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Tension/Machine Quilting

Tension/Machine Quilting

Old 02-26-2012, 09:17 AM
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Default Tension/Machine Quilting

I am trying to machine quilt for the frist time. During the piecing the tension on my machine was good, however when I put on the quilting foot and try to quilt on 3 layers the tension is good on top but loopy on bottom then I have a few good stitches then it goes loopy again. I should add when I use the walking foot the tension is good on both sides, but I want to try free motion.
I have tried to adjust the tension but nothing seems to work. When doing free motion does the tension change with the speed of the machine or how I move the guilt through the machine? If so how can I maintain a consistant machine speed & hand movement? Any help much appreciated Thanks
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:30 AM
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First make sure the foot is lowered... Can"t tell you how many times I have had issues but forgot to lower the foot. Also when free motion change the stitch lenght to Zero!
Practice on a practice sandwich , till you can get a good rythem going. Slower is typically better than faster. A nice moderate consistant speed will be your best skill to learn.

Last edited by Lori S; 02-26-2012 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:30 AM
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There might be a lot of factors involved, just a matter of ruling them out one at a time. I am not sure if you are trying to do this on a domestic sewing machine, but I know on my Babylock QCP when I switch the hopping foot and what to do FMQ the first thing I have to do is drop the feed dogs (or you can cover them with tape) and set my presser foot to zero..meaning there is not a lot of pressure from the foot. Have you done those initial things yet?
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:46 AM
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A lot of the time when people are beginning free motion quilting what they think is a tension problem is actually because they're moving the quilt too fast for the speed of the needle.
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Old 02-26-2012, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Scissor Queen View Post
A lot of the time when people are beginning free motion quilting what they think is a tension problem is actually because they're moving the quilt too fast for the speed of the needle.
I agree! Also, when I took a FMQ class, I was told that if you drop your feed dogs, then your tension is automatically turned off. For me, just because I am who I am, I always change my tension to "0" . This is also a gentle reminder to me when I switch from FMQ to regular sewing to make sure I raise my feed dogs back up where they belong!

When I start out FMQ, I always turn the speed on my Janome way down until I get into my groove. Once I am feeling confident, I will turn the speed back up. Keeps me from pushing my fabric faster than the machine is going.
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