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    HELP - Stippling on Flannel problem

    I'm having issues with the bobbin thread not catching when I'm trying to stipple this quilt. It's flannel for the quilt top and backing with warm and natural for the batting.

    I'm not sure if you can tell from the picture, but I was moving downward in a big curved loop (should have been encompassing the dark fabrics at the bottom) - but the stitches didn't even happen, and I got this super long stitch when it finally did start stitching - but then only a little as you can see by the next 2 "jumps".

    I've tried changing my tension, I've tried moving my fabric around slower and faster, I've tried speeding up and slowing down my machine speed - nothing seems to work, I keep getting these jumps everywhere. I have not had this problem stippling other items, so I'm wondering if it has to do with the flannel?

    I'm using a Brother 1500, the feed dogs are down, I have the stitch length to zero (or as close as it will go, there is no zero marking on the machine, but I have it turned all the way down), I just bought and am using one of those pink pads that Leah Day recommends (can't remember the name of it right now), my pressure foot is down.

    I'm hoping someone here might have some insight as to how I can stop this from happening.

    Stipple Problem.jpg
    - Phyllis :)

    #2
    Re: HELP - Stippling on Flannel problem

    I rarely use flannel and when I do, I have always done straight stitching with my even feed foot for quilting. I am sorry I cannot be of more help, but one thing I have learned with fmq'ing over the years is to NOT lower the feed dogs. Just set stitch length to zero. Machines run better and do their job better when the feed dogs are UP for fmq'ing. (Again setting that stitch length to zero so they don't move back and forth, just up and down.) I don't know if this will solve your issue, but it is an easy thing to try and even if it doesn't fix this particular problem, you might like the overall results for other projects.

    I'm sure others will come along and give you some great advice.
    Courage is being scared to death, and saddling up anyway. ~John Wayne

    Quilting is my passion . . . chocolate is a close second!

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      #3
      Re: HELP - Stippling on Flannel problem

      Did you change your needle? It sounds more like a needle issue or the bobbin not catching issue than a feed dog issue to me. I always do FMQ with the dogs down. A lot of the time if your machine is getting ready to go out of timing the problem will show more when trying to FMQ. You may just be experiencing the beginnings of that. If that does happen to be the case, a trip to the sewing machine doctor is in order.
      K is for Karen 😊​..................
      Cremation - My last hope for a smokin' hot body.


      Before you speak,
      T - is it TRUE?
      H - is it HELPFUL?
      I - is it INSPIRING?
      N - is it NECESSARY?
      K - is it KIND?

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        #4
        Re: HELP - Stippling on Flannel problem

        This is what my machine was doing last week and it was the timing. I wasn't doing FMQ at the time. Drop your feed dogs and try it again. If it's still happening, it's probably time to have it serviced.
        If you can't see it from 50 yards away on a galloping horse, it doesn't matter.

        Follow my quilting adventures at Quilting Foote

        Come join all the fun in our Farmer's Granddaughter Quilt Along!

        Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things. (I totally ripped this off from S)

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          #5
          Re: HELP - Stippling on Flannel problem

          Originally posted by K. McEuen View Post
          Did you change your needle? It sounds more like a needle issue or the bobbin not catching issue than a feed dog issue to me. I always do FMQ with the dogs down. A lot of the time if your machine is getting ready to go out of timing the problem will show more when trying to FMQ. You may just be experiencing the beginnings of that. If that does happen to be the case, a trip to the sewing machine doctor is in order.
          This was going to be my first question. My domestic machine automatically drops the feed dogs when I put it in FMQ mode. The only time I skip stitched like that is if I need a new needle or my bobbin is in wrong.

          Also, because its flannel, perhaps change the SIZE of the needle. You'd be surprised the difference it makes. Thread gap can occur when the needle is too thin and the movements too big. Is it catching if you move in a straight line?? (Only skipping in a curve?)


          Second would be take the thread and bobbin out and clean everything. My longarm does funny stuff when she has fuzz or a small piece of thread anywhere it doesn't belong.
          Last edited by Mchelem; November 19, 2013, 10:48 AM.
          "You've never really learned to live until you've done something for someone for which they can never repay you." ~Ralph Hall

          "Party like a BLOCK-STAR"

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            #6
            Re: HELP - Stippling on Flannel problem

            I copied this from superior threads website. Maybe it will help?

