maya216km

Newbie needs help with tension...Please

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Let me begin by saying I am new to longarm quilting. I have had my Millie for 11 months and have been actually quilting on it for 6. I have not had a single problem until now. I follow all cleaning instructions, between quilts, as recommended by APQS, and have been using the same brand and weight of thread from superior (OMNI), and the same batting as all other quilts 80/20 Fairfield (frankly, I am afraid to change until I get better at understanding the machine and tension).

 

Now for my problem, the other day I noticed my tension was "randomly" off. I was using quilt path, as on several of my previous projects, and in small random spots my tension would be off. The front of the quilt looked fine, but the back looked like railroad tracks. It was not just before or after a stop or start. The machine would be quilting along fine and for a very short time the tension would get off and just as quickly it would be back to normal. I did check to see if it was in a certain spot on the pattern, but it was in random spots. I could not find anything consistent about the times it chose to be off.

 

I have no idea what to do and would appreciate any suggestions anyone might have. I always thought that if I had tension problems it would be throughout the entire quilt.

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Start with the basics.  On the bobbin case gently lift the tension spring a little an look to see if there is any lint caught under there.  Also check the threading of your machine from the cone forward, make sure you didn't miss any guides or the check spring on the tension assembly.  Do a close inspection of the two pigtail guides above the needle, over time they will get a groove worn into them and the thread will snag or start shredding there.  The way I check them is to hold the thread above and below the guide and drag it in a circle around the inside of the guide and you will feel it catch if there is a groove. 

 

Nigel


Brenda Wells - Green Millie. Sold November 2017
Nigel Wells - Ultimate 1 with Intellistitch & IQ.  Sold January 2019

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Wish I knew what to suggest. I do not have quilt path so I cannot really help.

All I can offer is my sympathy.

Did you change your needle? Is your bobbin thread wound consistently? Can you watch the machine as it sews to see if the thread is whipping out of any of the thread guides as it stitches? Is the thread catching as it comes off the cone?

Good luck!

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What bobbins are you using?  Self wound or pre wound?

It sounds like there may be a slight hiccup in the thread path.  Whether that is from an inconsistent wind on the bobbin, the thread coming off the spool a bit faster, an extra kick of power in your power supply.

 

Bobbin - check under the finger for a little bit of fluff.  I find Omni linty compared to my other threads.

Thread Path,  do you have a small square of batting directly above the spool in the first thread guide.  This takes out some of the kinks and helps with some of the lint.

Is your machine on a UPS - Uninterrupted Power Supply - my water pump kicks in and I get a small hiccup that the UPS takes out!

 

Are you using a different coloured thread this time - darker threads are a bit thicker than light coloured threads.

 

All variables that we often don't think about when things haven't changed.


Lyn Crump   Hand Guided 2013 Millenium Blissed and Gliding    APQS Sales Rep SE Qld Australia   www.busyquilting.com.au   On Facebook and Instagram as BusyQuilting


Attitude is everything - So pick a good one!

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Oh wow, thank you all so much for the suggestions. I am so excited to have things to check. You each mentioned things I had not thought to check. I will look into each item and let you know what I find.

 

Thank you again for the information,

Kristin

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I was having  almost the same problem with my Lenni.  I tried everything I could think of that was recommended on the site, then  I did the  wd 40 bath as recommended in the manual and there was a small piece of fabric/ thread  that came out that I could not see.  I also bought a new bobbin case  and it came with the new spring.  I think the thread /fabric was what was causing the problem but the bobbin case could have been out of round or the spring could have been worn out.  I didn't have any  tension issues  while quilting since then.     Good luck and let us know what took care of your tension issues. 

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Making a list,, in order, of what to clean and check out first.

Second another list of what to check and how, when the threads are acting up.

Also, some of us soak our threads in mineral oil.  It does NOT leave any evidence

on a quilt, unless it is not dried out enough.  Squeeze out as much oil as you can,

and let it set a bit to check if it's still dripping.

 

Another product I use a Lot is "Sewers Aid".  I put several lines of it onto the thread

and sew.  I use it more for the smaller cones or spools that have a lot more places to

hold the oil. 

Both make sewing a quilt easier, not harmful to quilt, people, machine, but needs to be

kept up higher to be out of their reach.

 

Gosh, I'm pooped. 

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