I decided to delve into machine quilting today and because I didn't want to risk messing up a large project, I simply cut a 12 x 24 sandwich on which to "play". Because I have never quiled with my machine I didn't have any machine quilting thread. I only have 100% cotton thread and machine embroidery thread (100% rayon). Because the rayon matched my project I used it. Things were going along quite well for a bit then all of a sudden my thread broke...once that happened it continued to happen over and over. Which leads me to my question...
Is it because I used rayon thread?
I have had problems with burrs on my throat plate in the past but checked that immediately and didn't notice any. So I don't think this was the issue.
Also, I originally started with a universal needle but switched when it broke (because I moved to quickly I think) to an embroidery needle because I was using embroidery thread. Now maybe that was not the correct course of action either. I was able to finish quilting it and am going to place a couple of pictures eventually. But for now I simply need suggestions/answers as to why my thread was continuously breaking. Please!!!!
Cumberland Gap, TN
you shouldn't be using an embroidery needle for machine quilting, i'm thinkin', and embroidery needle is only meant to go through one layer of fabric and stabilizer. my guess is you are getting too exuberant and pushing the fabric too fast for the needle (in which case you need to get some rhythm, girl) or your tension is off (a massage might help?) .
i think it might be too early in the morning for me to answer questions gini
gini in north idaho
So my thread was breaking because I was moving too fast?
Or because I had the wrong needle?
I know why my needle broke - def because I moved too fast! I get that!
moving needs to be in sync with the needle, i was breaking my needle the other day and i moved up to a larger needle gini
Occasionally you will get a bad spool of thread. If it happens to be a spool that was on the end of the run at the company it isn't always twisted as well as it should be and will break much easier. I have used embroidery thread for the occasional quilting project and haven't had problems. You also may have the tension a little too tight on the machine. It is important to use a good quality new needle when you start a quilting project and change the needle anytime that you start hearing popping sounds as this means the tip is getting dull. It is also important to pick a needle that matches the size of your thread so that the thread doesn't have excessive rubbing in the eye of the needle. I have found that universal sharps work well for quilting.
I was introduced to the Needles vs threads during one of my sewing machine classes. You locate the information online.
Here is the link if you want to check it out.
Also make sure that you are using the right presser foot. You want to use the foot for free motion quilting and the pin on the top goes above the clamp screw. You'd have to check your manual to make sure you've got the right foot on. Your manual should give you directions on what needles to use, thread, thread tension.
And then practice and practice til you can match up your moving of the quilt to the speed of the sewing. You'll be a pro before you know it!
North of Boston MA
I like using a 40 wt polyester thread. Glide by Fil-Tec is my latest favorite. You can't pull the quilt or needles will break. You definitely need to be relaxed. Make sure your bobbin is feeding in the right direction (that was a problem I had once.) I wouldn't use the Rayon for quilting. Make sure your machine is clean and there are no fuzzies blocking the thread path. That's about all the wisdom I have to share. Good luck.
Looks like everyone has covered the possibilities before I got to read the questing. I use a #14 quilting needle and cotton quilting thread. It takes practice, practice on free motion till you know how fast the machine should go with how fast the hands move. I am personally am slow, when I first started I had problems with the thread and also with there being pulled up threads on the back. The more I did though the better it got. Still no expert though.
HI Granny M,
I think that I am also late in this discussion, did anyone mention tension? As a Longarmer that is the first problem with breakage. Then sharps needle is also very helpful along with slow to medium speed. Works for me!
Rhonda ~ I have used many different thread types when machine quilting so I don't think its the Rayon thread. Is the rayon thread 40wt? I do know with Rayon sometimes you have to loosen your tension a bit more. Like the others I have purchased a bad spool of thread - not good! First things first, change your needle. Check tension top and bottom. If all of that doesn't work change the spool of thread. And yes, go faster! It does work better when free motion quilting.
It appears that my suggestions are covered. My low-end Brother sewing machine broke thread all of the time when I quilted, mostly if I used invisible thread. I had to play with the tension a lot to get it to stop and it still didn't do so well. Now I have a Bernina and the only time the thread has broken is when my needle gets dull, which it does after 3 hours of quilting, supposedly. So I put in a new needle and that fixes the problem. Sometimes old thread will break too. I only use 100% cotton, higher quality thread such as Gutermann, for quilting, and Sulky rayon for thread painting.
Good luck! I know how frustrating that is!!
One of my favorite threads is King Tut. I love how it handles in the machine and also love the look of the thread.
I don't know.
When all else fails I try a bigger needle. Then I would just try a newer thread. Rethreading (refer to manual) seems obvious, but things do hide in plain site. My new Viking Sapphire is breaking thread just piecing! I think it's user error, but if anyone reading this has a brilliant suggestion... (I very rarely broke thread before.)