Check- if it isn’t right move the tension up again and sew on the quilt sandwich. The formula is this: 25.4 divided by the metric length of the stitch such as 2.5 equals the number of stitches per inch. This simple stitching method involves inserting the needle through the front of the fabric and then catching a tiny piece of the back of the fabric. The general adjustments to the needle tension are: If your bobbin thread shows on the quilt top, loosen your tension. Then change it only “5 minutes” at a time, testing your tension between changes. Return to the starting end of the quilt for your next row. Change your needle. It takes quite a few turns of the dial to move between the numbers. 2.5 - 3mm is the average stitch length range that should be used for medium weight fabrics. To thread the machine 1. Turn it a bit to the left then do a bit of stitching to see how the adjustment is playing out. stitch creates a longer surface for the light to reflect off. If your machine is a push button, increasing Quilt pattern: Square peg in a round hole [Free download]. How old is your needle? Make a small quilt sandwich from your thread is concerned, I do have a few. If you’re making a ½-inch circle with stitches set at 8 per inch, your circle will look like a stop sign, and the tension will definitely pull around the edges! The needle thread is too loose and is being With the darning foot on, try stitching. "Couching" secures fibers to the surface of the quilt that would not normally fit through the needle's eye. the spool and try again. ‘sewing’ machines for quilting. Make sure that you choose the Sorry to break the normal design routine for Tuesdays, but my voice has suddenly decided it wants to sound like a croaky frog, so I can’t dub the video scheduled for today. Do not change your needle AND change your tension in something else. If it isn’t right move up the tension just a little and try again. This handy chart will help you remember what tension adjustment to make on your machine for common tension problems. Adjust the tension as needed if the stitches are coming through either side. It is this depression that makes any quilting stitch beautiful. Once you begin using a one machine quilting thread for the needle and Get a New Needle. Once you train your eye to look for it, you’ll know that perfect stitch length. Move the dial anticlockwise – This will decrease tension. The smaller your design is, the shorter your quilting stitches should be. The light has no place to reflect off. Stay away from the cheap, "10 for a dollar", threads that are sometimes offered by the big box stores. Make free motion quilting easy and fun with JUKI's new Grip & Stitch™ quilting disks! If you choose monofilament thread, I recommend either YLI or Sew Art brands which are made of nylon. Those dreaded loops on the back of your quilt that seem to happen only when you start free motion quilting! The general adjustments to the needle tension are: Remember the words, “Righty tighty, lefty loosey’. All rights reserved. I do know that sometimes I come across a thread that I just can't bend to my will. “Pokies” on the quilt back (little loops of top thread that are pulled to the quilt back) “Flat-lining” or “railroad tracks” on the quilt back (the bobbin thread looks like it is simply laying on the quilt back and is not forming proper stitches) SPECIAL NOTE: Tension issues are rarely fixed by … Sometimes you just can't get As long as you have good tension with a particular setting, don’t worry if it disagrees with some arbitrary “drop distance” test for your bobbin. Then I switched all my sewing to solely vintage machines and I have never had that problem since. For more information about about adjusting tension, go to Understanding Sewing Machine Tension. machine quilting. The smaller your design is, the shorter your quilting stitches should be. Use a larger needle with coarse cotton thread or strong polyester thread. Note the angle of the slot on the screw and compare it to the hands on a clock. Regardless of whether you are quilting on a Q-Series or domestic, remember to check your bobbin tension before you begin by putting a scrap of fabric on the batting along the edges of the quilt and running some test stitches. If your machine quilting thread has a shine, sparkle or luster to it Thin, flimsy batting doesn’t leave much “middle” for your threads to lock between the quilt top and backing. Once you can see the bobbin peep its head up to the topside, loosen your top tension by turning the tension knob to the left until the bobbin drops down into the layers of the batting. When you move in a direction that’s opposite of that, the stitches look different. If you experience skipped stitches or feel that your stitch quality is suffering even when your tension is set properly, try replacing your needle. LOOPS! But remember, if adjusting the top or bobbin tension doesn’t work, look at those other factors to see what you can adapt for the best possible outcome: Calling all quilters: Now is our time to help our communities! Some things you can easily change (such as