Let’s start by saying that over 90% of the calls we receive here at Patchwork Plus are easy to fix and can be handled over the phone.

Just in case your crisis comes when a tech cannot be reached, here are five easy things you can check before you call the tech.


When your stitches are not quite right: either too lose, knotting under or over the fabric, or not stitching at all, stop and think back to the last thing you did before the malfunction:

      • •Did you change bobbins or thread?
      • •Did you break a needle?
      • •Were the grand kids over and playing in the sewing room?

What happened right before it stopped working could hold the answer to what may have gone wrong.

5 Easy Things to Check

1. Check the threading.

Always start by re-threading the machine.

Make sure the presser foot is up when you thread the machine. Make sure you put the presser foot down before you thread the needle.

The thread should be hard to pull. Raise the presser foot again, and the thread should pull easily.


      1. 2. Check the bobbin.

        Bobbin Direction

        Check to make sure the bobbin is turning in the correct direction.

        If you have a top load bobbin there may be a picture on the machine that shows you how the bobbin should be loaded (usually turns counterclockwise when you pull the thread).

        If it is a front load with a bobbin case, it should turn clockwise when the thread is pulled.

      2. 3. Change the needle and check for small burs.

        Needle with bur

        If your needle is dull or if it has a small bur on the tip, it will not make stitches correctly.

        Just so you know, sometimes even new needles have burs.

      3. 4. Oil the hook.

        Oil the hook

        This only applies to front-load bobbins.

        You need to oil the hook about every 2 bobbins or whenever your machine starts to rattle, whichever comes first. USE ONLY HOOK OIL TO OIL YOUR HOOK.

        Some Bernina machines require special hook oil so know what your machine requires and where to oil it.

      4. 5. Tension.

        If tips 1-4 didn't solve the problem, check your top tension setting.

        If it's a manual wheel and you're sewing average weight fabric, the tension should usually be around the center number. The standard setting is often marked with a contrasting color.

If none of these tips corrects the problem, give Patchwork Plus a call and ask for Ronnie or Mary.