Serger Question/Help

momstarDecember 15, 2010

Hi all. I've been a member on the garden side for years and a lurker on the quilt forum for a while. I'm not sure if my question is best posted here but I'm hoping for some help.

I bought a Brother 4-thread serger at Sam's club about 20 years ago. It was cheap - I think it was around $60 but at the time it was a fortune to me. It has been a fantastic machine and has never needed repaired. I've kept it oiled and the fuzzies cleaned out of the mechanism.

Here is where the story goes South. I was doing a strip denim quilt for DH this summer. In my foolish attempt to hurry and have it done before he came home from out of town, I ran over a pin. It snapped one of the needles in half. Even when I replaced the needle it was still stitching poorly. I finally gave up and decided I needed to take it to the shop. I took it to my local quilt shop and had it repaired/serviced. They fixed the timing, cleaned, oiled, and replaced the blades. When I got it back and started sewing the levi quilt, it was still missing stitches, almost as many as before I took it in.

I returned to the shop and showed them on a sample sandwich of denim/batting/fabric what it was doing. They sent it back to the repair guy.

It came back, again, and still doesn't work. They tell me it is just too worn out to sew that thick of a piece.

It has sewn 80% of the quilt perfectly. I got frustrated and put everything away. Now I really want to finish up the project. I've tried to sew a sample of just regular fabric weight and it seems to sew okay. It is when I get the multiple layers of denim and batting that it won't work.

My questions are: 1) Am I doing something wrong with the settings, needle type/size, etc. that is making a difference in how it used to sew denim and now won't? 2) If I have to go buy another serger after all these years, what brand/model will handle the thickness of a denim strip quilt?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

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I feel your frustration! It sounds to me as if the denim is just too heavy for what you are asking the serger to do. I also have a Brother 4-thread serger, but it probably is not the same model that you have. Mine was on sale, but it was quite a bit more than your machine.

If they make "denim" needles that fit your serger, then try to get those needles and see if that helps. A quilt made with several layers of denim AND batting is going to be very thick and quite heavy. There is a reason why most quilters do not make denim quilts. :o(

You could look for a shop or individual that has a heavy duty industrial serger who could finish the quilt for you? Or is it possible to end the quilt where it is now and bind it so it will be finished? Just not as big as you intended?

Wish I could help more, but I won't even hem jeans for family on my machines......


    Bookmark   December 15, 2010 at 7:19PM
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