            If you are experiencing trouble with broken threads or skipped stitches, the following may help.

            1. Check the thread path from the spool or cone to the needle. Is it threaded correctly?

            2. Is the needle in correctly? Is it square to the face of the machine? Is the scarf to the back? Are you using the correct needle? Is it inserted all the way?

            3. Is the bobbin tension correct in relation to the top tension? Is the bobbin positioned correctly? Is there lint or other debris under the tension spring?

            4. Is the top tension correct in relation to the bobbin tension?

            5. Is the needle coming down in the center of the darning foot?

            6. If a particular needle keeps breaking thread, do the following: Remove the thread and put it on a different machine. If the problem follows the spool of thread, you can assume the problem is a bad spool of thread. If the thread works fin on the second machine, the problem is with the first machine and not with the thread.

            7. Change speed according to the job being done. As a general rule, the following will apply: The wider a satin stitch, the faster the machine can be run. The narrower a satin stitch, the slower the machine should be run. Compensate for slowing the machine down on small satin stitches by speeding it up on large satin stitches and fill stitches. There is nothing wrong with changing machine speed while running the same design. The speed control was put on the machine to do exactly that -- to change the speed in accordance to what you are running.
            "You've never really learned to live until you've done something for someone for which they can never repay you." ~Ralph Hall

            "Party like a BLOCK-STAR"

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              #7
              Re: HELP - Stippling on Flannel problem

              Wow - these are all really good suggestions!!

              I put in a new needle before I started (I got 100 of them as part of my purchase), I'm wondering if it is that my needle is too thin because this is pretty much occurring when I'm on a curve (I think).

              I'm going to open up the machine and do a complete cleaning, try putting the feed dogs up and see what happens. If that doesn't work, then I guess I need to treck down to Joann's to get a different needle (I think I only have that one size - I need to check that).

              Thank you everyone!!!!
              - Phyllis :)

              Comment


                #8
                Re: HELP - Stippling on Flannel problem

                I've cleaned the machine, re-loaded the bobbin, re-threaded, changed the needle - still having issues

                I'm using a 90/14 - So I tried a free needle that I got from Nancy's notions (80/12) and I couldn't even get it to catch the bobbin at all. So I went to a new 90/14 and am still having the same problem.

                Does anyone know what size needle I might need?
                - Phyllis :)

                Comment


                  #9
                  Re: HELP - Stippling on Flannel problem

                  Originally posted by xtcinla View Post
                  I've cleaned the machine, re-loaded the bobbin, re-threaded, changed the needle - still having issues

                  I'm using a 90/14 - So I tried a free needle that I got from Nancy's notions (80/12) and I couldn't even get it to catch the bobbin at all. So I went to a new 90/14 and am still having the same problem.

                  Does anyone know what size needle I might need?
                  Try a 100/16. You might not be able to get them at joanns. Do you have a local quilt shop you can try??
                  "You've never really learned to live until you've done something for someone for which they can never repay you." ~Ralph Hall

                  "Party like a BLOCK-STAR"

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Re: HELP - Stippling on Flannel problem

                    All About Sewing Machine Needles | Wildly Wonderful Wearables - Notions for Creative Sewing


                    Very Light-Sheer Wovens
                    Batiste, Chiffon, Lace, Crepe d' Chine, Georgette, Netting, Organdy, Voile, and Silk
                    Polyester, Cotton, and Silk S 9/65

                    Light Weight Wovens
                    Batiste, Broadcloth, Calico, Challis, Chambray, Crepe, Eyelet, Gingham, Lawn, Handkerchief Linen, Microfiber-Peachskin, Rayon, Ripstop Nylon, Satin, Muslin, and Silk
                    Polyester, Cotton, and Silk S 9/65, 11/70

                    Medium Weight Wovens
                    Broadcloth, Cotton, Calico, Chino, Challis, Denim, Felt, Flannel, Muslin, Linen-Linen types, Poplin, Rayon, Satin, Twill, Raw Silk Polyester, Cotton, and Silk S, J, U 80/12, 90/14

