Sunday, August 12, 2012

SewCalGal 2012 FMQ Challenge Results for August

1.  Study Wendy Sheppard's post on SewCalGal.  Check.  Read posts on SewCalGal's August FMQ post.  Check. Doodling for days...drawing ready.  Check.
2.  New quilt sandwich with a batting I haven't tried before.  Check.
3.  After 15 minutes of re-arranging, machine is completely ready to go.
New 90/14 top stitching needle, 30w Sulky in top, Aerofil in bobbin, feed dogs down, replaced embroidery bobbin case with free motion quilting bobbin case, lowered table, etc.

4.  I'm ready to rock like Jack Black in "School of Rock"!

5.  My machine is NOT!
Spend 10+ minutes checking over everything...I find the...

More adjustments.  Change bobbin cases back.  Adjust tension many times.  Try, try again and...

A little better, but thread breaks after six to eight inches of quilting.
Tension is still off.

I've used this same spool of 30w Sulky before with success.

Any suggestions?

Maybe I'm missing something completely??

I am thinking about using 30w Sulky in top and bobbin....what do you think?  
Would it be too thick for the bobbin or not?

By the way, I love the Jester's hats design that Ivory Spring demonstrated for this month's SewCalGal 2012 FMQ Challenge.  Thank you - I love the design!!  Apparently, it doesn't love me!  LOL!!!


  1. Oh, I hate when problems like this happen! I always change my needle, rethread machine and bobbin. Then I make sure machine is clean. Might rewind bobbin. Also make sure I didn't inadvertently change the tension. Also use same thread top and bottom. Turn machine off and back on. If none of that works, I usually walk away for a while and sometimes all is well when I return! Good Luck! ~Jeanne

  2. Oh, you make me laugh! Now I'm imagining Jack Black quilting. :-) More suggestions:

    1. Check bobbin tension; maybe it got out of whack when you were trying to sew with it in backwards.
    2. Check your needle; even if new, it may have some little burr or defect that is giving you grief.
    3. If all else fails, yell terrible things at your sewing machine, go away for awhile, and then apologize sweetly when you return and tell her she's your one true love. This always works in the movies, as long as it's a chick flick -- but if your sewing machine wants to star in a horror film, well, watch your back! ;-)

  3. Hi Mary-Ann, sorry to read your sewing machine is giving you grief.. when my machines won't sew properly for me.. 90% of the time it is operator error. I actually took a sewing machine in for service once only to be told it wasn't threaded properly I had run the needle thread behind the tension disks instead of in between. I suggest you try a different needle, maybe even the old one you replaced first. If that doesn't fix the problem re-thread everything, drag out your manual to verify the needle thread path is correct. Try straight stitching and zig zag stitching with your feed dogs up to set your tension. if you are certain it is not the threading or tension on the machine.. change thread.. use the same kind in the top and bottom.. If your machine hasn't been serviced in a long time clean the tension disks with dental floss and dust out the bobbin area. One last thing, check the bobbin tension, one time I had a bobbin casing that the screw was so loose it fell out when I touched it with a screw driver. It did not matter what I did with the needle tension that machine would not sew, two twists on the bobbin tension screw and it was sewing lovely, precise stitches again. Good luck.. I hope this helps.

  4. Your basic motif of Jester's hat looks good. As for the machine everyone has given good advice. My thought was the heavy weight thread may not be strong enough for the quick reversing movement of the motif. Doing swirls and curls require a quick directional change that can cause a jerk in the bobbin---and we know every machine can be temperamental in that area---so try a light weight thread for practice. Otherwise, you work looks great.

  5. Oh I feel your pain. I just got a new machine and have had a very steep learning curve. I've been back to the store twice in a week to have them help me trouble shoot my problems. I'm sure you will get it all figured out. I put the same thread top and bobbin, check both tensions. Good luck, you jester hats are looking good so far.


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