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Thomas Sewing Center
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Frequently Asked Questions
This area of the website is meant to help you with common issues that people have often asked us for help with through the years.  
Having been in the business for a long time, we have heard a whole range of issues, many of which have easy fixes.  
If you are having an issue that you don’t see a solution for, then please contact us for more help.  Thats what we are here for!

Technical Questions

“Why is my machine making a loose stitch on the bottom?”
The upper tension is probably turned down too low. keep adjusting the tension tighter until the problem corrects. If the problem persists, or if the tension seems like it doesn’t ever get tighter, or if it doesn’t seem to be consistent, you may need to have your machine serviced.
“My thread just broke, and now when I try to sew the thread just wads up and makes an awful sound. Whats wrong?”
More than likely, when your thread broke, the thread came out of the take-up lever. Completely unthread the machine back to the spool, and rethread the machine like you would normally. This should probably take care of the problem. If you are still having issues, you probably will need to have your machine serviced.

“When my machine sews I hear a popping noise. What do I do?”
This is most likely due to a dull needle. The problem can be fixed simply by changing a needle. When a needle is dull, it doesn’t penetrate the fabric smoothly, causing the noise that you are hearing. If you still hear a noise after changing the needle, you probably need to have your machine serviced, because the problem is probably somewhere else internally in the machine.

“My machine isn’t picking up the bobbin thread. What am I doing wrong?”
Check your needle. Make sure that the needle isn’t bent badly or simply placed in the machine backwards. In a domestic machine, the needle will have a flat side on the shank (The top of the needle). This flat side of the shank should go to the back on most machines. A good rule of thumb is that the flat of the needle goes to the opposite side to the side that you thread the needle from. If your needle is straight, and installed correctly and you still have issues, then you probably need to have the machine checked in for repair.

“My machine is skipping stitches. What do I do?”
Sometimes while sewing, we can be rough on the most important part of the sewing machine, the needle. If you have bent your needle, even slightly, then you may have issues with skipping. Also, having the right needle for the job is critical. If you are trying to sew a knit fabric with a regular needle, for example, you will probably get skipped stitches. Every application has an ideal type of needle to use, and using the correct needle always makes for a better finished product. With that being said, there are some technical issues that can cause skipping. If you have the correct needle, you have made sure it is in straight (For commercial needles) , made sure its in the correct way, and made sure it is not bent, then you probably need to have your machine serviced.

“What do you mean, “Change the Needle!”, My needle is precious! I have had the same needle since the day I bought this machine!”
Believe it or not, Needles are meant to be changed. If you are getting good performance from your machine, then by all means, leave the needle in. But, as soon as you start having issues, this is usually the first thing that you should do to fix your issues.

Quilting Questions

"How big does the backing of my quilt need to be?"
The backing of a quilt needs to be at least 6 inches wider and longer than the quilt top. The reason being that sometimes during the quilting process the fabric tends to stretch and this allows you enough room for error to ensure no issues with the size of the backing.

"How much does it cost to have a twin, full, queen, king, etc. size quilted?"
The pricing of our quilting is completely based on actual measurements of the quilt. We do not go by standard sizes, because ironically they are anything BUT standard. One persons queen size could be several inches different than another persons queen size. We have found it to be more fair to simply charge by the square inch. For more information about our quilt pricing, Click Here.

Embroidery Questions

“Why can’t I use regular embroidery thread in the bobbin while I am doing embroidery?”
Technically, you can use any kind of thread you want to use, its all about getting results. If you want to get professional results with your embroidery, then you need to use the correct thread. The manufacturer sets the tensions specifically for the bobbin thread that is designed for your machine. Using bobbin thread also means that you don’t have to change colors in the bobbin each time you change colors on the top. Of course there are always situations where you would need to use the same color on top and bottom, (such as free-standing lace) but generally speaking, you need to stick to the bobbin thread.

“What format of embroidery designs can I use in my machine?”
For our two brands of machines, you use .jef files for Janome, and .pes files for the Baby Locks. If you are purchasing designs, make sure that the correct format is available to you.

“I want to make an embroidery of a picture that I have. Can I load the picture into the machine?”
Short answer, no. Long answer, yes, but with the use of a digitizing software. Image files that are viewable on your computer are not readable by the embroidery machines, and even if they were, they wouldn’t contain the required information to make a stitch file. You need to have someone digitize the image for you, or you can buy a digitizing software to do it yourself.

Need Additional Support?

Greenup Location
2027 1/2 Ashland Rd., Greenup, KY
(606) 473-3540

NOTE: It is not recommended that you use this address for GPS. You will end up at a local farm house about 3/4 of a mile away from us. For better results, type "Thomas Sewing Center" into Google Maps or Apple Maps.

Lexington Location
305 Codell Dr,
Lexington, KY 40509

(859) 286-5192

Greenup Hours
Mon - Closed
Tues - Sat - 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday - Closed

Lexington Hours
Mon - Closed
Tues - Sat10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday - Closed