Frequently Asked Questions

Basic Troubleshooting

Continuous Hoop Embroidery

Conversion Software


Multiple Hoop Embroidery

Professional Sew-Ware

PSW Options

Basic Troubleshooting

Why is the thread bunching-up under my fabric?

“Birdnesting” occurs when there is no tension on the needle thread to pull the bobbin thread. This is easily corrected by rethreading the machine, following the threading path carefully and making sure the thread is fully engaged in the tension mechanism.

The upper thread on my machine keeps breaking.

Try these corrections: (1) Rethread the machine; (2) Reduce the thread tension (lower number); (3) Select a larger size needle; (4) Remove and reinsert a new needle, flat side toward the back of the machine.

My stitches are too loose.

To correct loose stitches, try the following: (1) Balance the thread tension. If the stitches are loose on top of the fabric, decrease the tension to the next lower number. If they are loose on the underside set the tension to the next higher number. (2) Make sure the needle/upper thread follows the threading path. (3) Check to see that the bobbin case is threaded properly. (4) Use a different size needle. For fine fabrics, use a smaller needle (size 9, 11); medium-weight fabrics require a size 14 or 16. And use a size 18 or “Denim” needle for heavy corduroy or denim.

The lower thread on my machine keeps breaking.

This is usually caused by a problem with the bobbin case. Check the bobbin and bobbin case. Try removing the bobbin and cleaning the area of any stray threads or lint. When you replace the bobbin pull on the thread. The thread should pull easily and smoothly.

My needle keeps breaking.

Needle breakage is usually caused by a damaged needle or one that is the incorrect size for the fabric. Remove and reinsert a new needle, making sure that the flat side goes toward the back of the machine. Make sure the needle size is appropriate for the fabric. Also check the attachment of the presser foot to see that the needle is not striking it.

My machine is skipping stitches.

Skipped stitches are usually caused by a needle that is the incorrect size for the fabric. Insert a new needle (flat side toward the back of the machine) and make sure the needle is the appropriate size and type for the fabric. Use a sharp needle for woven fabrics and a ball point needle for knits. Also check the attachment of the presser foot to see that even pressure is applied to the fabric.

My seams are gathered/puckered.

This can be caused by a needle that is too large for the fabric – try a smaller sized needle. Also try readjusting the stitch length. And loosening the tension by setting it to the next lower number could resolve the problem.

My stitches are uneven.

Poor quality or old thread is usually the cause for uneven stitches. You could also see uneven stiches if the fabric has been pulled. Never pull on the fabric while sewing – let it be taken up by the machine. Also check to see that the bobbin is threaded correctly in the bobbin case

My machine is noisier than usual.

Check to see that lint or oil has not collected on the hook or needle bar. Always use a good quality sewing machine oil. A damaged needle can also be the cause of a noisy machine – insert a new needle.

My machine is jammed.

A jammed machine is caused by thread being caught in the hook. Remove the upper thread and the bobbin case, turn the hand wheel towards you (counterclockwise) by hand and remove any thread in the bobbin case area. *Always turn the hand wheel towards you. Turning the hand wheel away from you (clockwise) can cause the machines timing to become unaligned and jam your machine. Also, always make sure the presser foot is in the down position before you start sewing. Sewing with the presser foot in the up position will jam your machine in the bobbin case

My machine will not sew over the thick seams of jeans hems.

Skipped stitches and broken needles can happen when stitching over the thick flat-fell seams of jeans. This occurs when the presser foot is not level enough to provide traction for the feed dogs. A little gadget called a Jean-a-ma-jig™ by Dritz® or the Hump Jumper® fits all machines and will level the foot for smooth continuous stitching. *If you do not have either of these a small piece of fabric or paper placed under the back of the foot will help keep the presser foot even when you first start sewing the seam.

How do you thread a SERGER?

See detailed threading guide: 3/4-thread serger; (Guides for 2/3/4-thread serger and 2/3/4/5-thread serger coming soon.)

The feed dogs do not come up when I raise them.

