Sunday, November 21, 2010

I hate it when that happens!




Sigh... This picture sure tells a tale..... As mentioned, I'm trying to learn free-motion quilting, and I just hate it when this happens. From the front, it looks like normal stitching, maybe a bit looser than normal, then suddenly my machine starts making strange noises, and comes to a screeching halt. I usually have to dissect and cut apart the thread from the needle on the top before I can flip it over and see this mess on the back. I honestly don't know why it happens, but it does from time to time. My tension is good, and the bobbin thread's been pulled to the top. All the possible culprits have been eliminated. If you have a clue, please tell me, because I haven't. A clue that is...

I just figure it's the machine's way of telling me it needs a break. She is 20+ years old... Even if you don't sew, you can imagine just how long it takes to remove all of these crazy stitches and get everything back in order again. I usually say a few choice words, then I myself have to take a break before I pick up my seam ripper.

Today I took a break looking at these wonderful African Safari pictures and blog stories that my friend Beth has been running lately in her blog, "Notes". I "met" Beth on-line a while back when we were both on a quilt-related message board. She was living in Chicago at the time, me in Northern Michigan. We've since moved to South Africa (Beth) and Oregon (me). She's shared a lot of free-motion know-how with me in the past too. If you need a break, jump on over to her blog and look at the incredible pictures of wildlife that she's been posting lately. Besides blogging and sewing, she's a very talented photographer as well.

On the bright side, the quilt that this happened to is now all quilted and ready to bind! I have another all pinned and ready to start quilting. I was hoping to do it tomorrow while the kids are in school, but this is what I saw when I let the dog out a few minutes ago, right before bed: (notice the snow shovel in the corner). Yep, it's been snowing all day, and now is starting to stick. They're predicting 2-4 inches, and out town does not have a snow plow, and very few flat roads. Hmmmm. I did get out to the grocery store today just in case.

I hope the weather and quilting is better where you are!

11 comments:

Heather - Dollarstorecrafts.com said...

Thanks for sharing with CraftFail! I think we've all had lots of woes with sewing machines... I have never even posted any of mine... i'd be posting every day! :) -heather

http://craftfail.com/?p=1190

Heather - Dollarstorecrafts.com said...

Oh, p.s. I am an Oregonian too! :) My 1st son was born at OHSU.

Regina said...

I had a little low-end Kenmore that had all sorts of bobbin thread problems. It drove me crazy. I always found it worked better if I kept it very, very clean and double-checked the bobbin thread tension often. I think with my machine, the first mess it made was just random (cheap machine, whatever) but that mess would pull on the bobbin case hard enough to tweak the tension and that would lead to more and more messes. The thread also had a tendency to wrap around the little hook on one of the moving rings around my bobbin case (I had a side-loader) and when that got bent out of place, all hell broke loose.

Another thing that might be going on: are you using the right kind of bobbins? I recently learned that singer bobbins do NOT work in all machines, even if they claim they do (how did I miss this??? and this might explain some of my problems with my Kenmore). So I've taken to ordering bobbins from my machine's manufacturer and have not had any bobbin thread problems at all.

Finally, is there somewhere you can take the machine to get it serviced? From the sounds of it, you use the machine enough to make servicing totally worth it. A good 20 year old machine should still be in perfect working order, so it may just need a tune-up.

Krysta said...

I second getting it serviced! My mom's machine would do these horrible messes on the back, and when we took it in to be serviced, it worked like new again!

Sandra :) said...

I saw your post at CraftFail, and came over for a peek. NESTS!! We all get them, and they're horrible and annoying. I don't think there's only one answer to the problem, because there are so many things that could be contributing to the nesting. Sometimes it helps if you say a prayer to the sewing gods, remove and rethread the top thread, remove and reset the bobbin, and then dance a little jig around a burning candle placed on the stump of an old elm tree. On a day starting with T. At 8:03 p.m. EST. Wearing an apron and a fuzzy fleece hat. While whistling the theme to Hawaii Five-0 and shouting ... BOOK HIM, DANNO! at the top of your voice.

It couldn't hurt! ;) You could also try changing your needle (it may have a burr on it), changing thread brands, changing bobbins, removing the bobbin casing and removing all the lint/dust bunnies, and making sure you hold both thread ends behind your project when you start stitching - sometimes they can get pulled down into the bobbin area and make a mess!

The Green Cat said...

Make sure you are using the right needle for your project. I also agree with previous commenters about getting the machine serviced. It appears your bobbin thread is not looping properly.

Also (although I'm sure you'd have already checked this) are you making sure your feed dogs are down/covered and that you are using a free-motion foot when you are doing this?

I hope you get it figured out!

Janice said...

Also saw you on CraftFail. Try this woman's store http://freemotionquilting.blogspot.com/ Not only do I love her blog, but she has these little slippery washer things that go in your bobbin case that she swears by. I might also add that when my machine makes birdsnests, I often have to rethread the TOP rather than the bottom. It seems odd, but it seems to work.

Leigh said...

Is it a Singer? I've got an older Singer that does that when I'm using a different thread in the top and bottom. Weird, I know. But I posted about it in a sewing forum and several people mentioned it and when I made sure I was using the same thread in the bobbin and on top, it stopped! But that doesn't always work with the colors in a quilt...

Camilla said...

It's worth checking whether the thread is coming out through the notch in the bobbin case correctly (the diagonal line that the thread makes across the bobbin); sometimes it can jump out.

Becky said...

Wow! Some great ideas! I'm reluctant to admit that I've never had the machine serviced :-O. I've had it for over 20 years. Hmmm. I also wonder, in hind sight, though, if I maybe am forgetting to put the foot down. Would that cause it? I sewed with it for the last 2 days, and haven't had this problem, so I'm wondering if that's maybe what happened. And Sandra, LOL! How funny! I also must admit that after this happened I took apart my machine and DID find a ton of lint in there. AMAZING what can accumulate in your machine when you're not looking!

Anonymous said...

I hope you've already solved your thread-nesting problems with your machine. However, if not, I have a Kenmore that merrily makes these nests if I forget she only sews with SINGER needles. Yes, my Kenmore wants SINGER needles. I had also worked through every possibility rethreading the top and the bottom threads, winding fresh bobbins, changing brands and weights of threads, changing tensions. Messie Bessie now has a reminder written on her with sharpie-SINGER NEEDLES ONLY