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Thread: Handi quilter 16 tension issues

  1. #1
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    Handi quilter 16 tension issues

    I recently found an 18 month old Handi Quilter that a lady purchased new and only used it to quilt on table runner before getting ill. Her daughter had to move her to an assisted living center, and thus, is clearing out her home. The daughter does not sew and asked the dealer who her mother purchased the machine from to help sell the machine. I feel very fortunate to find this almost new machine.

    I have been quilting for about 9 years. I take pride in my self taught skills. I have a Janome Spec. Ed. 11000 that I have used to piece and quilt my quilt tops. I recently retired and will be turning 60 in July. My wonderful husband told me to get the Handi Quilter because he know how much I love quilting. So now I have this wonderful new toy!

    I have signed up for two Craftsy classes which I feel have added to my confidence.

    I am currently working on two quilts that I will be entering in my guild's upcoming quilt show in April.

    One is a Lone Star quilt and the other is Anita's Arrowhead. One has an ivory quilt back, the other is a bright yellow.

    My dilemma is that I want to use white bobbin thread for the entire back of the Arrowhead quilt, but use different color thread on the quilt top. I have tried quilting the mottled red border with like color thread with white bobbin thread. No matter how much I try to adjust my tension, the white bobbin thread shows up in the red thread.

    I called a Handi Quilter rep. today and she said no matter how much I try to adjust the tension, I will always see the bobbin thread. She said I should use the same color thread in the bobbin and the top thread. I told her this will make the back of my quilt a "rainbow" of colored thread. She said all the great quilters use this technique on their award winning quilts.

    Any Handi Quilter owners out there who could offer your opinion to a newbie???

    Look forward to hearing from you!

  2. #2
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    Yep. Your HQ rep is correct...I've tried, too. Sorry. I'm sure the back will be just fine.
    ~Laura

  3. #3
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    I do not own the HQ I have a viking 18x8 I use differnet color thread alot. If it is showing just a tiny it will sink into your quilt and you will never notice it. At least this has been my experience.

  4. #4
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    I have an HQ16 and you CAN get it adjusted so that it shows on the back and not the front. But it is going to show somewhere. I believe the term is "pokey ohs". A lady that was at a retreat I went to does a lot of Carol Doakes' quilts. She said to adjust the tension so that it went to the back and use a marker to touch up the thread color that shows through.

  5. #5
    Super Member soccertxi's Avatar
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    I quilted on an HQ16 for about 3 yrs. What a workhorse! Just recently I discovered a online tutorial about tensions for track mounted machines.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1mRhcquZTM Jamie Wallen and Taking the stress out of longarm tensions. Good for any machine with a hopping foot. If this link does not work, PM and I will email it to you.
    Beth in AZ
    www.bzyqltr.blogspot.com
    Innova 22' with Lightning Stitch and Pantovision
    Keep away from people who belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you too can become great. Mark Twain

  6. #6
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    The info the others sent is all true. I had the HQ16 for several years and now have the HQ18 Avante. It is almost impossible to get rid of the little dots. The rep was correct. The trick of using pens to color the dots is used a lot. It is also true that when you wash the quilt to dots seem to pull back down and are not as noticible. Useing the same color thread is the only true way to not see them or using a monofilament in the bobbin which I don't like to do. Have fun on your new machine.

  7. #7
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I don't have an HQ. I quilt on an Innova on a rack. It has been my experience that no amount of tension adjustment will get rid of the pokies. I try to match my bobbin to my top color or choose threads that are very close in value. For the most part I match bobbin to top. I love the contrast you get on the back of multiple colored threads. Some people don't. Your rep is also correct that many award winning quilters will refuse to use different colors in top and bobbin. MHO... life is too short to spend worrying about tension issues like that. LOL. I'd rather be quilting than monkeying around with tension trying to eliminate pokies.

  8. #8
    Senior Member QuiltNama's Avatar
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    I have an HQ16 and use bottom line in the bobbin 90% of the time and little pokeys do show through. When the quilt is washed, they disappear. I think because I'm quilting it, I notice more than anyone else does. I find them more on certain types of fabrics such as batiks, unwashed fabric, etc.

  9. #9
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    Well, I guess I am the only one who does not get pokies-front or back. You should not get them. Do you get them when you sew on your dm.....same principal only on steroids!!! Just kidding. But, seriously, it has to do w/top tension.......a little tweek should do it...and slow down so that the bobbin and top thread can do their job and make a perfect stitch. I have been L/A for over 10 yrs (APQS), and very rarely use the same thread on top and bottom. If a pokie develops, and I check before I begin, then I know to adjust that top tension just a hair and it is gone..........for the kind of invest one has to make for any of these set ups one should not be limited to "using the same thread on top and bottom", that just doesn't make sense to me. These machines are very fine tuned and will work well if given the chance.

  10. #10
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    This was just posted. It will help explain the 'why' of the thread showing through.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1mRhcquZTM
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
    ali

  11. #11
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    I have an HQ Fusion and I have tension issues also. I can usually adjust the top tension and get the problem to the back of the quilt not the front but you have to adjust the top tension. I have also been told the batting makes a difference. My quilt store recommended Dream Cotton says the loops disappear in the thickness of the batting but I haven't tried it yet. i usually use Hobbs 80/20 or DreamPoly. But I usually have to adjust tension on each new quilt if I change thread from the last quilt. It is very frustrating and time consuming.

  12. #12
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    That's for sending me this you tube info. I watched it and found it very helpful. Will try his bobbin winding technique this morning!!

  13. #13
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    First, have you checked the HQ website? they have some really good tutorials on video. I use an HQ16 and when my tension is correct, I rarely get pokeys. You first adjust the bobbin tension using the drop-and-hold-by-the-thread technique. Then, you adjust the top thread. Whereas on a DM, small adjustments go far, on the HQ you should turn it 180* at a time. With some threads, I've had to make a full (360*) turn or more. Looser is better. If the pokey shows on top, the bobbin tension needs adjustment. If the pokey shows on the bottom, the top tension needs adjustment. Just last weekend, I quilted a quilt with a pale yellow on top and a pink on the bottom and had so few pokeys, even around the curves.
    Laurie in NYC

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by AliKat View Post
    This was just posted. It will help explain the 'why' of the thread showing through.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1mRhcquZTM
    ​ Wow, I don't have a long arm but that is a super video!!

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