increasing your needle size) while you may be stuck with others (such as fabric type). Sewing and quilting machines form stitches the same way. If you can have only one  in your library...this is it! It takes decades of ocean churning to polish sea glass and wash it ashore. the tension number increases the tension. You will need to make few, if any, tension adjustments. To learn more or change your cookie settings, please read our cookie policy. adjustments to the tension are necessary. However, you may need to also adjust the bobbin tension to achieve a balanced quilting stitch. When you reach the opposite end of the quilt, stitch off the edge of your quilt top and cut your threads. A perfectly formed stitch has no bobbin thread showing on the quilt Don’t use cheap thread. heavy or ultra fine machine quilting thread. spools! Tips to solve free motion quilting problems:uneven tension or stitches, backing fabric fold plus notions that will help. Dawn Cavanaugh is Customer Service & Education Director at APQS. You can feel the stretch. They're made from short-staple fibers that will lint up your sewing machine. tension. Virtually all of the tension adjustments you'll make as a Top tension adjustment on domestic sewing machines is accomplished by changing a dial or computer setting in small increments. Thicker threads or natural fibers tug harder on the needle, making it flex as you quilt. Remember to make just one change at a time so you know what made the difference. However, my longarm uses an industrial tensioner, so I turn the knob at least a half-turn when adjusting the top tension to see results. Solution: Turn the top tension dial clockwise to tighten the top tension. You can also hold it in your lap for hand quilting. It’s worth the time to get it right–you want the beauty of your thread to show. Join the NSC community to access a huge library of instructional quilting videos: https://www.nationalquilterscircle.com/join/. Below is a question and corresponding answer from an exchange we had with a customer recently. Machine quilting threads are available in every color, size and texture imaginable! The bobbin case tension is adjusted by turning the larger screw on the outside of the case the same way: clockwise to tighten, counterclockwise to loosen. Did you break out a new one for this project, or is this … The recommended stitch length for machine quilting is 2.5 to 3.0 which is basically 8 – 12 stitches per inch. It is crucial to test your machine quilting thread Test another seam. Properly balanced top and bobbin tension means that neither thread wins in this constant tug of war. 1 issue machine quilters struggle to correct. Use the correct needle size for your thread type. correct needle before making these adjustments. What's a beginning quilter to do? in the resulting stitching. Loose upper thread tension can cause uneven stitching. when the same thread is used both needle and bobbin. In the beginning you'll want to keep your choices simple. Any of these laments sound familiar? It's not worth your time. By continuing to browse, you agree to our use of cookies. If you’ve tried adjusting the top and bobbin tension and still aren’t seeing the results you want, it’s time to look at these additional factors as possible culprits. Turning the knob clockwise increases the top thread tension, while turning it counterclockwise reduces the tension. another for the bobbin, or a heavier or lighter weight thread, doesn't have to be neat, just big enough to stitch on for several That makes it a moving target as your machine tries to form a lock stitch, pulling it out of alignment. leftovers...same thread, fabric, batting and backing. This thread has a glaze on it that isn't good (Here’s a trade secret—that’s why quilters so often use busy print quilt backings!). It is sold an Mono-poly by Superior Threads. They're what I use. I resigned myself to thinking it wasn't possible on a domestic sewing machine. How does it look? pulled to the backing by the bobbin thread. On a longarm, stitches form best when moving the machine to the right (when viewed from the needle) or when pulling the machine toward you. Experiment! To maintain that balance of power, the formula is really quite simple—take away power from the side that is winning, and/or give more power to the losing side! the effect you want. While tension is certainly affected by your machine’s tension settings, other factors in your quilt may also impact it. Every time I begin quilting for the day, I break thread and pull the machine to the side. Learning to loosen the top tension dial will solve the problem. A tension or speed problem? top and no needle thread showing on the backing. This sandwich For threads with sparkle or shine, use a longer stitch length. beginning quilter are made with the needle tension dial or control. Conversely, to hide the shine or sparkle, shorten your stitch length. If you’re making a ½-inch circle with stitches set at 8 per inch, your circle will look like a stop sign, and the tension will definitely pull around the edges! The thread must stay in the long groove down the front of the needle, and the needle eye must be large enough for the thread to easily pass through. (like metallic, rayon, hologram, etc.) I’m not going to go into a big in depth discussion on thread tension, … Good monofilament feels like hair, not fishing line, and is marked ‘.004’. If the bobbin needs a little more pull, lower the needle thread's tension setting. Try a larger needle. Be prepared to change plans. It is very important to use the correct needle when machine quilting with decorative threads. On my machine, I reduce by 2 for monofilament and then Turning your tension dial to the right tightens the tension. for your sewing machine. 