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Tips-Preventing thread breaks

  This is a collection of tips on how to prevent top thread breaks while machine quilting. Most thread breaks are due to excess heat and friction on the thread caused by incorrect tension settings.
  • Set top tension correctly for the thread that you are using. See your sewing machine manual.
  • Make sure your machine is threaded correctly. See your sewing machine manual.
  • Make sure your bobbin is unwinding in the correct direction. See your sewing machine manual.
  • Clean out your bobbin area and thread area to prevent fuzz build up.
  • Oil your machine as required. See sewing machine manual.
  • Use a topstitch needle with a larger eye so that the thread can move through the needle more freely, reducing friction.
  • Use a quality thread that is designed for machine quilting or embroidery. Many basic threads are not designed for multi-directional sewing.
  • Try to keep your stitch lengths within the normal range for your sewing machine. This will prevent you from "pulling" the thread out of the machine which leads to thread and needle breaks.
  • Use a better quality, dense batting to reduce fuzz.
  • Increase your presser foot tension to compress the material you are sewing to reduce friction on the needle and thread.
  • Try not to accellerate your machine speed quickly. Don't jump from slow to fast, try to ramp your speed up or down smoothly.
  • Use the thread guides on your machine if they are provided. Make sure that the thread is not catching as it comes off the spool or cone.
  • Lift your presser foot to release the tension on your machine. Try pulling the thread off the cone from the needle. If it doesn't pull easily, it is catching somewhere, start at the needle and work backwards to determine where it is catching.
  • Make sure bobbin tension is set correctly. Bobbin and case should just lift out of your hand when you pull on the thread tail. Adjust bobbin case tension screw to adjust bobbin tension. Don't turn more than 1/4 turn at a time. Look at the slot in the screw as though it is a hand on a clock face. Try turning it only 5 minutes at a time to find the right adjustment. See your sewing machine manual.
  • If all else fails, take your bobbin out and replace it, unthread and rethread your machine to start with a clean slate.



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