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HELP! What the heck do I do with this...

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  • zenkitty
    replied
    Re: HELP! What the heck do I do with this...

    I'm no expert for sure, but when that happened to me in class, the teacher said for me to undo everything. I had the bobbin in the machine in the wrong direction. She said it has to unwind clockwise. So now whenever I insert the bobbin into the case, I lay it in my hand first, pull on the end of the thread and make sure it turns clockwise. Ever since then, I have had no problems.

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  • Connie Chamberlain
    replied
    Re: HELP! What the heck do I do with this...

    I went and looked at your machine on the Brother web sight.It might be the machine or do you have the bobbin in the right way?Other than that,i can't think what it could be.You might go check out the web sight.

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  • Connie Chamberlain
    replied
    Re: HELP! What the heck do I do with this...

    I use what ever needle i happen to have for quilting.Do you have the feed dogs down?The sample quilting i showed you is 2.5 length of stitch.Could be you just have to get the feel of the machine.I'm going to go check out your machine on the web.

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  • debinmalaga
    replied
    Re: HELP! What the heck do I do with this...

    To me your back looks like you've got a tension problem. I would set it, stitch to see how the back is looking, and keep adjusting it until your back looks right. I have problems to this day with tension and got great advice on this forum about Always using a practice piece to warm up and check stitches front and back, before putting your quilt on your machine each day.

    Your feed dogs should be lowered, so your stitch length doesn't matter, as I understand it. Your stitch length will be determined by how hard you press your pedal and how fast (or slow) you move your hands and arms.

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  • psha
    replied
    Re: HELP! What the heck do I do with this...

    Oops! Just realized there are alot of very helpful posts here. Happy it worked out for you.

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  • psha
    replied
    Re: HELP! What the heck do I do with this...

    I've only done stippling with my free motion foot. Stitch length should be at 0(zero). As for the thread bunching up at the back, it may be your bobin tension. Do you have your owner's manual? It should explain tension as it relates to your machine.

    Patti

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  • Loonwatcher
    replied
    Re: HELP! What the heck do I do with this...

    Thank you all. I read SewBee's recommended article on tension, re-thread, and removed and re-attached the quilting foot. I also wrapped a rubber band around the top of the foot (just below the arm thingie) a few times (as seen on Leah Day's tut on youtube). problem seems to be solved (YAY) and I've got my bag quilted. Decided to do a combo of stitch in the ditch (mostly anyway) and just horizontal straight (mostly) lines. Need more practice before i try FMQ on a project. Couldn't have done it without all your help.

    Should be able to finish the bag tomorrow - barring any further crises - and will post a picture of the finished bag.

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  • suzette58
    replied
    Re: HELP! What the heck do I do with this...

    What pressure foot did you use? You need to use the darning foot. Try to also re thread the bobbin.

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  • Onetiredmomma
    replied
    Re: HELP! What the heck do I do with this...

    Yea, follow the instructions above, also you should have your feed dogs down if you don't already, and you should easily be able to slide your fabric in between each stitch. The foot holds it in place for a second while it stitches, you slide fabric, foot goes down to hold again. With tension. I've also had problems when bobbin thread isn't the same type as top thread.

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  • johnsonshouse4
    replied
    Re: HELP! What the heck do I do with this...

    Also put a phone book by your foot pedal heel. That will help control your speed a bit.

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  • Loonwatcher
    replied
    Re: HELP! What the heck do I do with this...

    Sewbee and bakermom. thank you thank you thank you. I'm going to do my homework, follow the instructions and practice practice practice.

    Sewbee - you're right there is no backing on this piece. I'm making a modified version of Jenny's tote tutorial which has you quilting the outer bag fabric to the batting, sewing the sides of the back, pleating the bottom (is that what you call is) and making the inner bag (lining) which then gets sewn together with the outer quilted bag. Thus all seams are hidden inside. Do you suggest adding another layer (which will be hidden between the inner and outer bags) as a backing for the quilting process? I'll check out your links, thanks. I have seen many of Leah Day's; she has very good clear videos. I've copied your reply to keep for reference - lots of great info.

    Bakermom - my wire/arm thingie (that's a technical term right?) is in the right place. But I did see a clip on YouTube (Leah Day) where they wrapped a tiny rubber band around the shaft to hold the foot up higher. Maybe I need to do that.

    Thanks for all your help.

