Newbie - help with tension please


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Hi fellow la quilters! I am new to my Millenium, and am having some issues with tension. I am using So Fine in the bobbin and King Tut as my top thread. What is happening is the top looks great, but the bottom has small loops of my top thread with the bobbin thread laying flat. I tried adjusting my thread tension both ways, but it is still happening, and when I tighten it too much the top thread breaks ... too loose and the top thread looks awful. Can you offer some suggestions? I don't want to screw around and totally mess up my machine. Thanks for your help. I am free-handing circles in circles with meandering. Thanks in advance for your help!

Sheryl

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Sheryl, if you are seeing top thread on the back, you have two ways of balancing those threads. The first, which you've already tried, is to tighten the top thread - but obviously, that's not working in this case, 'cause the King Tut's breaking on you. The other way is to loosen your bobbin thread - it is winning the "tug of war" between the threads and is pulling the top down out of the quilt sandwich. Don't be afraid to adjust that teeny tiny little screw on your bobbin case, but it's small adjustments there. Try loosening your bobbin thread and let us know if it does the job! And King Tut is a pretty ambitious choice for a newbie - good luck!!

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Bear in mind this advice is coming from someone who NEVER uses King Tut for the very reason you describe....but try not winding the Tut through all three holes on the thread guide above the tension discs. Weave it throught the holes instead..down through one, up through the next, down through the last one. (You might try up-down-up...I haven't found that it makes a difference on my machine, but you might have a different experience.) You will still have to play with your tension, both top and bottom. I use this with thicker poly threads or more delicate threads like Rainbows and it helps a lot.

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I've used King Tut in my home machine for quilting and loved it. I also had the same issues with a Sulky Premium thread last week, but thought it was the brand - but again, that is a thicker thread. I'll try to loosen the bobbin a little. I purchased a separate one when I bought my machine, so if I screw up the first one, I have the 2nd one as back-up. It's weird, because it's on part of the circular pattern, and not all of it. I am trying to finish a quilt for a present, and want it to come out nice :) Thanks for the suggestions ladies - and the quick replies! Off to pu dear daughter from dance and will try fixing when I get home. Have a nice evening!

Sheryl

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is it when you are going from left to right within the circles that you lose good tension? That would be directional issues, or a combination of direction and tension, I think. Id still loosen bobbin tension and see if that helps alleviate younproblems. Good luck, and I'd lofe to see you quilting design when you're done!

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KIng Tut on Top

a; Down Up down through the 3 hole guide above the tensioner.

b: It needs a lot tighter tension than what you think, when you pull the thread through the eye of the needle it will be kinking.

c: looser bobbin tension, put the bobbin case in the palm of your hand and try and lift the case up by the thread. You should only just be able to get the case to stand on its side before it wants to fall down.

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Dumb question here...Which screw on the bobbin case do you adjust? I think I am doing the wrong one. Never messed with it before, just got a TOWA gauge. Didn't have tension problems until I started using something besides serger thread.

The screw you adjust is the one that's closest to the end of the "finger". That finger is what adjusts closer and farther away as you tighten or loosen the screw. Tighter means it takes more force to pull the thread through.

The Towa gauge simply measures that force--a higher number is tighter tension.

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I frequently have trouble with thread breaking at a certain spot when quilting circles. For me, it is often the 'northeast' side of the circle. I would try the loosening tricks recommended, but also slow down when you get to the problem area. I also find using the stitch regulator and making tininer stitches helps sometimes. Also, what size needle are you using? Try a 4.0, if you aren't already. Hope it works out for you!

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I have used King Tut a lot, with So Fine in the bobbin, and all of the above suggestions have worked for me.

I have a few other cotton threads that I have to thread differently than polyester, that really seems to help.

I have also found that I do need to slow down, as Joan said, with certain moves.

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All machines are different of course. With King Tut on top and BottomLine bobbins I set the bobbin thread at 15 (150 on the newer gauges) and my top tension at "way too tight". That's a technical term! :P Looks like Lyn from Oz and I are in the same club!

Tut is tricky and most have to decide if the gorgeous colors and thick thread-presence are worth the trouble.

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