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    I've always used Coats poly thread because well, that's what my mom used. But I keep reading about how everyone loves the cotton thread and that's what you should use for quilting. I decided to try some MSQC cotton when it came out and it was terrible. It kept breaking off while trying to sew, and felt like it completely changed the tension in my machine. I wondered if it was just inexpensive and therefore not high quality so I ordered some Aurifil cotton. I'm having the exact same issues with it! Can barely even pull it out to get a little length after threading my needle (sewing with a Bernina old style machine). Just feels sticky and not smooth. Am I doing something wrong, or why do I not seem to be able to use the cotton thread everyone loves so much?

    #2
    Re: Thread type

    You will probably need to reset both upper and bobbin tensions to sew with it. The weight and feel will be a bit different, and cause these problems. Need to loosen up a bit.

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      #3
      Re: Thread type

      This could be a tension issue. Have you tried to decrease the tension, just a little at a time, to see if that eliminates the thread breaking?

      Another thing to consider is the size of your needle. 50 weight cotton thread works best with a #75 or #80 needle. 40 weight cotton thread works best with a #90 needle. The 50 weight thread is recommended for piecing because it is thinner, and therefore takes up less space in your seam allowance and the seams lie flatter.

      I have never had a problem with Aurifil, and i also like using Superior Threads Masterpiece 50 weight and Connecting Threads 50 weight cotton. I like using cotton thread for my piecing, but I know of quilters who prefer to use polyester thread. There is nothing wrong with continuing to use the Coats poly thread if you decide to do so.
      If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.- Zig Ziglar

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        #4
        Re: Thread type

        I agree with the others. Cotton and poly thread have different thicknesses.

        Adjust tension in your bobbin first.There are videos on how to correct bobbin tension. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaH9yB7XUBk

        Once that is correct, adjust the tension of your top thread. Also start with a new needle. Hope this helps.
        SandyWhite
        Ocala, Florida
        http://handpiecing.blogspot.com


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          #5
          Re: Thread type

          Thanks for the input. I will try changing needle size and adjusting tension. I usually try not to touch my tension at all and have never really needed to. The Coats spools are so small and I go through them quickly - if I decide to continue using poly as Sylvia mentioned, is there a good/recommended brand that comes in a much larger spool?

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            #6
            Re: Thread type

            I've had 2 Berninas and in my experience they do tend to set the tensions tight at the factory and when I have it serviced. Just loosen the tensions a bit and you should be fine.

            I just did a small quilt using my 301A and aurafil. I have to loosen the tension on it a bit because the upper thread kept breaking. Different threads need different tensions. If messing with the tensions makes you nervous, look for some classes to teach you about dealing with tension. It can be a lifesaver to know how to adjust tensions for different threads, needles and conditions.

            Which brings me to another subject, how old is the needle you are using?
            Patrice S

            Bernina Artista 180, Singer 301a, Featherweight, Rocketeer

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              #7
              Re: Thread type

              The needle is brand new, and is an 80/12 jersey needle (part of my project is minky). I also tried a 90/14. The Aurifil and MSQC I got are both 50 weight. My Bernina is an 801. I will check out the YouTube link previously mentioned and also check to see if my local Bernina dealer offers classes like you mentioned. Maybe if I spend some time playing around with it on scraps I can get comfortable with it. Thanks everyone so much for your ideas!

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                #8
                Re: Thread type

                I often have to adjust tension for my free motion quilting. As I am testing the tension on fabric, I will write next to the stitching what the tension was set at. Once I find the right tension, I note it in a small notebook I keep right next to my machine. I try to keep a page of notes for each project, as I have found that I have wanted to reproduce something, but didn't remember important things like the tension, or stitch length, etc. My machine goes back to the default tension after it is turned off, so that note lets me remember the right tension for what I am doing. (My machine also has the capability of my saving the new tension and making that the default, but that means then I have to reset it all after the project is done - too much for me!)

                You asked about other poly threads. I know both Isacord and Superior Threads make good polyester threads. Isacord is sold through various dealers, both online and at brick and mortar stores. You can order Superior Threads right from their web site. HTH
                Last edited by Sylvia H; November 20, 2016, 12:11 PM.
                If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.- Zig Ziglar

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                  #9
                  Re: Thread type

                  Originally posted by m00sti View Post
                  The needle is brand new, and is an 80/12 jersey needle (part of my project is minky). I also tried a 90/14. The Aurifil and MSQC I got are both 50 weight. My Bernina is an 801. I will check out the YouTube link previously mentioned and also check to see if my local Bernina dealer offers classes like you mentioned. Maybe if I spend some time playing around with it on scraps I can get comfortable with it. Thanks everyone so much for your ideas!
                  I have never used Minky, but I know people have reported some problems sewing this fabric. If you are not already doing so, I suggest stitching slowly through the Minky. Just for the heck of it, do you have these problems when you are sewing just cotton?
                  If you are not willing to learn, no one can help you. If you are determined to learn, no one can stop you.- Zig Ziglar

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                    #10
                    Re: Thread type

                    I think that's probably partly why I haven't messed with it - it's old and not electronic so any changes I make are going to stay until I change them back. I'm not sure if I am worried I'll forget to change back, or if I just don't want to have to mess with it every time or what. That's such a good idea to make a note of the settings, but I think for me that would be hard since the tension is just dials to shift slightly and not numbers or even notches. Looks like I'm adding another reason to the list of reasons I "need" a new machine, won't my husband be thrilled? I will be checking into Isacord and Superior Threads as well! Might as well keep my options open.

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                      #11
                      Re: Thread type

                      Yes, the first time I tried cotton thread was with the 90 needle doing normal cotton piecing.

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