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  • bakermom
    replied
    Re: HELP! What the heck do I do with this...

    double check to see if the foot is on right. I'm not near my machine to see how mine is on but I think the little wire/arm thing( on the right of the needle when you're facing the machine) needs to be above the screw. The foot shouldn't rest on your fabric but rather float over the fabric as you sew.

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  • Sewbee
    replied
    Re: HELP! What the heck do I do with this...

    Hi Nancy, It definitely looks like you have a thread tension problem. Also were you doing the test stitching on the block with just batting but no backing fabric on the underside? Looking at your photos of the wrong side it looks like the stitching is on poly batting without any backing fabric to make a 3 layer quilting sandwich? Not sure if that is the case, but if it is, sewing with just the batting on the underside may also contribute to an uneven stitch pattern.

    Here is a link to a good article on understanding thread tension:
    http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/...thread-tension

    Based on your photos it looks like the upper thread knot is showing on the bobbin side which would mean your upper thread tension is too loose or your bobbin thread tension is too tight. You may want to do everything already suggested, ie change to a new needle, re-thread the machine completely, make sure the bobbin case is clean and free of lint or dust, adjust your tension per the instructions in the article at the link....and then try another test block but make sure you have a 3 layer sandwich with the top, batting and backing fabric to test your stitch pattern again. I am no expert at FMQ but the steps listed above will help get a uniform stitch pattern on any sewing project you are working on.

    Test your stitch pattern first with the feed dogs up as usual and using your standard presser foot to do a straight line stitch test to see if the tension is set properly. You should get a nice uniform stitch on both sides. After confirming your normal stitch pattern is working, lower your feed dogs and use your darning foot or quilting foot to test the FMQ stitches.

    Start out with a small area on the test block and move the fabric with your hands slowly as you keep a moderate to fast sewing speed with the foot pedal. Start out with just a straight stitch and see what it looks like on both sides. Try moving the fabric at different speeds to see how it affects the stitch length when you FMQ.

    Then test moving in large curves or circles. If the stitch pattern looks good, start practicing on larger areas of the test block and with different movement and speed patterns until you find what feels most comfortable to you and gives you the results you are looking for.

    FMQ is something that I believe takes lots of practice and getting a "feel" for your style of movement/speed before you will be comfortable working on a finished project. I keep tons of scrap fabric sandwiches around and test lots of different patterns but still am currently only using FMQ for outlining stitch patterns already on my fabric. One of these days I will "break free" and start doing freehand patterns! Just practice ...practice ....practice! It will get better!

    Here are some links to Leah Day's videos on FMQ. She has TONS of videos showing how to stitch hundreds of different FMQ patterns and also talks about how to setup your machine properly and some of the FMQ tools that will make life easier for you. Several of the products she mentions are available at the MSQC shop online or at your local quilt shops.

    Here are some simple FMQ stitch patterns to practice on:

    Straight line Spiral pattern: http://www.youtube.com/user/lcvday#p/u/84/vPo_YAGFOQY

    Basic Spiral pattern: http://www.youtube.com/user/lcvday#p/u/275/ghs92pEck3A

    Echo Shortcut pattern: http://www.youtube.com/user/lcvday#p/u/5/rIzbhVbgPkg

    Link to tons more Beginner FMQ patterns: http://www.daystyledesigns.com/365difficultymain.htm

    FMQ Tools to make life easier: http://www.youtube.com/user/lcvday#p/u/14/hP3SC5zFSkc

    Here are a couple pics of a FMQ project I am still working on. I am only doing outline stitching of existing patterns in the fabric using my quilting foot with the feed dogs down and moving the fabric around to stitch the shapes, so no real free hand yet....but will be getting to that part soon!

    Stitching around the patterns on the front side of the quilt and how it looks on the backside:

    HARVEST WALL HANGING QUILTING ON TOP .jpgHARVEST WALL HANGING QUILTING ON BACKING SM.jpg
    Last edited by Sewbee; March 12, 2011, 01:32 PM.

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  • Loonwatcher
    replied
    Re: HELP! What the heck do I do with this...

    Should I lengthen my stitch when quilting?

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  • Loonwatcher
    replied
    Re: HELP! What the heck do I do with this...

    Connie, Your quilting is fabulous. Someday maybe me too. I have a Brother XL3750. Brand new, only had it a couple weeks. I'm using a quilting foot and with that on the presser foot won't stay up. I have to lift it with my fingers to get the fabric sandwich under. I've still got the original needle in and I think it's a #11 but I could get the magnifying glass out and go check. What size do you recommend for quilting?

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