Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Bird's Nests? Argh!!!


I was off skiing last week in the French Alps. It was SPECTACULAR, but I missed my sewing machine.  As soon as I returned home, I was itching to start quilting my Community Quilt.

I had 45 minutes of gorgeous quilting, but then started to hear grinding.  That's never good.  Being the idiot that I am, I continued on with the line I had already started.  When I flipped it over, I found this:


What?!?!?  What is that?  The top looks just fine.  Nice even stitches.  On the underside I have these huge loops.  What are they?  What is making them?  How do I make it stop?  

You can even see the row I did right before this nasty one.  Nice, pert little stitches.


I googled it, as we all would.  The few references I could find say that it's a result of the bobbin not being threaded properly.  So, I ripped all of the thread out of the bobbin, rewound it and tried it again.  For good measure, I cleaned the lint out of the bobbin case and under the throat plate.  


But still, I have nasty loops (and now a lot of unpicking to do....)! Now you can see the bobbin thread is even breaking  a bit in the red sections.

Can anyone tell me what is making my machine to this when it was completely fine the row before?  How do I fix this?  Help, guys!

(PS: I am so sorry for the dark photos...took them in desperation at 9PM at night.  Never a good idea...)


38 comments:

susan said...

Oh Cindy, I haven't a clue. I would be doing what you are doing, which is asking everyone else. Have you rethread the top thread as well to make sure it is all as it should be? Given the machine a good talking to? Eaten chocolate?

Di said...

Poor you. It is annoying to say the least. My advice - take it to a repair man who knows what he is doing! di xo

cheeky monkey said...

Oh I miss my mountains and can't wait for the summer. Unfortunately there will be no sewing for weeks.

On the thread I can't help you. I have this every now and then. I just rearrange the threads and maybe give the machine a rest and it is all fine again. I am sorry for not being a help and hope you can fix it soon!

Quilterbell said...

Stunning views!!!!

I have the same problem with the thread some times, it drives me mad, because I don't really know what it is going on!. So, I stop, clean the machine from top to bottom, re-thread, and it seems to work. Good luck Cindy!

Judith, Belfast said...

It looks more like a tension issue C! I would try a different thread in both top and bottom, then if it's still looping adjust your tension button a little, and if it's still doing it then the tension may have shifted in your bobbin casing. This is something a repair man will need to fix. Hope you get sorted. Jxo

Diane-crewe said...

Im with the other girls ...stop..cup of tea, rethread EVERYTHING...try again...SCREAM.. repeat the above...usually works the second time (did I mention machines drive me CRAZY!!)

linda said...

do everything the girls above say plus get you little brush out and give it a bit of a clean mine was grinding last night and i did all that it was ok !!

my4lilgirls said...

Yep I'm with the rest, rethread everything. Its happened to me so many times & always with quilting, so i guess the layers have that annoying effect on the machine.
Anyhoo I def reckon the best suggestion you got there was LOTS o chocolate, a cure most def for all ailments & difficult situations :)
Karen x

Manda said...

Sorry mine usually gets better when i rethread. Hope you get it sorted

circle retreat quilter said...

Sounds like you had a fab time in the Alps......I am with Manda, re threading usually helps, if all else fails eat chocolate.

Strawberry Patch said...

Oh bother! Im with the others, I usually re-thread everything, a good clean and start off again, it usually helps! Hope yours starts behaving again soon!

Karen said...

Oh dear....this looks familiar! :) It is probably a tension thing, so if you take out your bobbin out of the casing & rethread it into the casing (holding the thread to keep it taught) & then do the same with your thread (keeping again it taught), check your machine tension & maybe oil it & then run it through a scrap it should be OK. If not there is another wee thing you can do with your bobbin...let me know how you get on...Good luck!

Dianne Neale said...

Apart from rethreading top, bottom, changing needle, cleaning etc, mine will also throw a wobbly when the thread is running low on the top reel. If I change to a new reel, it's usually OK.

Otherwise - it's to the menders!

Dolores said...

Hi Cindy,

My Mum's 1980's Singer did that to me a couple of years ago. I think I worked out it was either the thread or that I hadn't threaded something properly or tension. I can't remember exactly because all I remember was fussing over all those things. Sorry, I realise I'm not a lot of help. I hope you sort it out though.

dxx

Pam said...

Cindy- I've had this happen on several machines. Usually the bottom bobbin threading has slipped out of the hook that guides the tension, but it can also be related to the needle (which has sometimes taken advantage of a slight tension issue, thrown flames on the fire, and turned into what you've shown). So... basically, re-thread everything and change your needle.

Jenn said...

I just had the same thing happen with mine. I rethreaded, changed needles, bobbins, etc. but none of it worked. I brought it a repair shop and he said my tension was off and needed to be fixed. He gave it a good cleaning and put the tension to rights and I picked it up the next morning. Works great now.

Ray and Jeanne said...

When my machine does that, I change the needle, clean the bobbin area, rethread the top, rethread the bobbin, turn the machine off and back on. So far, it works! Good luck!, -Jeanne

Diary of a Flutter.Kat said...

