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My Thread Keeps Breaking

by Yvonne

I have just finished my first quilt...a lap size Bento Box.

I am trying to quilt it. I am using a walking foot, sewing straight diagonal lines. When I sew through the thicker seams the upper thread breaks. I have changed needles, and tensions nothing seems to help.
What am I doing wrong?


As long as you're satisfied that your tension is correct...the needle thread doesn't show on the quilt back and the bobbin thread doesn't show on the quilt top, then I recommend switching to a larger needle.

Your needle thread passes back and forth through the quilt sandwich as many as 30 times before it turns into a stitch. The thread is worn a bit every time, so when it is pushed through the thickest part of the quilt (your seam allowances) it is more fragile and can fray and break.

Using a larger needle will make a bigger hole for the thread to pass through with less friction and should be adequate to solve your problem. If you're using a Size 80/12 needle, move up to a 90/14. For batiks or other fabrics with a higher thread count use a Microtex Sharp point.

If you happen to have Metafil or Metallica or Metallic needles on hand (all the same type of needle, just different names for different manufacturers), these would also be a good choice even if you aren't using metallic thread. This type of needle has very large, polished eye (2mm), a titanium tipped point for strength and a very deep groove down the front of the needle to protect the thread as it is stitched.

You can find more information on the website at Sewing Machine Needles and Sewing Machine Needle Sizes.

I hope this helps.

Congratulations on making AND quilting your first quilt. Quilting is so much fun and it's nice to have something to show for your efforts. When it's finished, do post a picture of it to our online Show and Tell. We'd love to celebrate with you!


Julie Baird

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