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Im almost finished my first quilt. Took it off the frame to turn and found that the back has bunched up a bit. Did I have the back to tight or to loose. The top is very nice and even.

When you attach the side clamps, they go just on the back right. Not on the whole sandwich.

I am also having a hard time setting the tension with the compuquilter. I get really nice tension free hand or SR, but when i use the cq the bobbin thread lays on back. Bobbin seams right, tried to loosen and tighten with no luck. Top was so tight at one point thread was breaking. Any suggestions.

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Penny,

I can't really help a lot except to tell you the clamps go only on the quilt backing. I'm going to make the side clamps that Sharon Schamber recommends. Makes more sense to me to have even tension rather than just two small clamps. My old machine had wonderful wider clamps and I miss them. I wonder if that is what caused the small puckers on the back...to tight on the clamps I would say. If you are interested on the side clamps you can find free directions at: www.sharonschamer.com Go to the longarm section.

I too am having a harder time getting my tension just right. It seems to do really well while I'm doing the test section and then I do a real section on the quilt and I either end up with the bobbin thread lying on the back as you describe (tighten top tension) and then I end up with little extra thread on the top but only some times. I guess I just have to tweak a little more. I actually took the machine off to the side and just played. Made the top tension really loose and then tightened until I got it where I wanted. You also have to remember that the tension of your sandwich can play a difference in the stitch results as well. I roll mine and then back it off a touch. Enough so that I can pinch all the layers (top, batting and backing) from the top.

The quilt I'm working on right now is getting batting pokies. Oh I'm so not happy. I don't think the batting is on upside down. I'm using Hobb' 80/20 for the first time. I did the needle test when loading it. I have almost exclusively used Quilters Dream since the mid 90's...I think it will remain my favorite. I'm using Kona Cotton on the back and it of course is a solid deep Christmas red so the batting really shows. Kona is a little looser weave so maybe that is what the problem really is. I'm going to try a smaller needle which was what I found when I searched the site and see if that helps. I'm half done so I'm not frogging it! I also read in my search that a wash usually takes care of the problem...keeping my fingers crossed. That sure would be a lot of stitches to go back and poke the pokies back in.

Good luck.

Heidi

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Hello Penny - Could it be that when you loaded the back, you didn't get it on the bottom roller smoothly so that there were no wrinkles? Also, as Heidi said, it needs to be a bit loose (semi floppy) when you are quilting. I think it was described here as when you are moving your machine around it, the bottom plate should look like a mole just under ground moving! I had been keeping my tension of the sandwich way too tight, I've loosened it up and I think my stitches are looking better and it gives more room for the batting to poof up when you don't have everything so tight. Anyway, another suggestion.


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APQS Millennium with Smooth M&M Wheels

Pat Noonan Design Studio, Custom Quilting

503-559-9686

pjnoonan@ymail.com

We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

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Patty Yes my name is Penny. My Business is Copper Penny Quilting Studio..

I thought that I had it pretty loose on the bottom. I also read about the mole thing. I don't have this trouble with my fabric sandwich and hobbs 80/20. This quilt had quilters dream it seemed thin and stretchy. I think that it might be the clamps... It is the worst between panto rows.

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Hi Penny - Well, I just came back to your topic and realized that your signature tells me your name is Penny - I guess I had better either take more time reading the posts, or clean my glasses - or both!! So I edited my post hoping that you hadn't yet read it but you caught me!!! Boy, I don't know why you would have those tucks, but I guess on the next one, you can just be aware of it and see if you can catch it before you stitch them in. Maybe someone else will have some input for you.....Anyone out there that has a solution???:o


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APQS Millennium with Smooth M&M Wheels

Pat Noonan Design Studio, Custom Quilting

503-559-9686

pjnoonan@ymail.com

We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.

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Hi Penny - did you rewind your quilt or go backward and then forwards a couple of times?

I find that when I advance my quilt then rewind back to a previous place, I sometimes get some fullness between panto rows. Since I release the brake each time I roll, I'm thinking that my problem was that I had tightened the backing roller unevenly as I rolled/re-rolled it.

