LoreW

Help! Thread tension problems

Recommended Posts

Help please! I cannot get the thread tension right on my Millie. I spent hours yesterday picking out my quilting after finding loops all over the back:(. I am using King Tut cotton on top and have used three different kinds of thread on the bottom thinking that one might be better than another. I've put a sock on the spool, checked the thread path, rethreaded through the three hole thread guide by going up, then down in the second hole and up through the last. Right now I have King Tut in the bobbin as well, and have cranked the top tension up, and set the bobbin tension with the Towa to 200 (is that 20 on other gauges? I'm not sure why mine is in 100's). The stitch looks the best it has looked, but I am still finding occasional loops on the back. What else can I try?

I read in another post that someone was checking top tension with the Towa. How do you do that?

Lore (frustrated newbie!):(

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lore I've never run KT in both top and bobbin. I'm really kind of cheap and dont like to use my fancy threads in the bobbin. I use Maxi Loc serger thread in the bobbin almost exclusively.

Here's some pics of how I thread the top for King Tut. I thread it like this (not going thru all 3 holes of the duck bill) and run my bobbin at around 110 (11 on the old towas ours are newer and they changed them)

The rule I try to remember with loops, like when they're on top, is that the tension is too loose. I don't know if it's the same for the bobbin though. It seems to me that there are other possibles to check for that. Hopefully someone will chime in.

post--13461900921265_thumb.jpg


DD16F38B079A7A9200191C204295D207.png

APQS Freedom SR

Hopeton, Oklahoma

http://community.webshots.com/user/tracyeq

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Lore,

If you do a search on the older posts you will find a wealth of information...search for DawnCavanaugh and you'll find her discussing the tension issue in depth. Also for the thread guides do a search on Sherry Roger-Harrison and you'll see the posts she explains about adding extra guides to her machine. Grab a cup of something to drink and have a look through the old posts...you'll see you'll be up and running in no time! Welcome to the wonderful world of longarm quilting!


Nadia Wilson
Nadia Wilson Designs
Longarm Quilting Service
APQS Sales Rep
British Columbia, Canada
Vancouver Island

E-mail
Text or phone at 250-902-9701


www.nadiawilsondesigns.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally posted by LoreW

Tracye,

You seen to have more thread guides than I do. Did you add them to your machine?

Lore

Yes I did. I also have a couple added down the neck of the machine between the cone and the duck bill. I have them staggered, kind of up/down so that they help take the whip out of the thread as it travels. I also added the needle bar guide Sherry talks about in her post about adding guides.


DD16F38B079A7A9200191C204295D207.png

APQS Freedom SR

Hopeton, Oklahoma

http://community.webshots.com/user/tracyeq

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

20 (200) is tight for a bobbin - try loosening your bobbin case a little (turn the larger screw on the case a tiny bit to the left - it just needs a tiny change - righty tighty, lefty loosey), down to maybe 17 or 18. Then loosen your top thread correspondingly. The thread sock adds a little more tension to your top thread.

I use Bottom Line almost exclusively in the bobbin. You'll save a lot of money over using King Tut in both.

I'm not sure you've threaded your 3 hole correctly from your description - it should wind around the side. Come from the back towards you through each hole. This helps to twist the thread correctly. I know you say you've rethreaded repeatedly, but make sure you have your manual or DVD and am doing each step correctly. Whenever I've had loops, it's been a tension (consistent loops) or threading (random loops) problem.

Good luck!

Julia


Julia Graves

Special Occasion Quilts, LLC

Lusby, Maryland

410-326-3043

http://soquilts.com

juliagraves82@gmail.com

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thank you all for your suggestions. I loosened my bobbin and had to really crank up the top tension. I think what happened is that when I rethreaded the three hole guide the way Dawn recommended for King Tut it significantly reduced the top thread tension and I didn't adjust enough. I also underestimated how far I needed to turn the tension knob to have any results. The thread does seem very twisty as it comes off the spool but putting a sock on it helps a lot with that.

The moral of this story is to never try something new on a last minute Christmas gift! I did manage to finish the quilt just hours before my daughter came home for the holidays and had it safely boxed and wrapped. :)

Lore

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Greetings..Here we are, after the holidays, finally some time to get a few things done and wham! tension issues. This is the very 1st time I have not been able to solve this issue. I'm getting railroading on the quilt back. Mostly moving away from me and from right to left sewing from the front of the machine. I'm using YLI quilting thread, top and bottom and have used it before.

