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Has anyone had this problem?  I use self wound bobbins on my George (L size) and have never had a problem until recently.  When I put in a fresh bobbin, pull up the bobbin thread, put my practice sandwich under to check on tension as I always have.  When I press the white one stitch button to bring up the bobbin thread, I pull on the bobbin thread and it seems to feed fine.  So I start stitching, and on the first or on the second stitch, the thread on top thread seems to get totally tight, (hard to move the thread through the top tension disks by hand) the machine seizes up, slows down the ability of the foot to go up or down.  And if it sometimes manages to sew two or three stitches before doing this, then it happens- and I end up needing to pull/work out the sandwich from under the open toe ruler foot.  THE THREAD USUALLY SHREDS- SOMETIMES THE TOP THREAD, SOMETIMES THE BOBBIN THREAD.  Also there is usually a second strand of thread coming up through the stitch plate from the bobbin, when I do manage to work it loose.  

I cut the threads loose, and the top thread has shredded, and there is a birds nest on the bottom.  So I climb under the table, pick out any stuck pieces of thread from the bobbin case, which there usually are.  Then I reload the same wound bobbin, put in the bobbin case and try again.  Same thing happens again.  

So I do all the same things, put the same bobbin back in a third time, without changing anything else, and it usually then stitches fine on the sample sandwich and I know I can put my quilt back under the foot and resume.  I have cleaned and oiled the bobbin hook area.  It did not used to do this.  I used to be able to change threads frequently while working on a free motion project, and no problems changing back and forth.  I'm at a loss to know what is causing this.  The photo below is of the nest on the underside.  


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Donna:  Are you using a backlash spring in your bobbin case?  If so, check for lint or dirt under it.  Make sure your bobbin thread is routed properly in the bobbin case before you start.  Does this happen only when you begin a new bobbin, or other times when stop and start.  If only at the beginning, your bobbins may be overfilled.  This will cause thread to "fall" off the bobbin, wrap around the bobbin "axel", and pull top thread down to form the knot.  You may need to adjust your bobbin winder so it stops before the bobbin is too full.

Bobbin changes have always been the event that gives me the majority of my tension problems.  That's why I converted my Ult 2 to an M bobbin system years ago.  Fewer bobbin changes, fewer tension problems.  Good luck.  Jim 

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Jim: Thank you so much for your reply.  I'll bet that is/was the problem!

  I did fill those three bobbins that gave me trouble all at the same time in advance of working on that quilt.  And my problem only happened when I inserted each new bobbin - never after stopping and starting in the middle of quilting.  And the fact that by the time I went through my process of trying the same bobbin three times...  I had by that time pulled off several lengths of thread, which obviously would have reduced the overwound bobbin thread. So your suggestion makes perfect sense in my case.  I'm so happy you were kind enough to post an answer.  I was really afraid something weird was starting to go wrong with my machine.  

 I used my machine last night, and there was no problem, because I had already used some of what was on that last bobbin.  Then I tried putting in several other bobbins from my collection, half full bobbins, and no problem.  That's got to be the answer.  I will be sure not to overfill my bobbins from now on!

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