Friday, September 15, 2006

Mostly done!

Well, I took my machine in to the nearest repair place... and they said they'd puffed a few puffs of air thru the tension dial and it was fixed. But I insisted on test driving it there, and it did the same thing for me that it had been doing, after I'd sewn for a while. Then I let them keep it overnight, and this time he said he'd buffed down some little place and sewed a bunch with it, and it was working. And on the two pieces of that felty stuff they demo on, it had sewn ok.

At home, I set it up for free motion, and it was still breaking and snarling. Ann had suggested that I try regular sewing, and with the walking foot, and it does fine... it's just with free motion. The only things I see different are dropping the feed dogs, and using the free motion foot.



I was using 100% cotton gray DMC thread on the top and bottom for the freehand fans I was trying. I tried switching to a stronger cotton/poly red thread and made freehand loops in the inner red border, and still had problems. (You don't see it on the red, I was using red on top and bobbin.) So I took the darning foot off, and put the walking foot on, and kept the red thread, stitched in the ditch between the inner border and the piano keys, and two straight lines perpendicular to the keys, then again in the ditch between the keys and the last red border. Except for a few inches (where I'd been playing with the tension for the darning foot,) once I switched to 'normal' tension for the walking foot, it worked beautifully.

The walking foot is also working well for machine sewing the binding. :)



So I don't know WHAT the problem is with free motion quilting. The ability to do free motion quilting is the main reason I got this new machine a few months ago. If I wanted to piece, or quilt with a walking foot, I have my old Kenmore.

I've tried it with the machine set on slow... medium... and fast. I tried it with the top tension several places on the dial, from loose to tight. I still got breaks in the top thread and loops and snarls of the top thread on the bottom. I think I've picked out more thread this week than in my whole life. Any suggestions, anyone?

And THAT'S why I haven't been blogging... but I promise to get around to all your blogs this weekend!

18 comments:

jpquilter said...

such a bummer when your machine doesn't do what you want it to do - I can so relate and I am really glad to have my new machine - I hope your problem gets worked out soon
Juliann

joyce said...

I think you have narrowed down the problem but I am a newby at free motion so not much help from here. . My Pfaff has a halfway position of the presser foot for freemotion and once I found that it worked well. Before I discovered that it did the same thing as you are describing. Maybe your machine has the same thing? I can't remember what kind of machine you have. My instruction book was not clear at all about the halfway postition of the presser foot.

YankeeQuilter said...

Sorry to hear about the problems with the machine...sometimes I just have to back away from the sewing machine, take a deep breath and pick up some hand work. At least that I can sort of control! Good luck getting it all sorted out!
Siobhan

Fiona said...

Fresh out of suggestions but full of commiserations - can't think of anything more frustrating than the sewing machine not working like it should.

Vicky said...

I hope you work out the problem. It's so frustrating when you sit down to quilt and things aren't going right!

One suggestion -- did you change your needle? I can't tell you how many times that was the culprit for me!

Good luck. Let us know how it's going!

Patti said...

Definitely check to see if you have a "half down" position of your presser foot for free motion quilting - it makes a huge difference on my machine. Check the instruction book. If it doesn't talk about free motion quilting then check the settings for using the darning foot.

I know with my longarm I had nothing but problems until I loosened the bobbin tension. I know the two machines are very different, but you might just try the bobbin tension. Have you also tried changing to a different size needle? That might make a difference also.

Judy said...

What type of machine did you by Jane? When I first started using my Bernina after I got it. I was in the new owner class and I could hardly pull the thred out it wa sso tight. The teacher said no way and took it to the repair guy at the shop and there was a tiny screw inside that kept the tention smooth and it wasn't in right. Make them take it apart or make them free motion on it. Maybe try another repair place??

I'd love to know which machine you got too.

Evelyn aka Starfishy said...

Maybe go back to the same dealership where you got the machine with a sample piece to sew on and try one of the floor models - see if it is just YOUR machine or that particular model machine in general. If the floor model works fine - make them fix yours the way it should work... that is what I would do. Good luck, I know that this must be frustrating for you.

Cheers!

Evelyn

quiltpixie said...

sounds so very frustrating.... does it only break/snarl if you're moving in a particular direction? I know my machine doesn't like sewing a line going up towards the left (NW) and will skip stitches...

Mary said...

It sounds like you may have more than one issue but when I was first learning to freemotion quilt on my sewing machine I tried Schmetz metallica needles. Once I had more experience coordinating the speed and movement of the quilt I didn't need them but they really made a difference for me while I was learning and kept the thread from breaking.

Lily said...

Far out Jane - have you contacted the manufacturers?

Shelina said...

I feel for you. I experienced so many problems free motion quilting after I had successfully done it on a couple of projects, that I completely gave up on the machine. Then about a year later I tried again, and it works fine. I think it must have just been tired. Another time the same machine had trouble raising the feed dogs, and after a week's vacation my daughter turned it on and it worked just fine.

Finn said...

Hi Jane, about all I can do is lend moral support, as I know nothing about your new machine, or why it would do that. I applaud your wonderful efforts to master the free motion quilting..you go girl!!!!

Linda_J said...

Thank heavens you insisted on sitting down to sew while still at the shop. It sounds like the typical "male" attitude about any repairs. We did x and its fine making it sound like you don't have a clue what you are talking about--what I call "sure it is, little lady"

BUT when you could replicate exactly what it was doing in short order proved that blowing hot air wasn't the only problem. Still for your sake, I hope they figure it out soon and fix the problem properly this time.

My shop is over an hour away no matter which of the three or four Viking dealers I might try. I would be danged sure it was right before I make that round trip again! Part of the reason why I am considering purchasing something that can be serviced locally at some point.

Samantha said...

very frustrating! hope you can get it fixed ASAP!

Ali Honey said...

I think Evelyn is right. That is a good way to find out. Don't be fobbed off by them. It must sew to your satisfaction. Good Luck!

Dawn said...

Oh it shouldn't be doing that, that is for sure. What a major pain. I"ve missed what kind you have, but on my it does that when I forget to put the foot in the half down postion like Patti mentioned. Something for sure is not right - and you shouldn't have to "live with it". Now convincing them of that I know is harder than it sounds!

Which is why I won't get mine serviced locally. They do an awful job, I get better service going far.

Laura said...

oh Jane so sorry to hear about your machine problems, I hope you can get this resolved with your dealer soon!

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