Rmgoode

This is HARD!

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I bought my used Ultimate machine about 4 months ago.  It is non stitch regulated and an older model.  I could not justify the purchase of a new machine since this was my first LA.  I have been practicing a lot and finally yesterday felt that I was up to the challenge of quilting my first customer quilt.  I had just finished a nursery panel and was very pleased with my effort so coming off a successful endeavor I felt up to the challenge.  I loaded my customer quilt.  I have oiled my machine.  I have changed needles.  Purchased new super Bob pre wound bobbins and have threaded my machine.  I used my shop vac and cleaned up every bit of lint in the bobbin assembly and the hopping foot.  I have used a pin and cleaned out any lint residue under the bobbin finger.  I have checked the bobbin spring and it feels ok.  I have threaded and rethreaded with different top threads.  I have threaded and rethreaded bobbin thread.  I have tightened and loosened the bobbin thread.  I have adjusted the tensioner until I am at a total loss of where it should be.  I have adjusted my speed (going faster and/or slower).  I am at a loss of what to do next.  Because I am STILL getting crappy looking tension on the underside with big loops. 

 

This is HARD!  I am completely amazed at how hard this is to do and to do it so that it looks good.  I am amazed at how in the middle of the quilt a variable can change and you have to start from square one.  I probably still would have bought this machine because I don't like someone telling me I can't do it and I would have had to prove them wrong, but I just want to say for all of you people out there that quilt for customers, for show entries, and such....WOW!  You do have a talent as well as some smarts and patients!

 

So l have digressed from my subject....let's see back to the issues I am having..  I am using signature pre wound super bobs in the bobbin.  I tried Essential Pro for my top thread, but never could get the tension correct.  Felt that this thread was very slippery and didn't feel the drag that I thought I should.  During my successful quilting ventures, I have used the generic Walmart thread on a cone (I know some of you are probably gasping right now).  It is a heavier weight thread and feels thicker as compared to the other brands I have tried (Signature, Essential, Surelock). And the Walmart thread quilts well with my machine except for some occasional top thread breaks.  However, they do not have the color that I need (they just carry the basic colors) and I am forced to use a different type.  I am still not able to get my tension correct.  Other than trying to search every post in this forum, is there a place I can go that will guide me through this issue on one post/page/tutorial?  For us newbies that purchase used machines, there doesn't seem to be a lot of instruction out there if we run into issues?  The lady I purchased my machine from has been more than helpful and gracious, but I feel that I am overstepping my boundaries and that I should be able to do this on my own by now. 

 

Any and all suggestions would be appreciated.  I am frustrated, tired, and emotionally drained at this point...questioning why in the world I thought I could do this!!!!  I'm a little dramatic, but yes, I have wondered....

 

Thanks in advance....

 

Robbin

 

 

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Hi Robbin,

 

Try winding your own bobbin. I have a whole batch of pre-wound bobbins that give me terrible tension. The tension keeps changing, sometimes tight, sometimes loopy. I now wind all my own bobbins with So Fine or  Bottom Line or whatever else I need, and have no more tension woes. I've been at this for 16 years, starting with the same machine you have, so I'm not a newbie. I used to swear by the pre-wounds, but not any more. Maybe the magnetic ones from Fil-Tec are better. I know a lot of longarm quilters use them.


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DIGITIZED Designs for Computerized Quilting

The POCKET GUIDES to Freehanding

eppd@telus.net

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Hi Robbin,

Thread choice is real important.

Once you find a thread your machine likes, you won't have as much trouble.

In the bobbin, my machine likes bottom line or so fine from superior thread.

Or magna glide prewounds from FilTec.

Top threads are SoFine and Rainbows from Superior.

Or Glide from FilTec.

Others here use Omni thread from Superior and Aurifil thread.

Also, I use a TOWA gauge to set my bobbin tension.

My machine likes it about 150.

Good luck to you finding your best combos.

.


Meg

"Do small things with great love." Mother Teresa

"Life's too short to fuss with thread." Meg Fazio

http://theonewiththreadsonherclothes.blogspot.com/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/megfazio

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Robbin, i bought my machine for me, myself & i :)  i was so frustrated for quite a while, because i just couldn't seem to get it.  like you said, things can change in the middle of a quilt & you don't know why.  it was so long between "aha moments" until i started quilting comfort quilts.  i don't know how many it took exactly...guessing a couple of dozen...but now i'm actually enjoying myself & it's so much easier.  i'm still learning, but i don't go into panic mode now when i hear a different noise or something new happens.  muslin practice pieces didn't work for me...but learning on a real comfort quilt is so fun :D

 

i wind my own bobbins also & use the towa gauge.  i just bought the tension pro from superior threads & really like it.  it gives me a starting point & more confidence.

 

hang in there...you'll get it!


