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I put in a 5,0 needle and turned it about 2 minutes to the right of center because that's worked for me before. The top and backing fabrics are cheap Joann's. Everytime I have stitch quality issues it is cheap or stabilized knit fabrics. I wish I could find a tutorial to help me understand what is happening. A $20000 set up shouldn't be so finicky about fabric quality? Should it?

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First, it is helpful if you can show pictures for both the top and bottom of the exact same quilting area if you have tension issues.  I am guessing the pictures are both top, as they are pieced.  Could be wrong.  

In you second picture, you have two large gap skipped areas that appears to me to be over thicker seam area.  It looks like they are in areas of a long run that you might have been moving faster, which might have caused the skipped stitches.  In the corner of the blue fabric, I would say the stitches are better because you were moving the machine slower over the start/stop for the point you quilted.

When Sue suggested a larger needle, I would have done it in small increments... 3.5 to a 4.0 and then a 4.5.

Here is Superiors thread reference guide.  It is for their specific threads, but a 40 wt thread should be in the ballpark of what you need.  https://storage.googleapis.com/vw-superiorthreads/docs/longarm-machine-thread-reference-guide.pdf

14 = 3.0, 16 = 3.5 18 =4.0 , 19 =4.5,  21 = 5.0      Superior says use an 18 or 4.0 needle for 40 wt. polyester thread.

Here are some links for APQS that may help you too.




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Thank you, Cagey! I didn't get notified of your reply. I think you're right about gradual increase in needle. I get panicky. Also I have slowed way down, loosened needle thread tension and lengthened the stitch. It's going much better. I have a second quilt to do for thIs lady; I'm going to try a different thread than the Innovatech (first time use for me). I also prewashed her wide back hoping it would improve the 'hand' of the fabric. I'm nursing the machine thru these two quilts; it worked beautifully the day before I started this one. Hoping it is bad thread and bad fabric. Because most off my troubled is moving right to left, I fear I need to replace the encoder wheel. How hard is that?

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Red:  When I've encounter this kind of problem, it typically is because the tension is too low.  I normally resolve it by changing top tension (increasing it).  There are however, a couple of other issues you might look at.  Your hopping foot adjustment might be one.  Is this quilt sandwich thinner than those your normally use?  If it is, you might not be getting enough foot pressure to make good stitches.  Since you've changed needles, the chance you have a dull needle has been eliminated.  If you hadn't, it might have been a dull needle.

If you haven't completely resolved the problem, try spraying the thread cone and all your guides as well as the needle itself, with silicone.  That will help the thread slide through the sandwich.

One more thing to check:  The thread path.  Make sure your machine is threaded properly and that the take up spring is adjusted and working properly.  Once in a while my thread will get out of place and that shows up as missed stitches.  The last thing is your timing.  If it isn't right, you'll skip stitches.  Check and make sure.  Good luck.  Jim  

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