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Thread: Help Please, Why is my Bobbin Thread Showing on the top of my Quilt?

  1. #1
    Super Member CAS49OR's Avatar
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    I've been changing colors on the top thread, to match different areas of the quilt top, and using the same color in the bobbin because it blends in well with the backing.

    I took a break from that and was FMQing with a different thread and bobbin, foot, etc.

    I put the feed dogs back up, changed back to walking foot and changed needle, thread and bobbin.

    Now my bobbin thread is suddenly pulling up to the top where it is visible, it looks terrible.

    Do you have any idea why?

  2. #2
    Super Member Flying_V_Goddess's Avatar
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    When that happens to me its usually because my tension is too tight.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Numa's Avatar
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    Rule of thumb is that if the problem is on the underneath of what you're sewing, the messed up part is on the top (tension, threading, needle, etc). If the problem is on the top side of what you're sewing, the messed up part is underneath (bobbin, bobbin tension, lint, bobbin case). Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    skippitydodahquilts's Avatar
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    Loosen your tension? Make sure (esp. if you plan on using different threads on top and bobbin!) to test on a sample sandwich!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Challys's Avatar
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    I suggest you totally rethread the machine. That helped me before and was way easier than dealing with tension adjustments.

  6. #6

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    Try changing bobbin thread tension. Usually a small screw in bobbin case.

  7. #7
    Super Member maine ladybug's Avatar
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    I agree that the tension sounds like it is too tight. I would work on that first.

  8. #8
    Super Member CAS49OR's Avatar
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    The tension is set exactly as before, same quilt as before, same thread as before. I already quilted a bunch on this quilt. That's why I'm wondering why the change now. Maybe I need to take apart the bobbin case and clean inside, but I never have had to adjust any bobbin case screws.

    I was using inferior thread in the bobbin when I was practicing FMQ so maybe it left a bunch of lint?

    I'll try rethreading everything, already tried new needle.

  9. #9
    Super Member maine ladybug's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CAS49OR
    The tension is set exactly as before, same quilt as before, same thread as before. I already quilted a bunch on this quilt. That's why I'm wondering why the change now. Maybe I need to take apart the bobbin case and clean inside, but I never have had to adjust any bobbin case screws.

    I was using inferior thread in the bobbin when I was practicing FMQ so maybe it left a bunch of lint?

    I'll try rethreading everything, already tried new needle.
    If the bobbin is wound with different thread it could have gone on the bobbin at a different tension. I wouldn't adjust the bobbin tension, but I would try moving the top tension and see it that makes a difference.

  10. #10
    Super Member Lindsey's Avatar
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    When upper and lower thread tensions are balanced, knot between top and bottom threads is hidden between fabric layers When lower tension is too loose (or upper tension is too tight), knot is visible on right side of the fabric When upper tension is too loose (or lower tension is too tight), knot is visible on wrong side of the fabric. Perhaps you are now using two different color threads and it is more noticeable. Try using the same color thread and see if you stil notice the thread showing on the top. Yes, and clean out your bobbin area it sure could be that dust bunny in there.

  11. #11
    Super Member maine ladybug's Avatar
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    You explained that beautifully. Thank you!


    Quote Originally Posted by Lindsey
    When upper and lower thread tensions are balanced, knot between top and bottom threads is hidden between fabric layers When lower tension is too loose (or upper tension is too tight), knot is visible on right side of the fabric When upper tension is too loose (or lower tension is too tight), knot is visible on wrong side of the fabric. Perhaps you are now using two different color threads and it is more noticeable. Try using the same color thread and see if you stil notice the thread showing on the top. Yes, and clean out your bobbin area it sure could be that dust bunny in there.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Numa View Post
    Rule of thumb is that if the problem is on the underneath of what you're sewing, the messed up part is on the top (tension, threading, needle, etc). If the problem is on the top side of what you're sewing, the messed up part is underneath (bobbin, bobbin tension, lint, bobbin case). Hope this helps.
    HI, I have a 6260 Janome and I am having a problem with the bobbin thread showing on top with the feed dogs lowered. I have the top tension on Auto and the bottom on 3, I am using monofilament thread on top and bobbin thread in the bobbin. Any help would be sooo appreciated as I have 4 quilts to do!

  13. #13
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiltmyride View Post
    HI, I have a 6260 Janome and I am having a problem with the bobbin thread showing on top with the feed dogs lowered. I have the top tension on Auto and the bottom on 3, I am using monofilament thread on top and bobbin thread in the bobbin. Any help would be sooo appreciated as I have 4 quilts to do!
    Monofilament is notoriously finicky. I don't know what your machine would use as "auto" on the tension, but typically you need to loosen the tension for this type of thread. It might be a good idea to make a practice sandwich of fabric and identical batting and do some sample stitching, making adjustments with the tension.

  14. #14
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    If all your settings are the same and same thread, check to see how much thread is left on the bobbin. Sometimes the bobbin getting low can change the tension for me.

  15. #15
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quiltmyride - you might also get more answers to your question if you post a new topic, instead of burying your question in an old topic (this thread is 2 years old). Lots of people reading it might not realize you asked a new question towards the end....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peckish View Post
    Quiltmyride - you might also get more answers to your question if you post a new topic, instead of burying your question in an old topic (this thread is 2 years old). Lots of people reading it might not realize you asked a new question towards the end....
    I wound up here because I googled "quilting tension"! Glad I did. My quilt sandwich is not any better but I thought I could work on the big quilt and go slowly enough to have it come out looking good...am now taking out 2 rows of meander. I think I will take my machine back to the shop and have them look at it.
    Johnna

  17. #17
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Or try a different thread. As I said, monofilament is notoriously finicky.

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