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I have had my new Lenni for just over a week. Just started having really frustrating issue. My (Glide) thread keeps shredding and/or looping on the top when I'm going right to left, in straight-ish lines. Also common when going from bottom to top (pushing away from me), but not as bad as right to left. No problems at all when I'm doing swirls, meanders, etc. Top-to-bottom and left-to-right straight lines are fine. But going right to left, major problems with loops/skipped stitches/shredding. REALLY FRUSTRATED! Here's what I've tried...

- new needle

- bigger needle

- turned needle from straight-on to 6:30 position

- turned cone of thread upside down on the spindle

- different thread

- re-threaded top and bobbin

- loosened/tightened quilt sandwich on the frame


From my new owners class, I understand that the machine runs better from left to right, but I feel like I SHOULD be allowed to go from right to left if I need to. I'm doing a woodgrain effect across a 14" block. Do I really have to tie off at the end of every line and re-start half an inch away again. How does anyone do cross-hatching, matchsticks, etc.? As a brand new owner, I'm not sure what "normal" is, but I really hope this isn't it!


Here are photos of my problems, along with the blocks that I did right before this block and right after I decided to leave this block and come back to it. Same EVERYTHING - thread, needle, bobbin, etc. With other styles of quilting, no problems!


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Hi Carrie

You will be able to sew in all directions when you get it figured out. Needle flex is probably your biggest issue. The usual fixes larger needle (already done) and shorter stitch length. Next would be reduce the top tension so it doesn't pull on the needle as hard. I back my top tension off two full turns to run Glide compared to my So Fine settings. I think heat at the eye of the needle can cause Glide to shred as well so I slow down just a little and the reduced tension also helps with that. Keep working at it and you will figure it out.


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This is just stupid. I'm really getting exasperated. Still happening after playing with top tension (not bottom) a LOT. I figured out that it's not really "shredding" I don't think. It's UNWINDING. Somewhere around the tension disks. But I don't think that's really the cause, more of a symptom. I also noticed that the top thread is being pulled down to the bottom and making a rat's nest down there when this happens. And I also feel a "shucking" sound/feel in the handle. It happens when going right to left and especially when I slow down near the end of a block. If I'm going really fast, it doesn't happen all that much. Happens in stitch regulation and manual, both. Someone please help! This is just ridiculous.

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For lack of other ideas have you tried using a different batting?  As you have shown different fabrics I assume that the backings have been different too.  Sometimes the combination of batting and backing can cause issues.  Are there any bits of lint stuck anywhere or stray threads?


Give APQS a call and ask for help if you can't get things sorted out.

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Carrie:  Your tension is too loose.  You should have uniformly shaped stitches on both the top and bottom.  Start by tightening your top tension.  When you get a nice looking stitch on the bottom, then begin working on the top thread.  If you can't get a good looking stitch on the bottom without breaking the Glide top thread, loosen your bobbin thread an start over.  I have problems running Glide on Zelda.  I want to guilt faster than Glide will hold up.  If I slow down, and loosen my top tension like Nigel suggests I can get a nice looking stitch and run it with only an occasional thread break.  Needless to say I like to stay away from Glide because of the challenges it presents.  It's wound on the cone the opposite way than my go to thread, YLI Longarm Professional is, and that also makes it more difficult to run.  Jim

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I also have trouble with Glide thread. I know most quilters love it, but I am not one of them.  When I do use Glide, I use a thread net over the thread and have marked a spot on my head where to put the tension.  I also slow down. It just takes some fiddling with your tension. I know that tension issues like you are having are so frustrating. I can remember wanting to throw my machine out the door, but with the help of the wonderful people her and Myrna Ficken, I was able to conquor the tension beast and you will too. Just take deep breaths and take your time getting it figured out. Keep us informed on your progress because we all want you to be successful with whatever thread you want to use.

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  • 5 weeks later...

I have been having this issue on my Freedom, and last night, I did a FaceTime with my dealer, and she told me that there's a magic formula for every machine and you just have to find it. 

On my machine, it was a thread net, bypassing the thread break sensor wheel (I don't use it), doing a corkscrew threading using two holes in the back guide, then a hill and valley threading through the front guide using two holes, thread as usual. Then using a MagnaGlide prewound in the bottom and adjust my top tension to the perfect stitch (no issues since). 


