Helping To Make Your Quilting Journey A Delightful One
Tips, hints, and information for owners of Nolting longarm quilting machines and Quiltmagine
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What Others Are Saying About Nolting

"I love the enclosed track and the fact that the cords are contained in the pony cable on the back side of the machine instead of flopping around my feet."

DQS At These
2015 Quilt Shows

April 25, 2015
Smethport Piecemakers'
Quilters' Extravaganza
Smethport, PA

June 5-7, 2015
Genesee Valley QuiltFest
Rochester, NY

June 26-28, 2015
Vermont Quilt Festival
Essex Junction, VT

July 30- Aug 1, 2015
Nolting Booth
AQS Syracuse
 Syracuse, NY

August 8-9, 2015
Caledonia Quilt Guild
 Caledonia, NY

If your club is having a show in 2015, we would love the opportunity to be a vendor at your show.  Please email me.
DQS at show
Visit Us At The Show
March 2015

Spring is in the air - we hope!  Although the temperature remains quite cool, the strong sun is an indication of warmer days ahead.  There is even a tiny hint of green grass starting to wake from the long, cold winter.

Here in the northeast quilt shows are starting.  Each show is different because quilters all have different ways of expressing themselves.  As a vendor at a number of shows, I enjoy taking time to look at the quilts, see how unique and individual the entries are, how amazing the quilting - both hand and machine, I also enjoy meeting the other vendors, checking out the boutique and even supporting the club by purchasing tickets for the amazing raffle quilt (I have yet to win, but there is always hope).  It takes a lot of work to put on a quilt show.  I applaud the efforts of all of the volunteers that spend many hours planning, promoting, setting up and working at these shows.  Without their efforts none of this would happen.

In this issue I am addressing the frustrating problem of thread breakage and share my method for loading backing that eliminates those swoops on the sides.  For those with Quiltmagine, I have some helpful tips on placing on-point blocks and using a feature called pattern margin.
Happy Quilting,

Nolting longarm
Broken Thread?
Check the thread path.
threadbreakageTop Thread Breakage

You may remember that last issue we talked about tension, the importance of starting with the correct bobbin tension (loose) and using the Towa Bobbin Gauge to help set the bobbin tension (M-hook 170-200 and L-hook a setting of about 100). 

Often thread breakage issues disappear when the correct bobbin tension is used.  With a lower bobbin tension the top thread tension is easier to adjust at a lower setting to achieve a balanced stitch.  The most common cause of top thread breakage is the top tension being too tight on the thread.

Other causes of top thread breakage:
  • Poor thread quality.  Always use a strong, top quality thread because these machines sew at fast speeds.  It does not matter the fiber type, cotton, poly, blend, or metallic, choose a top quality thread.
  • The top thread may have caught on a machine part.  Start at the cone and work your way forward checking the thread path to make sure the thread is not caught on the spring, thread guide, or spool pin.
  • Check for burrs or wear.  If you have had your machine for a long time, quilted hundreds of quilts, or used metallic thread often, it may be possible that there is wear or a burr on the three-hole thread guide, in the tension discs, thread guides, under the duck bill, or in the hole of the take up lever.  Sometimes it is possible to debur these parts with an emery cloth or sandpaper.  Often it is simply best to replace the worn part.
  • Burr or bent needle.  Sometimes the eye of the needle will develop a burr which can shred or break thread.  These imperfections are often hard to see, so replacing the needle is usually one of the first things I do when the top thread breaks.
  • Groove or burr on the throat place.  Longarm machines are moving in many different directions and as a result the needle is often flexing.  Look at the needle hole in the throat plate for pricks, an indication that the needle has hit the throat plate.  These rough areas can cause thread to shred as it tries to pass through the hole.  You might be able to fix this by removing the throat plate, tearing a narrow piece of emery cloth or sand paper, and running it back and forth through the needle hole to smooth the burr.  If the burr can not be removed, the throat plate will need to be replaced which is not expensive.
  • Rounded hook point. Remove the throat plate and rotate the hand wheel until you can easily see the hook point.  It should be sharp (not rounded).  While it might be possible to clean up the edge of the hook point yourself, I do not recommend that as it is important to get the angle correct.  If you find a problem with the hook point, call your dealer to order a new hook assembly.
  • Burrs on the hook shield.  Again while the throat plate is removed, rotate the hand wheel to take a good look at the shield around the hook.  If you find scratches, pricks or burrs, these need to be cleaned off with emery cloth.  Sometimes this damage happens when a needle breaks or is dragged below the throat place for some reason.

