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TOPIC: New machine, tension problems

New machine, tension problems 17 Oct 2018 15:50 #144509

  • drj2athome
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Using a batik binding is hard to hand sew down compared to using regular quilting cotton fabric. I am getting better at this with samples of the fabric and batting. A sharper thinner needle might be good free motion quilting on batik.
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New machine, tension problems 17 Oct 2018 12:47 #144508

  • Ladywingnut
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One thing that helps me when I do free motion is, I leave the feed dogs up and drop the stitch length to 0, this allows me more control as well as better balance/tension. Try giving that a try, but do it on a scrap sandwich, it might work for you
Anne
Last Edit: 17 Oct 2018 12:47 by Ladywingnut.
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New machine, tension problems 15 Oct 2018 07:08 #144499

  • marthaj
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I have two vikings and they have tension problems when doing free motion. I fooled around with all different threads and needles and i finally used a 30 wgt in the bobbin and a 50 weight on top and that did the trick . I was using regular cotton fabrics and used cotton thread . Whatever kind of fabric and batting - you just have to experiment with different threads and tensions. never give up!
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New machine, tension problems 21 Jun 2018 22:14 #144032

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Jan, good for you to try your hand a fee motion quilting! Quilting on batik is a challenge because the weave of the fabric is so tight. It is a challenge to get good tension. A variegated thread is super hard to balance with a bobbin thread because sometimes it is dark, sometimes it is light and sometimes it is a medium color. The bobbin thread is just one color. I try to choose a bobbin thread that is a neutral for all mid range of color. If you are using 40wt thread, use a 90 topstitch needle. The bigger eye sometimes allows the thread to pass through the fabric with less pull. Do use a lighter thread in the bobbin. Even a regular sewing thread is lighter than the 40 wt thread and you might have better results. If possible, make a sandwich of the fabric, batting and backing so you have a sample to try different threads and play with the tension or other types of needles. It takes time; but, the results are worth it. You could also take your machine and sample back to where you bought it and ask for help with adjusting the tension. Stay with it and keep us posted on your results!
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New machine, tension problems 18 Jun 2018 08:22 #144023

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I will have to try different threads. I did use a poly but I am not sure what size it was and it wasn't; good. I have some bobbin thread from superior that is very thin but I only have it in white and black. I do like the superior threads. Thank you so much for the info. My machine isn't consistent but I am a beginner and found some success with trying to use the highest speed. I just ordered some batting samples from Britain's the Cotton Patch, to see if a thicker batting helps. Certainly batik on the borders was harder to needle. I was using warm and natural's thin cotton batting. :)
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New machine, tension problems 16 Jun 2018 11:41 #144014

  • kathyst2
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I don't normally use the 40 weight thread in the bottom, usually I use a lighter 50 weight like Aurifil, or even lighter like 60 weight superior so fine in the bobbin. That might be part of what's happening- the heavier cotton thread will pull too much. The reason that the 40 weight polyester thread works better is that it's probably somewhat thinner and also less "linty".

Every brand of machine has differences in what top tension is needed. For my old Pfaff, I needed tension 1 or even 0. The Janome needed tension 8 or 9. They had a special bobbin case set to a lower bobbin tension that you could use for free motion quilting so you could lower the top tension. It wasn't necessary, however, it was easier to remember which bobbin case you were using :) . My current Babylock likes tension to be around 4 to 5. You might google Viking free motion quilting to see if other Viking users have some thoughts about tensions.

It's possible to change the bobbin tension, but a little goes a long way there. If you decide to try that, take a picture of your bobbin case before so you remember how to get back to its usual setting. Probably working with a different bobbin thread and playing with the top tension will help so try those first.

Happy quilting,
kathy
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New machine, tension problems 13 Jun 2018 12:20 #144001

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I am a beginner at free motion quilting. A 40 weight cotton thread in the bobbin and top requires the tension on my new computerized Viking opal on top to be a 0 and even then you can see the bobbin thread on top. Unfortunately I chose a variegated cotton thread for the border on a small wall quilt and the material is a blue and purple checked batik. The variegations runs from purple to blue to light green. I put a blue cotton thread on the bottom so it doesn't show on top that much. Then on a sample, :woohoo: I used 40 wt poly thread on the top and bottom and it looked the best I've been able to do so far. I did change the needle but I am not sure if it's a 90 topstitch or quilting needle. Any insights as to what to do?
1Peter5:7
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