Re: My first embroidery and Q for Jim

Patricia Ward

Sarah...  a simple answer?   I would think your bobbin thread was too thick for a small font.  Janome bobbin thread is 90 wt.. some of the bobbin threads are 100 ....   with a 60 wt bobbin thread, lots of stitches in a smaller area for the small font, you may have had too much bulk which would create problems with the stitching looking terrible and the mess with the stabilizer. 

FWIW I always use a regular bobbin thread in my machine for embroidery.... most of the time I am using the Janome prewounds or Janome bobbin thread that came with my 12000. 

Maybe if you give that a try it would help.


On Tue, Jul 1, 2014 at 6:05 PM, Smith Sarah Ann sarahannsmith@... [janome12000] <janome12000@...> wrote:

I DID IT! I took a big gulp, read the manual (about a thousand times), figured out how to attach the unit, how to edit on the iPad, etc, and did my first embroidery, a quilt label. It was definitely larger than I wanted—I reduced to 80 percent but it was still too big for my taste, but I did it! I’ve uploaded three photos to my new album, Sarah Ann Smith. One of the full label, one of the brown lettering (Q for Jim on that below), and one of the spot in the machine I’m proposing to tweak—or not— with Jim’s input)

So now come the questions, with some info first:

I used :
Superior Threads 40 wt trilobal poly in the needle
Superior Threads 60 wt bottom line in the bobbin
A Topstitch 14/90 needle
the big square hoop (23?)
C&T Washaway Applique stabilizer (which is pretty much what I had, on a roll)
and regular weight quilting cotton (white PFD, prepared for dyeing)
Yellow dot bobbin case, default setting until I got to the brown

I did not iron the stabilizer to the cloth. I will do that next time, and perhaps use two layers.

For the large motifs and “Dianne’s Scrolls” the tension was fine. On the small font, though, the tension was horrid. The machine for some bizarre reason began stitching with the 339 Ludwig Road line, then my name, then the lower 3 lines. I realized right away that on the brown, my blue bobbin thread was showing (no, I didn’t stop, move the hoop out of the way and change the bobbin color… I figured this was my first one, there was only so much I could cope!). I decreased the tension three times, finally getting all the way down to 0.0!

Jim: this tells me (in my newbie to embroidery and the 15000) that I think the needle tension is simply too tight. I’ve had issues with the tension on this machine in every mode: red arrow, blue arrow and now yellow dot bobbin cases. I keep lowering and lowering, and no love.

On my 8900, after consulting with the local technician, I turned the arrow on the panel next to the take up lever slightly towards the minus sign. Since the nearest authorized and experienced repair person for the 15000 is a 5-6 hour round trip (depending on traffic), I’m proposing to do the same on the 15000. Jim, what do you think? And if I do, how much should I turn it—-5 minutes worth? More? Less? If Tony’s shop were any closer, I’d pack it all up and head down with an appointment, but it is a LONG way away, nearly in NH and I’m halfway from there to Canada! I put a photo in the album which shows the screw I’m talking about. Thanks for any help!

And for everyone: comments on how to do better on not puckering the fabric are welcome. I REALLY am looking forward to when Jim has those DVDs ready—I managed but gosh I wasted a lot of time figuring out which folder button to push to save etc, inadvertently made whole new folders that I can’t figure out how to delete, etc!

Cheers, Sarah

Check out my DVD: Art Quilt Design: From Photo to Threadwork
Author of bestseller ThreadWork Unraveled
website and blog:
e-mail: sarah@...

Taking more big gulps than a 7-11 in August, Jim says:
I would strongly advise against changing the tension using the adjustment screw because it's not a tension problem. You said the tension was fine until you got to the small letters, and tension normally does not change in mid-stream. I think the problem is the 90/14 topstitch needle. The 14 part of the size means the shaft of the needle is 1.4mm in diameter. The small font may have stitches that are shorter than that, so when the needle makes a hole for the stitch both ends of the stitch can come through, leading to bobbin pulling up. For the small letters I would suggest a size 11 needle (Janome blue tip is that size). I would also recommend some type of cutaway behind it, as short stitches can really tear up stabilizer. A mesh cutaway would stay soft and supple, while adding support to the stitches. Diane could probably add more, but she's away this week so you're stuck with my limited knowledge.

Yesterday I finished the embroidery editing video, which covers what you are doing. It took just over 3 weeks for the two of us to make, edit and caption it. That's for about 13 minutes of video, which will give you an idea why it's taken so long to prepare them. I anticipate that things will go faster now, and should have more to say in a couple of weeks.

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