Tips to Identify Top Breakage


When the top thread breaks, take a close look at the break as is may give you a clue to the problem.
  • If the thread looks like it was cut with scissors: Look for a burr somewhere between the needle and bobbin.
  • If the thread looks like it was pulled apart: The top tension is probably too tight for that particular thread, quilt sandwich combination, or speed you are trying to move the machine.  Try loosening the bobbin tension first, then, loosen the top tension to adjust for a balanced stitch.
  • If the thread looks shredded and the plies are coming apart there could be three reasons.  (1) Top tension is too tight, or (2) the hook timing is off a little or (3) the needle size fails to deliver the top thread correctly for the hook to pick up in the correct place.

Several years ago as a new longarm quilter I regularly experienced the frustration of thread breakage.  It was almost always the result of the top tension being too tight, or the thread getting caught on something along the thread path.  Once I started using the Towa Bobbin Gauge to set every bobbin with the correct tension I almost never have a problem with thread breakage.  When I do, I follow the steps above to analyze the situation to determine cause and solve the problem  

Quilt magine Tips 
Nolting quiltmagine
Computer guided quilting from Nolting.

Rotated Blocks and Blocks On-Point
  • Any design can be rotated for placement in a different orientation or a block that is on-point by using the four-point placement method. 
  • Remember that bottom left BL, bottom right BR, top left TL and top right TR of the design on your screen are points of reference fixed to those points.  When tapping on the corners of the on-point block, use the BL, BR, TL and TR placements to change the orientation you see on the screen to the same orientation of the block you want to sew.
  • Choose stretch fill method to make sure that the block design fills the on-point block to the block margins.
Pattern Margin
Quiltmagine pattern margin
Pattern Margin Options

After selecting a block pattern in the "Patterns" tab, there are a number of options for placement, fill and how the pattern will stitch out.  One very nice option is found in the "Settings" tab in the tool bar at the top of the screen. 

"Pattern Margin" is found in the center of the settings screen.  The default is "0" which means that the pattern will stitch to the margins of the block, usually the seam lines.  This can be changed so that the pattern will stitch either inside of or outside of the block margin.  Tapping on the + or - will change the pattern margin in increments of 1/8 inch up to two inches (inside or outside).  The pattern margin can also be altered by tapping on the icons to increase or decrease the sides independently making the pattern skewed, even with some stitching inside the block and some of the pattern stitching outside the block.  These options offer great flexibility for how the design will look.

YouTube Videos

If you own Quilt magine, or are thinking about purchasing Quilt magine, check out the videos on YouTube.  Each is designed to help you learn more about Quilt magine's many capabilities.   More videos are planned so check back from time to time.

Facebook page for Quiltmagine.

Quiltmagine has its own Facebook page.  This is a place for sharing QM information, tips and photos of projects.  We invite you to "Like" the page and share it with your quilting friends.
loadingbackingMethod for loading the backing that eliminates the dips and swoops on the sides of the backing.
  • Pin, zip or use leader grips to attach the backing to the take-up roller first.  Completely roll the backing onto the take-up roller making sure to smooth the backing and keep the edges even.
  • Pin, zip or use leader grips to attach the backing to the front "backing" roller.
  • With the left hand on the front "backing" roller and the right hand on the take-up roller release the latch on the take-up roller and roll the backing from the take-up roller to the front backing roller keeping tension on the backing.  Stop periodically to smooth the backing on the front backing roller.  Tension on the backing during this transfer is key to getting the backing evenly on the front backing roller eliminating those dips and swoops along the sides of the backing.
  • After the backing is on the front backing roller the batting and top can be loaded.
for your referrals

You have told us that you love your Nolting.  You enjoy the fact it is easy to use, simple to maintain, and wonderful to quilt on.  It is only natural that you have told your quilting friends how much you enjoy your Nolting.

When Delightful Quilting & Sewing sells a Nolting because of your endorsement, make sure your friend tells us it is because of you.  As a token of our appreciation, you will receive a gift certificate to purchase anything from our fine line of Made in USA products or purchase items of your choice directly from the Nolting catalog, which could include batting, thread, pantos or Nolting items.

Quilters are interested in hearing your story, why you love your Nolting, why you chose Nolting, and about the service you have received from Delightful Quilting & Sewing.  Don't be shy, let your friends know.  We appreciate you and want to reward you with this token of our appreciation.

Thank You.

Delightful Quilting & Sewing | 585-226-2577
5378 Lake Rd.
Avon, NY 14414