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Your sewing machine needle keeps breaking...

...what to do???

There's nothing more frustrating than when your sewing machine needle keeps breaking. Many times you've already been practicing and EVERYTHING was just fine.

I've shared the my go-to remedies in an article on the site, (click here to read them).

Our readers have shared their specific problems and asked and received help. You'll find those just below.

Consider sharing your own experiences with our readers by adding a comment. There's ALWAYS more than one way to get things done in quilting.

YOU may just have the perfect answer for your fellow quilter!

Now let's hear what our readers have to say...

Free motion quilting: My needles are breaking

by Donna
(Mesa, AR)

Donna asks

Why does my free motion quilting foot keep breaking my needles?

Julie replies...

Your free motion quilting foot or darning foot should not come into contact at all with your sewing machine needle.

First, double check that the foot is properly installed. Many have an 'arm' or extension on the right side of the foot as you sit at your sewing machine with it installed.

That arm should ride on top of the needle screw. (Check to see if your foot needs a longer needle screw for free motion quilting...if it does, it should have come with the free motion foot.)

Now, what I think is more likely, is that you may be moving your hands too fast for the speed of the needle.

In essence, you're actually pulling on the needle...pulling it hard enough that the needle bends and hits the throat plate hard enough to break it.

I am, unfortunately, well acquainted with this particular problem...I've had days when I've sat down to quilt and literally broken a whole package of needles before I finally settled in and settled down to quilt.

It is really frustrating!

Try either:
  • Slowing down the movement of your quilt sandwich under the needle, or...
  • Increasing the speed of the sewing machine.
If you're using a needle smaller than 80/12 you might try moving up to the next size larger needle. (I'm especially good at breaking packs of 60/8's...)

I hope this is just maddening when you finally have the time to sit down and quilt and this pesky sewing machine problem pops up.

Comments for Your sewing machine needle keeps breaking...

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I'm so relieved!!
by: MRS

I thought it was a mechanical issue. Just attempted my first FMQ on my Baby lock Jazz II and I was praying it was me and not the machine. God is good. Thank you so much for putting my mind at ease that this is a learning issue.

Breaking needles
by: Anonykathymous

Thank you for your advice. Makes me feel better to know others have this problem. Thanks again.

Broken Needle
by: Nancy

Thank you so much for your reply.

This is exactly the same thing I just went through - I broke 3 needles in a row - and I gave up.

I now have renewed hope!!

Thank you!!!

broken needle
by: Anonymous

Where does the rest of the broken needle go, I tried to look for the tip that broke but can't find it anywhere.

Julie replies...Unfortunately, there's a good chance that the tip fell into your sewing machine. I've found one inside my machine before. :(

~ Julie

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Return to GQP's Quilting Forum.

Serpentine machine quilting and breaking needles

by Cathy
(Milwaukee, WI, USA)

Cathy asks...

Can a serpentine stitch be used with a walking foot?

I have a serpentine stitch on my Singer Curvy Machine. I have attached the walking foot, but the needle breaks.

What could I be doing wrong?

Julie replies...

I have used a serpentine stitch and a walking foot to quilt many baby quilts. It adds a bit of whimsy and is easy to do. Since the stitch is always moving forward it works quite well with the walking foot.

Straight stitch and zig-zag throat plates
As for your needle you have the zig-zag throatplate installed on your sewing machine? It's the one with the oval hole. You'll need to use this plate for stitches that use anything other than a centered needle position.

I quilt a lot with my straight stitch throat's the one with the small round hole...and once in awhile I forget to change it out. If I use a fancy stitch (and I count the serpentine as a fancy stitch) there's a good chance the needle will hit the throat plate and break. Nasty! And scares the heck out of me!

If that isn't the problem, I'd next check the thread path through your sewing machine. Look, in particular, for the thread catching on a notch in your spool. If that's the problem, the thread would be pulling on your needle...pulling it out of position so much that it's making contact with the throatplate and breaking.

Those are the things I'd check first. Let me know if that does the trick for you.

Comments for Serpentine machine quilting and breaking needles

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Broken needles
by: GeegeAnonymous

My needle keeps breaking. When I put a new one in. It is out of alignment. Does not go into the proper hole. Instead hits the throat steel plate please

From Julie... I wish there was a simple fix, but if your machine is out of alignment, take it to the repair shop for proper fixing. :(

~ Julie Baird

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