Teresa

urg.... Bad thread weeks are killing me

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So for the last several ( and I am talking way too many) weeks I have fought my machine on two different quilts. Maybe you folks can think of something I have missed, before I snap.

Current set up is: King tut top and bottom, (customer request) on a spool, on the horizontal thread holder, bobbin tension is sweet, new needle slightly to the left, hopping foot adjusted, verified table is level, encoders are doing there thing and are nice and clean, shuttle is nice and clean and yet I cannot go three inches without snapping a thread or skipping a stitch, top thread drags a little but it does not snap while pulling it, OH the test runs work great until I move to the top. I am at a loss, all I know is I will looking for someone to take the few quilts I have left to do off of my hands if I can't get this done soon! I am getting out of the business and just want to get this out of here... Any suggestions would be great!

Teri:(:(


Teresa Hall

Round Hill VA

2004, APQS Millennium (For Sale)

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How "old" is the thread, and how are you storing it? Has it just been sitting on a shelf exposed or are you keeping it in an air-tight container? Seems to me its the "thread itself". I dont know what others opinions might be, but after all you've adjusted/checked, it leaves to reason its the thread itself.

Or, before you loaded this quilt...had you previously broken a needle? Maybe a burr in the bobbin housing unit or bobbin itself?????

Just a thought..


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OK, I am a super newbie to longarming but here's an idea... What size needle are you using? 4.0? If so, maybe try a needle with a larger sized hole... maybe try a 4.5 size? That might be better with the thicker King Tut thread.


"Of all the things a woman's hands have made---The quilt so lightly thrown across her bed---The quilt that keeps her loved ones warm---Is woven of her love and dreams and thread." excerpt from The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt by Carrie A. Hall
 

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Were both quilts made from the same type/brand/age fabric, top and backing? Both quilts have the same batting?

I once had a quilt on which the thread kept breaking and I tried everything I could think of trying, but nothing resolved the problem. On the next quilt, things were fine so there's always a chance it's the top fabric, the backing fabric, the batting or some combination thereof. Since you've had the problem on more than one quilt, we might can rule that out.

Do you have another spool of any color of King Tut? If so, can you switch out the thread but leave all your settings exactly the same and see what the second spool does? This would help rule out bad thread.

There was a time when I was experiencing something that might be similar. My problem was that my top tension was too loose. I will tighten my top tension til it looks pulled and then back off in very small increments until it no longer looks pulled. I've found that my top tension needs to be tighter than I think it should and my bottom tension needs to be looser than it should in order to get perfect stitches but . . we all have our different *perfect* settings.

Could there be rough spots along your thread path somewhere? I've never had that happen but have heard of it.

I see you're using the horizontal spool holder and I almost always use the back cone holder so this may not help you. There are some previous posts with pictures but I'll have to find them. I keep a chunk of poly batting stuffed in my very first thread guide (the first one the thread goes through when coming off the cone). It kinda keeps the thread from looping loosely as it comes off the cone. Sometimes as the thread loops off the cone, it can cause some tension problems.

Will you let us know what solves the problem so we can all learn from your experience?

Good luck!


Judy Laquidara

Brownwood, TX

APQS Millennium

Blog: http://www.patchworktimes.com

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The last quilt that I finished, I also was breaking thread like crazy. It was thread that I had used before and no problems. I had just been to a group of other LA's and one gal was talking about burs from start to finish and finding them by running a strip of nylon stocking through the guides. Well, before I went looking for a stocking I could cut up, I thought to just change my needle. WA LA - no more breaking thread. And the needle in there was only 1 quilt old but it still had something that was shreading the thread. Just a thought.


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ahhhh,

Thanks everyone!

I have tried all offered options and even got out "the book" and walked through everything I could have missed. Looks like I'll be calling Lisa L. our local APQS rep tomorrow.. I pulled the thread out, swapped out the needle again and timed the machine (everything checked out) re-wound all my bobbins, tried another color of KT thread, moved to the cone holder, checked for burrs and gave the shuttle a little rub for good measure.... well on the upside I have not broken a thread but I am skipping stitches now like a mad woman, not one here and there but 1/2" lengths and maybe two stitches between the long ones, so I guess I have made progress :o, I'm going to play the top tension game for a while and sleep on it, maybe it'll fix itself LOL goodness knows I'm struggling..

I only have two more rows on this panto I can see the end, now can get there?

Killing me!

Thanks so much for your help!

Teri


Teresa Hall

Round Hill VA

2004, APQS Millennium (For Sale)

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Hang in there Teri!!--

OK--deep breath---

Try this--check the hook retaining finger. It's that black plastic thingie that keeps the bobbin assembly from spinning.

When we re-timed my machine I had a terrible time with King Tut breaking. Looking at the end of the thread and measuring to find out where it was breaking, it was right under the needle plate.

I barely nudged the retaining finger out (towards the front) and made sure it still did it's job. It was amazing--no more breakage.

