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Thread: When threading machine-presser foot up or down??

  1. #1

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    I just read a helpful hint that we are to have our feet up on the machines while threading due to it sets the 'discs' or something in the machine?? Have you all heard of this or not? I think I have been a 50/50 quilter till this little tidbit...now I have that guilty thought and do it...is it really right or not??Anyone out there that knows or have heard...?Skeat

  2. #2
    Super Member jbsstrawberry's Avatar
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    Foot up is what my book says to do on my machine. Something about the tension being off if you thread with it down.

  3. #3
    Super Member quilter1962's Avatar
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    Skeat

    My old machine that I first used up until about 6 months ago had an instruction book which had no text only diagrams (Pfaff 30yrs old). This o showed that the presser foot show be threaded whilst in the up positon.
    Which is what I have always done since being shown how to thread a machine by my mother when I was a child. So it's always been normal procedure for me to thread in the up position.
    My new machine has an automatic threader which also indicates to thread in the up position. Hope this helps.
    Happy threading :wink:

    Tisha

  4. #4
    Senior Member Roben's Avatar
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    It's right, Skeat - think of the tension disks like 2 paper plates. When the foot is up, it opens the distance between the discs, allowing the thread to lay between them. Lowering the pressure foot closes the distance between them, thus putting tension on the thread. If the machine is threaded with the foot down, the thread essentially just lays on top of the closed discs - and the discs don't put any tension on the thread.

    Clear as mud? LOL

  5. #5

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    It took me a while after starting sewing to realize that threading with the presser foot up is the correct way. When I constantly kept breaking thread, it was because I threaded with the feet down. Glad you brought this up

  6. #6
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    Oh my goodness. That is something we learned in Home Ec class back in high school. When? well, about 1949! And I know schools no longer teach Home Economics!

    Since the presser foot automatically causes the tension discs to close, there is tension on the thread. In order to pull the thread through the needle with out having it hang up and feel "tight" the pressure must be released. Thus, the presser foot should be in the "up" or "pressure off" position.

    Old timers do remember some of the good lessons they learned.

  7. #7
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
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    I read this tip a while ago and if you try it both ways you will see the difference. Now it is up for me.

  8. #8
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    i don't remember hearing about that in Home Ec. Even my mother never told me that and she was a professional seamstress, cotourie and a tailor. the first i heard of this very sensible tip was here at the board about a week or so ago.

    so, after well over 40 years of sewing, i have FINALLY learned how to properly thread my machine. no wonder i could never get the automatic threader thingies to work right. :lol:

    makes me wonder how many tension tantrums i could have prevented in all that time. :? :roll:

  9. #9
    Super Member Mplsgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PatriceJ
    i don't remember hearing about that in Home Ec. Even my mother never told me that and she was a professional seamstress, cotourie and a tailor. the first i heard of this very sensible tip was here at the board about a week or so ago.

    so, after well over 40 years of sewing, i have FINALLY learned how to properly thread my machine. no wonder i could never get the automatic threader thingies to work right. :lol:

    makes me wonder how many tension tantrums i could have prevented in all that time. :? :roll:
    I heard this in Home Ec and have never thought twice about it. Always do it. Isn't it funny what we take for granted? Thank you for posting this!

  10. #10
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I was taught this is Home Ec too. Always have the pressure foot up and needle in the highest position when you make any adjustment.

  11. #11
    Power Poster sewnsewer2's Avatar
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    Always up!

