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Thread: Trying to meander and THIS happened... (help)

  1. #26
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen View Post
    This is totally not a tension problem. You're moving the quilt sandwich too fast for the speed of the needle. Fast needle, slow hands.

    I don't agree, I think it is both tension and speed. I see areas on the straight aways and curves where the OP does not have obvious eyelashing but DOES have a tension issue, I can see the little bumps of top thread sitting on top of the bobbin thread quite clearly in her picture. The real bad eyelashing is going too fast with hands and too slow on the foot control pedal (or if she has an automatic speed setting on that machine, it is set too slow). The OP needs to do all of the above. She needs to adjust her tension in the top (it is way too loose), she needs to increase her machine's needle speed and needs to slow down a bit with her hands.

    Original Poster, here is a handy diagram for you to better understand your tension issues

    http://www.superiorthreads.com/educa...-tension-works

    For your practice piece, load a high contrast thread in your bobbin from your top thread. Also have both threads be in high contrast from your sample sandwich fabric. Then it will very easy for you to see where your problems are. If you have red in your bobbin, white in your top and stitch on a solid dark fabric you should be able to work out your tension issues for FMQ very quickly.
    Last edited by feline fanatic; 07-18-2012 at 05:40 AM.

  2. #27
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    Tension problem.

  3. #28
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    I get eyelashes when I forget to put the presser foot down - an easy mistake since fmq feet don't sit all the way down until the needle comes down. Just say "Mr. Seam Ripper is my friend". The good news is that it is very easy to rip those stitches out.
    Shirley in Arizona

  4. #29
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    actually this may also a tension problem. If you look closly you will see that with all the stitching you can see the top thread /it is pulled to the bottom( this looks like the backing). this means that the bottom tension is too tight therefore pulling the top thread to the bottom. I was taught as a home sewer to test the maching tensions by sewing a straight line on the bias/diaginal. Then gently tub on the corners and see if either thread breaks. If the tension is good then no thread should break. If the top thread breaks then the top tension is too tight , if the bottom thread breaks then the bottom tensions is too tight. I was also taught to try fixing the problem by adjusting the top thread and never mess with the bottom tension.

  5. #30
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    Take your fabric or fabric sandwich and sew a straight line. Check your stitches, Tension OK?
    THEN DON'T TOUCH YOUR TENSION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! These eyelashes are caused by your hands moving faster than your machine is sewing. This happens primarily on tight curves. Either slow your hand movement down or speed up your machine.

    Since the eyelashes are on the back side and you think the loops will catch on your machine, then just line it and forget about taking out the stitches.
    Diana in TX

  6. #31
    Super Member DonnaC's Avatar
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    Definitely a coordination issue between your hands moving and the speed of the needle and quilt. This happens to me a lot more than I like to admit (smile). Just takes practice to remedy. You'll get it!! Never fear.

  7. #32
    Super Member ljptexas's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing the website. Printed it out & will post on wall in front of my machine to refer to.
    Thanks again.......
    ~ I'm a Blessed Nanna to 2 Grandsons & 5 Granddaughters & 1 grandson in law ~
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    ~ God Bless the USA ~ God Bless Our Troops ~

  8. #33
    Junior Member kcferrel's Avatar
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    shorten stitch length

    Try shortening up your stitch length, too. Also, if you can adjust the speed of your machine you may want to dial it back a bit, this can keep you from going too fast.
    As has been stated, free motion is definitely a skill set and the more you practice the better it gets. Make yourself a pile of practice sandwiches out of muslin and leftover batting. Sew 1 or 2 of these practice sandwiches daily... you can do this as a warm up activity. You will be amazed at how daily practice can improve your skill.

  9. #34
    Junior Member HilaryK8's Avatar
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    The only reason I feel like it may not be a tension problem is because it only happened in two areas. I did stop and start a few times because my nephew was here and my MIL was here and I was trying to tune them out and focus on my quilting. It's possible the foot wasn't down although it's hard to tell with the darning foot (is that what it's called?)

    I did practice on a fabric sandwich and I wanted to never FMQ ever again. LOL. It is WAY harder than it looks. My hands were slipping all over the fabric and I didn't have those sticky gloves. I tried putting grippy socks on my hands to see if that helped. LOL. That's a big negative. I just looked silly and it wasn't the right type of sticky to grip fabric. With a day or two of practice I felt confident enough to try it on my project. It looks okay from the front... for my first time. It's just two little areas on the back that look a hot mess.

    Thanks for your ideas ladies. I may finish up this week so I'll post a pic when it's all put together and fixed!

  10. #35
    Super Member vickig626's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen View Post
    This is totally not a tension problem. You're moving the quilt sandwich too fast for the speed of the needle. Fast needle, slow hands.
    I've also had this problem (still do sometimes). Mine also seems to be when I try going too fast so if I slow down and enjoy the process, it turns out so much better. I set my machine speed slower so I can just push the pedal down and the speed stays consistent.
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  11. #36
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    OK, my 2 cents worth ... I agree with everything INCLUDING changing the needle. BUT, I only saw one answer about how to tie off 'good' stitches when taking out the bad ones.