I get that sometimes too! Very frustrating!!

Usually either my top thread has come out of it's thingy (technical term obviously ;) ) or my bobbin thread has come out of it's thingy. Or I have a bent/blunt needle.

And next time, may I suggest doing a trial before you go back to your quilt... it will save you a lot of unpicking ;) (but been there!!)

Hope you get it sorted soon!

Claire said...

Hi Cindy,
When my machine acts up I usually rethread my machine, clean the lint out of the bobbin case. Putting a new needle in usually solves the problem as well...

Jennifer said...

oh no, i get that as well sometimes, but unfortunately, like the rest i don't know why it happens -- I usually just rethread, both the spool and bobbin and it tends to work itself out, most times i've overlooked a step with the the threading of the bobbin or in my haste it slipped out of place.. fingers crossed its working better today!

theoffkilterquilt said...

I always have to consult my machine's manual about tension, but usually when I get those nests it means there's a tension issue. Sometimes adjusting the upper tension up or down a notch or two, then rethreading does the trick.

Good luck!

xofrances

M-R said...

In addition to rethreading everything and cleaning, check your needle for any burrs and turn your machine off for a minute or two. It sounds odd, but I've found more often than not, we 'both' just need a breather and reset. ;) Good luck!

Sarah said...

Eeek... been reading peoples comments and I'm worried... you arent alone, my machine did that last night too, and I've tried cleaning and re threading.... Will try new thread and tension testing this afternoon I suppose....

Katy Cameron said...

Kick it? ;o) I've had this happen a couple of times - the way my machine winds the bobbin, I hand wrap round a few times, then use a cutter built into the bobbin winding plate and shift the thing over to start the winding process. I found a couple of times I must have started too high when I went to cut off, the end thread was then stuck in the cutter, and it pulled the winding all out. It was fine to start with, but nearer the end of the bobbin I had a couple of those loopy moments as more than one thread was being fed through from below o.O

Good luck finding the solution!

Flying Blind... said...

A bit of what they all say, but with more chocolate and swearing! Good luck x

Pat said...

What everyone else says, except I would replace the tea for a lovely glass of wine. Pick your favorite, mine happens to be a local Riesling. Good Luck Cindy! :)

everinprogress said...

My machine did this a few days ago (although not as badly) and cleaning all the lint out seemed to do the trick.

Rachel said...

When mine does this it is generally tension or bobbin. Mostly bobbin. sometimes when the machine winds it the end (that should be hidden) pokes out just the tiniest bit and that tiny (can you say magnifying glass to see) messes everything else up. A few years ago I could not stop the madness on my own and took it in, the problem was a teeny thread(again, magnifying glass?) under the automatic thread cutter that was messing with the bobbin.Hope you figure it out...it can be VERY frustrating (see wine & chocolate advise).

Judy said...

What a gorgeous view and I bet you had a wonderful time skiing!

Sorry, the first thought I had was the tension was off. Maybe the screw on the bobbin turned somehow? That seems unlikely unless it was loose. I hope that your machine is working again!

Katie said...

When I've had that issue, it's always been a top thread problem. I just rethread and everything works as it should.

Isisjem said...

I've no idea why this happens. I just know if I some straight line quilting I'll randomly get a row that looks a tad loose but good on the front and I turn it over and it's a loop fest on the back. On good occasions I can pull one thread and it comes up in one piece which I save and use for sewing down the binding!

Catherine said...

oh this has happened to me before and its so frustrating. I always thought it was the tension. I would leave it a couple of days, go back to it and start again!

Nicky said...

The good news is we all seem to have this problem from time to time and that it seems fixable - you have all our sympathy including mine but it seems to happen to me when the thread slips out of the tension thingy...

tusen said...

I love the mountain photo - it must have been wonderful.
As for the problem with the loops, my machine does that sometimes too. I usually do what most of the ladies above suggest - rethread both top and bottom thread, change the needle, clean the lint from every place I can get to and let the machine rest for a few minutes. I also read (it was a discovery to me, although probably everybody else knows this already) that you should thread your needle with the presser foot up, otherwise it might result with exactly such loops due to tension problems.

Cherie said...

Yes the tension thingy is called the take up lever. The thread can still be threaded through the actual needle, but if its not going through the lever then that can cause the loops. Just stop the machine and re-thread it through this. If the machine is going too fast that can cause the thread to slip out of the back of it. It can also cause the thread between the needle and the bobbin to tangle, adding to those annoying loops. Just make sure the thread goes through everything it needs to and check it from time to time =D

Leanne said...

I expect you have solved it by now. If rethreading, cleaning and such does not work, then try a brand new spool of thread and wind a new bobin from it and a new needle. Also make sure you have the right size needle for the thread. I have never had to do anything further than that, usually a total rethread is all it takes.

Z Any Mouse said...

Take two margaritas and call me in the morning...

I hope you're able to work it out!

Archie the wonder dog said...

I hope you've solved it by now as I have nothing new to suggest other than giving it a good talking to and leaving it to think about the way it's behaving...

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