Thought maybe I should not have oiled the bobbin area and sewed right away but today is the same. I've rethreaded, cleaned the bobbin area again. Right now the bobbin is really loose and I've had to tighten the top alot. I've tried a different bobbin. My quilt tension is loose. And to add insult to injury my stitch regulator does not seem to be producing as regular a size of stitches that it used to.

I'm befuddled. Any ideas? I've just never had these issues with my Millie before.

thanks,

LeAnn

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

help, i,ve worked all day on my uli.2 sews about 6 inches then top thread shredds. tryed perma cor king tut doesnt matter. just had machine ck ed out and serviced everything fine until today . any ideas?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Newbee

What make and size needle are you using

Does the thread feel tight when you pull it through the needle

Are you using a brand new needle,

Have you changed needles

Where is the thread shedding at the needle or when it goes down into the hook assembly

Is your quilt sandwich too tight

What fabric - any painted finish, batik,

Any seams where it shreds

which direction is the machine moving - away from you to the left when you are at the front of the machine?

Have you put in a thread that ALWAYS works for you

Do you have any burrs on the pigtails

Was it working after you had it serviced or is this the first time you've used it since it was serviced

These are some of the things we need to know to help you.

Let us know and I'm sure someone here will have the answer for you.

Best wishes

Sue in Australia


sue in australia

APQS Australia

CQ Australia

613 9769 0248

smorris@comcen.com.au

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sounds like you have a burr on the needle plate or the bobbin case for your Ultimate II. Either that or your top tension is really, really too tight. My Ultimate II has been a real headache with thread from the start; but I've learned a few tricks. Maybe they can help you.

1.Make sure you put a little piece of batting with some Sewer's Aid squirted on it in the hook about the thread spool.

2. Make sure you have a sock on your thread. If you need some I will send you a few.

3. On the thread guide at the top of the machine, make sure you go through the bottom hole only.

4. On the slanty thread guide, go through the top and middle holes, then down into the tension disks.

5. Make sure there is NO lint in between the tension disks.

6.Thread through the rest of your thread guides and down through your needle.

7. Try turning your needle just a tiny bit. Image that 6:30 is the needle straight on. Turn it just a tiny bit until a pin stuck through the eye reads about 6:27 or so.

8. Make sure your bobbin case is clean, clean, clean.

9; Make sure your bobbin tension is loose enough. This was my big time mistake in the beginning. I always had my bobbin tension too tight. It should run down the thread with no jiggling or shaking if you hold the thread end in your hand and drop it.

10. Once you get the bobbin tension right, pull up the thread and pull on the bobbin thread with your hand. See how tight or loose it feels. Then adjust your top tension so it feels as close as you can get it to the bobbin tension. Don't be afraid to really twist that tension screw. It won't break, I promise.

11. Try using Bottom LIne, So Fine, or Maxi Lock thread. These are the ones my machine likes the best. Some of the specialty ones, like King Tut and Rainbows are really hard to use.

Call me if I can help any more that this.


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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Help, please! Regarding these tension issues...can we run the same weight of thread in the bobbin that we use to run on the top of the machine? Do we always have to use a lighter weight thread in the bobbin? I'm even having trouble running So Fine in the bobbin when using a Signature thread on top. So Fine is a thinner & lighter weight thread, but doesn't run as well as Bottom Line, which is even finer. When running So Fine in the bobbin & Signature on the top, I get flat stitches when going front to back and right to left (standing from the front of the machine). I've tweaked & tweaked the tension, even working all day at it (when there's time), & still can't always get So Fine to work properly with the Signature threads.

What if we want to have a threadier look on both the back & front of a quilt? What if we wanted to use Signature in the bobbin and on the top? Does anyone have suggestions for making this combination work or for making So Fine & Signature work properly together?

Thanks!

Pat

AZ:cool:

Mille

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

No you don't need to run a lighter weigh thread in the bobbin....for a good many years well before Superior Threads and the others came alone all we had was Signture and YLI and Coat & Clark threads...and we didn't have prewounds either. You can use the same threads top and bottom of ALL the brands its what works for you. If you have been using the lighter threads you may have to loosen up the tension on your bobbin a bit, so dial it in and you should be just fine.


Bonnie Botts

APQS Sales Rep - Certified Service Technician

APQS Millennium 2006---MJ

APQS Millennium 2004---Lucy

405-533-1025 home

518-935-3832 cell

"Absolute rules are about as useless in making quilts as they are in raising children" Carter Houck---1992

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Bonnie, for your response.

