L2: Today’s Topic: Get Started Quilting, Prevent Thread Jamming
Good Morning, Quilters!
Welcome to Week 2 of 25 Weeks to Better Machine Quilting based on my book, 25 Days to Better Machine Quilting.
Monday (Light) Housekeeping
We have a new Quilt-a-Long PAGE in our navigation bar for easy reference to all of the lessons. Find the QAL page on the top navigation bar if you are on a computer or access through the “hamburger” -triple bars- on most mobile devices.
I will update the QAL Page regularly. The QAL Page will store all of the daily blog posts in one place.
(Sign up for the posts to be sent to your email HERE)
Lesson Two: Let’s Get Started Quilting!
Last week, we started the QAL by getting organized and doodling. Some of you started quilting.
If you weren’t ready or able to start quilting last week, don’t worry! We officially start stitching this week! Work at your own pace. And if you don’t know where to start, don’t worry about that either. Over the next 24 weeks, I will guide you through many wonderful projects!
This week we will cover these topics (and more)
- How to start the stitching line to prevent thread jamming (Monday)
- Quilting YOUR signature (Tuesday)
- Stitching safely (Wednesday)
- Recording YOUR progress (Thursday)
- Ways to use practice quilts (Friday)
How to Prevent Thread Jamming
One of the most frustrating trials in all of quilting and sewing is thread jamming which often occurs at the beginning of the stitched line.
Thread jamming occurs when the bobbin thread tail gets caught in the bobbin case and prevents it from rotating properly. Usually the needle is unable to lower and a knot of thread results. The typical cure is to remove the bobbin, clear the threads and re-thread the machine. ARGH!
To prevent thread from jamming, I recommend bringing the bobbin thread to the top of the quilt and holding it as you take the first few stitches.
How to Bring the Bobbin Thread to the Top of the Quilt
A. Place the quilt under the needle
B. Hold the top thread taut and lower the presser foot (use the knee lever if available!)
C. Keep holding the top thread and lower the needle (use your hand wheel or “heel kick”)
D. Raise the needle and tug the top thread. This should reveal the bobbin loop (hand wheel or “heel kick”)
E. Use tweezers to pull the bobbin tail to the top
F. Hold BOTH the top and the bobbin thread as you begin to sew a few stitches (NOTE-in the photo the top thread is “parked” in the thread cutter–usually I hold both the top and bobbin thread)
Popping the Bobbin Thread
I call the above procedure “popping” the bobbin thread. It is one of the most important lessons to learn!!! It is a little fussy to learn at first, but after awhile it will become second nature to you. Most importantly, it will save a lot of frustration as you begin to stitch.
A few pointers:
CHECK YOUR MANUAL–which way does your hand wheel turn? For most machines the hand wheel turns toward you, but not all!!
See if your machine has a programmable foot pedal. If so, you can use a “heel kick” to raise and lower the needle. (See more about the BERNINA foot pedal)
Many machines (all BERNINAs) have a knee lever to raise and lower the presser foot.
Occasionally, you may have to repeat the sequence more than once to “pop” the bobbin thread.
For some machines, you may find it easier to raise the presser foot and the needle before tugging at the bobbin thread.
Find a sequence that works best for YOU and YOUR machine!
More Jamming Issues
Stray threads are another source of thread jamming. Be meticulous about throwing small snips of thread into the garbage as you stitch. These pesky little tails seem to swim to the bobbin causing problems as you sew.
One other source of jamming that I have experienced is from placing the bobbin incorrectly in the race. In the BERNINA Q20, it is possible to thread the bobbin backward! Check your sewing machine manual.
Review and mark your sewing machine manual:
- Hand wheel direction
- Heel kick option
- Bobbin threading procedure
Practice “popping the bobbin”
Doodle (Always Doodle!)
Stitch if you feel inspired!
PS…All tutorials, images and information are the property of LoriKennedyQuilts.com and are intended for personal use only. Feel free to re-blog, pin or share with attribution to LKQ. For all other purposes, please contact me at Lori@LoriKennedyQuilts.com. Thank you!