Thursday, September 10, 2015

Sprockets, a Linus Quilt, and THE Solution to Janome 6500 skipping stitches problem

DONE!  This is one of Bonnie Hunter's patterns.  I added a row of 4-patches to the top and the bottom to give it some length.  I'm liking it!  I quilted it in "sprockets" my own name for what started as a posey or daisy, but I liked the squarish angles better.  This will be a Linus Quilt. 

Solution for Skipped Stitches for MY Janome MC 6500
If you can stand the last time I'm going to talk about the solution to MY issue with skipped stitches on my much-loved Janome MC 6500. 

My machine is 10 years old and has always machine quilted beautifully, until about 8 months ago, when it started skipping stitches.  OK, I used a thread conditioner, Sewer's Aid, which helped for a while.  Then I unfairly blamed the basting spray, then I blamed my Senior Citizenship, possibly my own failing skills, then ????.  Finally, I took it for servicing with a hopeful spirit,  but despite the tech's beautiful practice stitches and assurance that all was back to manufacturer's tolerances, it skipped stitches when MQ'ing.   Back again to the repair shop  a 2nd time, to recheck if  "something" is wrapped around the tension disks - like invisible thread.  "Nope" -- "Elaine Adair, you have just worn her out!"  Surely not, but ... there were many, many quilts quilted on this machine.  ???   How many is too many??? I finally decided to try a new motor - while not terribly expensive (under $100.00). That idea seemed unlikely but it was worth a try, before investing in a new machine.   

Nope, no difference with a new motor - still bad, skipped stitches when MQ'ing.  (Fine stitches on regular stitching).  Depression, lost my enthusiasm, and my current projects all came to standstills. 

I finally decided to begin looking for another machine and found an excellent tutorial/review from Leah Day on the Janome 7700.   To my surprise, she said to leave the feed dogs up, set stitch to zero for machine quilting.  Uh say what?

So, with nothing to lose, that is what I tried on the above quilt -with my Janome 6500 and ...  Not a skipped stitch in the entire project - NOT ONE!  I quilted it in 2 days, envisioning flames and smoke erupting from my machine with all my quilting efforts!

In the meantime, I've been hearing of other MQ'ers on DSM, that they also leave the dogs up - who knew?  I presume my machine IS worn and this solution might do for a few more years.   None of my quilting books mention it, nor "famous" pro quilters, except for Leah Day. 

So, this is the end of my whining, griping, tears and complaining on this subject.  8-)))))))  Several other bloggers have listened to my tale of woe and needed to know if I'd found a solution.  Yeahhhh!  Hope this helps someone with similar issues. 


Mama Joan said...

Thanks for sharing. I have the exact same machine.

Jocelyn said...

I have been quilting on my Bernina sewing machine for 12 years and I have never let the feed dogs down nor change any of my settings. It has worked great for me and I'm glad you found the solution to your woes.

Janet O. said...

Who knew it would be so simple?
But I have to tell you that when I signed up for my first FMQ class at a local quilt shop an employee there took me aside and told me that if I had trouble with my machine while attempting to FMQ, leave the feed dogs up. She said she had learned the hard way, but it wasn't something they would teach you in class. She was right. My machine did much better that way--and I had googled more info on the subject afterward. I believe Leah Day's site was one of only a couple that suggested this as a possibility.

Elsie Montgomery said...

Hooray! I've heard this but forgot all about it until reading your solution. Thanks for the reminder. Leah Day is full of great ideas!

Ruth said...

Cute quilt! Thanks for your explanation. I have left the feed dogs up in the past, but lately have been putting them down. Recently I took my machine to be serviced two times and got a new bobbin case and since then I haven't had as much trouble, but I'm still getting rat's nests on the bottom. I will leave my feed dogs up and see if it makes a difference, now that I am checking things out. My other problem of the skipping stitches and upper thread forming a triangle isn't as bad, but hopefully this will help. I had seen Leah Day's tutorial a long time ago and that's when I had quilted with the feed dogs down. I don't remember if I had the problem during that time or not. She also recommended using a little white thing under the bobbin. I got some of those, but can't find them now.

Lynn said...

Took a class from a fantastic domestic machine quilter a few years ago and that is what she did too as she thought it kept the tension on her stitches better and did a nicer job quilting.

Tanya said...

That's really interesting. I've never heard of that solution before... I wonder why leaving the feed dogs up matters... It is nice to know for the time when my own machine starts quilting and is probably great to know for people who want to do machine quilting but think they can't because their machine doesn't have a way to release the feed dogs in the first place. Thanks for that tip!

Carol E. said...

My machine, a Juki, is one year old. I looked for ways to lower the feed dogs, and couldn't figure it out, so I went ahead and quilted with them up. It works great.

Unknown said...

I really like it! Who knew it would be that simple? Thank you so much for your brilliant idea.
helen@tefl classes

Unknown said...

I really like it! Who knew it would be that simple? Thank you so much for your brilliant idea.
helen@tefl classes

Unknown said...

What a beautiful quilt Elaine! You are still great on doing things like this.
Good job

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