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Message Board > Creative Sewing > What is my problem? ( Moderated by Lynnelle)

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What is my problem?
Harleyjo

Harleyjo
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Date: 1/18/13 2:24 PM

I have decided to make the fabric covered coiled coaster and mats using cotton clothesline. I am using a different machine than my good sewing machine I use for my quilting. I need to use a zig zag stitch for this and it is sewing fine when I put a piece of cotton and try it but as soon as I put the clothes line it skips stitches or won't zig zag at all. This is a heavy duty jeans machine by White. Nothing fancy but still sews. Any idea what I am doing wrong? I won't do this on my good Janome.

------
Jolene

Elona
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In reply to Harleyjo <<


Date: 1/18/13 2:55 PM

Sewing machine feet can be touchy, and one of the things they hate is sewing on an uneven surface. Under these circumstances, even my trusty old Bernina will sometimes fuss and refuse to pick up stitches.

Since you're dealing with ridges and valleys (I assume?), it's possible that the foot is not on a perfectly flat surface and evenly supported as you work.

In many cases, you can slip a fabric 'shim' under the side of the foot where the fabric is lower, but unfortunately, for this particular project, I don't have any suggestions.

Harleyjo

Harleyjo
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In reply to Elona <<
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Date: 1/18/13 3:08 PM

Well after the first few loops the foot is on top of the rest of the coil. I see some of them on etsy and they are beautiful. I can't figure out how they get those stitches so nice.

------
Jolene

beauturbo
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In reply to Harleyjo <<
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Date: 1/18/13 4:01 PM

If the fabric wrapped around the clothes line is so tall that it raises up your pressure foot to the same degree that you do, to just remove fabric from the machine, then you now have no top thread tension on the top thread at all. As your top thread tension device is now wide open. Just like you were taking fabric out of there or just like you turned your top tension device to zero. Things don't sew good with no top thread tension. As long as the machine still sews stitches with no skips and still zig zags fine on a regular piece of cloth with no clothes line jammed into it though, nothing wrong with the machine.

So you probably need less tallness of "stuff" all jammed under your pressure foot if you have lost your top thread tension that way. It might be possible though when sewing into all that clothes line sometimes, to actually jam your needle bar upwards a bit, and have it actually move upwards a bit instead, if so, then machine would probably not make any stitches, or skip stitches all the time though, not just when trying to sew though the clothes line.
-- Edited on 1/18/13 4:03 PM --

Elona
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In reply to Harleyjo <<


Date: 1/18/13 4:08 PM

According to a tutorial here, you're doing what's necessary.

Maybe it's some problem with your White machine. I doubt it would hurt your other machine to give it a try.

stirwatersblue
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Date: 1/18/13 4:45 PM

I also second the suggestion to try another machine. I've never done precisely what you're doing, but I do use tightly-spaced 1/8" cord as the support for some of my historical bodices (like this). I struggled with this technique for YEARS on my otherwise very reliable Brother--a machine I've said can sew through brick! But the moment I started experimenting with my new Viking, it worked perfectly. I think it was a combination of a machine that's a lot more sensitive (so if your White is an older mechanical, that may be causing issues), as well as a greater flexibility with presser foot pressure (as beauturbo was saying) and needle position.

Anyway, that's not specifically helpful, but just to say that maybe another machine might be worth trying!

I wouldn't necessarily be afraid to try this technique with your nice quilting machine; the quilt shop where I bought my Viking offers classes in this technique--so they must be confident that their fancier machines can handle it!

------
~Gem in the prairie

diane s
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diane s  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/18/13 5:44 PM

Are you using a big needle?

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My grandmother taught me to sew when I was 10, and I've been sewing ever since.

Harleyjo

Harleyjo
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Date: 1/18/13 7:35 PM

I had put in a jean needle, I think it was a 100. My only problem with even trying it on my good machine is quite frankly, I am poor. I got this machine a few years back when money was better but if I would break my good machine I would not be able to get it fixed for quite some time.

------
Jolene

Harleyjo

Harleyjo
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Date: 1/18/13 7:48 PM

That is the tutorial I learned from. I saw it on Pinterest. That sounds like what is going on that I am losing my upper tension. I can't do it any different though. Dang, I have to figure something out because I had plans to make a bunch of these for gifts.

------
Jolene

stirwatersblue
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Date: 1/18/13 9:27 PM

Why do you think it would break your good machine?

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~Gem in the prairie

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