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Thread: I need help! Can't get tension right for stipling

  1. #1
    Senior Member Lisa's Avatar
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    I am practicing my stipling and the top tension is just fine, but the bottom grrr! I have a Viking and I dropped the feed dogs, turned my control knob to zero for free motion. The only thing I can think of is to take a screw driver to the bobbin holder and I'm afraid of doing that, I'm afraid I'll never get it back to normal! Anyone have any ideas?

  2. #2

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    Becky
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    Lisa
    First check your book on tension control. I have mine set between 4-5, I meander and stipple all the time. Make sure there is no fuz from previous quilting projects in your bobbin casing, Don't fiddle with the screw, untill the last resort. Have you changed your needle? I use a needle for heavy fabric, such as denim. Sometimes it is the thread it's self, Also could be the thread in the bobbin not wound correctley. Some thread just dosen't do well. I have problems with rayon thread, In your manuel, there is usually a section for trouble shooting, read through that. If none of this works then ask Patrice......

  3. #3
    Super Member Moonpi's Avatar
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    take a tiny bit of whiteout or nail polish to mark the screw location before you adjust the screw. When the screw and mark line back up, it is back in regular position.

  4. #4
    Senior Member QuiltinLee's Avatar
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    You could also get another bobbin holder so that you could just "play" with one. That way you wouldn't have to worry about messing it up.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by QuiltinLee
    You could also get another bobbin holder so that you could just "play" with one. That way you wouldn't have to worry about messing it up.
    this is what i thought on my Janome until i called and they have to be special ordered and are almost $40! then the guy told me to bring in my machine and he'd show me how to 'meander' and decide if my machine needed any 'fixin'. he said he 'caters to quilters' and very rarely does that bobbin tension need adjusting.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Extreme Quilter's Avatar
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    Sometimes, surprisingly, free motion quilting works better with the feed dogs UP. I can't explain why this happens on one occasion and not the other, but what have you got to lose? Good luck.

  7. #7
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    if you don't have a balanced rythm of machine speed and fabric movement the bottom tension is going to be way off. I've done nearly 1/2 a quilt thinking I really had it going on because the top looked so good! NOT! You just can't move the fabric as fast as you think you should be able to, especially going sideways. Try slowing down but keep your machine going at a good pace, like when you're doing a nice straight seam.

  8. #8
    joannl's Avatar
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    Lisa,
    I have no advice but I think your avatar is soooo cute! Is that your little boy? A boy & his dog!
    Jo

  9. #9
    Senior Member Lisa's Avatar
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    Hey everyone, thanks for your input all of it is great advice. Rebecca your suggestion about the tension control was the that got me back on track. My machine does the tension automatically and I had messes with it thinking that it had to be all the way over also which wasn't the case, it worked just perfect between the 4 and 5 also. I appreciate all the advice about the actual movement while stippling, I have found that for me the machine needs to be going fairly fast while I move the fabric slow and steady, and Kathy your right about the sideways motion. I made a Turning Twenty quilt to practice on since they are so quick and easy just to practice on, I didn't want to try or experiment on something I had put alot of time and effort on. It is certainly jerky here and there but you "have to practice" to get better. I have practiced alot on small pieces but it was a whole new ball game when I put a full size quilt under the needle and tried to swisk it around, lol! Jo, thanks for the comment on my avatar! :P That is my grandson Owen and our last dog Pete!

  10. #10

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    Lisa
    I'm so happy, I could help in some small way. Sounds as tho your well on your way .

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