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  1. #1
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    Default 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.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    - Phyllis

  2. #2
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    Default 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.
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  4. #3
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    Default 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.
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  6. #4
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    Default 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.
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  8. #5
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    Default Re: HELP - Stippling on Flannel problem

    Quote 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 19th, 2013 at 02:48 PM.
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  10. #6
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    Default 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.
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  12. #7
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    Default 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

  13. #8
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    Default 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

  14. #9
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    Default Re: HELP - Stippling on Flannel problem

    Quote 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??
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  15. #10
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    Default Re: HELP - Stippling on Flannel problem

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

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