Saturday, July 10, 2010

It was the FOOT!

So after fixing my friend's machine yesterday I came home and thought about mine. I thought and thought and couldn't figure how the frame could be affecting the stitches and thread breaking. It just didn't make any sense.
I messed around with my machine and worked on a couple of quilts and every time I went in the same direction (away to the left) the thread would break. No problems going any other direction, but always in the same direction. I could count on it to break. It reminded me of when I first got my machine and the thread broke because of a burr in the throat plate.

So, last night I was thinking that the only thing I hadn't tried on the machine was the foot. This morning I got up and looked closely at the foot. I have a metal foot with a plastic ring inside. For some reason, the needle has hit that plastic part many, many times and it was all scratched. Especially in the direction that would catch the thread when you pushed the machine away from you to the left. I took the foot off and tried to file it down to smooth. I put it back on and tried sewing again. Still broke the thread.

I looked up on the internet and found a sewing machine shop in the same town my daughter had a tennis tournament today. Happy coincidence or devine intervention? We stopped in after she won :) and I explained my troubles. The two ladies were very busy because I think they were having a class today. I'm definately going back when it isn't so busy. They had a lot of things I wanted to look at in there. The second lady to help me was very knowledgeable about machines and frames and thread. What I thought was very funny was the guy who fixed my machine recommended Aurafil thread. This lady said that Aurafil is terrible for machine quilting and will break every time. I always have to laugh at how different people are so opionated on their thread choices. She recommended Maxi Lock Serger thread. For $3.95 for a spool of thread, who can go wrong? I said I was willing to try anything.

I got a new foot for my machine--the Janome foot didn't fit the machine, but the Juki foot did--go figure! And came home to try it out. Finished the first quilt and no breaking thread. Loaded a second quilt, no breaking. Loaded a 3rd quilt and no breaking. I still have to try the new thread, but I think I figured out what the trouble was.
And to think I was ready to spend $1,000 for a whole new setup. It cost $35 for a new foot. Now to be careful not to break this one. I think this is the 4th foot I've gone through since owning the machine :) Good thing I don't wear out my real feet this quickly. That's my excuse for not running a marathon!
Back to work. I've got a lot of catching up to do!

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