Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 32

Thread: FMQ tension- bobbin thread laying on back on fabric

  1. #1
    Super Member noveltyjunkie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    53 degrees North
    Posts
    1,668
    Blog Entries
    3

    FMQ tension- bobbin thread laying on back on fabric

    I have done a search but can't find an answer to this one.
    I often have issues with my FMQ tension on my Brother NS 30.

    So today I decided to be methodical.

    Loaded up thread and bobbin and checked tension before changing to darning foot. It's all good. (So I am ruling out fluff issues, tension wheels, etc.

    Attached darning foot. Did not touch dogs, stich length or anything, tried sewing a straight line. Bobbin thread is laying on back.

    Adjusted tension. It stays exactly the same, whether I crank it right up, or right down.

    And yes, my foot was down when I was sewing- my machine has a warning beep for that.

    This issue is haunting me. People say practice practice, but what is the point of practicing when I know from the get go that it is going to look bad because of the tension problems and I will never be able to FMQ with confidence because I have a techinical problem?

    Please suggest what I could try to fix this!
    Thank you.
    Fortune favours the prepared mind
    "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein

  2. #2
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    howell, Mi
    Posts
    2,321
    If you have turned the tension all the way up and still have the problem, it sounds like you need to very carefully raise the tension on your bobbin case. That is the last step to try and takes a very tiny turn of the screw. I have only had to do that a couple of times in many years of sewing. Be very careful, as the screw is very small and easy to loose. Having loose bobbin threads is a very frustrating problem. Good luck.
    Sue

  3. #3
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    29,697
    Does your bobbin case have a screw? If so make a note of where the slit in the screw is by the hands of a clock before you move it. Set your top tension back to factory setting (my machine has a line by that setting) and then adjust the bobbin tension a little at a time. Different thickness of bobbin thread can effect your tension too.

  4. #4
    Super Member Mitch's mom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    TN
    Posts
    1,434
    Before you change the tensions, a word of caution/advice. I have a Brother PC-6500 that will NOT free motion quilt. It is a known issue with the machines. It isn't a flaw with the machine it is just a characteristic. Yours may be the same way.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    306
    Have you tried setting the stitch length to zero?

    For my Janome, I got a special bobbin case that is for FMQ--the tension is adjusted properly for that, so I just change the bobbin case when I'm ready to FMQ. I don't know if Brother has a FMQ bobbin case, but I think I would invest in a separate bobbin case, set for FMQ, rather than constantly changing the bobbin tension. Good luck.

  6. #6
    Super Member noveltyjunkie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    53 degrees North
    Posts
    1,668
    Blog Entries
    3
    Thank you all!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by susie-susie-susie View Post
    If you have turned the tension all the way up and still have the problem, it sounds like you need to very carefully raise the tension on your bobbin case.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tartan View Post
    Does your bobbin case have a screw? If so make a note of where the slit in the screw is by the hands of a clock before you move it. Set your top tension back to factory setting (my machine has a line by that setting) and then adjust the bobbin tension a little at a time. Different thickness of bobbin thread can effect your tension too.
    But there is no problem at all with my tension when I do normal sewing or piecing. Do you still think that there could be a problem with the bobbin tension arising just from the darning foot? (Is so, how would it happen?)
    Ditto on the threads. They were working just fine with the normal foot. It only went mad when I changed the foot (and nothing else)
    Last edited by noveltyjunkie; 02-03-2013 at 06:58 AM.
    Fortune favours the prepared mind
    "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein

  7. #7
    Super Member noveltyjunkie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    53 degrees North
    Posts
    1,668
    Blog Entries
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by Mitch's mom View Post
    Before you change the tensions, a word of caution/advice. I have a Brother PC-6500 that will NOT free motion quilt. It is a known issue with the machines. It isn't a flaw with the machine it is just a characteristic. Yours may be the same way.
    Well if it is a characeristic, it is not mentioned anywhere in the paperwork- does yours state that up front? I'd be very disappointed if that was the case, because when I bought it I said I wanted it for FMQing as well as other things.
    Fortune favours the prepared mind
    "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein

  8. #8
    Super Member noveltyjunkie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    53 degrees North
    Posts
    1,668
    Blog Entries
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by WandaVA View Post
    Have you tried setting the stitch length to zero? .
    Same problem no matter what the stitch length!

    Quote Originally Posted by WandaVA View Post
    For my Janome, I got a special bobbin case that is for FMQ--the tension is adjusted properly for that, so I just change the bobbin case when I'm ready to FMQ. I don't know if Brother has a FMQ bobbin case, but I think I would invest in a separate bobbin case, set for FMQ, rather than constantly changing the bobbin tension. Good luck.
    OK so this sounds like the same idea as from the first two replies- that FMQ actually does require a different bobbin tension. I never knew that. Does everyone have to do this? How tedious!
    Fortune favours the prepared mind
    "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein

  9. #9
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Monroe, IN
    Posts
    2,285
    My Janome 6600 is in for a tune up and the same tension issues. Clerk showed me the fmq bobbin case and how it works, said it is a very common issue for lots of machines. I understand your frustration. If you bought from a dealer, call them or take machine to show them what it does....they may have some good advice to fix the problem.

