FMQ woes.....:(

teresa_nc7June 14, 2012

Cross your fingers/toes for me while I'm quilting the Seabreeze twin quilt! Twice I have had major problems when trying to FM quilt on my Viking machine. For some reason, I get a big wad of thread under the metal throat plate cover and then the cover actually comes off the machine!! YIKES and double YIKES! Talk about causing a heart attack!

It happened again yesterday; I took everything apart and re-threaded, cut out all the thread wad, etc. etc. and was able to quilt some successfully.

I'm ready to go to my LQS in Greensboro and learn to use their long arm......grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Teresa, whose nerves are shot

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Awww, Teresa. I can't help you, but can stand by and support you. I'm sure one of our members can help you....


    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 11:59AM
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What a pain in the patooty! I wait so long in between my attempts to FMQ that it's like starting over from scratch each time!!!

Some of our members have relly mastered it so I keeping hoping one day I will.

Hang in there!

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 12:15PM
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I sure sympathize. Things like this happen when you need to finish something and can get so frustrating.

I assume you pull threads to the top before you start. I'm sure you dropped the feed but setting stitch length to zero might help if you hadn't. Let us know what you've tried and we might be able to comment more.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 12:21PM
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Yep, pull threads to the top - check.

Yep, drop feed dogs - check.

Don't have to set the stitch length on my machine - check.

I'm wondering if there was something not right with the bobbin. Maybe I didn't seat it right when I took everything out to be sure there wasn't any thread from the wad remaining? I have never had this happen, where the metal throat plate comes completely off!


    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 1:22PM
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Teresa, A few months after I got my Pfaff, I took a FMQ class at the LQS who is a big Bernina dealer. We were constantly switching the needle plate from single hole to wide hole. I started getting big rats nest after beautiful stitching. I was not able to continue - of course the Instructor who was the Owner, pooh poohed my machine because it was not a Bernina. It turned out that I had not seated the needleplate completely. It looked perfect, but it was off by a teeney amt. causing exactly what you described. I suggest you clean the area around the edges where the needle plate attaches or snaps into place (like mine). A microscopic piece of dust or thread is enough on my machine to cause that problem.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 2:33PM
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Teresa, I hope by now you've figured this out. One thing I always do when FMQ-ing that might help, I make a large practice square sandwich, at least 12 inches, using two of the same fabrics I've used in the quilt, along with the same batting in the middle layer. Every time I have to put in a new bobbin, I lift off the plate, clean out the bobbin case area, brush out everything including underneath and around the feed dogs, also the top thread area around the needle. Then I do a practice run on the square to make sure it's going right. It's a lot easier than pulling a huge quilt out and possibly even picking out ruined stitching. When I see it's running right and the tension is OK I switch over to the quilt. Most of the time it has something to do with the top thread getting out of one of the do-dads or I've put the bobbin in backwards. I try to wind up several bobbins before I start quilting so that I don't have to re-thread the top but sometimes I run out of top thread and have to re-thread a new spool.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 3:28PM
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Reading what Rita recommends is excellent - I do that with my Pfaff on the frame. Also, put in an existing bobbin, wound with thread, that you have been using for regular sewing that you know worked. See if it solves the problem. A slightly bent bobbin can cause the problem. A slightly bent bobbin case can also cause the problem. If you have dropped the bobbin or bobbin case, you can slightly bend it. Just suggestions to try to isolate the issue.

Are you able to sew normally without a problem?

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 5:12PM
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I had issues with my Baby Lock and took it in to be serviced. I was told that the bobbin case wasn't replaced properly and that caused the problems that I had with the stitching. I found that to be difficult to understand but when she took it apart and redid the bobbin case it did work correctly.
Some times all it needs is to redo everything from the starting point because somethings isn't seated just right. Good luck.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 8:31PM
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Thanks everyone for your sympathy and suggestions!

Today I was able to quilt for an hour or more - trouble free! Yes, I did do a practice quilt square yesterday! And it really sounds like it was either a. the throat plate was not in properly or b. the bobbin was "wonky" and not seated correctly.

Everything was working well today! And, NO, I don't usually have problems doing FMQ on my Viking. Operator problems, sometimes, but the machine has never done anything as wacky as losing it's throat plate.


    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 10:11PM
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Teresa, I am thinking the throat plate must not have been seated. I have to use the tool that came with it to remove mine. I love my Viking and just bought a new foot pedal for it this week. They don't come cheap!
Linda OH

    Bookmark   June 14, 2012 at 10:37PM
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Yep, I always use that little tool thing, Linda. I know my eyes in the late afternoon are not at peak performance, even though I do check the throat plate when I take it out to clean the bobbin case.

My pedal case is cracked.....but there are no plans to replace it yet. I need to get the machine in for a tune-up first.


    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 7:09AM
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I just had my machine in for a tune-up this spring. Both lights were burned out and I couldn't get them out. After I got it home the foot pedal started acting up. I could press down and nothing would happen. When I pressed it again it would start sewing very fast. I borrowed a pedal from a friend with a Designer 1 and it worked fine. I ordered a new pedal online and it arrived on Wed.
Linda OH

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 7:24AM
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Linda, what source did you order your new pedal from?


    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 10:50AM
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This is the control I ordered. I ordered on Monday and it was delivered on Wednesday.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sewing Machines Plus

    Bookmark   June 15, 2012 at 10:45PM
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Here's what I don't get.... How can there be 2 inches of thread on the top and a half a spool's worth in that rat's nest on the bottom? It always amazes me... ;) ( I choose to be amazed rather than, well... you know)


    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 7:26AM
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LOL Faye! Let us know when you solve that universal question - we will nominate you for some kind of award!

And why if you keep checking your bobbin to see how low it is it never seems to run out? But.....if you totally forget about the bobbin it will run out much sooner than it should?

And why do quilters, with the upscale machine that beeps at you if the bobbin is "low," hate said machine because it beeps "low bobbin" way too early and way too often. So the quilters just ignore the beep warning and keep on sewing, grumbling all the while.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2012 at 8:33AM
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