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Ult II needle bar & take up lever timing

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Can someone check their Ultimate II and let me know this:

When you are raising the needle bar with the hand wheel and watching the needle - when it is at it's highest point where is the take-up lever? Is the take-up lever at it's highest point or on it's way up or down? Thanks!

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Thanks for the input - When I am raising my needle to it\'s highest position by handwheel and then the needle starts to go down, my take up lever (on the right side of machine head) is still going up? Is this right? My stitches seem fine. On my old Singer DM\'s I look at the take up lever to make sure it is up before I pull on the thread and I\'ve noticed that the Ult II is different.

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Your Singer and your ULT II are two different machines...not even close to the same mechanics so why would you expect them to operate the same. As long as your stitches are fine and you are getting good results with the threads that you are using...its timed right and you shouldn\'t be messing with it.

You don\'t need to put your needle in its highest point to be able to pull the threads. As long as your needle is clear of the material and you have your tension correct you should be able to pull the top thread at a very smooth and steady pace. If the thread pulls to fast in this postion you haven\'t gotten the top tension correct its way to loose...you should be getting a bit of drag, but a smooth pull.

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Because the machine only sews "o.k" It doesn\'t like fancy threads, the tension can be funky and the upper tension is loosened so much that it looks like the nut could fall off? The bobbin is tighter than it probably should be. I can get a fairly even nice enough stitch on a cotton fabric, blend batting quilt; but when I try to do something different . . . I just read this chat room all the time and see the BEAUTIFUL work some people do and may like to try more. I\'ve been to recommended websites (i.e. Sharon Schamber, Sheri B) to get ideas and tips.

The manual I have with the machine has "hand-drawn" diagrams?! Not easy to read?! Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Okay lets see if I can help a bit more....to confuse the situation more. ;)

If you are sewing a good stitch...this means that you are in prefect timing....when you start to break needles or have shredded thread in your thread breaks there could be a timing problem, BUT where you are having good stitches its not your timing that is the issue here.

I would be more to lean towards your tension abilities and this is where you must play with things. You yourself stated that the top tension nut is about ready to fall off. It all depends on when it was originally timed at Carrol as to how many threads you really have to work with.. I have some friend who have this machine as you and I do, and they have two dozen or more threads showing and in my case I have maybe 8 showing at all times. This isn\'t a gauge either to determine if are having a good thread tension or not. That all goes into the thread pulling, and that takes time and practice to get it just right...once you get the feel for it you will know how much tighter or looser you need to go, but just that bit of touch method.

Your bobbin you said may or may not be to loose. To do the drop test you should be able to hold the bobbin in your palm with a thread tail and start to pick up the bobbin....it should be able to stand up without unravelling any threads...pick it up and if you lift it off your palm and with a bit of a wiggle of the thread have it drop back into your palm without free falling then you are there. If it doesn\'t move with the bit of wiggle then it is WAY TO TIGHT, and must be loosened up a bit. This too takes time and practice, this is why most of the ladies have gone to purchase a TOWA gauge...its take the guess work out of "Do I or Don\'t I have it to loose.

With practice and patience you should be able to get ANY thread to run in this machine...fancy, cheap, thick or thin....they all run in this machine, but you must be willing to play with the dials and be able to determine what works for you.

Some threads I have work great, but I have to slather them with "Sewer Aid"...it all depends on the humidity lack of or to much on which threads will act up for me. Some of the cheaper ones or better than the more expensive ones. I have found that I would rather use a Poly-Cotton to a real cotton, but this again is more because of the look of the thread than it does or doesn\'t work for me. Its all what works for you

As far as the manual that you got with your machine...Yes, I have one two, but ya know I haven\'t even looked at it for over 8 years, it never helps so I have pretty much just played with the machine till I have what I know works and what doesn\'t.

I know that APQS has a DVD on maintence that is written for the more modern machine, but the timing section and the general oiling and general maintence pretains to us...if you don\'t have one of these, call them and order one. You might feel better to have this at your side as well.

Good luck and if you need any pictures let me know I will see what I can do.

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It sounds like your machine is not out of time---but, you are having some problems with setting the tensions for the particular threads you are using.

Is this a machine you recently purchased and just started using? I\'ve had my Ultie since Jan. 07\' and had quite a learning curve in the beginning. Bonnie was a big help to me, so please take her advice.

My machine had also been used by the previous owner a-lot. and she also let other quilters use it. While not abused necessarily, it had some worn parts. The first thing I suggest is that you buy a new bobbin case, new needles from APQS. Buy the needles that are suggested in the Users Manual.

Also, check all the pigtail thread guides on your machine. Mine were worn as I found out with closer inspection with a magnifier and a piece of nylon hosiery. I ordered new guides from APQS. I also found some rough spots on the hole in the needle plate of the machine and bobbin race which I buffed out with emery cord.

You may also consider buying a TOWA bobbin gauge. The bobbin gauge is not necessary, but certainly can be helpful with getting a good setting on your bobbin.

I have found the most important factor in running my Ultie is to keep the bobbin case area under the machine spotlessly clean and oiled. I use a small vacuum I have attached under my frame and clean each bobbin change. I oil at the start of each quilting day by rotating the hook until I see the black portion has rotated down and under the case. This creates a small ledge just under the hook area, and I put two drops of oil on the race at that point. I keep my machine untreaded intially and run it for a few minutes without any bobbin or upper thread. This is the "warm up time" for "Rosie"--

One drop of oil in the top wicks each start up too.....

You can see more pictures of "Rosie" at my PictureTrails album. First album.

I love my Ult. II, and you will too once you get your tensions set correctly.

I don\'t vary the types or brands of thread I use very often. Primarily I use Bottom Line or So-Fine thread in the bobbins, or I use prewounds with the outside cardboard edge removed.

I like to use So-Fine on the top, or Perma Core---and occasionally I use King Tut or 40 wt. Auriful thread on the top.

I am attaching a few pictures of my needle/foot (Sheri Butler round foot) and my tension dial. This is the way it is set most of the time. Loose The Bobbin tension is set at approx. 20 on my Towa gauge.


Good Luck with everything---patience, and it will work out.

BTW it is really hard to get this machine out of timing. Don\'t ask me how I know! ;) Even after doing a few awful things I did with some needles a while back, it\'s still keeping a perfect stitch!

More pictures of Rosie at:



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Thank you Thank you! This blog is just fantastic! I did buy Sheri\'s foot and love it! I have been quilting just fine with plain out signature 100% thread on top and a light poly in the bobbin. But I\'ve wanted to try more detailed quilting with fancier threads . . . and run into the problems I\'ve mentioned. I thought if I could just "see" another Ultimate II it would be helpful!!

Thanks for the photos - The open end on the little arm on my tension had slipped inbetween the tension discs, could be part of the problem. I have checked for burrs and all seems o.k.

I sometimes feel like the space between the bottom of the foot and the bobbin plate is very small - if you raise the foot to go over the thicker edge of a quilt sometimes the needle "catches" because it seems low too even at it\'s highest level.

Will email for more photos!

Thanks again all!

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