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Thread: Tension on quilting machine when quilting with Batiks

  1. #1
    Junior Member Patti Sue's Avatar
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    Question Tension on quilting machine when quilting with Batiks

    I was wondering if anyone else is having trouble with their longarm when quilting the Batiks fabric? I can't seem to get the tension adjusted right any suggestions esp when you go from regular fabric then to a Batik and back to different fabric.
    Appreciate any suggestion or if anyone else has this problem.

    Thanks,

    Patti Sue
    Patti Sue

  2. #2
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    I have an experienced quilting friend who struggled with quilting batiks on her Homesteader. She called teachers, mechanics, other experienced quilting friends, and this is what worked for her:

    First she spritzed the top with water, so it was slightly damp. This helped a bit, but she was still having problems, so then she spritzed it with fabric softener. This helped a bit more, but still had problems. So she sprayed silicone spray on the top, and after that it quilted beautifully.

    Hope this helps!

  3. #3
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    your tension is more dependant on your thread choices- i use alot of batiks- and do not generally have tension problems when quilting- are you using the correct size needle for the thread choice? what tension problem are you having?
    i have found i have better stitches when i use a thin-sharp (smaller needle) than a large needle- so i tend to use a 60wt thread
    are you using batiks- top & bottom? what kind of batting?
    is it a top tension problem (poor stitching on the backing?) or bobbin tension (poor stitching on the top?)
    maybe pics would help us help you figure out what is happening...
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  4. #4
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    I have not had a problem so far with batiks.

  5. #5
    Junior Member Patti Sue's Avatar
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    Thank You so much for your suggestions, it is nice to know that I am not the only one having problems. I will try your friends ideas see if they help. It isn't my quilt so want to have it right. :>)

    Patti Sue
    Patti Sue

  6. #6
    Senior Member rrhaigh's Avatar
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    I have quilted only 5 quilts with batiks, but didn't have any problems. I used a smaller, sharp needle and a 60 wt thread like ckcowl mentioned (So-Fine and Omni by Superior). I did not have batik on the back though. Just fiddle with the tension on a scrap piece of the batik fabric placed in the excess edges loaded on the LA until you get it right. You shouldn't have a problem.
    Robin
    robinsquiltingroom.blogspot.com
    Southern California

  7. #7
    Super Member hopetoquilt's Avatar
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    Were the batiks washed? If you are LAQing for someone who didn't prewash and you add water or another liquid... bleeding could occur. I just read an article in the newest Fons and Porter Love of Quilting Magazine that has a good article on tension problems. They specifically stated that batiks are more tightly woven and are harder for the needle to go through. I think this means a larger needle is in order but I am not sure. You may want to look at the article for more ideas.

  8. #8
    Junior Member Patti Sue's Avatar
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    Thank You "hopetoquilt" I have that magazine and will read the article.
    Patti Sue
    Patti Sue

  9. #9
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    My friend had prewashed her batiks, and she went up to a size 18 needle. I agree, I think you need a large (and new) needle when working with batiks.

  10. #10
    Junior Member Xtgirl's Avatar
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    I've only had trouble when it was batik top and backing. It definitely helps to wash the back. I didn't adjust tension but with batiks the needle holes don't close up as fast so it looks worse than it actually is because you see the hole and you also may see the thread poking up which may lead you to think you are flatlining when you are not. I adjust so I like the top stitches and run my fingernail on the bobbin stitching. If it doesn't catch I continue. I also would use a new needle and you may want to go up a size as well if you are having trouble.
    The Potomac Quilter
    Innova 26 with Lightning Stitch and Autopilot

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