  10. #10
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    29,697
    I sometimes have to adjust the tension in my bobbin case between quilting with my walking foot on my quilt sandwich and FMQ. I do have adjust my bobbin tension between regular piecing and quilting on a quilt sandwich. As mentioned though, if you know where the bobbin screw STARTED before you adjusted it, you can move it back if that is not the problem.

  11. #11
    Super Member noveltyjunkie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    53 degrees North
    Posts
    1,668
    Blog Entries
    3
    OK- this is reassuring. (The things you learn!) Unfortunately I no longer live on the same continent as where I bought my machine so I can't go back to that dealer, but it is high time I found a Brother dealer near where I am now anyway!

    Quote Originally Posted by Buckeye Rose View Post
    My Janome 6600 is in for a tune up and the same tension issues. Clerk showed me the fmq bobbin case and how it works, said it is a very common issue for lots of machines. I understand your frustration. If you bought from a dealer, call them or take machine to show them what it does....they may have some good advice to fix the problem.
    Fortune favours the prepared mind
    "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein

  12. #12
    Super Member noveltyjunkie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    53 degrees North
    Posts
    1,668
    Blog Entries
    3
    You'd think!

    With this history I am scared to touch anything on Little Miss temperamental.....

    But thank you for the suggestion. It makes sense.

    QUOTE=Tartan;5834558]I sometimes have to adjust the tension in my bobbin case between quilting with my walking foot on my quilt sandwich and FMQ. I do have adjust my bobbin tension between regular piecing and quilting on a quilt sandwich. As mentioned though, if you know where the bobbin screw STARTED before you adjusted it, you can move it back if that is not the problem.[/QUOTE]
    Fortune favours the prepared mind
    "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein

  13. #13
    Super Member Gail B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Smoky Lake, Alberta, Canada - Coolidge, AZ
    Posts
    1,540
    I never adjust my tension on my Babylock. The only time I had a problem with the bobbin tension I took my machine back to the dealer & they adjusted the tension. Haven't had a problem since. They told me to never adjust the tension.

  14. #14
    Super Member noveltyjunkie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    53 degrees North
    Posts
    1,668
    Blog Entries
    3
    Quote Originally Posted by Gail B View Post
    I never adjust my tension on my Babylock. The only time I had a problem with the bobbin tension I took my machine back to the dealer & they adjusted the tension. Haven't had a problem since. They told me to never adjust the tension.
    Do you mean never to adjust the bobbin tension?
    Fortune favours the prepared mind
    "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein

  15. #15
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Anchorage, AK
    Posts
    1,289
    Quote Originally Posted by Buckeye Rose View Post
    My Janome 6600 is in for a tune up and the same tension issues. Clerk showed me the fmq bobbin case and how it works, said it is a very common issue for lots of machines. I understand your frustration. If you bought from a dealer, call them or take machine to show them what it does....they may have some good advice to fix the problem.
    I suggest talking with your dealer before trying to adjust the bobbin tension - it sounds like it may be a machine problem that should be checked out by a tech. My machines don't need to have bobbin tension adjusted for FMQ or for anything. As stated in a separate thread on the subject. extra thread on the bottom usually means a problem with the top tension. On one machine I've seen, it turned out to be a problem that had to be fixed by the company doing a retrofit.
    Kate

  16. #16
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    Posts
    12,402
    If I understand you correctly, you had beautiful tension with your regular foot, then changed to the darning foot and had terrible tension. If you change back to the regular foot, is the tension still good? If so, what is the difference between these two feet? Are they both made for your machine, do they have the same clearance over the fabric, does one of them act "special" in any way (like a walking foot)? I just can't comprehend why changing feet would make a difference in your stitch, so I understand why you're mystified. The only explanation I can come up with is that something else changed when you changed feet, such as the thread hopped out of a thread guide. So my advice would be to go back to the first foot and start over. At least you're approaching this one step at a time.

  17. #17
    Super Member noveltyjunkie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    53 degrees North
    Posts
    1,668
    Blog Entries
    3
    Well...... the first time I switched back to the regular foot, it went back to being perfect again.

    Then my kids noticed I seemed to have stopped working on what I was doing and sent in one of the bears to ask for a new blankie. What do you know- I put a simple hem on an old piece of fabric and ran up a little pillow to match - the fabric is a bit stretchy and got dragged down the needle hole- by the time I screwed off the plate to get it out the whole kit and caboodle is off kilter. So maybe today is just not my day..... but overall yes the tension was still good when I switched back immediately after the wonky experience.