In order to raise the feed dogs, follow these steps: First, lift the presser foot; next, push the feed dog lever to the raised position; finally, turn the handwheel towards you until you hear the feed dogs snap into place.

What’s the best method of sewing denim and other thick fabrics?

Please follow these instructions for sewing denim or any other type of heavy weight fabric. These tips apply to all types of sewing machines.

To sew denim and other heavy fabrics, we recommend you use a denim style 2026 needle for denim or a size 16 or 18 needle for heavier weight fabrics. You will need to set the machine for a straight stitch with the length regulated between 3 and 4.You will also get better results if you use the metal all-purpose foot that is included with your machine.

Sew at a controlled moderate speed when sewing over multiple layers of seams.

Why do I keep getting a C3 error (accompanied by lots of beeps) when I turn on my machine?

The C3 error as well as the beeping when you turn on your machine indicates the foot control plug is not fully pushed into the sewing machine. Turn off your sewing machine and push the foot contol plug into the machine fully. Turn your sewing machine back on.

Continuous Hoop Embroidery

How does the Continuous Hoop work?

The Continuous Hoop is a special attachment, used to create continuous embroideries. The fabric does not need to be marked and does not require rehooping to sew another section of the design. A positioning “V” is stitched at the end of the design. A clamp that secures the fabric is released, and the fabric is simply slid toward the back until the needle rests in the point of the “V”. The clamp is re-engaged and the design is ready to sew again

Can I use designs other than those that come on the Continuous Hoop memory card or those that are built in the Quantum® XL-6000 and sew them as continuous embroideries in the Continuous Hoop?

Yes, it is very easy to sew any design as a continuous embroidery in the Continuous Hoop. Bring up the design in the PSW® 2.00a software. Apply the continuous hoop selection to the screen. Make any size or rotation changes as necessary to ensure that the design fits into the hoop. Note: The maximum size of the design is 50mm x 120mm. In the Modify menu, select Center the design. Go to File, click on Write using continuous embroidery or Transmit continuous to machine. The design will be written to the card or transmitted to the machine with the positioning “V” automatically put in place at the end of the design

Can I create my own designs and use them in the Continuous Hoop?

Yes. Create your design using the PSW® 2.00a software, being sure to have the design fit into the Continuous Hoop. Send the design to the machine using the same steps as mentioned above.

Can I make my own lace in the Continuous Hoop?

Yes. It is easy to create your own lace using the Continuous Hoop. There are some designs that are stable enough to embroider without a foundation fabric, however, it is usually necessary to use a foundation fabric such as organdy, batiste or bridal tulle. Use a water soluble stabilizer under the foundation fabric. Pellon’s Soluweb® is a wonderful stabilizer that rinses out very quickly without any sticky or hard residue. Purchased ribbons may also be embroidered using the Continuous Hoop. Place tear-away stabilizer in the hoop, lay the ribbon down the center of the stabilizer and engage the clamp. The clamp holds the ribbon securely and will keep the ribbon from shifting while sewing.

How do I turn a corner?

The ability to turn the corner depends mainly on the embroidery design itself. The end of design needs to have a natural looking breaking point in it in order to be successfully used to turn a corner. An example of this would be a “swerving” floral vine. Simply rotate the fabric, and position the needle in the point of the positioning “V”. Designs that have a more boxy or geometric ending do not lend themselves well to turning the corner. If a design that has a more abrupt or definite ending is to be used, it is better to sew the design onto two strips and then sew them together, mitering the corner.

Conversion Software

What can the Conversion Software do?

The Conversion Software is a tool designed to allow easy and direct transfer of pre-digitized embroidery designs from the PC to the Quantum® XL-6000 sewing machine. Simply open the desired design from the Conversion Software and transmit it to the Quantum® XL-6000 machine. Nearly all popular embroidery formats are available to allow the import of almost any design. Basic editing functions are included, such as Clean Up, Center or Change Color of a design.

Can the Conversion Software tool digitize designs?

