UPDATE - sewing peas! Need help before I toss my machine out the window

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Posted 1/21/2013 by amythyst in NSBR Board
 

amythyst
someone pass the crayons!

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Posted: 1/21/2013 2:02:34 PM
*****UPDATE****

I've been quilting so I have a walking foot to do all the quilting.

Well, I hadn't been taking the walking foot off when I switched back to piecing just 2 layers of fabric. I went back to a regular presser foot just a bit ago and *poof* no tension issue!

I'll just go bang my head on my cutting mat now.


I'm having a terrible problem with tension and I cannot for the life of me figure it out. I've got birdnesting happening on the underside of my stitches.

I've checked the path of the thread on top, made sure the bobbin is clear, cleaned out the underside around the bobbin, re-wound the bobbins, tried new thread on top, just about anything else I can think of!

What should I do now??



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jennifercw
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Posted: 1/21/2013 2:08:27 PM
Are you using the right size needle for your project?


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voltagain
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Posted: 1/21/2013 2:10:19 PM
a bent or warped needle can also cause that to happen.


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amythyst
someone pass the crayons!

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Posted: 1/21/2013 2:16:46 PM
I'm using the same size needle I've always used, they came in a pack of 25 or so. I'm working on a quilt project, cotton fabric and warm and white batting. Also not a change from what I was doing before.

I changed needles a month or so ago but I'll try that again tonight.



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GamGam
PEAlicious

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Posted: 1/21/2013 2:20:01 PM
Birdnests on the bottom fabric generally mean a tension problem on the top adjustment. So change(slowly) your tension, and do a test stitch. MY guess it that you need to tighten the tension, but do it in small increments, and test to see if it is getting better or worse.

Runner5
Pea All You Can Pea!

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Posted: 1/21/2013 2:20:29 PM
If that doesn't help, post your machine make and model.

Mine will birdnest unless I take out the bobbin mechanism, remove the needle plate and blow the entire thing out with compressed air or a good brush after every single project.

I also have to hold both the bobbin and needle thread tails taught when first beginning to stitch.


Mary




voltagain
OklaPhoma

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Posted: 1/21/2013 2:21:19 PM
A month of sewing on a quilt project is plenty to warp the needle or get a burr in the tip.


What Your Kit Lens Can Do For You

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mtomseth
PeaFixture

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Posted: 1/21/2013 2:43:48 PM
What kind of machine is it?

Honestly, I fought tension problems for years, thinking it was 'me', and it kept me from advancing my sewing skills. I finally figured out it was my machine!! Which was a low-level Brother, purchased from Costco in 1989.

Afer puchasing a new Kenmore (made by Jenome) 3 or 4 years ago, ALL of my previous tension issues while sewing were resolved. That machine sews like butter.

sunny 5
PeaFixture

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Posted: 1/21/2013 2:51:07 PM
I just took a class on sewing machines...instructor told us to change needles and clean out bobbin area every two bobbin fulls...

needle should be changed very often. also, use the best thread..not coats and clark, but 100% cotton or 100% polyester.. bobbins should be very tight wound.

nysparkle
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Posted: 1/21/2013 3:02:42 PM
I have the same issues. I found several websites through Pinterest that deal with the subject. If you are not on Pinterest let me know and I'll provide links.I have the tension almost correct. I need to look at those websites again. I have also read how important it is to clean the workings of the machine.


Here's one
sewing machine tension

Another keeping machine clean




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Leone
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Posted: 1/21/2013 3:27:23 PM
Be sure you are holding both threads in back of the needle prior to the first few stitches. Also, use a folded scrap of fabric at the beginning of stitching then another at the end of the stitching...if you have a birds nest, it will be on that scrap rather than on your project. And yes, change your needle much more often, I was taught to clean and oil the bobbin area after each sewing session.

PunchPrincess

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Posted: 1/21/2013 3:47:20 PM
Is this the first needle from a new package? Maybe the whole package is bad.

What brand sewing machine is it? How old? Have you used this brand of batting successfully in the past?



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amythyst
someone pass the crayons!

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Posted: 1/21/2013 3:58:32 PM
Ok let's see, it's a brother LX -3125. Maybe 2 years old. I have a pack of size 80/12 needles that also has 130/705H on it (I don't know what that means)

I've not had a problem until recently, have used that brand and thickness of batting before.

And it's not just at the ends of the sewing, it's a jumbled mess along the whole length.


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amythyst
someone pass the crayons!

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Posted: 1/21/2013 4:04:46 PM
And I have a few kinds of thread, which I match with the bobbin thread each time to see if that was the problem.

I just don't get it.


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kmk1112
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Posted: 1/21/2013 4:26:56 PM
I was loading my bobbin wrong for years and it caused the tension to be off.


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amythyst
someone pass the crayons!

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Posted: 1/21/2013 4:45:44 PM
I just pulled everything out, cleaned and oiled, re threaded, and reset the tension from mysparkle's link (thanks!) and put in a new needle.

Seems to be working now. I just wish I knew which issue was the problem since I covered all the bases now! Lol


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Free~Bird
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Posted: 1/21/2013 4:48:53 PM
mine will do that when I put in the bobbin wrong.