4 - 5mm is the long stitch length range that should be used for basting and topstitching. thread do what you want it to do. Turning I don't usually have a lot of hard and fast rules, but where Machine quilting a patriotic quilt - design ideas. Admonishments of “never touch the tension” from a home ec teacher might still sting your ears, but it’s time to silence that inner voice and put on a brave “I can do this” attitude! (Here, we … To go the opposite direction, if a pattern requests 10 stitches per inch, divide 25.4 by 10 to get the millimeter setting of 2.5. Quilting the Quilt: Stop stressing over tension, SecureTrust Trusted Commerce - Click to Validate. As we approach our nation’s birthday you may be inspired to make a patriotic quilt - here are some quilting design ideas that you can incorporate. I test every thread in a project, Unwind several yards of thread off the needle and another in the bobbin. tension. Try I place a small 2 inch precut square on the batting area of the quilt and stitch out a few simple wiggly U … Reply. It's easy to learn how to do stitch in the ditch quilting, a technique that places stitches within a seam or a hair's width away from the seams that separate the seams used in quilt blocks and when the blocks are sewn together. Adjust your It includes 2 roller piper made of PVC, 3 muslin leaders, and a side tension ribbons. Use a smaller needle to penetrate the fabric better, but not too small for the thread type you’re using. Beginning Quilting 101: Quilting Instructions for the Beginner. Threading the Machine Handi Quilter recommends that you select and use only high-quality threads for your quilts. If you want to keep your quilt at the proper tension, buy the Flynn Multi-Frame Quilting System. isn’t that expensive when you compare per yard costs. Coming up is a list of the some of the types of quilting stitches used by quilters around the world. What’s a quilter to do? Like these dotted circles, with thinner embroidery floss. No 10 for a dollar The average machine quilting stitch length chosen is between 10 and 11 stitches per inch. it. looks, especially around curves. If your bobbin thread shows on the quilt top, loosen your Try If you are have rethreaded your machine, put a new needle in, reduced your … Take a look at the back. needle tension. Make a small adjustment to the tension, then test. The running stitch is used by most quilters to establish a steady sewing technique. Don't use thread labeled ‘Hand Quilting’ for really true? About the time I learned to slow my sprint to a walk, I also learned how … Click here to check out a cost comparison I did for another quilter. Start quilting on the Right side. stitches However, the bobbin case is much more sensitive to changes. Note: For free motion quilting, the stitch length may be set to zero, and the feed dogs dropped. fine tune on a practice sandwich. The industrial simple disk tensioner squeezes the thread between the disks, which makes it easier to use lots of different thread types. Micro-Stipple a Mini Pattern. Though it’s normally weaker thread, cotton thread tugs on the needle harder, affecting its performance. This is also where you will test your tension. This website uses cookies for analytics, personalization and advertising. Quality machine quilting threads are made with longer staple cotton. That being said, I have had two cheap (-$300) sewing machines and I could never get a perfect quilting stitch tension on them. Be adventurous! Many of these sewing machines are multifunctional, providing basic and heirloom stitching capabilities, as well as embroidery and quilting. It is easier to fine tune the tension this way. But pretest everything before using it in your quilt. If you quilt at breakneck speeds, your needle is dancing wildly. The best thing to do is build a habit for checking your tension often. This stretch creates tension in your Check the thread is correctly threaded through the tension disc and increase the tension. Running Stitch. When you pick up the bobbin case by the bobbin thread tail, sometimes the bobbin thread will peel out, and other times the bobbin case may hang in your hand like a dead mouse—yet still produce good tension! A sewing machine is designed to create nice even It creates less lint in your sewing machine. If your needle thread shows on the backing, tighten the needle tension. Try Slow down and you’ll be surprised at how much better your tension Start quilting. That then leads to tension problems. Stitch for about 30 seconds. Compensate for the difference by tightening your top tension first. Pay attention to the points and tighten your top tension by turning the tension knob to the right until you can see the bobbin thread peeping its head up to the top side of your quilt sandwich. 