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Thread: Horizontal bobbin vs. Vertical bobbin for FMQ. Why is one better than the other

  1. #1
    Super Member damaquilts's Avatar
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    I have read over and over that a vertical bobbin is better than a horizontal one. What is the difference and why is it better?
    I have both and haven't been able to set up any of my vintage machines with a horizontal bobbin yet.

  2. #2
    Super Member woody's Avatar
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    I was told by a Bernina dealer that you will never have perfect tension when FMQ with a horizontal bobbin, yet my new Janome Horizon has one and FMQ's beautifully??? I think they just wanted the sale.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    I have read that there's less drag on the quilt with a vertical bobbin, and that you can change the bobbin without taking the quilt out of the machine.

    I've quilted with a Viking Lily and a Sapphire (horizontal) and a Bernina (vertical). I haven't noticed any difference in ease of quilting due to the bobbin. The Bernina does a better job for me, but the Sapphire and I never got along anyway. I don't think the Bernina is doing any better than my Lily did, though.

    Janet

  4. #4
    Super Member damaquilts's Avatar
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    I was wondering if it was a sales pitch or if there really was a difference.

  5. #5
    Super Member fabric_fancy's Avatar
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    i haven't seen a difference between horizontal and vertical bobbins - i have 2 juki machines and one is horizontal and the other vertical.

    the one thing i will point out is with FMQ on a frame - you really need a vertical bobbin so that you can change it without having to remove the quilt the way you would with a horizontal bobbin.

    if you're just sitting and quilting i don't believe it makes a difference - it certainly didn't in the quality of my quilting.

  6. #6
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
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    I have two low end mechanical machines, one with a vertical and one with a horizontal. I don't notice any difference.

  7. #7
    Super Member leatheflea's Avatar
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    I have both and I cant tell the difference. However the vertical one is on my frame. But the horizontal I use for fm on small projects and its horizontal. The tension settings are different for both machines. Horizontal requires a lower setting.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
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    I did have a stitch plate with a small hole in it for freemotion quilting on the Lily, and I think that helped make nicer looking stitches, particularly if I moved the sandwich to the left or right.

    I haven't done enough FMQ with the Bernina to tell if I need that plate. My dealer said I didn't.

    Janet

  9. #9
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    The theory is that the horizontal bobbin orientation creates more drag, and another turn, that the bobbin thread must withstand. However, many domestic machines (Janome 6600 and Horizon 7700 come to mind) well-loved by serious, even professional quilters, have horizontal bobbins. I do perceive superior stitch quality with the vertical bobbin, so that's what I buy, but I know that others feel differently.

  10. #10
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woody
    I was told by a Bernina dealer that you will never have perfect tension when FMQ with a horizontal bobbin, yet my new Janome Horizon has one and FMQ's beautifully??? I think they just wanted the sale.
    Not everyone in the world is out to get you. I think what Maia has said pretty much sums it up.

    I have both vertical and horizontal bobbins and my vertical machines seem to make nicer stitching, but I wouldn't turn down a machine(and haven't) because of a horizontal bobbin.

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