This past weekend, I FINALLY decided what design I was going to quilt on the Christmas Stars quilt and started quilting it. However, my thread kept breaking frequently. ARGH!!!! I re-threaded the machine till I was blue in the face and changed my needle 3-4 times...you know...the basics of what to do when your upper thread breaks.
I googled "upper thread breaking" for my particular machine and I saw where some people had to use a size 16 topstitch needle in this machine when using thicker thread. (I'm using Sulky 30 wt. cotton...this is the first time I've used a thread this thick.) I didn't have a "topstitch" needle, but I did have a 16 "jeans/denim" needle. Tried that. Still breakage. :(
I also saw that you should loosen the tension with thicker thread, so tried that as far as I dared...still breakage!
Okay...so now I'm about to throw this quilt in the back of the cupboard and forget about it! Double ARGH!!!
Then today I received an email from Superior Threads and in it they mentioned that they had a troubleshooting guide. I went to their site and pulled up this guide. Before I discarded the idea of finishing this quilt...or running out to Walmart for topstitch needles...or abandoning this thread and buying something else to use...I decided to follow their suggestion and loosen the tension all the way to "0" and gradually tighten it back up from there.
GUESS WHAT??? It WORKED!!! I usually sew on this machine with the tension around "3" on Juki's scale of 1-4. But at 1.5 I was no longer seeing the top thread on the back of the quilt sandwich and my thread is NO LONGER BREAKING!!! In my timidity, I just hadn't loosened the tension enough before!
It is a pleasure to machine quilt once more and this quilt WILL get done!!! I had originally hoped to enter it into the quilt show next year (borrowing it back from its recipient after Christmas), but there are too many issues with the stitching from where I was having trouble with the thread/tension, so I'm just going to have to do another quilt to enter! ;)
My machine quilting still isn't very good, but it is getting better and I'm glad I did take the time a few months ago to practice practice practice! It definitely made a difference.
"Done is better than perfect!" Though it's not "done" yet...it is well on it's way to being so! :)
This past Monday was the grand opening of the new Hobby Lobby store in Morgantown, WV. Guess who was in attendance? My good friend (and neighbor), Kathy, joined me. Though neither one of spent very much there that day, I know I WILL be going back in the future! It's nice to finally have one in our area!
We spent the rest of the day together going to ACMoore and then out to eat and had a great time together! It's always nice to spend some relaxed time with a good friend who "gets" you!