  12. #12
    Senior Member borntoquilt's Avatar
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    I'd have to be double jointed to get my "feet" up that high! :lol:

  13. #13
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    I just addressed this with someone who was having tension problems with their embroidery machine. When changing colors she wasn't raising the foot to re-thread and her second color and all subsequent colors the tension was out and she was looping all over the place.... raised the foot, re threaded and voila no more loopy's ! LOL

  14. #14

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    Well, I am glad for one that I have this right in my head now for sure!:0)I had no idea until I read it in Better Homes and Garden quilting mag...I missed the postings on this patrice! Otherwise I wouldn't have brought it up again-sorry!:0) I was a 'shop' girl, so no home ec for me and when I started quilting is when I actually started sewing!:)Which is about the same time I joined..or actually after(was hand quilting first). So glad to know this and to know it is fact. Hopefully it has helped others that didn't know like me!Now I am calling mom to see if she knew that and didn't tell me!:0)Oh, that was prob going to happen when she was going to give me those sewing lessons in 6th grade....I am still waiting!LOL Thanks all for this!! So very helpful...and, is there anything else like this that we need to know??If so, do tell! Skeat

  15. #15
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    Up is the right way. I learned that here. What a wealth of info. Love this site. This is a good question and it's OK to ask again for those who may have missed it the first time.l

  16. #16
    Senior Member Nita's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roben
    It's right, Skeat - think of the tension disks like 2 paper plates. When the foot is up, it opens the distance between the discs, allowing the thread to lay between them. Lowering the pressure foot closes the distance between them, thus putting tension on the thread. If the machine is threaded with the foot down, the thread essentially just lays on top of the closed discs - and the discs don't put any tension on the thread.

    Clear as mud? LOL
    I know I'f been told the right way to thread, but info has a way of falling out of my pea brain memory storage. But now that I know WHY the foot should be up I think it will finally be engrained in my head. Thanks, Roben, for that explaination. They say we learn something new every day and this is my gem for today!
    Nita

  17. #17
    reneebobby's Avatar
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    It's for the disks that hold the tension on the upper thread. Also when you remove your thread you are to clip it and pull from the needle, you do waste some thread but you don't end up with fuzz balls around your disks as fast that will mess up your tension. I hope that makes sense.

  18. #18
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    Oh my!! And I just started to thread it with the foot down because I can see the eye of the needle better! And I do wear glasses - bifocals. Guess I better go back to the right way!

  19. #19
    Super Member Tink's Mom's Avatar
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    This is very much correct! I teach how to use sewing machines and I always tell my student that this is the first step in threading the machine, after placing the thread on the spool holder.

  20. #20
    PrettyKitty's Avatar
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    Foot up when threading the needle. Ok, that must be helpful thing #562 that I have learnt on this website! THANKS! :-) :-) :-)

  21. #21

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    You all crack me up!:)Which means 'funny' to non midwestern quilters!LOL I thought I was the ONLY one that didn't know that and was thinking this was one of those jokes and I was believing it!:)Glad to know I am doing the right thing and no one in the world is laughing in thinking they got me to do that:) Tink's mom...is there anything else I should know for using a sewing machine??Tidbits always welcome...Skeat

  22. #22
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    It's okay to thread the needle with the pressure foot down, just be sure to raise it when you are changing the tension or retreading the machine.

  23. #23
    Super Member Tink's Mom's Avatar
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    Good thread...No more than 10 hours of stitching per needle...Not until it breaks!!!
    You should be fine...Let me know if you have any problems...

  24. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tink's Mom
    Skeat
    Good thread...No more than 10 hours of stitching per needle...Not until it breaks!!!
    You should be fine...Let me know if you have any problems...
    I did not know that either! You know, I was raised to 'don't fix it if it ain't broke'!LOL And, I'd say my needle has been there longer then 10hrs of sewing:)Better go change that right now:) Thanks!

  25. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Loretta
    Want another tip Skeat? Don't store thread out in the open- keep it covered. Those fancy thread racks look so nice, but unless you are using it up very quickly, thread gathers dust and humidity and affects the way it sews. I store my thread in Hot Wheels cases, so I can lay the thread down and easily see the colors. Just a thought!
    That test I did pass w/flying colors Loretta!LOL I keep my thread by color (browns, whites, etc) in open ziplock bags in my plastic drawer bins. I did it to keep colors organized and obv. was a good idea!:)Thanks!! Skeat

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