No. The Conversion Software is not a program that allows creating or digitizing original designs. Stitch placement may not be altered in anyway. Stitches may not be moved, added to or deleted. The design may not be resized. Basically the design is exactly the way it appears on the screen.

How does the Conversion Software communicate with the Quantum® XL-6000?

The Conversion Software and the PC communicate with the Quantum® XL-6000 through a special serial port cable called a Null Modem Cable, (Singer Part # 270-10D1-20206 for 6-foot cable, Part # 270-10D1-20210 for 10-foot cable). This special cable is a 9-pin cable with both a male and female end, one for the PC and one for the sewing machine. The wiring in a Null Modem cable is configured in a way to allow communication to flow both ways between the two devices, the PC and the machine. A straight serial port cable will not allow the information to flow back and forth. However, a Null Modem Adapter may be added to a straight serial port cable, creating the same effect

Can I use a USB cable with the Conversion Software?

A USB cable may be used with a USB-to-Serial (9-pin) conversion cable. For Window® 98, NT, 2000 & ME these conversion cables usually require that an software program (included with the cable) be installed on the PC in order for the computer to recognize the cable. Window® XP (or higher) usually does not require the cable software


The lights are flashing on my machine and it will not sew.

Most probably a threading issue. Turn off machine and be sure top transparent threading path is threaded correctly. Turn machine back on.

How do I get to AutoPunch (QUANTUM® Futura™)?

Open Futura™ software. Go to create and click on AutoPunch on the drop down menu.

What do the “Thread Break”, flashing lights, beeping sound or “88 Error” message mean?

All of the above error messages indicate the upper tension path is not threaded correctly.Check the transparent thread path located at the top of the machine is threaded correctly.

Hold thread in both hands and slip under transparent thread guide.While holding the thread securely, pull the thread towards you and then slip it back and forth like you were flossing. You should hear or feel two clicks as the thread slips past the thread guides.

have the Futura™ software open, but I have no toolbar.

Uninstall the Futura™ software and then re-install.

How do I save a design that I have digitized?

Go to file, save as, choose the area where you want to save the design (My documents). Name the document and then save.

How do I find online support?

The FUTURA™ support Web site URL is

How do I add TT Fonts to my Windows Font Folder?

Download the desired new TT fonts from the Internet or other source. Fonts downloaded from the Internet most likely they will need to be extracted or unzipped. In most cases when downloading you will have a choice between Open or Save. If you choose Open this will automatically open up the extraction program on your computer so you can unzip the pattern. The extraction program will ask the location you want the files to be saved to. Choose to save the TT fonts in the Windows Font folder that is under your C: directory. The main folder will often say Windows but the name can vary depending on your computers O/S version. This procedure should extract the file (TT font) directly into the Windows Font folder on your computer. If you have already unzipped the file you can move or copy/paste the file into this Font folder. To locate the folder right-click on the Start Button and then left click on Explore. Double left-click on the C: to open the C directory. Scroll down until you locate the Windows folder. Open the Windows folder and scroll until you find the FONT folder. You can then drag the file or paste it into this folder. Then in the Futura Hyperfont Wizard you will be able to select your new font.

Is it difficult to learn how to embroider on a Futura sewing and embroidery machine?

Machine embroidery is actually very easy, in fact no sewing experience is necessary. If you are comfortable with a computer and a mouse you will be able to do beautiful embroidery. There are 120 built-in designs in the software, but you can also select from thousands of pre-digitized designs and download them from various websites. The designs can be very intricate or very simple and can have as many colors as you want. The Futura sewing and embroidery machines stitch out one color at a time, the software will notify you when it is time to rethread your machine with a different color thread. Because you can manually control the embroidery function, you can walk away and complete other tasks while your machine embroiders.

How do I multi-hoop on the Futura sewing and embroidery machine? (This answer is compatible with the following Futura models: FQ-4, XL-400, SEQS-6000)

Detailed instructions for multi-hooping can be found here.

I’m getting an error message that my hoop size is smaller than my embroidery data. How do I correct this?

This error will usually occur if either the hoop is not attached or not attached correctly when you try to transmit the design to the machine. It can also mean that the USB cable is not connected or not connected correctly.