                    Heavy Weight Wovens
                    Canvas, Cotton Duck, Denim, Coat Fabric, Drapery Fabric, Fake Fur, Sail Cloth, Tapestry, Upholstery, and Wool-Wool Blends Polyester, Cotton J, U 90/14, 100/16

                    Light-Medium Weight Knits
                    Cotton Knits & Blends, Jersey Knits, Tricot, Lycra & Swimwear Fabric, Spandex, Stretch Velour & Stretch Velvet
                    Polyester B, ST 80/12, 90/14

                    Medium- Heavy Weight Knits
                    Double Knits, Stretch Terry, Stretch Velour, Stretch Velvet, Sweater Knits, Sweatshirt Fabric, and Spandex
                    Polyester B, ST 80/12, 90/14

                    Non-Woven Fabrics
                    Leather, Synthetic Leather, Genuine-Synthetic Suede, Plastic, and Vinyl
                    Polyester L, U 80/12, 90/14
                    "You've never really learned to live until you've done something for someone for which they can never repay you." ~Ralph Hall

                    "Party like a BLOCK-STAR"

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Re: HELP - Stippling on Flannel problem

                      Sewing machine needle for flannel quilt fabric

                      For flannel I suggest a 75/11 or 80/12 size needle with a quality 50 weight cotton thread like Aurifil, Masterpiece or Presenia.

                      I would also strongly advise that you pre-wash your flannels before using them to 'equalize' them, especially if you're using home spuns in your quilt, too.

                      Pre-washing will shrink the flannel fabrics. Given that flannels are not uniform in the tightness of their weaves, it is quite possible that the different flannels will shrink at much different rates.
                      "You've never really learned to live until you've done something for someone for which they can never repay you." ~Ralph Hall

                      "Party like a BLOCK-STAR"

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Re: HELP - Stippling on Flannel problem

                        http://www.amybutlerdesign.com/pdfs/Flannel_Tips.pdf

                        She recommends a 16
                        "You've never really learned to live until you've done something for someone for which they can never repay you." ~Ralph Hall

                        "Party like a BLOCK-STAR"

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Re: HELP - Stippling on Flannel problem

                          Originally posted by Mchelem View Post
                          Sewing machine needle for flannel quilt fabric

                          For flannel I suggest a 75/11 or 80/12 size needle with a quality 50 weight cotton thread like Aurifil, Masterpiece or Presenia.

                          I would also strongly advise that you pre-wash your flannels before using them to 'equalize' them, especially if you're using home spuns in your quilt, too.

                          Pre-washing will shrink the flannel fabrics. Given that flannels are not uniform in the tightness of their weaves, it is quite possible that the different flannels will shrink at much different rates.
                          When I tried an 80/12 the machine wouldn't even catch the bobbin thread at all - On my sample piece, I tried to bring it up and it wouldn't catch, and then I tried to just stitch without bringing it up - and it wouldn't stitch at all.

                          Now I'm really confused.

                          Does it make a difference that I'm using flannel/warm and natural/flannel - so is the smaller needle still the right size?
                          - Phyllis :)

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Re: HELP - Stippling on Flannel problem

                            Originally posted by xtcinla View Post
                            When I tried an 80/12 the machine wouldn't even catch the bobbin thread at all - On my sample piece, I tried to bring it up and it wouldn't catch, and then I tried to just stitch without bringing it up - and it wouldn't stitch at all.

                            Now I'm really confused.

                            Does it make a difference that I'm using flannel/warm and natural/flannel - so is the smaller needle still the right size?
                            I would try a 16, for heavier fabrics since you are sewing on 2 layers of flannel and batting.
                            K is for Karen 😊​..................
                            Cremation - My last hope for a smokin' hot body.


                            Before you speak,
                            T - is it TRUE?
                            H - is it HELPFUL?
                            I - is it INSPIRING?
                            N - is it NECESSARY?
                            K - is it KIND?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Re: HELP - Stippling on Flannel problem

                              All I can tell you is that it might be the material. Our guild does charity quilts, they make kits and members put the quilts together and finishes them. I have one here sandwiched but every time I try to FMQ it, it's a disaster. It's all flannels, front and back. I'm thinking the flannel is not good quality, my machine hates it. I can put another quilt under and go to town no problem. Not much help I know but I feel your pain... Frustrating

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