Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Frustrated with Free Motion Quilting!

I had such a frustrating day yesterday! I was super excited to see that the replacement darning foot had arrived. It looks a look sturdier than the previous one so will hopefully last longer than one and a half quilts!!!

I got it installed nice and quickly and had a quick try on a practice quilt sandwich with the thread that was already on the machine. I was super pleased with it, it seemed to produce better stitches than the previous one. I decided I would get on with the free motion quilting I was in the middle of when the last presser foot broke rather than continuing the piecing on Dilly Quilt.

I changed the thread over to the one I was using for the stippling on Secret Project. It's a grey/blue variegated thread by YLI. I bought it when I was in a different fabric shop to usual and I saw they had different brands of thread than I was used to and I wanted to give it a try. Usually I use King Tut by Superior Threads because that is available to me locally.

I have had SO much trouble with this thread! To start with the main problem I was getting was skipped stitches, and not just one or two...I'm talking 5-10 skipped stitches at a time so I just get a long straight bit of thread. After a few times of ripping out and redoing sections of stitches I went online to search for solutions. The problem is that there are so many possible solutions out there and it's impossible to know which one it will be.

First of all I tried changing to a new needle. I was using a 90/14 and changed for a new one of those. I went ahead and had a go on my practice sandwich which came out fine. As soon as I went back to the project, it started happening again! 

Next step for me to try was to take out the stitch plate and give it a good cleaning! So I did that and got loads of lint out of the machine (so maybe I should have given it a clean before, I just didn't really trust myself to!) and thought to myself, "this definitely must have been the problem". I went back to the project and started again...there were very few skipped stitches, however now the thread decided it would break after about 30cm of stippling! This happened many many times so I then decided to try changing the needle size to see if that would make a difference so I tried a 100/16. This made very little difference and I ended up breaking the thread at least 20 more times before I gave up!

I want to go back to it today and try and sort it out but I'm just not sure I've got the energy for it!

I haven't had any problems with the previous part of this project, in which I did a sort of wood grain effect, but I was using a different thread for that, which does make me wonder if it's just that the thread and my machine don't get along very well...hopefully I will have a bit more luck with it when I do go back to it!

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