Unable to quilt collage top where steam-a-seam was used

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Second time trying to free-motion (Millie)  a collage top where the customer has used steam-a-seam and I can only stitch very slow and only go forward or to the right.  Going backwards, stitches will skip.   But if I’m stitching forward then need to turn right (outlining a nose for example) my needle will break and I will get a small tear in the backing!   I’m going very very slow   

The collage may have up to four layers of Steam-a-seam. 

I would like to finish quilting this top, what can I do to stop the needle breaking (hopefully no more holes in the backing)?


I have  no problem when customers use either wonder-under or Soft Fuse.



Millie since 2014 



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I have had a similar problem on my regular sewing machine with sewing through several layers of steam a seam.   I used "sewers aid" on the needle and it resolved the problem.   I have not done this  on my Millie .   I'm assuming this would not hurt Millie however maybe some else on the list has tried this  on their Millie and can speak to whether it might work?

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What size needle are you using? I recently quilted a collage quilt that was so stiff I couldn't roll or fold the top. It quilted up very nicely, using MR4.0 needles and So Fine #50. No skipped stitches, no needle breaks, no problems at all, except for the one leaf I didn't see, which we quilted while the customer watched.

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Those are the same kind of needles I used, but I was using a thinner thread, which may have made a difference. Also, keep your sandwich "not too tight" between the rollers. Using spray silicone or Sewer's Aid on the thread may help. If your needle is getting clogged with adhesive, you can keep a spare in a small bottle of rubbing alcohol and swap them - the alcoholwill dissolve the gunk. Moving a little faster may help - your machine has more "horsepower" if the needle is moving faster. If these suggestions don't help, you may want to talk to APQS Service and see if they can help you out. Or post on the We Love APQS Facebook page - there are lots of experienced quilters there.

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