    I was taught to pull out (don't cut/rip) enough thread so you have top and bottom threads long enough to put into a hand sewing needle. Pull top thread to the back, put in hand sewing needle, make a couple of tiny stitch through backing and batting only, then insert needle in between the top and bottom, for about an inch or two, pull thread a little tight, trim thread and ends of thread will be pulled back into the quilt when you release the tension you had on the thread.

    If that doesn't make sense, PM me and I'll try and explain it better.

  12. #37
    Senior Member AndiR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IBQLTN View Post
    OK, my 2 cents worth ... I agree with everything INCLUDING changing the needle. BUT, I only saw one answer about how to tie off 'good' stitches when taking out the bad ones.

    I was taught to pull out (don't cut/rip) enough thread so you have top and bottom threads long enough to put into a hand sewing needle. Pull top thread to the back, put in hand sewing needle, make a couple of tiny stitch through backing and batting only, then insert needle in between the top and bottom, for about an inch or two, pull thread a little tight, trim thread and ends of thread will be pulled back into the quilt when you release the tension you had on the thread.

    If that doesn't make sense, PM me and I'll try and explain it better.
    I do something similar. I pull out enough thread as you said, but I take the top and bobbin thread and tie a knot close to the surface of the fabric. Now pass the thread ends through a self-threading needle and put the point of the needle in the hole next to the knot and bring it up an inch or two away (have it pass into the batting between the quilt top and backing). Pull the needle through and 'pop' the knot into the batting like you do when you're burying a knot for hand quilting. When re-starting your stitching, overlap by two or three stitches to secure the knot even more.

    If you don't have a self-threading needle, you can use a dental floss threader. Pass the straight part thru the eye of the needle, then thread the thread thru the loop. Pull the threader thru the needle and it will be threaded!! I keep a needle with a floss threader positioned in in the eye in my pincushion, ready to go whenever I need it!!

  13. #38
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    Another thought, some machines prefer that you have the feed dogs lowered. Lovely fabric

  14. #39
    Super Member Deborahlees's Avatar
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    most important thing..............DON'T GIVE UP............... it does get better, but you need to be patient, take your time and be willing to invest in 'experience' which is extremely valuable, and not not be hurried.....time and patience is what is needed, you do not become an expert overnight in ANYTHING....................

  15. #40
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    They really do look like eyelashes! Maybe leave off the Latrisse?! LOL!
    If a woman's work is never done....why start?

  16. #41
    Senior Member FURBALLS's Avatar
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    This happens to me when I go to fast or forget to drop my presser foot.

  17. #42
    Super Member fayzer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scissor Queen View Post
    This is totally not a tension problem. You're moving the quilt sandwich too fast for the speed of the needle. Fast needle, slow hands.
    I agree with Scissor Queen. Machingers quilting gloves help a lot too.

  18. #43
    Senior Member Elaine433's Avatar
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    I have had this problem. With me it is usually the bobbin and the needle. Unthread everything, change the needle and clean out the lint, especially in the bobbin case area. Put in a different bobbin and check with your book to make sure you are inserting it right. Now what I do whenever I change my bobbin is to try it out on a quilt sandwich sample (muslin top with piece of same batting I am using and muslin bottom). I use this sample piece whenever I rethread or change anything. You only need to take a few stitches to find out if everything is correct. It may take a few minutes out of your quilting time but not as long as ripping out all the eyelash stitches.

  19. #44
    Super Member Roberta's Avatar
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    I had the same problem, frustrating to say the least. I both those little bobbin washers and I don't get them anymore.

  20. #45
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    I had a friend who sold me her Longarm machine because she didn't have room for it. She bought a Sweet Sixteen, brought it home, set it up, and had the same problem. I went over to help her. Had to adjust the bobbin tension (too tight) and the top tension (too loose, and not in the tension disks). Once we fixed all that she was off and running.

  21. #46
    Junior Member HilaryK8's Avatar
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    Again

    I was practicing practicing practicing on random sandwiches and I felt good so I took the plunge on my project and HOLY COW I DID IT AGAIN! I realized this is what happens when you don't put down the foot. Learning learning every day.

    Sorry about the size of this one. I never know how small to resize the pics.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  22. #47
    Junior Member HilaryK8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Latrinka View Post
    They really do look like eyelashes! Maybe leave off the Latrisse?! LOL!
    LOL! That made me giggle. So THAT'S the problem!!!

  23. #48
    Member kymawmaw's Avatar
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    make sure foot is down..i use walking foot and it doesnt hold the fabric tight

  24. #49
    Senior Member ctipton's Avatar
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    I love your flamingos Sorry about your eyelashes

  25. #50
    Junior Member lucylockett's Avatar
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    You know what they say about eyelashes: If you pull them out they never come back. Hope this applies to machine quilting as well!

    Thanks for letting us know how your problem was solved. And a big thanks to the many wonderful comments from all you experienced FMQ quilters!!! It helps the wannabes like me!

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