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Username Post: HELP-Sewing Machine Problem?        (Topic#1562511)
Scrapbook Queen
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Scrapbook Queen

So, I just got into quilting and am using a newer machine that has been sitting around the house for a couple of years, nothing fancy. It has jammed!!

It works for a while and then it starts to slow down and make this horrible grinding noise and then gets "stuck". I can usually force the wheel back or forward to loosen it up and it will go again for a very short time.

I have taken it apart all the places I could and cleaned it out, blown it out, oiled it, ect. I even turned it upside down and shook it because I thought it might have a broken needle tip inside, nothing works!!!! Any thoughts????

I'm in the middle of a quilt that I want to finish before the baby comes-it approximately 12 days!!!


 
Seaexplore
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Seaexplore
In response to Scrapbook Queen

um, does the thread keep bunching up underneath the needle plate? Mine does that from time to time and it's NOT good- check the tension thingie (part that goes up and down with the thread thru it usually found on top/front of the machine)- if the thread keeps slipping out that COULD be your problem.

Is there a lot of fuzz under the needle plate? Try using a brush and cleaning that out. Do NOT blow into that part of the machine!


 
Scrapbook Queen
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Scrapbook Queen
In response to Seaexplore

Nope, no thread bunching. I took the needle plate off and brushed it out so nothing there...I'm really baffled!


 
Seaexplore
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Seaexplore
In response to Scrapbook Queen

weird. Maybe Tivi will chime in on it. She's a sewing machine queen.


 
Scrapbook Queen
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Scrapbook Queen
In response to Seaexplore

  • seaexplore Said:
weird. Maybe Tivi will chime in on it. She's a sewing machine queen.


Calling Tivi...


 
Seaexplore
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Seaexplore
In response to Scrapbook Queen

I'll send her over if I run into her.


 
Pookahbot
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In response to Seaexplore

I have found that it's a tension issue when that starts happening, and/or thread underneath the needle plate/bobbin casing. Taking off the needle plate is a good start, but take our your bobbin casing, too--they are usually pretty easy to remove with a small screw or two. My guess is that you have thread collecting under the bobbin casing because the tension is off. Good luck


 
Tivi
Tivi 
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Tivi
  • Tivi on 08-07-11 05:23 AM
In response to Pookahbot

Saw your post on NSBR....

Now sure if you've fixed it, or if you're up yet, so here goes.

What make and model of sewing machine are you using?

Are you CERTAIN you have threaded it correctly? Pull out the thread and do it again. Not to sound snotty, but what kind of thread are you using? The cheap stuff from Walmart TOTALLY jams the machines. They get the lower quality Coats & Clark threads. Get your thread from J's or another fabric store. The C&C thread they carry is the higher quality. I prefer Guitermann or Sulkie thread for my sewing (and I think they are on sale this weekend, too!).

Is the bobbin right side up? Usually, you set the bobbin in with the thread coming over the top and down the left side, hook the thread into a tiny slot on the bottom and towards the right side, then pull the thread up, and towards the left. It should hang outside the area, up and to the left.

Is the bobbin the CORRECT bobbin for your machine? I almost ruined my new machine because I bought the wrong (cheaper) bobbin that was marked as the right size, but really wasn't.

To catch the bobbin thread, hold the needle thread in your left hand and roll the wheel towards you with your right hand. It will catch the bobbin thread, then continue rolling the wheel until the needle is in the top upright position. Pull the needle thread gently until the bobbin thread comes up thru the plate. Then pull BOTH threads towards the back of the machine about 6-8 inches.

When you say it works for "a while", do you mean about an inch of sewing correctly? More? Less?

You said the thread is not bunching, but for future reference - if the bottom thread/stitching bunches, your top thread tension is too tight. If the top thread/stitching bunches, your bobbin thread is too tight. There is an adjustment knob on the front of the machine for the top thread tension. The bobbin thread tension is a bit more involved to adjust, and it depends on which machine you have.

What fabric are you using? Does the machine lock up on other types of fabric?

That's all I can think of right now. I'll keep checking back, or send me a pm.


 
Seaexplore
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In response to Tivi

Ah Tivi- I knew you'd have words to wisdom. I couldn't come up with anything but the tension.


 
Scrapbook Queen
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In response to Tivi

Wow, thanx in advance for the ideas and assistance.

It's a Shark machine, nothing fancy.

I have used it to complete one whole quilt already so I know that I am threading it correctly. I have cotton fabric with cotton thread from the fabric store-recommended by the store owner and the needle they recommended.

Yep, bobbin is in properly, but I did start using a different bobbin that didn't come with the machine (which has been working for the first half of the quilt) so I will try changing that out. But, I did take apart the the whole bobbin encasement and ran the machine without it and it still became stuck - no bobbin, no parts, no thread, ect!!

As for when it works for while, it depends. If I leave the machine alone for a few hours I can get maybe 2-3 feet of use but if I keep messing with it and forcing it unstuck, only less than an inch or so at a time.

Yes, I did have issues with the thread bunching way back when I first started using it but I adjusted the tension and no problem since. I have taken the whole thing apart, as much as I can anyway, and there is no thread stuck anywhere that I can see.

