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Thread: Tension when free-motion quilting?

  1. #1
    Junior Member trugger's Avatar
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    Hi Everyone!

    It's really nice to be part of this board.

    I have a question about free-motion quilting....

    I drop the feed dogs when I try to free motion quilt but still end up with a very bad tension on the bobbin side of the quilt.

    Does anyone else have this trouble?

  2. #2
    Senior Member LoriJ's Avatar
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    I alway have to adjust the top tension a bit when free motion quilting. I also have learned that I need to synch up my movements with the machine's speed. (faster machine, slower movements). Just keep practicing, you'll get the hang of it.

  3. #3
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Instead of dropping the feed dogs, you can leave them up and set stitch length (and width) to zero. Some people prefer this saying it gives them more control. I'm not sure it would change your bobbin thread problem, though.

    In addition to loosening top tension, you can tighten bottom tension. Bernina's have a hole in the bobbin case through which you can thread the bobbin thread to increase tension slightly. Otherwise you can tighten the tiny screw in the bobbin case. Some people refuse to mess with that screw because they fear they will never get it back to the right setting for regular sewing. If you understand what you are doing, though, it's not a problem.

    Mary

  4. #4
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    I never had to change the tension on my machine, but you do have to practice, practice and practice some more. I started by making a small 8x8 inch block and writing my name. You kind of have to build up a rythum, like playing the piano. Keep trying. Marge

  5. #5
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    I have not had to change the tension on my machine, but it took a lot of practice to move my fabric the right speed for my machine. Too fast or too slow were both problems. It gets better as you go so just keep practicing.

  6. #6
    Senior Member dojo36's Avatar
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    i have a janome sewing machine and janome makes a bobbin case specially set for free motion quilting - so instead of messing with the tension on the bobbin case, you just take it out and put the other one in. i don't know if other brands make this or not for their individual machines. but as everybody else said, it takes lots of practice. also i found something else that helps me - instead of adjusting your speed by how much pressure you put on the pedal with your foot, try setting the speed on your machine if you have that option, then you can push the pedal to the metal and only go as fast as you have that setting. this seems to work better for me.

  7. #7
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    When free motion quilting, did you remember to drop down the presser foot? I didn't the first time and ended up wiht a rats nest! Ugh! :?

  8. #8
    Junior Member trugger's Avatar
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    I did remember to drop the feed dogs, but I think I need to try setting the stitch length/width to 0.
    I wanted to get some advice before I tried again!

  9. #9
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    BUT>>>> did you lower the presser foot/arm? Sometimes we forget that part and it has to be down even tho it isn't pressing on the fabric, that arm has to be in the down position.

  10. #10
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    BUT>>>> did you lower the presser foot/arm? Sometimes we forget that part and it has to be down even tho it isn't pressing on the fabric, that arm has to be in the down position.

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