To correct this issue close out the Futura program; Turn off the sewing machine; Remove the hoop from the embroidery unit if it is attached and then; Remove the embroidery unit from the machine. Finally disconnect the USB cable from both the machine and the computer.

The you will need to follow these steps:

  1. Re-attach the embroidery unit to the machine.
  2. Reconnect the USB cable to both the machine and the computer.
  3. Turn on the sewing machine.
  4. Attach the “Large” hoop to the embroidery unit.
  5. Double click on the Futura Icon to open up the program.
  6. You are now ready to select a design and transmit it to the machine

The software is prompting me to input point A after I transmit my design but I’m not trying to use the multi-hoop function. How do I correct this error?

This prompt usually occurs after you have recently copleted a multi-hoop design.

Please follow these steps to correct the error:

  1. Go to “Tools” and select “System Parameters” from the drop down menu.
  2. Remove the check mark from the “Set alignment point for large hoop also” box.

The issue should now be resolved.

Is the Futura software compatible with my Mac computer?

Futura software does not install nor work on Mac OS without the need to add special software.

You will need to purchase and install a special emulator software called ‘Parallels’ –, as well as a Windows Operating system for your computer.

After you have loaded the Parallels program, install the Windows Operating system onto your MAC computer (The Windows XP program and that worked well for us).

Once the Parallels and Windows programs have been loaded onto your compute you will be able to load the Futura software.

Here are the steps you need to follow:

  1. Purchase and install the Parallels software on your Mac OS
  2. Purchase and install a Windows Operating System when in the parallels mode
  3. Launch the Windows OS and then load the Futura software

What are the computer system requirements for the new Futura machines including the FQ-4, XL-400 and SEQS-6000?

1 GHz Intel or AMD processor

Windows OS: Windows XP/Vista/7 (32 or 64 bit)

CD Rom drive

1 GB of RAM (or more recommended)

500 MB (or more recommended) of available hard-disk space for installation

Color standard (1024 x 768 pixel; 65,000 colors recommended) VGA adapter connected with a color VGA monitor

Microsoft compatible mouse

USB 1.1/2.0

Multiple Hoop Embroidery

Does it matter what type of fabric marker is used to mark the X and Y axis lines for Multi-hooping?

Use a fabric marking tool which is appropriate for your particular type of fabric. For best results, use a marker that has a fine, clean point, such as a sharp quilting pencil, chalk pencil, or a fine-point fabric marking pen. The fine point will ensure that you draw clean lines on the fabric, providing the most accurate results

How important is marking the X and Y axis lines on the fabric?

The X and Y axis lines need to be marked perfectly onto the fabric. Be sure to use a transparent ruler with clear 90-degree angle markings. The lines on the fabric must be at exact 90-degrees for accurate results. You cannot “eyeball” the perpendicular lines when drawing.

How accurately must the fabric be placed in the hoop when embroidering a Multi-hoop design?

The beauty of the Multi-hoop function is that the fabric need not be placed accurately in the hoop. Hoop the fabric, placing the X and Y axis lines in the hoop, similarly to the suggestion on the screen of the machine. Once the fabric has been hooped and the X and Y coordinates have been selected on the sewing machine screen, don’t pull or tug the fabric. After the X and Y coordinates have been recorded, the machine knows exactly where to sew. Pulling the fabric in the hoop after imputing the coordinates makes the fabric “shift”, and the design section could sew in the wrong place relative to the rest of the design layout. Do any adjusting of the fabric before inputting the X and Y coordinates

What do I do if part of the design that has already been embroidered is covering the X and Y axis lines?

Sometimes when embroidering oversized designs in “sections”, some of the embroidery stitching itself can cover up the X and/or Y axis lines drawn on the fabric. If this occurs, simply draw new lines with the fabric marking tool over the embroidery stitching, referencing the exposed areas of the original lines.

What type of stabilizer should be used for Multi-hooping?