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Free~Bird
'Cause I'm as free as a bird now

PeaNut 104,551
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Posted: 1/21/2013 4:48:54 PM
mine will do that when I put in the bobbin wrong.


*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

My paintings on etsy:
Cease Watercolor Arts - Coupon code: imapea - 20% off for Peas!!



My Photography website and blog:
Cease Fire Studios

nysparkle
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Posted: 1/21/2013 4:53:54 PM
Glad it's working for you now!





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~ I hope to live in North Carolina someday to be near my family. ~

nysparkle
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Posted: 1/21/2013 4:53:55 PM
Glad it's working for you now!





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gale w
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Posted: 1/21/2013 4:54:04 PM
It was probably the needle. My dad always told me if there was any problem, first change the needle. Some needles can have warps and burrs straight from the factory and will cause all kinds of chaos. Or they will bend without you realizing it. A small bend that isn't visible to the human eye can cause problems.


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candleangie
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Posted: 1/21/2013 5:19:13 PM
THIS:

And it's not just at the ends of the sewing, it's a jumbled mess along the whole length.


Says top threading problem to me. I've had needles cause problems, but never that one. Mostly likely you either missed the tension discs (Ended up on one side or the other instead of between them) on the first pass, or...is your presser foot up or down when you thread your machine? It should be up (this opens the tension mechanism) when you thread.

I always thread the machine with the foot up, then pop it down to thread the needle. That way I can feel if the tension mechanism grabbed or not. It's not really something I NEED to do with my current machine, but old habits die hard. lol


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candleangie
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Posted: 1/21/2013 5:19:21 PM
THIS:

And it's not just at the ends of the sewing, it's a jumbled mess along the whole length.


Says top threading problem to me. I've had needles cause problems, but never that one. Mostly likely you either missed the tension discs (Ended up on one side or the other instead of between them) on the first pass, or...is your presser foot up or down when you thread your machine? It should be up (this opens the tension mechanism) when you thread.

I always thread the machine with the foot up, then pop it down to thread the needle. That way I can feel if the tension mechanism grabbed or not. It's not really something I NEED to do with my current machine, but old habits die hard. lol


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KittenOnTheKeys
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Posted: 1/21/2013 5:40:30 PM
I was going to ask you when the last time you cleaned it was. I can have the bobbin in perfectly, the right needle, the right tension...but if I haven't cleaned it in a while, it will jumble up.



KittenOnTheKeys
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Posted: 1/21/2013 5:40:31 PM
I was going to ask you when the last time you cleaned it was. I can have the bobbin in perfectly, the right needle, the right tension...but if I haven't cleaned it in a while, it will jumble up.



WillowJane
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Posted: 1/21/2013 7:06:07 PM
I took a thread clinic a while back at a quilt show. The representative was from Mettler. These are the notes I took from 2003 (found them this past weekend) and her steps on what to do in case of stitch issues on a sewing machine.

---------------------

In correct sewing of stitches on a machine is normally NOT a tension problem but a threading problem or problem with the actual spool of thread.

1. Re-thread the top part of the machine.
2. Reset the bobbin. Switch directions/make sure you are unwinding in the right direction.
3. Change the spool of thread.
3. Rewind the bobbin.
4. Change the needle.
5. Clean the bobbin casing.
6. Do not adjust the tension until the steps above are tried first.

I hope they help someone along the way.

*Delphinium Twinkle*
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Posted: 1/22/2013 4:25:40 PM
Turn your bobbin over


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Jill-of-all-Crafts
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Posted: 1/22/2013 4:54:51 PM
Not sure if its common knowledge or even an old wives tale but here ya go..

I took some quilting classes, after I'd been sewing on my machine for a while. Teacher said NEVER, EVER pull the thread "up through" your machine when rethreading or changing the top thread. Always snip the thread from the spool and pull out from the needle area. You can cause damage to your tension wheel by pull back against it. Hope I haven't caused too much damage up to that point. I know always snip and pull through in the proper direction now.
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dynalady
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Posted: 1/22/2013 5:00:55 PM
A rule of thumb to remember when trying to fix machine stitches is -
A mess on the bottom = a problem on the top
A mess on the top = a problem on the bottom







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mom-2-2beagles
PeaFixture

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Posted: 1/22/2013 5:01:11 PM
I was having the same issue with my brother and it took unplugging it and replugging it back in (after I had tried everything else a million times). I thought just turning it on and off would be enough, but apparently I needed to unplug it for it to really re-set.

Glad yours is cooperating again!




amythyst
someone pass the crayons!

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Posted: 2/24/2013 1:59:27 PM
btt with an update


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FREEDOM OF SPEECH SHOULD REQUIRE INTELLIGENCE

""""""""""""""""



dynalady
My soul is fed with needle and thread

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Posted: 2/24/2013 2:13:01 PM
Glad you figured it out, but don't bother banging your head. Eventually something else will go wrong for no reason and you can go through the process again. No matter how well you know your machine it just seems to not able to keep from testing you from time to time.







"I contend we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." Stephen Roberts



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