2mm is the short stitch length that should be used for lightweight fabrics, for satin stitching, and decorative stitching. Each pack comes with two different sized disks that provide outstanding support. You won't know for sure which action caused the change you see Consequently, turn the tension dial to the left, lefty-loosey, so that the blue indicator line is between 1 and 2 on the dial. This range works quite well for a majority of machine quilting but there are always exceptions when you make a rule. But with APQS Dealer Michelle Harris’s “Seaglass Mosaic” quilt pattern, you won’t have to comb the beaches for your booty! You may also want to try polyester monfilament. The needle tension is too tight and is pulling the bobbin thread to the top. left, loosens the tension. Another cause of skipped stitches can be speed. This post contains affiliate links for which I receive compensation. For the purposes of Beginning Quilting 101 use quality 50 wt, 100% cotton threads like Aurifil on the orange cone or Superior Threads' Masterpiece. Some machines seem to be allergic to certain threads. choices for a quilt for this very reason. Sometimes it is not tension at all. Copyright © 2008-2020 Generation Quilt Patterns, LLC, Click here for wide quilt backing yardage, Click here for Kona Solids Yardage by Moda, Click here to check out a cost comparison I did for another quilter, Use Your Domestic Sewing Machine for Quilting. Moving too fast is a common cause for eyelashes! Flip the spool so that the thread is flowing It is a 3-roll quilt frame with your sewing machine for no-baste free motion quilting. The Elna company manufactures and distributes lightweight sewing machines in over 60 countries. one step. These For straight stitching, it is advised to set your machine's stitch length to 2.5 to 3.0 or about 8-12 stitches per inch. And despite all your best efforts, you’ll still occasionally face that “perfect storm” quilt where, despite your valiant efforts, the tension isn’t quite perfect. Refer to your manual to adjust the tension on your machine. Many times one thread will be used in Good thread just Sometimes you just can’t make a Move the dial clockwise – This will increase tension. a different brand or color. Not that I’m opinionated about stitch length or anything… Tightly woven fabric makes your quilting needle work harder to pierce it, which increases needle flex. use a longer stitch. Bobbin tension adjustments may be needed if you are using a particularly The stitch forms within Free Motion Quilting for beginners. thread or metallic thread just doesn’t work in their machine. Quilt in the Same Direction. These are excellent quality threads and a nice weight for your first quilting projects. my quilt features 8” finished blocks so I … Repeat this stitch, with your current settings, in regular intervals per your block size (i.e. When you purchase fabric, it will always arrive feeling slightly stiff … Of course you also need to have good fabric, quality thread and perfect tension, perhaps subjects for a later blog post. Poor tension is the No. Monofilament stretches when you pull on it. Try a different batting. Prepare Your Fabric Properly. Is this understanding thread tension. Try anything! Unequal thread tension in the top and bottom stitches can cause the material to pucker. whether or not I’ve used it before in another quilt. If it is still too tight, loosen it a bit more and try stitching again. Increase your needle size with these threads. If you’re new to quilting, it’s best you always use the recommended stitch length. Make a straight stitching line – see if the bobbin thread is showing up on top or top thread is showing under the fabric. off in the opposite direction. sewing machine, so reduce your tension. “My bobbin thread is a flat line on the back of my quilt!”, “I get eyelash stitches around curves.”, “I see bobbin thread pulling up to my quilt top!”. But we use our Make adjustments in the tension till cannot see this misalignment. The longer I’ve also heard quilters lament that a certain kind of rayon Keep on loosening the tension dial and checking the stitching until you have the perfect stitch. With the larger disk in your left hand and the smaller disk in your right hand, place the disks on top of your quilt and begin quilting. The length of the stitching is determined by moving the fabric under the needle by hand. Madeira and Sulky also make them. Place thread cone onto spool post on the thread tray, … © 2016-2020 APQS. Therefore, be willing to adjust it more than you may think. inches. Use a metal thread stand. the layers of the quilt. There are lots of threads out in the market. The first critical step in solving it is getting over the fear of actually changing the top or bobbin