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Thread: FMQ tension- bobbin thread laying on back on fabric

  1. #1
    Super Member noveltyjunkie's Avatar
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    FMQ tension- bobbin thread laying on back on fabric

    I have done a search but can't find an answer to this one.
    I often have issues with my FMQ tension on my Brother NS 30.

    So today I decided to be methodical.

    Loaded up thread and bobbin and checked tension before changing to darning foot. It's all good. (So I am ruling out fluff issues, tension wheels, etc.

    Attached darning foot. Did not touch dogs, stich length or anything, tried sewing a straight line. Bobbin thread is laying on back.

    Adjusted tension. It stays exactly the same, whether I crank it right up, or right down.

    And yes, my foot was down when I was sewing- my machine has a warning beep for that.

    This issue is haunting me. People say practice practice, but what is the point of practicing when I know from the get go that it is going to look bad because of the tension problems and I will never be able to FMQ with confidence because I have a techinical problem?

    Please suggest what I could try to fix this!
    Thank you.
    Fortune favours the prepared mind
    "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein

  2. #2
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    If you have turned the tension all the way up and still have the problem, it sounds like you need to very carefully raise the tension on your bobbin case. That is the last step to try and takes a very tiny turn of the screw. I have only had to do that a couple of times in many years of sewing. Be very careful, as the screw is very small and easy to loose. Having loose bobbin threads is a very frustrating problem. Good luck.
    Sue

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    Does your bobbin case have a screw? If so make a note of where the slit in the screw is by the hands of a clock before you move it. Set your top tension back to factory setting (my machine has a line by that setting) and then adjust the bobbin tension a little at a time. Different thickness of bobbin thread can effect your tension too.

  4. #4
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
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    Before you change the tensions, a word of caution/advice. I have a Brother PC-6500 that will NOT free motion quilt. It is a known issue with the machines. It isn't a flaw with the machine it is just a characteristic. Yours may be the same way.

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    Have you tried setting the stitch length to zero?

    For my Janome, I got a special bobbin case that is for FMQ--the tension is adjusted properly for that, so I just change the bobbin case when I'm ready to FMQ. I don't know if Brother has a FMQ bobbin case, but I think I would invest in a separate bobbin case, set for FMQ, rather than constantly changing the bobbin tension. Good luck.

  6. #6
    Super Member noveltyjunkie's Avatar
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    Thank you all!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by susie-susie-susie View Post
    If you have turned the tension all the way up and still have the problem, it sounds like you need to very carefully raise the tension on your bobbin case.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    Does your bobbin case have a screw? If so make a note of where the slit in the screw is by the hands of a clock before you move it. Set your top tension back to factory setting (my machine has a line by that setting) and then adjust the bobbin tension a little at a time. Different thickness of bobbin thread can effect your tension too.
    But there is no problem at all with my tension when I do normal sewing or piecing. Do you still think that there could be a problem with the bobbin tension arising just from the darning foot? (Is so, how would it happen?)
    Ditto on the threads. They were working just fine with the normal foot. It only went mad when I changed the foot (and nothing else)
    Last edited by noveltyjunkie; 02-03-2013 at 06:58 AM.
    Fortune favours the prepared mind
    "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein

  7. #7
    Super Member noveltyjunkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch's mom View Post
    Before you change the tensions, a word of caution/advice. I have a Brother PC-6500 that will NOT free motion quilt. It is a known issue with the machines. It isn't a flaw with the machine it is just a characteristic. Yours may be the same way.
    Well if it is a characeristic, it is not mentioned anywhere in the paperwork- does yours state that up front? I'd be very disappointed if that was the case, because when I bought it I said I wanted it for FMQing as well as other things.
    Fortune favours the prepared mind
    "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein

  8. #8
    Super Member noveltyjunkie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WandaVA View Post
    Have you tried setting the stitch length to zero? .
    Same problem no matter what the stitch length!

    Quote Originally Posted by WandaVA View Post
    For my Janome, I got a special bobbin case that is for FMQ--the tension is adjusted properly for that, so I just change the bobbin case when I'm ready to FMQ. I don't know if Brother has a FMQ bobbin case, but I think I would invest in a separate bobbin case, set for FMQ, rather than constantly changing the bobbin tension. Good luck.
    OK so this sounds like the same idea as from the first two replies- that FMQ actually does require a different bobbin tension. I never knew that. Does everyone have to do this? How tedious!
    Fortune favours the prepared mind
    "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein

  9. #9
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    My Janome 6600 is in for a tune up and the same tension issues. Clerk showed me the fmq bobbin case and how it works, said it is a very common issue for lots of machines. I understand your frustration. If you bought from a dealer, call them or take machine to show them what it does....they may have some good advice to fix the problem.

  10. #10
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    I sometimes have to adjust the tension in my bobbin case between quilting with my walking foot on my quilt sandwich and FMQ. I do have adjust my bobbin tension between regular piecing and quilting on a quilt sandwich. As mentioned though, if you know where the bobbin screw STARTED before you adjusted it, you can move it back if that is not the problem.

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