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Thread: Free Motion Quilting, Stitch Problems

  1. #1
    Sew much to do Sew little time's Avatar
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    Hello everyone! I'm working on my second quilt, and am having some problems with some of my stitches. This is my first time trying free motion quilting, and I'm using a Gracie quilting frame. Most of my stitches are fine, and everything looks good from the front. However, sometimes the stitches on the back are too loose. I've noticed this especially after I load a new bobbin. Do you think this is caused by too much/little tension, speed, over loading the bobbin, etc? Also, do you have any suggestions for correcting it. I plan on removing these stitches and re-Quilting those sections after I have finished. Thanks for all of your input!
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  2. #2
    Super Member PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    Great beginning. takes LOTS of practice. I would work on sample sandwiches first!
    Normally a problem on the back means a tension problem with the needle, a problem on the front means tension issues with the bobbin. I think you need to tighten your tension to the needle. Also, curves are tricky and need to be done a bit slower. Even with great tension you can run into issues on curves if you go too fast.

  3. #3
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    It seems that you have a tension problem. When I started, I had the same problem. Had to take the machine back to the place (LQS) where I bought it. They fiddled with the bobbin tension as well as the needle tension. Havn't had a problem since and it's been several years. I think the machine just needed to be beat into submission, and now she is behaving. You know she needed to understand that I'm in charge!! By the way--your quilts look good for just the second attempt. You are indeed brave to jump right in!!!
    Sue

  4. #4
    Sew much to do Sew little time's Avatar
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    Thanks for the information, I will try adjusting the tension on the needle and give it a few test runs to find a good setting.

    Thanks Sue... way to show your machine who's boss!

  5. #5
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    sometimes, you can add a [can't think of the name of it] special washer in the bobbin case that keeps the bobbin from spinning too fast.

  6. #6
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Bobbin Genies are great to keep the bobbin from building up static electricity and preventing the start and stopping jerking. I use them in all my machine bobbins for piecing and quilting.

  7. #7
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    You do not have a tension problem! The very first thing people do is start goofing around with the tension and get the machine all out of whack. Look at the length of those stitches!! You're moving the machine way too fast for the speed of the needle. Slow down!!

  8. #8
    Super Member bibliostone's Avatar
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    Your hands are moving the quilt faster than the your foot (or start button) is moving the needle up and down. They have to go at the same speed which is very tricky on curves.

  9. #9
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    I had lots of trouble with this when I first started and it turned out to be a combination of both top and bottom thread.

    My bobbin was wound to loose and the tension screw needed adjusting so it fed the thread properly. I'm sure there are tutorials on bobbin tension. Bobbin thread should be wound tight enough so it does not feel spongy when you depress your thumb nail into it. It should only have a little give and not feel totaly hard.


    http://www.threadsmagazine.com/item/...ion-every-time

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-114933-1.htm

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-127610-1.htm

    My top thread tension was to loose also.

    I had to just keep playing with it a little adjustment at a time.
    I keep a trial quilt ready to use as a test before I start a new quilt. Two solid fabrics with scraps of batting in the middle and I have it on a zipper system that I can use and remove easily.

  10. #10
    Super Member soccertxi's Avatar
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    FMQ is a dance between moving your hands, how fast the machine is stitching and your tensions. Try to change just ONE thing at a time. Try slowing down your hands, esp on curves. Steady stitch speed is a good target. Not too fast, not too slow. Its a process. Just keep track of what works. Tensions should be changed slowly and not both at once (top and bobbin). If you use a stand alone bobbin winder? Consider a lamp dimmer switch. It looks like an extension cord with a dimmer switch on it. You plug your bobbin winder into it, and it into the wall. Now you control your speed on the dimmer switch and not on the foot pedal. I get a much more consistent bobbin and I think that has helped me ALOT. I would not practice on a quilt first. Invest in a cheater panel or muslin. I made lots of dog beds! have fun and don't forget to BREATHE!

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