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I only clean Lola every 2 or 3 quilts.

But I do blow out the bobbin area with canned air at each bobbin change.

It's takes less than a minute.

And I think it really helps me have less problems.

I put a drop of oil in the bobbin groove thingy at the start of every day.

Tension is a funny thing.

Once you get a sweet spot in your bobbin, it's almost always a minor adjustment to the top.

Over time, the bobbin needs tweaking, but not often.

Getting to the sweet spot can be a long trial & error process, but once you've got've got it.

If you start to get frustrated, I recommend investing in a TOWA gauge, it really helps in the beginning.

I really hope I haven't jinxed myself posting like I know what I'm doing.

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Her actual name is Lola baby.

Lola for short.

A TOWA gauge measures the bobbin thread tension.

You can buy them at a lot of longarming websites.

I think I bought mine from Superior threads.

Sometimes there are used ones for sale here on the forum.

They are kinda pricey, maybe $75 new., so see if you can achieve it using Jamie wallens drop method first.

Search you tube for it.

Shana also posted a good one here when I was a real newbie.

Maybe 3 years back if you want to search the forum.

I used to have it saved on the old forum.

I looked and I can't find it anymore.

Good luck and welcome!

I LOVE the name Lola!! Don't worry - you haven't jinxed yourself! We would never let that happen! :D What in the world is a TOWA guage? (THAT is how new to this I am!!)

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Towa gauge is a little dohickey you put your bobbin in your case and then put them in and pull the thread and it will tell you a tension setting. It works good for finding bad bobbins, bobbin cases and finding your sweet spot for your different thread combinations. I used to use mine all the time, now wonky when things aren't quite right.

I think they are a good investment. But remember they come In an L and an M size, so you need to get the appropriate size for your machine.


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  • 1 month later...

Hi all.


Just wanted to pop in with an update.  If you had asked me yesterday I would have said everything was going SO smoothly.  I did several practice pieces and my first actual quilt top before Xmas.  I love it!  I have been using the Aurifil 50wt thread and have had no problems.  Sure it's a bit linty but if I clean out every so often, no problem.  I haven't been bothered by the maintenance.  I thought I had the knack for cleaning out the lint and oiling etc.  For a little bit I had some thread breakage, but simply decreasing the tension was all it took.  The whole quilt I did freehand with no problems.


Then I loaded another quilt.  Now I'm frustrated with thread breakage but I know it must be solvable because I did it before.  


I'm going to start another thread with questions about this issue, but thanks everyone for all your help.


And, "hi" Coral.  Let me know how it's going for you. :)



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I had to comment after seeing this pop up!  I'm glad that you are doing well with your new machine, and I'm sure you'll work through your current thread breaking issue.  These things pop up here and there but before long you'll know all the quirks of your machine!  ;)


I just had to say something because I remember begging, whining, hinting to the husband how much I just NEEDED one of these machines...and then FINALLY he gave in and we bought one...used...and I we had to enlist his Uncle with his trailer to drive two hours south of us to pick it up...but on the way home I looked at the machine head sitting on my back seat...and I didn't say it to the Husband - but I was SCARED!!!  I wondered if after all I went through to get this thing if I would EVER be able to take care of this monsterous machine!  Turned out I would- and It was the best decision I ever made...  ;)


Good luck to you!!  :)

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Here is another point of view.  SEveral decades ago while I was still in my twenties, I worked for a time at a Levi Strauss factory in central Missouri.  Not a great job but oh well.  They were very insistant about cleaning the fuzz out and oiling twice a day, every day.  I did mine just before lunch and just before quitting time.  Failure to do so was a fire-able ofence!  Granted they had old machines and did not want to buy new ones, but I learned early on the importance of good maintanance.  Do you hve the oil changed in your car regularly? Then you should keep you machine cleaned and oiled.  If you are "merely" using for your own quilts it is likely that you doh't need to do a twice a day routine like we did at that factory, or nearly as often  as the busy professionals, but you should do it when it needs it.  If you start to get fuzzy lint on the backside of the quilt that was dragged up from the bobbin area--you waited too long to dust!

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