I don't have the CQ so can't help but it does not sound like a computer-related problem to this geek.


Linda Card

APQS Chat Member since August 2005

Ramona Quilter Longarm Quilting Service (Retired Dec 2013)
Gammill Optimum Plus (sold to a friend Dec 2013)
Ramona, CA (Moved to Central Texas Sep 2014)

My webshots site: http://community.webshots.com/user/legcard (not active)
Blog site: http://ramona-quilter-big-dream.blogspot.com/ (not updated in months)

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

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Also, just a question... are you pin basting along the top and sides, then pin basting around the section you are working on?? It was recommended to me during a class last week that we should be heavily pin basting to get the top to lay flat and not distort it. Also this prevents shifting if you are doing the panto from left to right (or right to left) over and over and over. I just did a test and it does help to pin baste the section you are currently working on, does take extra time though to add the pins.


Renee Henderson

Covered Wagon Quilts

Gilbert, AZ

480-813-4503

Freedom SR 2007

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Thanks girls. I did pin baste sides. Funny thing is the top is great lays nice and flat. Yesterday was a trial.. I can't seem to get the tension right..My first quilt sandwich was great then when I loaded this quilt it was good for awhile then it went.... I changed needle, bobbin thread, bobbin case, have a towa gauge tried from 5 to 25.. adjusted the top from really loose to super tight. The bobbin thread just wants to lay on the back no matter what i do... I did change thread and blew out the hook and tesion discs.

It is ok now but not great... Iv'e done all i can hopefully some one will have my miracle cure. I'm not having that much fun right now....lol But I trust I will soon.

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Penny,

I too have been playing with my thread. I'm using SoFine on top and bottom line in the bottom. I do a test looks great then stitch a row, roll and see that the tension is still off. I changed bobbins, cleaned, etc. I think I finally got it on the last row the quilt! LOL go figure. I'm using the aluminum bobbins wound on the turbo winder. I found that the towa guage had to be set at about 17 - 18. I then tightened up much tighter than I thought it would be and had to loosen just a hair. I found a old posting that said the spring should rest at 10 o'clock and when you pull on the thread it should flex to about 8 o'clock...that was what finally worked for me! I don't recall who posted that but it sure seemed to do the trick. Maybe you can try that and see if it works.

Heidi

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Hi Penny and Heidi--

When you are tweaking the tension with different thread combos, keep a foot-square sandwich of fabric and batting handy.

When you want to test the tension, instead of testing off the side of the top you will be working on, place the sandwich under the hopping foot, DO NOT engage the stitch regulator, just start the machine at about 9 stitches per inch and move the fabric under the foot--just like you used to when doing free-motion on your DSM.

Do some loops and curves, stop the machine and pull the sandwich off. Turn over and check the tension. Tweak and stitch again until you are happy with it.

No more crawling under with a flashlight, taking out the test stitches on the side, or advancing the top to check the back. This tip was given to me by Larry of Larry Liner fame and I love it!!

If you use a dark fabric on one side of the sandwich and light on the other, you will be able to test every color thread and easily see if there is a problem. Hope this helps.


Linda Rech

Finely Finished Quilts

Millennium on Bliss rails--hand-guided

http://www.topperquilttools.com

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Linda,

Thanks for the hint on the sandwich...I actually just started doing that. It always seems that I tweak it just right on the test sandwich and then get to the machine and get going over seams and such and my tension changes. I know it is just because I'm new and I'll figure it out. I think my top tension was just too loose. The spring post really made a difference. I just loaded a 5 yard test piece that I'll be using to stitch out samples and try out all my threads so I should learn a lot! That's the hope anyway!

Really appreciate all the helpful hints I can get!

Heidi

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I don't know if this has anything to do with anything, but I've found that sometimes the back fabric has a lot of sizing in it, I think from the factory, and it's stiff enough that it doesn't let the stitches pull in as easily, and it doesn't seem to be the same for the whole piece of fabric. Maybe the sizing isn't evenly applied. Probably doesn't have anything to do with this, but that's one thing that affects mine.


