Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Tension Headache

I started quilting my Christmas Exchange present;  I have this lovely silver metallic thread and I thought it would look lovely in a pretty simple decorative stitch with the icy colors that I chose.

Wound a brand new bobbin or two, threaded my machine.  Read the manual about metallic threads.   Got one row of decorative stitching done.  Easy peasy not one problem.  I started row 2 and I  was almost finished and I started having some challenges.  My top thread broke suddenly.  I rethreaded the machine, found in the decorative stitch pattern where to start and finished out the row. 

Then in the middle of the next row DH accidentally unplugged my machine so I had to do a complete reset.  Sometimes there is a lot to be said for antique machines. I was done for the day.

The next morning I was getting ready to work on the piece again.I flipped over the piece and there was a birdsnest of silver thread in the 2nd row where it had broken.  That just would not do.  So I found Jack, and wandered to the family room to look up information on the internet while I removed those two rows of stitching.

Everything said I should be using a special needle for metallics, and sew slow.  Hopped in the car and drove to the closest sewing machine repair shop.  (Living where I live it is 30 miles away).  Bought the needles, and some more Microtex needles because I sew with Batiks so often and headed back home.  New needle.  Check.  Pull up the needle plate, and remove the bobbin, bobbin case, and thoroughly clean to make sure there is nothing else that could be going on.  Sewed 2 rows not a problem then the top thread broke again. Grrr.  Back to the internet.  I don't know about you but I don't think that a 12 inch row should take 15 minutes to sew but I am committed at this time.  Or maybe I should be committed.  I don't know. 

Lower my tension.  Lower one click.  Sew about 10 inches then I see it happen.  There is like a knot that forms almost as if the metallic threads stick to each other.  Lower the tension one more click.  Little bit better but then again start having the thread breaking problem.  I notice that right before the thread breaks there is one outside stitch that will not catch the bobbin thread.  I may be able to sew 3-4 more motifs then the thread breaks.

I am determined that I am going to finish this piece with the metallic thread and the specialty stitch.  I am about 2/3 done and I don't want to rip it out and start over with just plain thread. 

OMG and then I had a whole different tangle.  I actually could not bring my needle up out of the fabric.  I turned the machine off, and then back on.  Still could not get the needle to come up. I undid the needle screw, tried to remove the foot, but could not do that either.  I then looked at the bobbin case.  It was a mess.  I removed the bobbin cover, and snipped a thread.  Doing that released the needle immediately. 

I flipped the piece over and it was worse than ever.
I showed DH when he got home and he took the machine apart as much as he could. 
Yep you I had a whole hutch of dust bunnies in there.  I will clean up that tangle above and try again. 


  1. You have way more patience than I do! I'm sure I would have given up long before now. :) I do love the look of metallic threads at times but I never try to sew very much with them. My problem is usually that they break...not so much the knotting. Good luck! blessings, marlene

  2. you sure do know how to preserve. Me, I don't think I will ever try to use metallic thread. good luck!

  3. I can see how frustrating that can be but you are right it is so pretty....believe me, I have had my share of those moments...but throw tantrums...(shame on me)

  4. That looks so pretty. When I use metallic thread, I have always used an ordinary bobbin thread at the bottom. I've never used the metallic both top and bottom, so I don't know what to suggest.


Thanks for dropping in to visit.