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My thread is breaking

by Jacque
(Grants Pass, OR)

Why is my top thread breaking all the machine is on free motion quilting, all threaded correctly...and also the back side gets in a tangled mess...can you help?



The tangled threads on the backside is a big, big clue. When that happens it's a sign that there's not enough tension on the thread.

If you're not sure which thread is making the mess on the backside, use a bobbin of one color and the needle of another color...but both of the same kind of thread. That will quickly tell you which one is making the mess.

If it's a needle thread issue...

Check first to see if you've put the presser foot in the down position.

It's easy to miss when you're free motion quilting because when the presser foot lever is in the down position, the presser foot doesn't sit all the way down on the quilt sandwich.

Only when you put the presser foot lever down, do you engage/close the tension disks. Closing the disks is what applies the tension to the thread.

If this doesn't work, double check that the thread is properly seated in the uptake lever. Mine pops out on my sewing machine every once in awhile and the stitching looks like a bird's nest on the back when it happens...just like you describe.

If it's a bobbin thread issue...

Make sure that the bobbin is snugly wound.

Then try flossing the tension spring of the bobbin case with a piece of thread. If a piece of thread or lint is caught in the bobbin case's tension spring, it will hold the spring open and not allow enough tension to be added to the bobbin thread.

I hope one of these suggestions works for you. Let me know how it goes.


Julie Baird

Comments for My thread is breaking

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Breaking top thread with free motion
by: Sue

I had similar problems and found out my throat plate is nicked so it only affects me when the needle is in the left position. So I try to remember to always sew in either center position or right position.

thread breaking/ comment
by: Jacque

I am the one who asked for help with this..and I want to thank you for all your suggestions ! I have tried each one, and I think I have it pretty much figured out, and it is sewing much better now! (now..if I can just keep a steady hand...)
thanks again..

From the Editor: You're welcome, Jacque! I'm so glad things are going's so frustrating when you finally have the time to quilt and your machine isn't cooperating. ~ Julie

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