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Hi Suzy. I have an APQS - was new to longarming when I bought it. APQS recommends Superior Threads, especially for new longarmers. www.superiorthreads.com. Don't use sewing machine thread - it's too weak. I like to use Superior's SoFine #50 (50 weight) on top, and their Bottom Line (60 weight) in the bobbin. Wide range of very nice colors. Once you get really familiar with your machine and your quilting, then branch out to other types and brands. There are lots of great threads out there.

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I also have a Gammill and I can run most any thread in it.  But I haven't tried metallic or the invisible thread.  I have used Connecting Threads "Essential Pro", So-Fine, Perma core, Floriani, Metro emb thread, and Wonderfil.  The Essential Pro is my favorite just because of the price.  If price were not a concern I like So-fine, less lint.  Hope that helps.

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Suzy:

 

Since you are new to longarm quilting, I might suggest you find a thread you like and use that thread combination for a few quilts until you get comfortable with making tension adjustments.  With tension problems that can pop up from different fabrics, battings, and tension on the sandwich, why throw another variable in your mix when you are trying to figure things out?  Make your life easy, and enjoy your new toy until you learn how to deal with all the issues that can pop up.  Quilting should be fun, not a chore.  

 

While we are discussing thread, how does everyone keep the thread spool from unwinding when there is no thread grabber on the spool?  I store my thread in Plano storage boxes that I picked up from a box store.  I use those tiny baby hair bands with a strip of paper with the thread color to control my bobbins from unwinding between thread changes or for storage.

 

Cagey

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Suzy:

 

I would try calling Gammill customer service and see if they can listen to your machine when you quilt.  Dawn did this with me, after listening to my issues.  She had me rethread my machine skipping on of the holes in the thread bar above the tension disk.  That fixed it, and is how I run my George since then.  I believe their is a Superior Thread Dr. Thread video on their webpage that discusses that if a thread is breaking; with no burs on the thread path, then the tension is too tight.  That was my problem with the tension disks real loose, the tension was still to high, and my upper thread was breaking.  Skipping a hole loosened the tension enough that I could control it with the tension disk.  You might try that, and see if it fixes your issues.

 

 

 

Carol:

 

I will check that out online.  Thank you.

 

Cagey

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Yes, once you find your sweet spot for tension, many troubles are fixed. 

 

I loosened my tension on my bobbin.  If you have a Towa gauge you can set each bobbin of different thread to the same tension once you have figured out what works best for you.  Otherwise Jamie Wallen has a good video on youtube that shows you how to set it without a gauge.

Good luck!

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Be advised that the Jamie Wallen video, although helpful, does not apply to every machine.  Although I know a lot of APQS (and other brand) users can run their machines that way, I found that his method caused big tension issues for me.  Every machine is different, and for me, the best thing is the Towa gauge.

 

Jamie has a lot of great videos on You Tube, and I'm not saying his tension method is bad, just that it doesn't work for me.

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