It happens to the best of us!

By Mary Beth Krapil and Lynda Jackson


Lynda Jackson is our esteemed International Ambassador from the United Kingdom.

Lynda wrote about an adventure with her Avante. Here’s what she had to say:

Here is a tale of taking your time and checking EVERYTHING! It always seems to happen when you are up to ears in jobs and being pulled from pillar to post, with little time to really think about what is happening.

Having recently had the machine serviced, I confirmed what I could hear and that is that there is an amount of play in my hook system on my Avante. I know that at some point I will need a new one. Well the machine has done almost 35 million stitches!

So it comes as no surprise when shortly afterwards I come in one morning, load the quilt, thread it etc and when I check the tension it is poor, pulling to the bottom no matter what I do and clunking a bit. Straight away, I think the hook has finally given up the ghost and because I am rushing and thinking about a trillion other things, I order the part and then continue on the Infinity. But cursing because I have lots that needs doing on the Pro-Stitcher.

So roll forward a few days, the part arrives; I get to work, checking things as I go along. Now all seems to be OK and it’s not rattling or loose?? ? I decide before I start taking it apart, to check that it is still not stitching. I put bobbin back in the case and perhaps because I am taking my time, and in ‘fix it’ mode, I notice that the bobbin seems very close to the edge of the case. Now is the light bulb moment! ? I try it and sure enough, rubbish stitching. I try another bobbin, and see that it is sitting deeper into the case!  Try it, and it stitches perfectly!! I put the two bobbins next to each other and the flare on one then becomes more obvious.

What had caused this, having changed nothing on the bobbin winder etc,- who knows?

[Handi Quilter note: this can happen if you wind the bobbin too fast or you have the tension on your bobbin winder set too high]

The moral of this story –
1. Check every single thing before thinking the worst. And if you can check by using a different bobbin or a different thread or a different needle, to narrow down the cause. 
2. Even though we teach it, sometimes, especially when rushing, even the little things can get the better of us sometimes.
3. Never feel that it is just you that this happens to, we have all been there at some point.

The good points, I now have a working machine. I have a spare hook for when it does go. And I have a sample bobbin (marked) for use in class to show my students just what a difference it can make.

Thanks for sharing your story Lynda! We all can run into issues, no matter how much experience we have. The key is to stay calm and check EVERYTHING. Chances are it will be something as simple as having the needle inserted backwards, or skipping a thread guide. It’s those little things that can make a huge difference. To give you some help, Handi Quilter has a checklist of common quilting issues. you can download it here. You’re welcome!

By |2017-10-23T14:20:45+00:00November 3rd, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|3 Comments

About the Author:

Mary Beth Krapil


  1. Lynn November 6, 2017 at 7:55 am - Reply

    Fuzz! For me that is most often the problem. Tiny balls of fuzz somewhere can really mess up your stitches.

  2. Tim Brown November 6, 2017 at 12:48 pm - Reply

    This is actually caused by some kind of polyester thread (synthetic thread) being wound too fast and tight, creating some heat.
    The synthetic thread has expanded from the heat when wound on the bobbin. After a minute the thread is now cooling and contracting. Over many times winding on the same bobbin, the metal bobbin will expand!

  3. Mary H Brookman November 8, 2017 at 5:23 am - Reply

    I had this happen to me. The bobbin was out a bit from the bobbin case after winding. I called my favorite quilt shop and asked about it. They told me to return the bobbins where I bought them locally if all were the same. . I checked the bobbins I had purchased the week before and all were flared out. I couldn’t take them back because I no longer had the packaging or receipt. Lesson learned. Never throw out packaging until sure product is good. And now slow down winding the poly thread. Thanks.

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