I have reduced the bobbin tension to where it just sets in my hand; there is no movement in the bobbin case whatsoever (don't have the Towa gauge to measure by) when pulling on the bobbin thread. However, it doesn't seem to matter how loose the bobbin tension is, I always have some flat stitches on the back of a quilt.

Could it be a timing problem? Could the needle bar need an adjustment? I'd read on these posts that timing isn't usually an issue with tension problems; however, if the needle isn't hitting the hook at the right moment, could that be causing the flat stitches? I really hate to start messing around with the needle bar (& possibly causing more problems than I started with), if it's not a likely suspect.

Thanks again for help & suggestions.

Pat

AZ:cool:

Mille

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Adding to Bonnie's excellent advice, let me just say that Pat, you could run Bottom Line in the top and Signature in the bobbin. It doesn't matter where you have your thread, just adjust accordingly.

I think flat stitches on bottom means you either 1) have your bobbin way too loose, or 2) you have your top way too loose. Try setting your bobbin using the drop test. I set mine so it drops slowly, consistenly like a spider might drop down on a web string. Do this over the quilt top or a table so if your bobbin drops it doesn't fall to the floor.

After your bobbin is set to drop in this manner, play with your top tension making complete turns tighter until you see the bobbin thread barely poking up through the hole the needle makes... or peek underneath to see if your bobbin thread is going up into the batting.

Keep tweaking and experimenting.


"Of all the things a woman's hands have made---The quilt so lightly thrown across her bed---The quilt that keeps her loved ones warm---Is woven of her love and dreams and thread." excerpt from The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt by Carrie A. Hall
 

:rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes: 

Shana in North Pole, Alaska ---- The Farthest North APQS Sales Rep  
 Always quilting with her faithful friend, Mademoiselle Madeleine Millennium, Bliss-fully skating gracefully...and having lots of fun with IntelliQuilter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pat,

I used to get flat stitches on my Milli all the time until I started doing my bobbin like Shana. Now I get beautiful stitches both top and bottom. I loosened my bobbin (about a 13 on the TOWA) and then tightened my upper tension. I really like the spider test the best and find that I can adjust my stitches very nicely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have only EVER done a drop test, but unlike Shana, I like mine a bit tighter than that, if I shake it just a bit I want it to fall about 2-3 inches and then stop.... It will all depend on your machine on what it likes...they are all tempermental enough that what for me won't work for someone else and the other way around...so play and see what fits best for you. And after you figure that out then if you like your TOWA gauge then set it with that.....


Bonnie Botts

APQS Sales Rep - Certified Service Technician

APQS Millennium 2006---MJ

APQS Millennium 2004---Lucy

405-533-1025 home

518-935-3832 cell

"Absolute rules are about as useless in making quilts as they are in raising children" Carter Houck---1992

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only way I can get good stitches, front & back, is to use Bottom Line in the bobbin & Signature in the top. My machine must be very termpermental to have such gourmet taste! I was hoping to be able to use a thicker thread in the bobbin as well as the top to get that threadier look!

Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll try tightening the tension (again) just a bit, to see if it doesn't put a little more tug on that top thread. (You'd think after 3 years I'd have this figured out by now!) Might have to give those Bobbin Genies a try, too!

Pat

AZ:cool:

Mille

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Agree with Bonnie 100% that each machine has its own personality and whatever works for your unique machine is what you should do; they are all a little different. :) Bonnie. I sure do appreciate you!!!!


"Of all the things a woman's hands have made---The quilt so lightly thrown across her bed---The quilt that keeps her loved ones warm---Is woven of her love and dreams and thread." excerpt from The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt by Carrie A. Hall
 

:rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes: 

Shana in North Pole, Alaska ---- The Farthest North APQS Sales Rep  
 Always quilting with her faithful friend, Mademoiselle Madeleine Millennium, Bliss-fully skating gracefully...and having lots of fun with IntelliQuilter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Pat,

I hear your frustration and share it! I really want the back of my quilts to look as beautiful as the front, but when I use a heavier thread in the bobbin I can never get the tension adjusted to my satisfaction. Even if MOST of the stitches look good, there are always parts of the pattern (I think when the machine is moving right to left from the front) where the bobbin thread just lays on the bottom and is not being pulled up into the batting. Batik fabric is the worst, but I have this problem even on other fabrics. I really like the look of King Tut and hate to think I'll have to switch entirely to lighter weight threads. When I crank up the top tension I start having trouble with thread breakage. Can someone tell me - does Sewer's Aid help with thread breaking? And what are bobbin genies? I have only had my machine since November, but I probably spend more time adjusting thread tension than I do quilting, and have never (ever) gotten my stitches to look the way I want them to. I must have an exceptionally finicky LA. Or maybe I'm exceptionally finicky?...