When it becomes stuck the thread doesn't break or become extra tight or anything like that, the machine just makes a horrible grinding noise and slowly stops going.

Oh dear!! Hopefully there are some more ideas!!! I will try with a different bobbin though....


 
Seaexplore
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In response to Scrapbook Queen

can you take the machine into the store? That's probably what I'd do at this point.

My machine and I weren't seeing eye to eye and I took a 3 week time out from it. Went to J's (they have a sewing center at mine) and asked the "sewing lady" what was going on. She gave me some suggestions (the tensioner kept dropping the thread out) and told me that if it didn't fix it to bring it on in.


 
Tivi
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Tivi
  • Tivi on 08-07-11 09:31 AM
In response to Seaexplore

A Shark? Uh, sorry to say but you may have used up the lifespan of the machine already (yes, just one quilt!). I really don't mean sound snobbish, but the Sharks aren't very good machines for heavy sewing. They're fine for mending and making small projects. If it's messing up without a bobbin or thread, then I really think it's the machine parts.

You might take it into to a place that repairs sewing machines and have them look at it. Are you close to Edmonton? There are quite a few repair places listed on google.

If you really like quilting/sewing, you might want to get a better machine, rather than fix the Shark especially if the repair will be $100-$200. Singer makes several good machines that run $150-$300, and Husky makes a few in that price range too. You can spend lots more (Tiff has a really nice Husky).


 
Seaexplore
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In response to Tivi

I've never even heard of a Shark.

I've heard good things about OLD Singers, not so much good about the newer ones. If you've got sewing machine repair shops, you might be able to pick up a used one for a decent amount of money. If you get a used one, look for one that's got all metal parts.

My sister has a babyloc that I DO NOT LIKE. It's got a push button start/stop- WEIRD to sew on! She's had it FOREVER and when I used it a few weeks ago, I asked if it had a needle threader. She said she didn't know and just always threads the needle herself! WTH? I found that threader and showed her how to use it. She's been sewing WAY longer than me and didn't know this about her machine! It's got some cute decorative stitches on it tho.

I LOVE my husky! Emerald 118. I've been using it the last few days to do stitching around appliques for a quilt. It's great. BUT it was almost $500 when I got it and I had never really sewn before. I taught myself after I got it. My machine has like 9 basic stitches and it's a workhorse! I sewed thru 6 layers of denim for a quilt I'm working on- NO PROBLEMS!


 
Tivi
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  • Tivi on 08-07-11 12:53 PM
In response to Seaexplore

Shark is the brand that also make other small motor type stuff - vacuum cleaners, wet-mops, irons, clothes steamers, etc. Kinda like Husky, but no where near as good quality.

I had my last Singer for 35 years or so. All metal parts and was one of the first machines to have 4 stitches!!!! I made a lot of quilts and stuff on it and it finally gave out. I don't think my new Singer will last that long.


 
Obi
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Obi
  • Obi on 08-07-11 02:18 PM
In response to Tivi

It sounds like the sewing machine giving out to me.

I've had it happen to two machines recently. One had been in storage in the garage and was full of dust and spiders I had it cleaned out and it came back to life.

The other DS had put screws curtain hooks, tweezers you name it into the housing. I am not sure if it will come back to life yet I haven't tried it since I took out the bits and bobs.


 
Obi
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Obi
  • Obi on 08-07-11 02:20 PM
In response to Tivi

  • Tivi Said:
Shark is the brand that also make other small motor type stuff - vacuum cleaners, wet-mops, irons, clothes steamers, etc. Kinda like Husky, but no where near as good quality.

I had my last Singer for 35 years or so. All metal parts and was one of the first machines to have 4 stitches!!!! I made a lot of quilts and stuff on it and it finally gave out. I don't think my new Singer will last that long.


Singers can be reconditioned no matter what the age. I've had a 40 year old machine and a 70 year old machine worked on.

It's a matter of pride with singer.


 
Obi
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Obi
  • Obi on 08-07-11 02:23 PM
In response to Obi

I use A 1971 Janome for heavy sewing. I can no longer get it serviced, but the sewing shops keep offering to buy it off me. They want the machine themselves.



 
Scrapbook Queen
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Scrapbook Queen
In response to Obi

Oh dear, I hope it's not just done! Yes, I'm in Edmonton so I'll look up some repair shops and see what they think! Thanks for everyone's input!


 
Tivi
Tivi 
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Tivi
  • Tivi on 08-08-11 08:44 AM
In response to Scrapbook Queen

When you take it into the shop, bring some of the fabric you are using. If it doesn't mess up with them, hand them your fabric and see what happens. Some machines are just not meant to sew thru several layers of fabric (quilt top, batting, and backing).

Give it some thought before you pay to repair your machine. If you have to repair it after every project, maybe it's not worth it. I say that because I kept spending $100 every few months for about a year to repair my old Singer before I wised up and just bought a new one. I had truly forgotten how much I enjoyed sewing when I didn't have to nudge and fix it every couple of feet.


 
amandahugandkiss
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amandahugandkiss
In response to Tivi

In my experience, the plastic machines just don't work. I have a 30 year old Pfaff and its fantastic. It needs a tune up and service every year or so to keep it happy. Its usually pretty cheap- about $20.


 
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