I have no doubt that a call to your dealer or to APQS will find the solution. And once you do, it's smooth from then on. I know that once I found the thread I liked, I would use it almost exclusively, and the right combination of top and bobbin thread will make my work frustration free. 



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hang in there....I am feeling a bit of success today....I have been running the same thread in the top and the bobbin...I had trouble when trying to run a thinner thread in the bobbin...well...I finally seem to have some success.....I put the bobbin tension back to were it was with just being able to stand the bobbin case up in my palm when pulling on the thread but not lifting it up like in Jamie Wallen's video...then I had to work on the top tension which was too tight....i had loosened the tension to where I was afraid that the tension assembly would fall off if I went any after some advice on this forum and looking at some u-tubes.....I threaded the thicker upper thread through only two of the holes instead of seems to have done the trick!  so...just hang in there....I want to be able to use different threads and combinations so I just have practice...I did notice that there seemed to be a bit of a snag on the three hole tension guide when it was threaded through the three was not noticeable when I just threaded the 2 I may need to switch it out but it is working for now and I want to get that flannel queen off the thing I was wondering....are you using pre-wound bobbins or winding them yourself?  when I first got Lucey....I did not have enough tension on the bobbin winder tension disc and my bobbins where wound unevenly......also it is always worth trying it with a different spool of thread in cause that is the problem.......Lin

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Have you checked for a burr on your needle plate or hook?  Since it is a new machine, it is unlikely; but if you broke a needle or had thread get snagged, it is possible.


Glide thread is hard to use.  Try adding some sewer's aid to the spool of thread and in between your tension disks.

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  • 2 weeks later...

You will look back on these first machine hiccups one day.


Have a look at your top tension dial.  Look at the internal screw on the dial.  When you received your machine it would have been very close to being flush with the outside of the the dial.  Turn it back to that position.  Mark a tiny  reference spot at the top of the outside with a black permanent pen.


Now follow the thread path from the cone of thread. 

Starting with the cone.  Glide thread does work better with a thread net wrapped around it. I use a loosely wrapped piece of Hugo's Wonder Tape - it stops the thread spooling at the bottom of the cone.

The thread guide above the cone should have the eye of it directly over the top of the cone. Also fold a small 1" square  of wadding in half , put the thread in the middle of the fold and put this inside the eye of that large thread guide.  The thread can now not whip and touch itself on the way off the cone.

Follow the thread path making sure the thread is through all thread guides to the three holes before the tension dial.  Down through the first hole, up over the side and down into second, up over and down into the third hole and then into the tension dial.  Make sure the thread is seated between the tension discs.  Is the tension spring resting at around 11 o'clock?

Keep threading through to the needle.  Pull the thread through the eye of the needle.  feel the amount of tension on the thread.  Have a look at the tension spring on the tension dial when you pull on the thread the spring should come down to about 9 o'clock, if it feels tight or past a 2 hour difference from resting then loosen the top tension a full half turn the black spot will alert show you how far you have turned.  Do the pull test again.


Now look at the bobbin tension - I like my bobbin to run "looseish"  with the bobbin thread pulled out the side of the bobbin hold the thread and you can only just lift the bobbin from lying flat to standing up your hand.


When you put the bobbin in the machine pull the bobbin thread to the top and then pull on both threads at the top of the machine.  They should both have a similar amount of resistance as you pull on them.  if one is tighter check thread path is clear and loosen/tighten only the top thread.  Once you have you bobbin tension loosened and sorted it should be only the top thread you change. Often I only change the thread path through the last three hole guide to change my tension.

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I had been having that problem as well, and it is truly exasperating.


I found turning the needle to 5:30 or even 5:00 (6:30 made it worse) is giving me perfect stitches every time. I was snagging, looping, breaking, and swearing like a sailor. And this machine is replacing another one, so I have deadlines and clients who can't wait for me to figure it out, or to pick out bad stitches and do it over.


Another quilter told me that turning the needle is "cheating" and "not an actual solution", but if you could see my before and after pics, you wouldn't think so.


Someone with a different brand of machine told me to just go from left to right, break the thread and go back to the left side again. 


So, unless someone has a better solution than "that's cheating" or "work around the problem by only doing straight lines, starting from the left only", I'll embrace my late afternoon needle solution and rock with it.


Good luck

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