A Bump In The Road


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As you may know I own a longarm quilt machine. I use it to quilt projects for customers, family and myself. Keeping the machine in proper running order often gives me fits. The air inside my studio can at times be filled with rather colorful words.

I am not mechanically inclined. I usually defer those tasks to my hubby. He can turn a job that would take me hours into a simple task. Unfortunately he is not always home when I need him which means I have had to learn how to make repairs on my machine by myself. The distributor of my machine has an online library of helpful how-to videos. I used those videos to help me with my most recent dilemma.

I have been struggling, and I mean struggling, with a capital S with thread issues for months! Slowly I have been moving through the list of possible causes eliminating them one by one. The journey has been a long and trying experience; testing my patience to the limit.

The problem I have been trying to solve is breaking or fraying thread. So far I had crossed off thread quality, batting and fabric as contributors. I even replaced a couple of parts thinking that they might have had burrs that were damaging my thread. Left on my list were machine timing and the needle. Since I like to tackle the most difficult issue first I decided to address the timing of my machine.

I called up the videos on adjusting the machine timing and watched them over and over again. With each viewing I tweaked the timing ever so slightly. By the time I had finished I had lost count of the number of times I put my machine back together and the number of screwdriver bits I used during the my process.

After getting oil all over my hands and my extension table I finally managed to get the timing properly adjusted. Hopefully I will remember the proper settings for next time because you know there will be a next time.

After conquering that hurdle, cleaning up my hands and my extension table I was so eager to get back to quilting. I rethreaded my machine and started stitching. In no time my patience was once again tested by breaking thread. Argh!!

The only thing left to change was my needle. Thankfully I keep a huge supply on hand. Before selecting the new needle I checked the reference table I have to make certain I was using the correct size. I loaded in my brand new needle, rethreaded my machine and started stitching again. Presto! No more breaking thread! I was back in business! Thank GOODNESS!

I have learned so many valuable lessons. Hopefully my senior mind will remember them for next time. 🙂 Until then I will be stitching along.

Thank you for visiting today! I’m so glad we had this opportunity!

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18 thoughts on “A Bump In The Road

  1. Cindy,
    Grrrrr, how frustrating! And then for it to be the last thing on your list . . . it just figures. I think you should take a picture of the timing setting since you have it purring along now. I’m glad you got that figured out though. You are more mechanically inclined than you give yourself credit for! {{Hugs}} ~smile~ Roseanne

    1. Roseanne, Even if I had changed the needle to begin with I still would have had to adjust the timing of my machine. At least I got the “dirty” work out of the way right off the bat. 🙂 If only I could take a photo of how the machine should look when it is timed properly. Great idea! I am so glad I got it figured out as well. Awe, I’m blushing! Thanks for your vote of confidence! 🙂

    1. Thanks! It definitely has been a learning experience. I never would have thought I would have to get so intimately acquainted with my machine. Like most other mechanical apparatus I had assumed all I would have to do is thread it and stitch away. Silly me! 🙂

  2. I’m sorry to hear about the troubles with your long arm. I have a Juki long arm and for the entire first year I had it I never finished a row without multiple thread breakage. I went through all the things that it could be just like you. Finally after about 18 months it got better on its own. We still have issues occasionally but not like before. They are fickle machines. You would think as much as we paid for them they would be perfect and even vacuum the floor for us. 🙂

    1. Oh my gosh! You are absolutely right! I think that would be a great idea if they did. That way maybe they could start to earn their keep. I get so I am afraid to turn my machine on. Who knows what will happen next. When I do turn it on and it works as it should, well at least at well as an incredibly expensive machine should, I take time to celebrate! WooHoo!! 🙂

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