a dream. 

 

Barb, you are a gem for chiming in with your number to contact.  You helped me out of a bind one weekend on this site and I thank you for it.  You go above and beyond the call of duty.  ;)

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Shelly,

I understand your frustration. So that we can better work together on Friday, it will help to know more about the kinds of thread you are using. Highlights is a particularly difficult thread to use on any longarm machine because it is a trilobal polyester susceptible to static. If you are still experiencing breakage after loosening both of the top and bottom tension extremely, then we will continue to focus on problems mechanically. But we also want to find out if the issue is thread related, too.

The most common thread breakage problems related to mechanics are burs on the hook assembly, scratches or burs inside the needle plate hole, or the thread guides. I understand from the string of posts above that you have tried to retime your machine as well. Also take the time to check for hook shaft collar play, which can affect timing even after everything is correctly positioned. There is a video on that on our website as well.

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Like Heidi M,  I dip my threads in mineral oil.. not invisible or metalic

threads though.  That helps the threads to run smoother, can eliminate

some problems. Be sure the oil is blotted off and out of the spool, after

setting for 10 min. or so.  I do things like warm up the machine, check for

lint, check bobbin area and bobbin for lint, thread volume, etc., when

waiting for the oil to soak in and excess run off.

 

 

Another thing I do is use Static Guard.  I just spray it on the quilt, where

I need to be stitching, and you can watch the wayward thread settle down.

Mine was wrapping around the needle and needle bar, and wasn't fun

to untangle.  Static Guard stopped that.

 

I also use spray silicone at times,  can't remember when those times are,

but know it solved the problems.  Oh, when the needle doesn't seem to want to

go thru the sandwich smoothly, (Peanut butter and jelly, lol)  is when I

use it, or when I get a particularly difficult quilt to work on.  A lot of thick

humps at  seam intersections.. 

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Dawn

This all started 5 weeks ago with the thread breaking every 3-6 inches.  I struggled through a quilt I needed to finish for a gift, and then loaded the new quilt after completely cleaning the machine throughly.  I typically clean and oil at the end of each day so that when I am ready to quilt I can just start (I only do one quilt a day when I quilt).  When I was still have breakage, I checked the throat plate and we cleaned it up,  No change.  Then I changed both pigtails thinking that might be the problem.  No change.  I pulled everything out, and started opening sutff up to check and clean stuff again because the machine had been idle for so long due to my dad's illness and dealth and I thought maybe I didn't have everything clean enough.  Then I managed to really jam up the machine when I was running to be sure the oil was getting distributed.  I worried that I had damaged the hook assembly and emailed APQS for help.  After waiting for 4 days for a response, I ordered the hook assembly and other items, including the fuse I blew when I jammed the machine.

 

My husband and I replaced the hook on Saturday and timed the machine.  started breaking needles, so we undid everything and retimed the machine again. This eliminated the needle breakage, but not the thread breaking.  So the hook assembly is brand new, the pig tails are brand new and the throat plate has been inspected and smoothed out.

 

I have used Superior highlights and bottome line almost exclusively since I have had the machine.  (I think about 7or 8 years now but not sure).  I have never had this issue before.

 

I will try to get some time to adjust the bobbin tension this week before Friday, but, I have several mandatory evening meetings that I have to attend this week for work. 

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