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Thread: Too scared to touch the bobbin screw

  1. #1
    Senior Member Chester the bunny's Avatar
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    Too scared to touch the bobbin screw

    I have always been told to avoid adjusting the bobbin tention, you know that little screw on the bobbin holder. To make matters worse, there are 2 screws on mine. Adjusting the top tention is not working. The tention is not too bad, it's just that I'm using a different color thread on top and bottom and the bottom color thread is showing on the top no matter what I try.
    Everything had been fine for the past many quilts but I used a different batting and flannel on the back of this one.
    Any words of encouragement for me to take the screwdriver to the bobbin holder would be welcomed..... if that's what I should do )

    Carole

  2. #2
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    Can't help you there - my machine has the tension adjustment on the screen so I don't have to monkey with that part of the machine. Maybe your machine needs a checkup at the shop. Make sure you are using the right size needle for the thread you are using. It is terribly frustrating isn't it!

  3. #3
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    How mmuch color is showingon top?

    How much of the top color is showing on the bottom?

    With some of my machines, a little dot of color shows even when the tension is balanced.

  4. #4
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    If your scared buy a second bobbin casing so you can keep onwe at factory settings and another one for adjusting
    Brother (XL-3500i, CV3550, SQ-9050, Dreamweaver XE6200D), Juki MO-2000QVP, Handiquilter Avante

  5. #5
    Gay
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    Senior Member Gay's Avatar
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    perhaps your threads are different thicknesses, but try loosening the top tension 2 or 3 points, and if that doesn't work, then tighten that bobbin screw a quarter or half a turn [ the one closest to where the thread comes out of the bobbin case] - clockwise to tighten, anti-clockwise to loosen.

  6. #6
    Super Member leatheflea's Avatar
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    The more you do it the better you'll be at adjusting. Just jump in there and do it! Take a picture of it or make a reference mark on the bobbin case before adjusting. Both feet...just jump...do it! It's one little screw, every one that sew needs to learn to do these simple adjustments themselves, you can do it! Just a quarter turn at a time. Remember righty tighty, lefty loosy...before you know it we'll have you setting your timing on that scary machine!....LOL! Whats the worse thing that could happen? Really? No fear, There's nothing to fear but fear itself! Tell fear to take a back seat, you're a woman on a mission, and the mission is perfect tension. So loosen up YOUR tension and be FREE from the FEAR of thread tension! You know you want to, don't let the naysayers win, your independent and adventurous spirit wants to turn that screw. Its one tiny little turn on your path to stunning award winning quilting. Now get in there and show it who's boss!

  7. #7
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    The only bad thing that can happen is the screw falls out and you can't find it. Hold it over a bowl when adjusting.
    Got fabric?

  8. #8
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    I change mine frequently with no ill effects when I change it back. I use many different types of thread, but also some pretty unusual "fabrics" (like paper, foils, metals, etc) so changing the bobbin tension is a necessity in some cases.

    I simply made a mark on the bobbin case with a fine point Sharpie that lined up with the slot of the screw before I moved it for the first time. Now I can set it back again with no fear. There's lots of info on changing bobbin tension available online. More and more people are "daring" to do it these days.

    Suggestions: take baby steps in the turning, use the face of a clock as reference points, make notes on what position works best for what combo of threads and fabric so you'll know for next time.
    Last edited by ghostrider; 08-12-2013 at 03:32 AM.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  9. #9
    Super Member eparys's Avatar
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    Sometimes you need to change it ! Ghost is correct - try marking it before you do. Go in tiny increments - I usually go 1/8 turn then check

    This is a good Youtube video - it shows which screw to tighten.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TaH9yB7XUBk

    Remember righty tighty lefty loosey
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  10. #10
    Super Member Weezy Rider's Avatar
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    We were encouraged to buy a second case for our Pfaff 1475. We had classes on bobbin embroidery, and bobbin ribbon embroidery at the dealers. You HAD to futz with a case to do any of this. The Pfaff manuals also explain how to adjust tension.

    I've had adjustment screws work loose and change the bobbin tension. If you have learned how to adjust, you can check tension before putting bobbin in the machine.

  11. #11
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    I also recommend NO MORE than 1/8 turn at a time. And mark where you started from. Write a note to yourself or make a drawing of where you started.

    On the other hand, if you make a BIG adjustment, you can see right away what the change is.

  12. #12
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolphyngyrl View Post
    If your scared buy a second bobbin casing so you can keep onwe at factory settings and another one for adjusting
    This is a very good idea! You can also make a small mark with a sharpie so you know where the screw was so you can put it back.

  13. #13
    Super Member AliKat's Avatar
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    Most bobbin cases do have 2 screws. One is for the construction of the bobbin case and the one closest to the thread strand that comes out is for adjustment purposes. I have 2 bobbin cases. One I never change and the other I change all the time if working with bobbin work or such as Weezy Rider says.

    Think of the bobbin tension and the thread tension as having to adjust how the threads meet. Usually there is plenty of room for adjusting only the top tension. If there isn't then maybe you need to have your machine serviced. Whenever I have had real problems with the upper tension adjustment it was because the machine needed a 'spa day' with my repair person.
    Have fun quilting! If it isn't fun, you will miss a lot.
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Chester the bunny's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for all the encouragement to just jump in there, and for all the suggestions.
    I will see if my spare machine has the same bobbin case and use that one. If not, I will mark the spot where I start and do 1/8" adjustment at a time. I'll let you know how things work out today.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Chester the bunny's Avatar
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    OK.... I tried to reset my bobbin tention. Tighter and looser, adjusting the top tention to compensate.
    It didn't work, so perhaps it does need a spa day and as berisgray said there is a little tiny dot of the bottom color showing and the back looks good, so tention is pretty good. So I am going to do what I usually do and that is to use the same color top and bottom. I have a print on the back that has all the colors on the top so each color thread will just blend in.
    Thanks again for all of your help, you are always so helpful. )

  16. #16
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dolphyngyrl View Post
    If your scared buy a second bobbin casing so you can keep onwe at factory settings and another one for adjusting

    That's what I did. I keep one for quilting with various different threads in top vs bottom and I change the tension as needed. The other case I leave at the factory setting.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

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  17. #17
    Super Member GailG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leatheflea View Post
    The more you do it the better you'll be at adjusting. Just jump in there and do it! Take a picture of it or make a reference mark on the bobbin case before adjusting. Both feet...just jump...do it! It's one little screw, every one that sew needs to learn to do these simple adjustments themselves, you can do it! Just a quarter turn at a time. Remember righty tighty, lefty loosy...before you know it we'll have you setting your timing on that scary machine!....LOL! Whats the worse thing that could happen? Really? No fear, There's nothing to fear but fear itself! Tell fear to take a back seat, you're a woman on a mission, and the mission is perfect tension. So loosen up YOUR tension and be FREE from the FEAR of thread tension! You know you want to, don't let the naysayers win, your independent and adventurous spirit wants to turn that screw. Its one tiny little turn on your path to stunning award winning quilting. Now get in there and show it who's boss!
    Well leatherflea, you are one motivational speaker!! You must have been a cheerleader in your younger days! I totally agree with you. For years I was told about not touching "the screw." But once you do it, you'll become more confident. Marking the original position is a good tip. Just take it slow and test it after each adjustment. I also like the idea of a spare casing. Go for it!
    One step at a time, always forward.

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