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Penny,

My guess for wrinkles that appear later is that the backing shifted or was not loaded square. That will definitely cause some puckering.

I still think you need to tighten your tension. Mine seems to be doing well after I did the 10 o'clock resting of the spring and the 8 o'clock pull on the spring.

I don't think the flannel would make that big of a difference although it is a little heavier.

Heidi

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Hi,

I'm new to this group. Well sort of...I've been lurking.

I have a question about the test sandwich.

Do you do this before you load your quilt? I'm also new to longarm quilting, haven't done my first quilt yet. I've been practicing for two years.

Coleen in Illinois


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2011 Prodigy

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Coleen,

What I do is roll my machine down to one end of the table and use the clamps to secure it so the machine stays stationary. Then I move the sandwich under the foot. The nice part is if you're working on a quilt and having problems you don't have to test it on the quilt on on the side that you might later want to use for binding.

Load a quilt, relax and have fun!

Heidi

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Hi Penny

I hope you enjoyed your embroidery day. I was having a bit of trouble with thinking I had the bobbin tension right on my test sandwich, and then by the time I had switched back to the quilt and done a little bit I would find it was wrong again. I am now trying to make sure I use the same type of thread top and bottom, sometimes I use different colours if I think it is better for the quilt, but I find I get better results if it is the same type top and bottom and I also make sure I have the bobbin out of the case each time I adjust the tension. I've ordered some extra bobbin cases in the hope I can have them set for different thread types and not grit my teeth each time I find I need to change thread type to match a colour, I'm also going to order a range in the So Fine Threads and King Tut as I like using them and with each having their own case I will easily be able to switch. My tension results aren't perfect using the above, but things are a lot better than they were. Happy Quilting.

Judy


Judy

Millenium

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I think that my problem with tension has to do with the timeing or the CQ..I spent 5 hours trying threads bobbins, bobbin cases, I have three, And nothing is working.. Now the thread breaks too.. I tried the sandwich but the thread just broke every time.. I am going to phone apqs today and see if they can walk me through it. I am a little frustrated as I wanted a finished project for our local quit retreat this weekend..As it stands now the best work I have is the test sandwich I put on when I first got the machine 3 weeks ago. The tension was perfect...lol I just hope to get it fixed today as I have 2 customer quilts waiting. Want them perfect.

We'll see.

Everyone who is going to Innovations have a good time and hope to see ya next year.

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Penny,

Did you change your needle? Maybe it isn't in just right, turned not in high enough, etc. Did you break a needle? Maybe you have a burr. If the thread is breaking I would rethread and make sure the tension isn't too tight. I tried my metal bobbins last night and I like them better than the aluminum ones, much nicer stitches. Actually had what I would consider perfect stitches! Hang in there. I hope you get the problem resolved.

Heidi

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Penny,

Are you too busy quilting? I hope you got your problems solved!

I think I've finally gotten my tension issues resolved. I'm using the metal bobbins, bottom lin and soFine on top. My towa gauge is at 17 or 18 and my stitch looks really good. I have been stitching out samples of all of my pantos. I only have 3 to go. I loaded 5 yards of muslin and just keep stitching. I'm almost done with the pantos, thankfully. I think I much prefer the front side of the machine.

Heidi

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Hi No not busy quilting. Last week our DLS had it;s annual retreat. Really rustic we have no bathrooms just out houses and we quilt in a cabin made of logs. We have electricity but with 25 machines and 3 irons it sometimes trips. Everyone brings campers it's lots of fun.

I have yet to solve my issues so today I am going to the studio and getting on the phone with the big shots.. Hopefully today will be the day. I now have 6 customer quilts waiting and Im starting to feel the pressure.

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On all of my machines I test the tension by sewing across on the bias about 6 inches. Then grab both ends and pull. Whichever thread breaks is the one that may need adjusting. If both break tension is probably okay. The thread has to be the same in the needle and the bobbin for this test. I do not do quilts for others, am not that good at it, but I did finish all my tops over 50 and give most away or donate them. I use a Millenium and a Husqvarna Viking on a Inspira Frame.

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