Stabilize adequately and appropriately for the project. Use appropriate stabilizer for the fabric being used. Various fabrics will require different types of stabilizer. In fact, it is sometimes necessary to use more than one type of stabilizer, if a project has very dense stitching, unstable fabric, or both. Sometimes a self-adhesive type of stabilizer is the best choice, particularly for fabrics with a nap.

Professional Sew-Ware

I have a 64 MB Smart Media card and I have filled it up. When I put my card in the QUANTUM® XL-5000 it won’t read the designs. I can see them in the software so I know they are there. Why can’t I pull them into my machine?

Unfortunately the QUANTUM® XL-5000 RAM memory is limited. So it is only able to pull up design cards that are approximately 7 pages. This number will vary depending on the size of the designs that are written to the card. If you have written a lot of small designs to a card, you will probably be able to get a lot more designs on the card. Conversely if you’ve written large designs, you will get less to a card.

My computer only has USB ports. Can you recommend a Serial (nine pin) to USB converter cable that will work with the Professional Sew Ware™ 2.00a?

We have found that the PSW works best on newer computers when the USB serial adapter cable has not only compatible drivers for the Windows operating system but also a FTDI chip. We have found this FTDI chip in the cable which is listed below:

CUSB-232A available from and

Any USB to serial adapter with an FTDI chip will work. These cables will work for Windows XP, VISTA, and 7.

I bought a new computer with Windows® XP® and now my Professional Sew Ware™ 1.1 won’t work. Why?

A patch is available to correct the compatibility issue with PSW 1.1 & 1.0 and the newest versions of Windows®. Click here to download:Windows Compatibility patch for PSW.

I’ve been using my Professional Sew Ware™ 2.00a and now it won’t open. I have everything plugged in correctly but there are no lights on my converter box. Why?

It sounds like you have a blown fuse in the box. This can happen through power surges and various other reasons. Take the box to your nearest Singer dealer and have him replace the fuse.

I’ve installed my Professional Sew Ware™ 2.00a to my computer but it won’t open. I know the port works because I connect my Palm Pilot to it. Can you explain this?

Uninstall both programs. Reinstall only the Professional Sew Ware™ 2.00a and see if it will work. In my experience, the PSW doesn’t want to share a port with another program. Perhaps there is another port that you can use with your Palm Pilot

Do I have to have Professional Sew Ware™ 2.00a to download designs into my QUANTUM® XL-5000? It already has a nine pin port, can’t I just hook it directly to my computer?

There is a conversion program that will allow direct linkage from the computer to the sewing machine through a null modem serial cable. Check with you local dealer.

Where can I download the latest PSW patches and upgrades?

You will find all downloads for Professional Sew Ware™ at the PSW support site (

PSW Options

I have registered on-line at the support site, but I did not receive an installation code. What should I do?

Because the installation code is generated by Compucon’s server, some consumers’ email servers will recognize the response as spam and block it. The consumer should email and Consumer Affairs will get the code. The consumer must provide all of the information (name, address, phone, email, serial number of the Converter Box and the serial number of the Options) to obtain this code

I am having trouble getting through to the Web site.

The Web site is temporarily out of service. Please wait until the Web site is back up, which is usually the next business day.

Can I load the PSW Options on more than one computer?

As long as you use the same Converter Box (from the PSW), you can use Options on multiple computers by using the installation code that was assigned to this particular Converter Box and PSW. When you register the Options serial number and the PSW Converter serial number, these two now become married together. They cannot be separated and the Options cannot be paired with another Converter Box.

I installed my Options, but I can’t see any changes to my PSW 2.00a screen. Where is it?

PSW Options installs and becomes part of the original PSW 2.00a program.

Where is the PhotoStitch Option?

The PhotoStitch option will be found when selecting Complex Fill stitch types. You can choose between PhotoFill and PhotoFill Color. Each fill has different parameters

I used the Magic Wand to digitize my photo and it looks awful. What’s wrong?

PhotoStitch is not an autopunch digitizing option. To use PhotoStitch you will manually digitize the entire photo area at once using the same method as any Complex Fill.

