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I know, I know, I ALWAYS am having tension problems!

I decided to see if I could tell exactly where my problems were coming from so I loaded a practice piece in. At first I am getting skipped stitches whenever I quilt away from me or from the right to the left. (also terrible thread breakage!).

So, I decided to loosen my tension quite a bit. My stitches looked great! I was so surprised! The thread did not break even once. I was so excited, that is until I took it off the machine. Can you say railroad tracks?

Upon looking closely, the skipped stitches completely disappeared, but the back is terrible!

If I tighten up the top tension and lossen the bobbin tension, what are the chances of having a good stitch? I know it has to be an easy answer, because when I first brought my baby home, the stitches were great. I did have a bit of shredding, but after taking care of a few rough spots that was pretty much taken care of. My machine has been timed more times than I can remember. (Once with the manufacturer on the phone with me walking me through it, so I don't want to think that is the problem.)

My machine is a KenQuilt 622 (still dreaming of my Mille) and while it has led a dubious past, it has been well maintained since coming to live with me.

Thanks for any help and for letting me blow off steam.... I want to QUILT!!!!

Jeanne Morris

Monroe, GA

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I\'ve been given the advice of finding a good sewing machine repair person... my problem is NO ONE wants to work on it! I keep saying it is just a sewing machine... all the parts are the same, but no one wanted to play!

I do have a local Gammill person who said he MIGHT be able to work on it, IF he could get technical support from Ken Quilt... but he hasn\'t gotten back to me.

The strange thing is, this machine only has a 7 inch throat... not exactly a LONG ARM...

Oh well!

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Go ahead and loosen up that bobbin case tension. The issues you describe with direction changes are caused by the needle flexing away from the hook when you move. You can also check the following:

[*] use the correct needle size. In an APQS machine, a 4.0 (size 18) works the best to reduce flexing. However, if the fabric is too taut in the frame, or it is tougher fabric like a t-shirt quilt, going up a size can help.

[*] Slow your movements down in those directions, which reduces flexing. If you feel like moving slower will hinder your "smoothness" then also increase your motor speed (assuming the machine does not have a stitch regulator) so that you can move at the pace you want, but the machine will fire stitches more quickly. This will help compensate for your faster movements.

[*] Be sure the quilt sandwich isn\'t too taut on the frame.

When you loosen up that bobbin case tension, you\'ll then need to re-tighten your top tension to pull the bobbin up into the quilt layers.

Many quilters actually like to "overcompensate" for railroad tracks by loosening the bobbin case tension so that you can pull the bobbin thread to the top of the quilt with the top tension. Then loosen the top thread tension slightly so that the bobbin thread just recedes into the quilt sandwich.

I\'m hoping one of these suggestions will help you and you won\'t have to resort to finding a repair person. Good luck!

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