    The regular piecing foot came with the machine and the darning foot is a Brother foot, bought where I got the machine. The clearance is different though. The darning foot, even in the down position, does not sit on regular fabric like the piecing foot does. I was wondering about that! It does sit down on the sandwich though..... I think this line of enquiry merits further thought!

    Quote Originally Posted by dunster View Post
    If I understand you correctly, you had beautiful tension with your regular foot, then changed to the darning foot and had terrible tension. If you change back to the regular foot, is the tension still good? If so, what is the difference between these two feet? Are they both made for your machine, do they have the same clearance over the fabric, does one of them act "special" in any way (like a walking foot)? I just can't comprehend why changing feet would make a difference in your stitch, so I understand why you're mystified. The only explanation I can come up with is that something else changed when you changed feet, such as the thread hopped out of a thread guide. So my advice would be to go back to the first foot and start over. At least you're approaching this one step at a time.
    Fortune favours the prepared mind
    "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein

  18. #18
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    943
    I find that Diane Gaudynski's books on machine quilting are a great resource for dealing with tension problems - I recommend them even if your machine quilting is much more simple than hers.

    I had the same problem as you with my Viking Lily. It was scary the first time I adjusted the bobbin tension, but the results were so worth it. You don't have to make a large adjustment, just a little turn. If you can get one, buy a second bobbin case so you don't have to keep doing it.

    Good luck!

    Janet

  19. #19
    Super Member newbee3's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Central Iowa
    Posts
    1,857
    Blog Entries
    2
    when you fmq you control the stich tension lower the feed dogs if you can lower the speed on the machine now use needle down position on a practice sandwich start sewing and moving the fabric

  20. #20
    Super Member noveltyjunkie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    53 degrees North
    Posts
    1,668
    Blog Entries
    3
    Thanks- I'll look for one on amazon.

    Now, a stupid question.... what do you mean by the bobbin case? I have a drop in bobbin- there is a bobbin housing but for the life of my I can't see how it could affect the tension.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hinterland View Post
    I find that Diane Gaudynski's books on machine quilting are a great resource for dealing with tension problems - I recommend them even if your machine quilting is much more simple than hers.

    I had the same problem as you with my Viking Lily. It was scary the first time I adjusted the bobbin tension, but the results were so worth it. You don't have to make a large adjustment, just a little turn. If you can get one, buy a second bobbin case so you don't have to keep doing it.

    Good luck!

    Janet
    Fortune favours the prepared mind
    "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein

  21. #21
    Super Member noveltyjunkie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    53 degrees North
    Posts
    1,668
    Blog Entries
    3
    What do you mean I control the stitch tension?! How? What am I doing to it? I wish I could understand :-(

    Quote Originally Posted by newbee3 View Post
    when you fmq you control the stich tension lower the feed dogs if you can lower the speed on the machine now use needle down position on a practice sandwich start sewing and moving the fabric
    Fortune favours the prepared mind
    "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein

  22. #22
    Junior Member Bataplai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Western Washington
    Posts
    274
    I have a cheapie Brother and this would happen to me sometimes ... unless I'm misunderstanding what is happening for you. When I have this issue it's because the speed that I'm moving the quilt is too fast with the speed I'm running the machine. I don't know how else to explain it. Basically, if I move the quilt through slower or speed up the machine, the problem goes away. I have found that it works best the faster I go.

  23. #23
    Senior Member Hinterland's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Hudson Valley, NY
    Posts
    943
    Quote Originally Posted by noveltyjunkie View Post
    Thanks- I'll look for one on amazon.

    Now, a stupid question.... what do you mean by the bobbin case? I have a drop in bobbin- there is a bobbin housing but for the life of my I can't see how it could affect the tension.
    Some sewing machines, like the Bernina, have a bobbin case that pulls out when you load the bobbin. With the drop in bobbin, the case usually stays in the machine, but can be removed to clean out lint. There is a very tiny screw in the front near a slot where the thread goes. That tiny screw is the one that gets loosened or tightened slightly.

    Janet

  24. #24
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    14
    I have an Elna 6003 which is about 11 years old now. The instructions tell you to drop the feed dogs, put tension to 8 or 9 (which normally is at 5) and change stitch length to zero. I never have any issues when doing this. You might try it and see. It is not the darning foot causing the problem. I think you might need to increase tension on upper thread. That is why bobbin thread is lying straight. Good luck!

  25. #25
    Super Member noveltyjunkie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    53 degrees North
    Posts
    1,668
    Blog Entries
    3
    Thank you! I will experiment with that!
    Quote Originally Posted by Bataplai View Post
    I have a cheapie Brother and this would happen to me sometimes ... unless I'm misunderstanding what is happening for you. When I have this issue it's because the speed that I'm moving the quilt is too fast with the speed I'm running the machine. I don't know how else to explain it. Basically, if I move the quilt through slower or speed up the machine, the problem goes away. I have found that it works best the faster I go.
    Fortune favours the prepared mind
    "Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.