FMQ – Thread Issues Resolved ?!

Last Friday I reported on the thread issues I had been having with my new Aurifil polyester thread. A lot of you responded and gave advice. I so appreciate your help and tips! ( I am still amazed by the kindness in this quilting community! Thank you!!!)Β  I have tried them out and these are my findings:

Cause of the problems:

The polyster thread comes of the spool too fast when it is being pulled at by the sewing machine. The spool then spins and the thread entangles itself around the stand on the sewing machine. I have never had this problem with other polyester threads, like Guterman and Amann. When the thread entangles around the stick, it snags and then breaks. ME NO LIKE!

Using a thread net:

Many of you suggested this was the answer. I have found that using a net on the 1000 meter spools of Aurifil DOES NOT WORK WELL on my Janome Horizon. The machine has to pull at the spool too hard and you can hear the machine making a different noise. NO GOOD! I have tried using a single net and a doubled net; both cause problems. I have also tried to put the net only half way on the spool, but the net “does not like this” and wiggles itself back onto the rest of the cone. I have tried the net on the vertical and horizontal thread stand and a separate spool stand next to the machine. All the same result.

Using a paperclip:

Sound absolutely weird, but it works! Thank you Carli Heinrichs from Good Earth Quilting for suggesting I try this. You are a genius Carli! Partially open up a paperclip and stick it to the spool. I used a coated paperclip, but a plain one would work just as well. I used normal tape to adhere the paperclip to the spool of thread.

Now place the spool onto the vertical thread stand on your machine.

The spool still spins, but the paper clip prevents the thread to slip under the spool and entangle around the stand itself.

It is important that you place the paperclip on the spool the right way. DO NOT PLACE IT THE OTHER WAY AROUND!

The spool now can not spin normally and will be “out of sink” (I think) of “too heavy” for the machine. Your quilting will look like this: YUCK!


See the loose stitches? It is horrendous at the back! Just look:

Using a paper disk on machine:

This trick may work for your machine. It was not the best solution for my Janome, the thread still snagged.

Horizontal spool stand:

Cut out a small circle out of strong paper ! Craft paper will do I think, printer paper is too weak.

Place the paper between the plastic disk and the spool.

Place the spool back onto the machine and see what happens when you quilt. Again, for me this did not do the trick.

Using a paper disk on spool stand:

At first I tried to use the same set up as above but now on a vertical spool stand next to the machine.

New problem: the thread now entangles and snags on the piece of metal that is sticking out of the spool.

This is how I solved it:

I cut a much larger disk, about the size of the bottom of the stand. I placed that circle on the spool of thread as before and put the whole (ridiculous looking) thing on the stand and ALSO gave it a BOOST! I put a role of tape underneath.

You could use a different spool instead of the role of tape, but the paper is necessary as the thread will want to “tumble down” and snag anyway!

Quilting with this last set up has my preference! I am so happy that I have found a solution for this problem. I now feel joy to work with the beautiful shiny threads instead of frustration!

Thank you all for the tips and tricks!

Please feel free to share information of this “Thread-CSI”, but please link back to this blogpost.

I have not been able to gather info on “does polyester thread go bad over time”, but I will soon. I will keep you all posted.

Have a wonderful Friday everyone!


(p.s. I am linking up with Pretty Bobbin for “I Quilt Linky Party” and “Finish it up Friday” at Crazy Mom Quilts and “Can I get a Whoop Whoop?” at Confessions of a Fabric Addict ” and last but not leastΒ  “NTT” at My Quilt Infatuation)

29 thoughts on “FMQ – Thread Issues Resolved ?!

  1. Pingback: Thread Issues | ipatch

    • Hello Susan,
      Yes it really is a contraption, isn’t it? But whatever works is fine by me LOL! I am happy that I did not have to order some gizmo or another to get it fixed. Receiving packages from outside of Europe can be very pricy due to costums.
      Bye bye

    • Hello Mary!
      I am glad we could help each other out! I felt so silly being the “only one” with these thread issues. But I am glad I now have figured out a way to hopefully prevent them in the future!
      Have a wonderful Friday!

  2. You are one awesome troubleshooter! Sure you had help from your readers, but you implemented their suggestions and showed them to us in pictures, which was extremely helpful. I had read that tip about the paperclip but I could not picture what she meant about how to attach it! You have cleared that up nicely. I don’t have these thread issues, yet, but it’s nice to know the solutions just in case!

    • Hi Kathleen,
      (Blush) Thank you for your fabulous comment. I was puzzled about the paperclip tip too. Once I tried it out, it was so simple, but there is no simple way to describe it. Pictures to the rescue!

  3. How very clever of you to come up with what I call ” a dragging mechanism”. You succesfully found a way to create a drag on the spool to slow down the release of the thread. Congratulations .. great solution. Maybe you should put a patent on it(?).
    Have a happy weekend with lots of FMQ.

    • Hello Lisa!
      Sorry for the late reply! Busy times at work and the “normal autumnal bugs” flying around! I will be glad when it is weekend!
      I am glad that I could share my “research” with you all!

  4. So glad there was a solution created… clever! Too often we think there must be a “gizmo” (purchased) that would solve the dilemma but that is not always the case! Way to go!! Hugs……….

    • Hello Kelly,
      Thank you for replying to the blogpost on the thread issues being “resolved”. I felt like Sherlock Holmes a bit. I now think I need to get myself a hat like his an a (fake) pipe. πŸ™‚

  5. Pingback: “Mo Mo, Free Mo” | ipatch

  6. Wow! Such great information! I’ve never had problems with Aurifil (I have a Bernina) but I do place my spool the opposite way to you have shown when it is on the horizontal holder. I also raise the spool up when it’s on the large stand, just by putting the spool I am using on top of another one. I don’t really know why I do this or if I have a problem if I don’t do it (my spool stand is in transit so I can’t check). Thanks again for sharing such helpful info and linking up xx

    • Hi Gemma,
      Thank you for commenting on my blogpost on the thread issues. I have tried to place the spool like you say, but the thread kept entangling more than with the spool flipped around. I have found out that some spools entangled more than others and they were all by the same brand and the same type of thread. I have no clue what makes certain spools different from the others. For instance the light grey/silver thread was horrible and the red and blue were perfectly fine. I am glad that I now have a simple solution for whenever I encouter more “strange spools”!
      Have a wonderful weekend… just one more day!

  7. Pingback: Blogaversary – 1 year! | ipatch

  8. This is a really common problem with slippery machine embroidery threads, like Isacord poly or Sulky rayon. I have not tried the Aurifil poly thread, didn’t even know they made a poly thread, but from the high sheen of your thread I think that’s what it is and why it doesn’t behave like the all-purpose polyester construction threads you are used to. I have seen a lot of quilters using embroidery threads, even silk threads for quilting, and they are beautiful, but just wanted to mention this so that if you encounter more difficulties you can google something like “machine embroidery thread problems” to find even more suggestions of how to tame the tangles!

    • Thank you very much Rebecca!
      Very useful information! I will write a blogpost on the threads I use this month, I think. I will add your info there!
      Thanks again,

  9. Pingback: Thread Issues | ipatchandquilt

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s