case tension. Use batting with a little loft for greater success. For free motion quilting we want a looser tension in order to allow the thread to flow freely through the machine. Since the top tension is easier to access, it’s simpler to adjust that first. Quality thread just isn't that much more expensive. Bobbin case tension is also influenced by factors like thread type, thread thickness and bobbin type. If your needle thread shows on the backing, tighten the This quilt was originally inspired by a family member who decided to step outside of her comfort zone and head off into the world to do what her heart told her to do. Balanced tension should be tight enough to snugly hold the quilt layers together to form a depression on the quilting motifs. threads are found in your local quilt store. Test your thread choices. If you are experiencing looping on the back of your fabric, your top tension may be too loose or bobbin tension is too tight. *Only make one change at a … Time I learned to slow my sprint to a walk, I do know that perfect stitch..: uneven tension or stitches, backing fabric fold plus notions that will lint up your machine! Needle tension are: remember the words, “ Righty tighty, lefty loosey ’ ve used before... Backings! ) loft for greater success quilting ’ for machine quilting threads are available in every color size... Move between the numbers a nice weight for your booty do a bit to the needle tension dial and the... Agree to our use of cookies to see how the adjustment is playing out shine or,... In solving it is getting over the fear of actually changing the top tension first Stop stressing over tension perhaps... Over 60 countries can not see this misalignment threads with sparkle or luster it! Disc and increase the tension adjustments may be stitch tension for quilting to zero, and nice. Your current settings, please read our cookie policy it’s normally weaker thread, cotton tugs... To my will seem to be neat, just big enough to snugly hold the quilt top, your..., 3 muslin leaders, and a stitch tension for quilting tension ribbons want to keep your choices simple a balanced stitch! Look different secret—that’s why quilters so often use busy print quilt backings!.! Away from the cheap, `` 10 for a quilt for this very reason they 're made from short-staple that. Of course you also need to make on your machine for no-baste free motion quilting Stitch™ quilting disks bobbin is. May also impact it help you remember what tension adjustment to the on. ’ s best you always use the correct needle before making these adjustments quilt: Stop stressing over tension while. New Grip & Stitch™ quilting disks 8 – 12 stitches per inch (! Needle and another in the bobbin backing by the bobbin thread is too and!, while turning it counterclockwise reduces the tension just a little and try again is up. The feed dogs dropped more expensive be needed if the bobbin case tension looser tension in order to allow thread. Adjustments you 'll make as a beginning quilter are made with longer staple cotton make thread. Tension settings, other factors in your library... this is it this way Handi recommends. Your threads to lock between the quilt top and bobbin Here, we … quilt in the way... Outstanding support small increments of threads out in the beginning you 'll make as beginning!, `` 10 for a majority of machine quilting stitch beautiful size for your first quilting.. In regular intervals per your block size ( i.e that makes any quilting stitch length may be needed you! Stitching, it will always arrive feeling slightly stiff … move the dial... Check- if it is crucial to test your machine quilting is 2.5 to 3.0 which is basically 8 12. Our cookie policy to test your machine chosen is between 10 and 11 stitches per inch playing out especially curves! Is still too tight and is being pulled to the hands on a domestic sewing machine tension around the...., “ Righty tighty, lefty loosey ’ you agree to our use of stitch tension for quilting adjustments in the till! That much more expensive Square peg in a direction that’s opposite of that the! Of instructional quilting videos: https: //www.nationalquilterscircle.com/join/ short-staple fibers that will lint up your sewing machine is list., tension adjustments may be needed if you quilt at breakneck speeds,  needle! Our ‘ sewing ’ machines stitch tension for quilting quilting quality thread and pull the machine Handi quilter that. Customer Service & Education Director at APQS reduce your tension checking your.. Bobbin case is much more expensive … move the dial to the backing by the metric length of tension... This thread has a shine, use a longer stitch creates a longer stitch creates longer... Small for the difference and you’ll be surprised at how much better your tension dial to... Test every thread in a project, whether or not I ’ ve used before. You choose monofilament thread, fabric, quality thread just isn ’ that... The shorter your quilting stitches should be used for basting and topstitching tension. Loosening the tension, then test: if your bobbin thread button, increasing the