I haven't got a clue if that was the problem, all I know is it worked. Good luck and may the thread breakage gremlins leave you alone!

Linda Rech


Linda Rech

Finely Finished Quilts

Millennium on Bliss rails--hand-guided

http://www.topperquilttools.com

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Sue Patten Here

Still in Germany... you should also check your pig tails. If you were using matlik or poly thread before the two quilts with the breakage it could be as simple as changing to new pig tails. If they get little groves they will catch the cotton thread, I would also agree that you should run the thread from the back spool holder to give you better controle as the thread is pulled through the tension guides. If you can't work it out call Mark at head office and take the time to run through it with him.... He's the man and will have you back up and running in no time.... it most lik? is that the timing seems to be ok but that your hooker is not just right.... Good luck and remember to breath:cool:


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Try spraying the top lightly with silicone spray...it seems to work for a friend of mine when she has thread breakage because of the material.

If you are checking for burrs run the stocking through the needle hole. I've had a burr there from breaking a needle running over a very thick seam.

Good Luck


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Try throwing your thread in the freezer in a zip lock bag, or mist the entire spool with a little bit of water. For some reason weather affects thread, at least here.


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If you are skipping stitches it's not the thread, the bobbin area is usually the problem, at least with my experience. I do almost 20 quilts a month and I use King Tut exclusively because it doesn't break, unless the top tension is too tight or there are problems down below. I have found just the tinest bit of thread stuck in the bobbin area or lint will cause problems or the bobbin case it's self.. Call APQS:(


Hester Mastro

APQS Sales Rep.

www.quiltjunkie.com

Palm Springs, CA

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It is really quite interesting to read all the many tips and hints here, just with this one question. Wow, do you all have a wealth of knowledge in this! I'm so glad I'm already connected so WHEN I get my Mille or Liberty or that latest model someday, I'll know exactly where to go for great advice. ;)

Good luck, Teresa! and how can you possibly leave this stitch-stitch sisterhood? I hope you give it another chance, once you've fixed the problem.


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http://singteachquilt.wordpress.com/

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My suggestion is to loosen your top tension. You might need to adjust your bobbin tension to match if the tension is off in your stitch (assuming that the looser tension fixes the problem).


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Lynn McCartney

APQS Millennium w/Bliss

"Excellence in all things; all things to the glory of God."

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When we first got our Milly we ran for several months breaking thread way too often. Wasn't every three inches but several times in one panto row. After trying ALL of those ideas that everyone has listed already, Sue Schmieden (our wonderful, wonderful, wonderful rep) drove several hours in a blizzard and changed our hook assembly. It had been loose from the factory. She had asked us to grab onto it and pull it to see if it was loose, which we did, several times and didn't think it was loose - BUT - it can't move AT ALL. You might try that. If it wiggles forward and backward even the teeniest weeniest bit - it's loose. Give it a try. Solved our problems. AND.... don't give up. The APQS Machines run seamlessly when they're running good - you'll get it and be ever so glad you hung in there.

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Back to Joanne (jhend)'s idea - try loosening the quilt and taking some tension off it. I had problems with breaking thread and skipped stitches until I realized I was tightening the quilt too much. My Millie preferred to work with some play in the quilt. If this problem is happening with the stitch regulator on, you may need to check the encoders again.

Lots of items on your checklist...:)

Joann

Independence, MO

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Whooooowhooooo,

We have success!

Tightened the bobbin case, snugged up the top tension, put a humidifer in the studio and shut the door! 12 hours later I finished a row, without a burp! Now can I repeat the process? I am saying YES!

Ladies you are truely a wealth of knowlegde and I am sending hugs to all of you! Thank you so very much!

OH HAPPY DANCE!

:D Teri :P


Teresa Hall

Round Hill VA

2004, APQS Millennium (For Sale)

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Soooo glad it is working better for you. I agree totally with Hester, I use King Tut alot because I can do almost anything to it and it doesn't break easily so if you are having trouble with it it has to have something to do with a problem with the hook or something else, especially with skipped stitches. I also find that I have to have the tension on King Tut way tighter than lots of other threads otherwise it can't pull up the bottom thread and give a nice looking stitch.

And, now I am going to tug on my bobbin case and try a few other things that some girls suggested because, once again, I learned a whole bunch of new things because of someone else's troubles. Sorry that troubled one was you Teresa but you just helped out a whole bunch of us!

Cher

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Well it's been a full month and I am finally up and running.... Yes I had to send my customer quilts out to a G-brand quilter, however customers are happy and I am getting closer to a better situation.

WOW. Timing and a burr kicked my tukas.. I fianlly got to run one quilt tonight still breaking thread but it is better than nothing.. and they are not skipping... I'll spend the weekend nit picking the problems...

Thanks for all of your suggestions!

Teresa


Teresa Hall

Round Hill VA

2004, APQS Millennium (For Sale)

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