I felt incredibly stupid an hour ago. I've been doing a decent amount of embroidery lately and kept having a recurring problem--occasional looping on the top, breaking upper thread (shredding near the needle), and the thread jamming on the end of the spindle. It's been happening for months and changing the thread tension was not working. Changing the needle and needle types wasn't working. Ditto with the thread, it's fairly new anyway. I was almost ready to post the question about what to do about the spindle jamming, then a huge lightbulb went off, and I felt I had a brain the size of a pea.
The problem was likely the spool was placed in the wrong direction on my machine! I never thought about there being a right and wrong way. Here's the "wrong" way (according to my embroidery stitchouts). Notice how the top of the spool is pointing to the left:
All my problems were solved by flipping the thread as in the pic below:
Probably less friction, less hiccupping. And a lot less headaches.
Here's what I was working on when I had the lightbulb moment. It was a RTW Adidas jacket for DD#1. Her teammates paid $54 for a jacket with their name and a tiny tennis racquets on the front--a group team order. We bought her jacket online for $42, and she will have full embroidery on the back as well as the front embroidery. The name of her school is at the top (not shown), the tennis racquets in the middle, followed by the years and positions (my hand covering that) played on the tennis team. She is SO excited about this! I have suddenly become *important*. Amazing. Like Mom can actually do something useful and purposeful and...COOL.
This is the sample embroidery placement, minus the school name above the tennis racquets:
This is the same child that decided she wanted an embroidered scarf like her sister. I'll have to post a pic of the scarf tomorrow. After poo-pooing the idea of a homemade scarf with custom embroidery, she saw the finished product and demanded, "When are you making me one??? I want one!" Suddenly the scarf is now tres chic. I do think it's rather cute myself ;) . And for as much as she turns her nose up at my sewing machine, she was rather annoyed I didn't have it yesterday. She wants to take in her side seams of her tennis t-shirt so it is fitted to her curves.
Also, today was the day I started giving my friend sewing lessons. It went so well, and she is a quick study. Next week, she will be starting her first project, matching pillowcases. I gave her some homework to work on this week in preparation for it.
Tomorrow...work on the jacket embroidery. DD#1 wants it "yesterday".
All those comments, ladies, makes a good case for backup! Maybe a free, dependable machine will come my way. That would be nice.