Lore

(still trying to make friends with Millie)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lore,

I will bet it is more about experience than anything else! I felt just like you a year ago and still sometimes get frustrated with tension issues! Here is what I would suggest for you. First gently bend up the spring that sits inside your bobbin case. This helped me a lot. Then adjust your bobbin like Shana described. I loosen until the bobbin slowly crawls down or even a tad looser. I like the metal bobbins the best and prewounds. My milli didn't really like the aluminum bobbins. Also check your timing to make sure it is right on track. You might also want to turn you needle just a smidge. The easiest way to do this is to insert a small pin into the eye of the needle and turn to about 6:35. If that is too far then go back towards 6:30 until you get the results you want. Mine is at about 6:32 or so. Don't give up it will work. If your thread is breaking you have to figure out where it is breaking. Is it bobbin or top thread. If it is the top then loosed a hair. You might want to try going through only 2 of the pigtails and not all 3. For threads like Kingtut and metallic I only go through 1 hole. Another thing is to check to see what your top thread is doing. If you have a large whipping action add in a few more thread guides. The easiest way to watch this is to have a partner run the machine while you observe the thread. Don't beat yourself up about it, we all go through this!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Heidi's suggestion about turning the needle just a smidge does help. But there are still times when those stitches on the back of the quilt just lay, rather than tug evenly with the top thread. It happens most often when moving from right to left or front to back, while working from the front of the machine.

I've just placed an order for more Bottom Line thread, so I'll have more on hand. But I would really, really like to be able to use a heavier thread, such as Signature, in both the top & in the bobbin. Some of my clients prefer a threadier look to their quilts.

Bobbin Genies are teflon disks, developed by Sharon Schamber, that are placed in the bobbin case to reduce some of the backlash that occurs when changing directions with the longarm. Some folks use them with the check spring in the bobbin, while others take the check spring out of the bobbin case & use only the Bobbin Genie. I have now tried them, & they do also help the situation somewhat. Will have to play some more, however, to determine if they'll be sufficient to allow my Mille to run with Signature in the top & in the bobbin.

My Miss Mille is obviously one of those more finicky gals, too.

Pat

AZ:cool:

Mille

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Originally posted by LoreW

..... I can never get the tension adjusted to my satisfaction..... where the bobbin thread just lays on the bottom and is not being pulled up into the batting. Batik fabric is the worst, Lore (still trying to make friends with Millie)

Dear Lore, do not give up hope! I currently have my own quilt on the frame. It is batik on top and batik on bottom. I am using Rainbows thread on top and Bottom Line in the bobbin. At first, my top thread and bobbin were breaking (at different times). I kept at it... kept loosening my top slightly, and loosening my bobbin slightly. All was going well, the bobbin snapped a few times so I stopped and gave it a drop of oil in the hook race. Then I started up again and zoom zoom zoom, I was quilting away with no problems! Happy and beautiful tension on the top and beautiful tension on the bottom, too.

Isolate the problem. Keep troubleshooting until it works. Like I said, it can get frustrating, especially using the finicky threads like Rainbows, but after about 15-30 minutes of tweaking (including tieing off and burying my threads) I have got it so that it's working and quilting beautifully on the batiks (top and bottom). So, son't give up hope and be persistent and yes...you can get this to work!!! ;)

PS: Several months ago, I tore off a tiny piece of scrap batting and rolled it up loosely and tucked it in the rear thread guide (directly above the spool holder in the back) I found that this helps calm the thread as it spools off. Give that a try, too.


"Of all the things a woman's hands have made---The quilt so lightly thrown across her bed---The quilt that keeps her loved ones warm---Is woven of her love and dreams and thread." excerpt from The Romance of the Patchwork Quilt by Carrie A. Hall
 

:rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes:  :rolleyes: 

Shana in North Pole, Alaska ---- The Farthest North APQS Sales Rep  
 Always quilting with her faithful friend, Mademoiselle Madeleine Millennium, Bliss-fully skating gracefully...and having lots of fun with IntelliQuilter

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now