Sunday, August 12, 2012

SewCalGal 2012 FMQ Challenge Results for August - challenges galore!

1.  Study Wendy Sheppard's post on SewCalGal.  Check.  Read posts onSewCalGal'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!!!


Tammy said...

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. Good luck.. I hope this helps.

Joanne said...

Tammy has great ideas that should help.
I recommend sewing with the same thread top and bottom too.
I find that free motion quilting with a heavy thread like 30 WT is very tricky. I have only been able to do it recently with a single hole throat plate on my machine. And then I loosen the upper tension, use a large #90 needle, and drastically slowing down my speed. I have better luck with a 50WT thread like Aurifil.
Good luck!

Mary Ann said...

Thank you both for the great tips!

Monika Kinner-Whalen (MySweetPrairie) said...

eyelashes like that - oh my. i had that too. I learned it was less of a thread issue and more mechanics. I need the single hole needle plate AND the top foot nice and close to the fabric. I had a hopping (unadjustable) style foot on a prior machine. My current machine has a steady, adjustable free motion foot... so I need to set it as low as possible without creating drag. These two things will create more stability for your quilt when the needle goes up and down through it. As soon as I could do that, the eyelashes stopped. I quilt with 80 weight (thin as a hair) and I quilt with 12 weight (very thick) and even with miss matched bobbin threads, I never have that problem any more. My machine is a Janome 7700P Horizon... and it requires a looser bobbin tension for free motion work. I pop that in too and never have to fiddle with the upper auto tension ever. When your bottom thread can loosen up a bit, it won't pull those top threads so hard.
Sinc eyou have a different machine than me... I highly suggest reading the owner's manual on the chapter for free motion sewing. Do EVERYTHING it suggests, even if you thing it's silly.

And there is my four cents : )

oh - and make sure the presser foot lever is UP before you thread the machine. common mistake.



Mary Ann said...

Thank you very much for the detailed information, Monika and happy sewing!