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Thread: Help... What am I doing wrong

  1. #1
    Senior Member kkbrand's Avatar
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    OK Saturday afternoon I attended a quilt class, the instructor had us drop the feed dogs and to put our stitch length all the way to zero so our feed dogs would not move.

    I practiced and practiced and the top stitching looks very nice but the bottom stitches are loose in spots and sometimes have a bump at the corners.

    I put in a brand new needle at the beginning of class, what am I doing wrong?

    I am using a White Style Maker Pro and I cannot increase/decrease the tension on the bobbin, there is no place to do it.

  2. #2
    Marjpf's Avatar
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    My first instinct is to completely re-thread the machine. Sometimes it works. On my Pfaff, if the bottom stitches are loose, it's usually because it didn't like the way I threaded it that time.

  3. #3
    Junior Member sandiphi's Avatar
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    By the sounds of it, your top tension is too loose.

  4. #4
    Super Member Ditter43's Avatar
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    If the bottom thread is loose it's not the bobbin tension, it's the top tension. If your feed dogs are dropped I would lower the top tension one number at a time until your bottom stitches are even. Make sure your thread is going through the tension discs and is threaded correctly. If you still have problems, let us know.

    Ditter

  5. #5
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    My machine requires that the foot-picker-upper-lever (don't u just love my technical lingo? lol) has to be pushed in a certain position - otherwise mine does the same thing. Did you check your manual?

  6. #6
    Senior Member kkbrand's Avatar
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    I checked my manual and it has nothing about it, very frustrating

  7. #7
    Super Member LoisN's Avatar
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    Is your top thread and bobbin thread the same? I thought I was being frugal on one of my first projects and put old thread on the bobbin. It did the "loopy" thing. Just a thought.

  8. #8
    Power Poster cjomomma's Avatar
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    When ever my machine does that it means it is time to clean the lint out of the bobbin area. I clean it put the bobbin back in and it runs just fine.

  9. #9
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    i find,that after i check the tension, it is usually operator error, like me going around curves to fast! which causes the "eyelashes" or "train tracks" looking mess on the back only.

  10. #10
    Senior Member kkbrand's Avatar
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    I cleaned and oiled the machine before going to this quilt class, it could be I was going too fast, I will post a picture tomorrow and you can tell me what you think.

  11. #11
    k3n
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    Well I'm no expert, but from what I've read and heard, tension is always a balancing act! And it can vary depending on which thread you have top and bottom and which wadding you're using. I took a tip from a far more experienced friend and when I got my new machine, made practice sandwiches using diiferent waddings and experimented with the top tension with each combination of threads I plan to use (Masterpiece, King Tut, Aurifil and Bottom Line) then made notes in a little notebook as to the best settings for every combination. Requires a little investment of time but worth it IMHO - at least it will avoid (hopefully!) the headache of having to unpick or being unhappy with an actual project. On another note, is there a lower tension bobbin case available for your machine, specifically for FMQ? I got one for my Janome and can really see the difference when experimenting with that and the regular case.

  12. #12
    Super Member Oklahoma Suzie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ditter43
    If the bottom thread is loose it's not the bobbin tension, it's the top tension. If your feed dogs are dropped I would lower the top tension one number at a time until your bottom stitches are even. Make sure your thread is going through the tension discs and is threaded correctly. If you still have problems, let us know.

    Ditter
    Yes, this is what I was told to do.

  13. #13
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    i was taught that if the problem is on top, then the blame is on the bottom. if the problem is on the bottom, then the blame is on the top. i would start by trying a tighter upper tension.
    btw, i also was told that if the bobbin 'chase' is plastic as in so many new machines, then the bobbins should also be. the bobbins should be the same as the chase. i'm gradually tossing my old metal ones out and replacing them with plastic and it makes a big difference. they work a lot better. no, i'm not talking about the bobbin holder itself. that's the bobbin case.

  14. #14
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Make sure when you are adjusting your tension, that your presser foot is up... I kept forgetting to do this and the tension will not adjust properly if the foot is down :wink:

  15. #15
    Super Member LucyInTheSky's Avatar
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    I know you can't adjust the bottom tension, but what about the top? Seems to be the recurring suggestion (and what usually is wrong with mine). Any luck??

  16. #16
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    How frustrating, did you get it to work yet?

  17. #17
    Gal
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    Yes I agree about using the correct thread for the machine and for the type of sewing you are trying to do, I have had some real problems in the past and it was the thread all the time, also check how you thread up your machine, we can all make silly mistakes especially if we are rushing or focusing on some other part of the project!

    Gal

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