Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Quilt Square Quilt Along Frustrations

There are two blocks to chose from for this month's Quilt Square Quilt Along, and I am (of course) trying do the pieced 'T' block. I say TRYING because it's not going well.
The cutting out and organizing went fine...9 different fabrics, all the HST's cut out with my Easy Angle Ruler, and a nice argyle print cut for the border.
But the sewing is driving me crazy!
I am very frustrated with my Janome machine and pining for my Brother machine!
Do you see how it is chewing up the fabric underneath? Grrrr....
Any advice on how to fix this?
I have had this problem with this machine since I bought it...I wrote about it on my blog way back in 2008. I was going to take the machine in to be fixed and never did, and now I'm mad at myself for that :) 
I am going down to the basement to try to find my very first 25 year old sewing machine and see if it can do a better job on these seams! Or else it will be hand stitching only around here!

15 comments:

  1. Oh Kathy! :( I feel your frustration.
    My old Brother machine did that, and I found that I often had to lift the presser foot to place the fabric under it. It still would eat up the fabric from time to time, but handled a little better when chain-piecing and lifting the foot. HSTs were definitely the worst :{ That little bit of corner fabric....the feeddogs didn't work the same as on my Bernina 440 (LOVE this machine!)

    Any word on when your machine comes back from surgery?

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  2. I'm sure you have rethreaded both the top and bobbin threads? Look for pieces of thread in the bobbin case or above. Use a starter fabric if this is happening at the beginning of your sewing. That's where you have a piece or two pieces of fabric to sew on first while the machine gets its stitching good, then run your piece directly up next to it so your stitches go from the starter fabric right into your block. This happens to me too when I sew pieces shaped like yours. It seems to me the machine has trouble grabbing the pointed fabric. Perhaps some tear (sp?) away stabilizer would help too? That's all I can think of! I hope you can find a solution!

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  3. Does your throatplate on this machine have a single needle hole, or is it wider to accommodate a zig-zag stitch? Some machines I have seen do this if you are doing a straight stitch using a throatplate with a wider needle hole. Switching to a single needle hole plate can sometimes fix it. Just a thought.

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  4. My goodness! That's terrible!!! I have a Janome 6600 and it never does that! I can imagine your frustration. I'm betting your old machine will sew like a charm - there's just nothing to beat the way the older machines hummmmm along :*) I love my Singer Featherweight as well as any machine I have.

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  5. Do try the leaders and enders thing (it also helps you not veer off toward the end of a HST).

    Seriously: Leaders and enders. It's double duty, too - I make log cabins with my leaders and enders. I LOVE log cabin blocks but I HATE sewing them together. Four seams and I'm whining. Making them as leaders and enders solves that problem (just a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down, you know).

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  6. Hmmm. I have that exact machine that I bought for traveling and I love it so much now I use it everyday for my piecing. I very rarely have that problem and usually it's because my needle is getting dull. Change the needle and the problem is gone. Hopefully a little service and TLC will fix the problem for you.

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  7. I would guess the machine is in need of a cleaning and maybe some adjustments. I own a viking and was told to clean the bobbin case with every refill of the bobbin. I have had it over ten years and have had this happen when it is not threaded correctly or the bobbin case has gotten dirty. I would check the manuel to make sure you are threading it correctly and clean out the bobbin case. I feel your pain, there is nothing more frustrating, especially when you are chain piecing!

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  8. I have a Janome Jem and have never had anything like that happen! I would say that it's time for a trip to the repair shop as long as you have done all the routine fixes (rethread, new needle, de-lint the bobbin case, oil...) I hope you can get it sewing right...I would be beyond frustrated with that mess!

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  9. oh, so frustrating. have you checked the tension on the bobbin case?

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  10. I have heard of people putting stabilizer under the leading edge to keep it from chewing up the fabric. What a pain, hope your other machine is back soon.

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  11. I had the same thing happen the other day. In my case it was because I was using the accufeed foot but I hadn't lifted up the foot to it's highest setting and then inserted the prongs into the accufeed foot. (this will hopfully make sense to you!)
    another thing to check is maybe the downwards pressure gauge (not sure of the proper name for it)is maybe pushing down too hard

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  12. Hey Kathy:

    How frustrating is that!! Odd on a Janome...they seem to be very reliable machines :-). I would check the pressure on the presser foot (if it can be adjusted on your machine) or perhaps the feed dogs are set too high? Leaders/enders are also a great suggestion as is the straight stitch needle plate...that helps a lot too! Another thing I've had with one of my machines is use a different presser foot. That helps on one of my machines too. Good luck and hope you got it fixed!!

    Hugs, Jacqui

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  13. Leaders and enders may work although usually both layers go down into the feed dogs. Seems you are only having a problem with the bottom layer. Hope your baby is home from the spa soon. Amazing how much sewing you do and don't realize it till your favorite machine is gone!!! Good luck Kathy!!
    Northern Blog Stalker!! :)

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  14. How frustrating!! I hope you get it resolved soon..

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  15. I have that problem with my Janome 3160. It doesn't like to sew over thicker seams and eats the fabric. The single hole throat plate helps some. Leader/Ender pieces help, too. If you find something else that works, please share.

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