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Having tension problems for free motion quilting

Having tension problems for free motion quilting

Old 04-19-2015, 06:37 PM
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Default Having tension problems for free motion quilting

Hello! I'm new on this website and am hoping someone might have some suggestions that can help me. I have recently purchased a Singer Modern Quilter sewing machine to free motion quilt with and am having problems getting the tension set right to get my stitches perfect. I am getting my top thread showing on the bottom of my fabric or if I get the tension too high, I'm getting my bobbin thread showing on the top. This machine has some really nice features and the machine sews nicely, with the exception of the stitches while using the free motion darning foot. If anyone has any suggestions, I'd greatly appreciate it! I have been playing with the settings for 4-5 days now and am getting frustrated.
Hope to hear from anyone soon! Thank you!
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Old 04-19-2015, 10:35 PM
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q1mRhcquZTM I found this link that one of the board members posted to be very helpful,
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Old 04-20-2015, 03:42 AM
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I have had that happen before and just keep messing with the top bobbin tension to get it fixed or at least better. I don't mess with the bobbin tension since it works perfect when piecing. I sure don't want to mess that up. Try quilting on a small practice sandwiched piece to try and get the tension right.
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Old 04-20-2015, 04:21 AM
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Keep a stitch journal. Write down the tension setting, thread brand and size, needle brand and size, and type of batting used when you find the right setting. This setting may not be right for the next project so you have to start over. Keeping a stitch journal will save you a lot of frustration in the future.
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Old 04-20-2015, 04:44 AM
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When you FMQ, you are moving the fabric instead of the machine. If you can't do is a smoothly as the machine does, occasionally the bobbin will been seen. That is why with new quilters learning FMQ should use the same thread in both bobbin and top thread. That is what I was taught over 25 years ago. I upgraded from a older Singer from the 1970s to the top Bernina in the early 90s. There is the quality of the machines as there is between a Yugo and a BMW. It makes a big difference with the quality of your stitches with the quality of the machine. When you take your machine in for annual service, you might want to question the technician on what can be done to help you get the quality stitching you want out of the machine.
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Old 04-20-2015, 04:50 AM
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To adjust your tension, first get the bobbin tension right by doing a "drop test". Tiny changes until the bobbin case gently drops when held up a few inches from your hand. Only then do you adjust your top tension appropriately. And I do agree with ManiacQuilter2 that some of the issue may be in your hand movement. Even if you think you are moving your fabric consistently, you might be moving a little faster on curves leading to "eyelashing" on the back (which can look like a tension issue).
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Old 04-20-2015, 05:25 AM
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Thank you all for your quick responses! I should have given more info initially. I have experience with FMQ. I do know what eyelashes are and this is not my problem. It's just that I can see the top thread stitches on the bottom side. I have gotten it a little better by lowering the tension (as opposed to typically increasing it), and increasing stitch length (even though many say to set length at 0), but I can still see it on the bottom. This was information from a lady I received email from through Singer. I have gone through 4 trial "sandwiches" and have written all my settings down on the fabric beside each trial stitch. When you folks free motion quilt, what settings do you use? I do not want to mess with bobbin tension. That is set at the factory when it's built, and was told not to mess with it. Thank you!
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Old 04-20-2015, 07:36 AM
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Thank you for the suggestion. I initially thought you meant to write down my settings as I'm changing the settings to find the perfect stitch. I will take your advice and try to remember to do that! Thank you!
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Old 04-20-2015, 07:30 PM
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Personally, I'd take the machine back and tell them to get the tension right, or give me my money back. I wouldn't have a new Singer, but will gladly take an old one, my personal opinion.
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Old 04-21-2015, 05:50 AM
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Thank you. I think I will be exchanging it for another one of the same machine just to see if it is any better. If it isn't, I will be searching for something else. I do have another Singer (Futura) and have been very happy with it. It hasn't given me any problems whatsoever and has been stitching very nicely. I just want more room to free motion quilt and this new one has a lot more room to move. Any suggestions for another machine (preferably under $1000)?
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