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Help! Thread tension problems

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Thank you for all the good ideas! Some I've tried - the batting in the thread guide definitely helps keep that thread from whipping around and I have my needle turned just slightly past 6:30. I will work my way down through the rest of these suggestions. I'm glad to know I'm not the only one who's ever struggled with this learning curve. The beautiful quilt pictures posted here are so inspiring! I hope some day my quilting looks as good. :)

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Originally posted by quiltmonkey

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.

I go one step further, and dob my batting with 'Sewers Aid" so as it goes across it, it takes the static out if any in the air and it lubs it just enough so I don't have to lub the WHOLE spool...


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

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Well that's pretty smart thinking! :)


"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

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I have read with interest the suggestions and problems with thread tension problems.

I have had my Millie for two years with a 7 month hiatus after my first year. I was just getting started then had to have my machine serviced (1 month) and then a 6 month medical leave. So I am just getting started again and have run into tension problems again.

I had a customer's quilt that had a lot of dark fabric with blocks that had white painted fabric background. I was using So Fine Ivy thread on top and bottom as I was waiting for my Bottom Line order to come in. The dark fabric quilted beautifully but the white background was not so pretty. I talked with Dawn C. and she said it was because of the white painted fabric. However, I have not been able to get the dark thread to look very nice on any light material.

I also timed my machine with the help of the wonderful ladies in service at APQS and that didin't seem to make any difference. Other than I now don't have to pay to have someone do this for me. I am so glad to learn how to do this.

Any other suggestions out there:o that have not been mentioned? Or is this something I have to live with?

Thanks for any suggestions as I, too, am flustrated beyond words at the problems with tension.

Carol Osburn

Amarillo, TX

Millie with CompuQuilter

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Carol,

Sorry to hear you're still having trouble with the dark thread. Here are a couple more things to try:

[*] try eliminating the thread as the culprit. Christy forwarded the photos you sent to her, and it's too late to call you tonight so I thought I'd respond here in case others have the same issue. Do you have the same trouble no matter what dark thread you use, or only a certain color or spool?

[*] Try turning the spool over on the thread holder. From the photos, it looks like the dark thread is untwisting slightly with every stitch. This can happen when the "wind" on the spool is different. Turning the spool over can help prevent the thread from untwisting.

[*] You can also try winding the thread around the three-hole thread guide differently. Instead of wrapping it around the guide by coming from the "outside" (away from the machine) and inserting the thread in every hole, come up from the bottom of the first hole, then hold the thread between the three-hole guide and the machine body to insert it into the second hole. Repeat for the third.

In essence, you are changing the way the thread "corkscrews" around the holes of the three-hole thread guide and making it corkscrew in the opposite direction. This has the same effect of tightening the twist of the thread instead of "untwisting" it.

[*] Try weaving the thread through the three-hole guide instead of wrapping it. I've attached pictures of what I mean by "weaving" at the bottom of the following thread:

http://apqs.com/quiltboard/viewthread.php?tid=15756&page=1#pid171839

[*] Try setting the stitch length slightly shorter (more stitches per inch). This gives the needle a chance to get out of the fabric before it's time to take another stitch instead of dragging on the fabric.

[*] Try tightening the top tension a smidgeon more.

Let me know if you need more help, and I'll put my thinking cap on!

Try winding the dark thread on to a bobbin, and then use the bobbin as the "top thread"--mount it on the horizontal spool holder if you have one.


DA6F15FEDD9F8F152708CED82003B151.png

APQS Customer Service & Education Director

1-800-426-7233

dawn@apqs.com

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Hi Dawn,

Thanks for the info. I have changed out the thread. In fact, before I had surgery, I was having problems with black thread. So I went to another person here in Amarillo who had an APQS Millie and used the same thread. I purchased the thread, installed it in my Millie and I still had problems. No matter what dark thread I used, I have always had problems. I just hope and pray that no one wants to use dark thread.

When talking with Christy, I was using So Fine Cashew, So Fine Ivy, and Signature black that was on the pictures I sent.

As far as using stitch length 11, I tried 12 and 13. No change accept it made my machine run faster. I don't know if this has something to do with the CompuQuilter or not. I have not had time to check on this situation. I can't figure on how to change the stitch length without changing the speed.

I have not worked on the machine this weekend. I will work on it tomorrow with your suggestions and let you know what happens.

Thanks,

Carol, Amarillo, TX

Millie with CompuQuilter

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Dawn, just want you to know that tension problems still put me in tears since we visited you in March. Tried a 4 & 4.5 needle and actually they are worse then the 3.5. I think I need to hide the thread I don't want my customers to pick out of as this 1 picked up a King Tut. Didn't help that I was using a lighter thread on the back versus the darker thread on the front so, hubby and I spent a total of 6 hours ripping. Waiting for a more similar thread in the mail this week but, I'll have to try going thru the 3 hole guide as you've suggested to see if it improves but, won't know till next weekend. Have to admit that changing types of threads just put the tension fear in me.

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Sally,

Most definitely change the thread path for the King Tut as described in the previous post. Also, with King Tut, the 4.5 will help, as well as using finer thread such as Bottom Line or so Fine.

Loosen the top and bobbin thread quite a bit, and start with the tension loose, then begin tightening both a little at a time. This will help give you a better stitch since the King Tut won't have as much pressure on the needle.

Let me know next weekend if you have any troubles when you get back at the machine!


DA6F15FEDD9F8F152708CED82003B151.png

APQS Customer Service & Education Director

1-800-426-7233

dawn@apqs.com

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Hi Carol

Something I just learned from Amy is that on machines with the LED stitch length display (not the older needle gauge - machine before 2004), it is best to make sure that the indicator line is pointing to a whole number, not between numbers - ie. on 10 not between 10 and 11 - this helps with tension and stops the indicator line fluctuating.

As far as the machine stitching faster with CQ, you should download the latest CQ manual if you haven't already done so and read the section about adjusting motor speed and stitch length for a refresher. The new manual explains things even better than the previous ones but is a little more information than most people would want to read here. Or, you could contact your dealer or SD for an over the phone explanation.

Good luck

sue in australia


sue in australia

APQS Australia

CQ Australia

613 9769 0248

smorris@comcen.com.au

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Sue,

Thanks for the info. I have downloaded the latest manual, but am reading it as the need arises. I will get it out again and check this section.

I appreciate all your input, and all others, in this forum. I didn't realize what a wealth of information that is posted here.

Carol in Amarillo :)

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