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tension perfection

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Just a little question. What is considered good or near perfect tension. My tension is perfect on top and just sometimes on the back I get slight little pokes of thread coming through. Usually I use the same thread top and bottom but I just had one customer who had a cream back and thimbleberries on top. When I did the quilt she wanted matching cream thread on back and a dark verigated on top. When I went to quilt no matter what I did I would still get these little dark pokies on the back. I tried adjusting both top and bottom and just can't seem to get the two threads to meet in the middle.

Any suggestions would be good.

PS I've read all the threads on tension and this is the fist I've noticed the little pokes and I'm sure it's cause of using the lite and dark threads together.

Advice, tips, tricks greatly appreciated.

Batting is Warms and natural. All people use this batting out here unless they purchase the hobbs from me(I prefer hobbs)

Tina Caderma

The Quilt Lady

Authorized APQS Sales

Regina SK Canada

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Hi Tina.....

When I have issues like yours I loosen the bobbin tension a bit and then tighten the upper thread. The upper thread should pull your bobbin thread up higher resulting in you not seeing the dark spots. However, sometimes, it's just the nature of the beast when you have that combination. That is something I explain to the customer so she understands that pokies are the result of a light backing/thread and dark upper thread. And sometimes it will just drive you crazy too!!! :(

That's been my experience anyway....FWIW....;)

Linda B.

Central Oregon

APQS Millennium

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The only way that I have ever been able to accomplish "near perfect tension" with contrasting threads like that is to use two layers of Hobbs 80/20 batting. I've never experimented with other double layering---holy cow that makes a warm quilt! I still could see slight pokies, but my back was so busy that they didn't matter. I'm told that this is really not a tension problem--it's related to how the stitch is made, and it is not really operator error.

I'm currently holding a king sized quilt(thank goodness for zippers) that is 80% quilted. It is mostly stark white fabric with a few Carolina lilly blocks thrown in and an inner dark green border. The backing is solid white fabric and the customer wants white bobbin thread. I have quilted most of the white parts, but had to stop when I started adding colored thread. Why did I have to stop? I want the customer(who insists on white bobbin thread) to see how terrible the back will look if I use dark green thread in the dark green fabric and white thread in the bobbin.

She is a super customer(we joke that she is one of my pimps) and has brought me lots of business as well as a few quilts of her own. This quilt was made by her mother, who is a relatively new quilter. Both have grown up in the muslin backed quilt community. When this customer has brought me tops for opinion consults, I've always suggested busy backs with colors similar to the threads to be used. She buys what I suggest, and the thread 'disappears' in the back of the quilt. She has never seen a really bad pokie problem because I've steered her clear of it. I'm hoping by showing her this example, that she's able to convert her followers(remember, she pimps for me:D) to my side of the backing/bobbin thread camp.

You probably don't have a tension problem. It's the nature of the beast. If you can, and it's not a big deal, show it to your customer. You are not doing anything wrong--it's a mechanical limitation that has an easy fix if better choices are made up front.

Good luck!

Jill Kerekes

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I love this web site. I learn so much here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"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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Hi Tina

I'd slightly tighten the top tension but I'd also look closely at the back. Are you really having pokies on the back or are you seeing the knot in the needle hole. If thats the case, when the quilt is washed the hole will close up and you wont see the top colour thread showing through.

Best wishes

Sue in Australia

sue in australia

APQS Australia

CQ Australia

613 9769 0248

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