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Robbin

I'm with Darlene, I don't care for the Super Bobs.  If I put them on the Towa gauge I find the tension bounces all over the place. The Fil-tech magnetic ones are very smooth on the gauge. Try winding one of the prewounds onto a metal bobbin if that is the color you need.  Set the bobbin tension so the bobbin case will stand up but not lift of your hand when you pick up the thread.  Then adjust the top tension half a turn at a time until the tension is close (you will see the bobbin thread in the holes) then you can fine tune it.  You will get it we've all been there.

 

Nigel


Brenda Wells - Green Millie. Sold November 2017
Nigel Wells - Ultimate 1 with |Intellistitch & IQ

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Robbin,  I just sold my Ultimate II and it was a great machine. Let's take it from the top and see if we can figure out what is wrong with your machine. 

 

First, if you want to use prewound bobbins go ahead and try.  I don't like the superbobs, but the cardboard sided Coats ones worked great in my Ultimate II.  Do your superbobs have plastic or cardboard sides, or no sides?  It might make a difference.  Do the drop test on your bobbin if you don't have a TOWA bobbin gauge.  Your bobbin should just barely crawl down like a spider that doesn't really want to come down, but is.  If you can lift up the thread and the bobbin lifts out of your hand it is too tight.  If it slides down to the floor it is too loose.  Turn the larger screw on the bobbin case until it is correct.  Also, with the Superbobs, try rollling some of the thread off the bobbin, and then do the drop test again. I'm betting your tension will change.

 

Once you have your bobbin tension mostly right rethread your machine. Go over the back thread guide, through the middle hole of the one on top and then down, around the first hole and up through that first hole, Then go straight to the second hole, then down through your tensioner disk.  Go ahead and loosen it way up, so it is hanging freely (don't unscrew it though). Finish threading your machine.  Then tighten the tensioner just until the two disks are close together, don't even worry about touching now.  Take a few stitches. Set your machine on about 3 and move to match the speed. Your back thread should be really loopy at this point.  Put a magic marker dot on the top of the tensioner dial.  Now, turn it 1/2 a turn and try again.  Continue this until you get good tension.  Your slippery thread might really be an issue.  Try using different thread and get good tension, then go back to the slippery thread and slowly adjust your top tension (5 minutes at a time if you imagine a clock on the dial).  Keep trying.  If all else fails, give up on that thread. It happens to everybody sometimes. 

 

Also, because you don't have the leveler roller on your table, make sure your quilt sandwich is fairly level. Don't raise the back until you need to. Also, be sure the quilt sandwich is not dragging on the machine base, and your Hartley table, if you have one.  The quilt should be fairly tight.  The Ultimate Ii I had liked tight quilt sandwiches, whereas my Lenni likes it sort of loose and sloppy.  If all else fails call me and I will try to help you. 


8259635bf834a637a7febcce54170daf.png Sweet T's Custom Quilting Finley, TN  (731)-445-6411 sweet_t_quilting@yahoo.com

 

http://sweettsquilting.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/SweetTsQuilting

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I think...(keep your fingers crossed) that I've got it.  Thank you so much Teresa for that wonderful step-by-step direction.  I did a few stitches and they look good; however, it is past my bedtime now so I have to give it up.  UGH!  Torn between quilting and sleeping!!!!  LOL. 

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Don't give up!!! I also bought an older machine when I was just starting out and it seemed that I took two steps forward then one back for the longest time. But, I learned so much through the whole process and am so happy that I can now quilt with some amount of skill and can diagnose problems and work on my own machine. A couple of other comments - I have a really difficult time with Bottom Line thread, even though everyone else seems to love it. Use aluminum bobbins, not steel. And, I started using Jamie Wallen's method for setting bobbin tension and it has worked really well for me. You can find it on You Tube and is a little different from the 'spider test'. Hang in there!!!

Carol

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Quilting does get easier with experience. I do remember those frustrating moments of "now what's wrong" usually at a time when I am working against a deadline!

It will work out! Even when you have been quilting for years you will hit a problem that has never happened before. I had a wheel drop a screw inside and Itbtotally locked me up! My husband figured that one out. These machines have so many high speed moving parts and so many variables that a lot can go wrong.

Just keep in mine the times when everything goes right and magic happens...and you did it!


Jennifer Bernard

My quilted jackets are on a competition journey around the country

gathering pretty ribbons (sometimes)!

Quilting with my Millennium and playing with my Quiltazoid!

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Robbin, just an update :)  i quilted a quilt & a half & everything was great!  then i experienced a self-inflicted mishap & now my tension is terrible.  guess my head got too big for a few minutes :D


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Leigh you sound like me. I thought I was doing great with Lenni until I hit the ruler and screwed up the timing. It's been downhill ever since.


8259635bf834a637a7febcce54170daf.png Sweet T's Custom Quilting Finley, TN  (731)-445-6411 sweet_t_quilting@yahoo.com

 

http://sweettsquilting.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/SweetTsQuilting

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