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Free Motion Quilting tension on new machine

Free Motion Quilting tension on new machine

Old 10-26-2018, 05:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Mkotch View Post
Dawn, interesting discussion. I have an Elna and have had trouble with the tension while FMQ. I fiddle with it and still can't get the bottom tension right. I do find leaving the feed dogs up helps, but I'm going to try the smaller needle to see if it works better. Will cut my slider to accommodate the feed dogs, too. Do you have any other suggestions?
Mkotch - my Elna has been super easy for FMQing, perhaps I just got lucky with my machine, each machine seems to have a personality of its own!

Because of that, it never occured to me that a needle would make the difference on my Juki. And actually, I think I was NOT supposed to expose the feed dogs by cutting a bigger hole in my slider. I just happened to do that and it has worked out fine (no damage to the back of my quilts because the feed dogs still move up and down I think). I don't know if that has had impact on my stitches. Also, same with me on the feed dogs, I found leaving them up improved my stitch.

Based on what I am now learning, I would definitely play with different needle sizes (and types). Maybe even play with different threads.

I've always been leery of messing with the bobbin (because all I heard prior was - don't touch that bobbin tension!). But - I have since read enough to see that many do get better results when they do that (after experimenting with different needles, threads, top tensions - everything else). Also, I have read where some purchase an extra bobbin case and they keep one with factory settings and the other might be set for FMQ (or they adjust the 2nd one freely depending on what they are sewing). If adjusting the 2nd case for multiple other functions, then mark with a dot of nail polish where it needs to be for FMQ, where it should go for perhaps sewing with some special type of fabric).

Since the larger needle improved my stitch on the Juki, I am of course going to try it on my Elna (because I am wondering if it will have any positive affect there, even though I am not unhappy with my stitch - you never know!) I'll be interested to hear what effect changing your needle size has. I have used a quilting needle on my Elna, but never a topstitch. Primarily the universal needle due to laziness (because it seemed to work fine). Also, I use a non-hopping foot (came with my machine). I don't know if that has any effect.

quilttiger - I am going to look up this method, thank you! Since I have learned it won't blow up my machine if I adjust the bobbin tension, I would like to see how others go about it.

Last edited by DawnFurlong; 10-26-2018 at 05:21 AM.
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Old 10-26-2018, 05:40 AM
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Something I just thought of . . . I have a Juki 2200 QVP Mini and in the book there are specific settings for FMQ. I have to set the stitch length to 0 and there's a change in the pressure on the presser foot (I can't remember the specifics now). I do know that if I don't use those specific settings, I have problems.
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Old 10-26-2018, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by cashs_mom View Post
Something I just thought of . . . I have a Juki 2200 QVP Mini and in the book there are specific settings for FMQ. I have to set the stitch length to 0 and there's a change in the pressure on the presser foot (I can't remember the specifics now). I do know that if I don't use those specific settings, I have problems.
There is a setting to switch over to FMQing on my machine. When choosing that setting, the free motion quilting foot will show up on the screen, and the stitch length automatically goes to 0.

On my last trial, I did not lower the feed dogs or change to that setting, I just adjusted the stitch length to 0. But will probably experiment more still, and compare between dropping the feed dogs or leaving up, with different variations of choosing that particular setting (versus straight stitch setting and lowering the stitch length to 0).

All in all I have been quite pleased with my machine!
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