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Thread: bobbin tension, FMQ, and 12wt thread

  1. #1
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Southern California

    bobbin tension, FMQ, and 12wt thread

    A while back i took this class called water fantasy at road to california, it was my first FMQ project. I used a 12wt variagated sulky thread to quilt. The stitching on the front looks nice but the back the bobbin thread is pulled straight so you can see the top thread. My question is since the thread is thicker do you have to loosen the bobbin tension a lot to accommodate the thickness, because i had a lot of issue with shredding while I was making it which I think are also due to needle size. Don't care about the back as it was a wall hanging and a practice piece, but would like the next one to be better. Also I have a bobbin case for bobbin work with thicker threads, would it have been better to use this for those that own the espire/symphony or brother versions. If not better should I just buy a regular bobbin case to accommodate these thicker weight threads. Also those who FMQ a lot do you keep a journal of settings, what works and doesn't because I want to get more proficient this year.

  2. #2
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Knot Merrill, Southern Indiana
    I had recently started (but haven't yet finished!) a series of "tests" using 12wt and 28wt top threads. When I used 12wt in the bobbin I didn't have any tension issues - but the starts/stops were sooo ugly. I didn't like the look of using 12 in the top and bottom at all. I tried a 50wt (I usually use 60wt in the bobbin) but had the same tension issues that you did. I had similar issues with 12wt in the top and 28wt in the bobbin but not as bad. I tried several top tension settings with all of the above.

    I stopped my tests because I had other projects to do ... but yes I kept records of thread weight in top and bottom, needle size, top tension, and the results. I keep my thread in clear plastic sectioned boxes, and I wrote my notes on sticky labels and stuck them to the inside lid where I can see them as soon as I open the box. I also keep my scrap FMQ practice swatches and make notes on them with my perma pen with regard to thread wt's, needle size, and tension. Those are not organized though, I have to look for them if I want one, and I'm sorry to say they could be ANYWHERE - found one in my underwear drawer once. I'm claiming temporary insanity on that one.

    At one point I had a problem with my bobbin case and I visited my LQS. While there I talked to a few of them about my issues with 12wt and 28wt thread. Unfortunately neither of them had experience using thread that heavy but both suggested that changing the bobbin tension might be worth a try. As it happens I was buying a new bobbin case anyway (even though mine was still technically working properly it had some wear on the edges so I got a new one), so I'll keep my old bobbin case as the "play" case to try changing the tension on. As I said ... haven't tried it yet as other projects beckon.

    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.


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