I manually digitized my photo and it still looks awful, why?

There are several possibilities for this. One, the photo may have a low dpi. The minimum recommended dpi is 150. Perhaps the actual size of the photo may be too small. Try using a photo at a minimum of four inches. Photos may be resized in the OPEN IMAGE box by left clicking on the button next to the image size. In addition, you may view the dpi of the image here.

digitized my photo and it was too small, so I resized it after digitizing. The design was changed and no longer looked good. The integrity of the design was lost.

PhotoStitch doesn’t resize. If you want your design to be larger, do it to the image of the photo before you digitize it. This can be done in the OPEN IMAGE box before the photo is opened.

I am using my PhotoStitch, but I don’t seem to understand the Parameters settings. They don’t seem to work quite like the rest of the PSW 2.00a parameters. Can you explain the PhotoStitch Satin Fill parameters?

You are right. At first look the Parameters box seems very different. However, if you take a closer look it’s easy to understand. Style – Satin, means exactly what it says. The stitch will be rows of satin columns. Satin Width refers to the actual width of the satin column, like the stitch width on your sewing machine while doing a zigzag stitch. Minimum Stitch Distance, the default is set a 6.0. This is actually more like the density setting you are accustomed to seeing in the software.

Why do some of my images AutoPunch better than others?

It may be dependent upon the image type. Bitmap images, which include jpeg, tiff, bmp, .pcx, .pcd, .tga, and .psd, are made using pixels. These images are often scanned into the computer, although they may come from CD’s. Vector files, which include .wmf and .emf files, are often created using computer software and are smooth edged images. These can be imported from CD’s. They will also have fewer colors.

Where is the AutoPunch?

AutoPunch is found under the CREATE drop down menu after you have opened an image.

What happens when I “Vectorize” an image? Do I want to say yes?

Vector images are created in layers. Therefore, if you have a circle with a square in it, the circle color will be behind the entire square. Since the AutoPunch digitizes by color changes it would place stitches in the entire blue circle area and then overlap with stitches again when digitizing the pink circle. This would lead to a very dense hard to sew design. When you say “YES” to the OPTIMIZE VECTOR IMAGES option, the program “erases” the blue behind the pink square. For best results, you will want to say YES when asked to OPTIMIZE the image.

Why does it only ask to Vectorize images sometimes?

If you are not using a Vector File Image, (.emf or .wmf) it will NOT ask to vectorize the image. The software will automatically vectorize non-vector files, sometimes this happens quickly on a fast computer and you will not even notice

Since my PSW 2.00a already will digitize TrueType fonts from my computer, why do I need Hyperfont?

Your PSW 2.00a as it is now, without the Option, digitizes TT fonts in the lettering part of the software with a Complex Fill step satin or satin stitch. With Complex Fill stitches, you only have one stitch inclination. With step satin fills, this may give an adequate finished result, but usually not as pleasing as the built-in fonts. With Satin fill stitches you can have very long stitches, which are easy to catch and snag. With HYPERFONT, the stitches follow the shape of the letters, instead of just one direction. This gives a more professional appearance to the lettering.

When I’m creating Hyperfonts using my True Type Fonts, I don’t understand all the choices in my pop-up menu box. What’s the difference between REFERENCE LINE and COMPLEX FILL? What is BREAK LINE EDITOR?

Complex Fill will give you lettering with only one stitch inclination (direction). This might be a good choice for very large lettering. By choosing Complex Fill, you could even edit the lettering and replace the fill with any of the 120 Pattern Step Fills or any of the 30 Special Step Fills.

The second part of your question asks to define the “Line Break Editor.” By enabling the “Editor”, it will allow you have more flexibility when creating your new font. It will give you the option to edit and predefine the way HyperFont will cut the letters into segments (blocks). Simply draw a new line or move the existing one(s).

Why isn’t there a manual for the Options?

There is a very informative 28-page manual located on the Options CD. To access the manual return the CD to the drive and go into Windows Explore and find your Options CD. You will find a file name “Manual,” just double left click on the icon and it will open the .PDF file.