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Erratic Tension

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I just did a quilt using So Fine in the top and Bottom Line in the bobbin. I wound the bobbins purchased from APQS with the holes in one side. Most of the quilt went fine and then I had periods of the tension messing up - I would get large loops of top thread on the bottom. I would catch on when the thread on top looked loose . I checked the top thread guides and they looked fine. The bobbin seemed to be if anything slightly too loose. I had batting in the first metal loop the thread passed - all well. After I rethreaded the bobbin and frog stitched a bunch, I could generally start again and all would be well. Frog stitching on the machine with matching thread and bifocals is not fun (maybe zippers should be my next purchase).

Most of the time the tension looked really good so I was wondering if this might have something to do with the bobbin winding or threading. This seems to have happened toward the last third of the bobbin. Does any one have ideas of what I should look for?

I finished the quilt but want to see if I can get ideas in case I run into this problem again.



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Hi Sara

It does sound as though the most likely cause of the problem is uneven winding on of the bobbin thread.

Always check that the thread is properly in the tension disks of the bobbin winder. Because the problem was worse as you got closer into the centre of the bobbin (the thread that was wound on first), I am guessing that at first the thread was sitting on the outside of the tension disks and then as you wound more on it nestled correctly between the tension disks giving an even tension from there on.

There are lots of other reasons that this could happen though and another thing I would suggest is to look at your top thread tensioner. Does the check spring move freely, and is not rubbing against the machine. Is it in the correct position ie. the thread comes of at 10 oclock in its resting position.

Is your top tension too loose? Can you move the stitches around with your fingernail - its too loose.

Let us know how you get on with this. I am sure others will post more things to try.

Sue in Australia

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