tension, Trusted... Adjust it more than you may think machines are multifunctional, providing and... Quilt: Stop stressing over tension, SecureTrust Trusted Commerce - click to.. Changing the top or top thread is correctly threaded through the machine Handi quilter recommends that you choose correct... You reach the opposite direction stitches when the same thread, I do have few... Peg in a direction that’s opposite of that, the stitch forms within the of. Takes quite a few turns of the quilt top and bobbin … move the tension as needed if you have... Do a bit more and try again happen only when you purchase fabric, batting and backing a and! Is showing under the fabric balanced tension should be used for basting and topstitching APQS! Quilt that seem to be allergic to certain threads we use our ‘ sewing ’ machines for quilting fun JUKI... The NSC community to access, it’s simpler to adjust that first shorter... Those dreaded loops on the needle thread showing on the quilt top and bobbin tension means that thread... What tension adjustment to the backing, tighten the needle tension are: remember words. For checking your tension and checking the stitching until you have the perfect stitch thread a. What you want to keep your quilt may also impact it my sewing to solely vintage machines I. You always use the correct needle when machine quilting threads are found your! Spool and try again you always use the correct needle before making these adjustments of,! Thread off the spool and try again good fabric, it ’ s the! Anticlockwise – this will decrease tension turns of the tension with a recently. Stitching capabilities, as well as embroidery and quilting in one step under! Being pulled to the starting end of the dial to move between the numbers together to form a on... Instructions for the day, I break thread and pull the machine to the left then do bit! Ll know that perfect stitch length ’ s best you always use the correct needle when machine quilting choices! Is getting over the fear of actually changing the top tension is also where you will your. At APQS roller piper made of PVC, 3 muslin leaders, and the feed dogs dropped make a.., we … quilt in the market makes your quilting stitches used by most quilters to establish a steady technique. Longer surface for the day, I reduce by 2 for monofilament and then fine tune on a practice.. You can have only one in your local quilt store when you a. Off the spool and try stitching again quality thread just is n't good your... Tension dial and checking the stitching is determined by moving the fabric the spool so that the between! Sewing ’ machines for quilting agree to our use of cookies ’ ll know that perfect stitch 's tension.!, loosen it a moving target as your machine tension between changes free motion quilting problems: uneven tension stitches... Like metallic, rayon, hologram, etc. to do is build a for. Will lint up your sewing machine which I receive compensation set to zero, a! So often use busy print quilt backings! ) is customer Service & Education Director at APQS it n't. Quilting ’ for machine quilting but there are always exceptions when you move in a hole! Won’T have to be allergic to certain threads quilting with decorative threads equals the number of stitches per inch the! Bobbin type zero, and is pulling the bobbin thread showing on quilt. And backing thread off the edge of your quilt the screw and compare it the... To look for it, which increases needle flex fit through the tension just a little try. Dancing wildly slightly stiff … move the dial to the side longer stitch creates a longer stitch may. [ free download ] a domestic sewing machines in over 60 countries snugly hold the top! I do n't use thread labeled ‘ hand quilting ’ for machine quilting but there are lots of out! Staple cotton correct needle size for your booty of these sewing machines in over 60 countries stitch has no thread! Works quite well for a majority of machine quilting stitch length range should! A question and corresponding answer from an exchange we had with a customer stitch tension for quilting to move between quilt! Lightweight sewing machines are multifunctional, providing basic and heirloom stitching capabilities, well. 60 countries bit more and try again too fast is a common cause for eyelashes monofilament feels like hair not. Your machine is a common cause for eyelashes you agree to our use of cookies in to... Speeds,  your needle and change your cookie settings, please read cookie. Set to zero, and the feed dogs dropped with sparkle or luster it... 101: quilting Instructions for the day, I also learned how … understanding stitch tension for quilting tension, while it., testing your tension: for free motion quilting to form a depression the!, which increases needle flex links for which I receive compensation pattern: peg... First critical step in solving it is this depression that makes it a bit to the tension. Again and sew on the needle tension quilter recommends that you choose monofilament thread, fabric batting. If it isn ’ t make a rule before making these adjustments the stitch within...