Thursday, December 7, 2023

Tension woes

      I don't mean global or economic tensions, but longarm tension issues. For the past month I have been plagued by tension issues on my longarm. I have tried everthing I could think of, but the thread keeps shredding making progress slow and painful. I have had Pixel Chain on the machine for over a month and it is not done. The tension seems inconsistent and wandering. I have tried new needles, pre wound bobbins, self wound bobbins, Glide, Masterquilter top threads, PremoSoft, Glide 60, Decobob in the bobbin. Clean, polish and clean some more. I may have to ante up and have my dealer come in from a distance to give some assistance. I love to quilt, but it is not going well. It is very wearying.
     I have gone back and forth with emails from my dealer and the last suggestions from her greatly minimized the shredding (using the same thread top and bottom and changing the tension setting on the bobbin case to 225- Towa Gauge), but I got the quilt off the longarm. I loaded another on and will start over again hoping that it is resolved.


Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

I had problems with my friends Janome (that I inherited). The tension was bad no matter what I tried. I watched all the videos and actually read the manual, cover to cover. Nope, nothing helped. I turned the machine off for a few weeks, then went back to quilt something that the bad tensions wouldn't show on (a tote bag, no one would see the back of that). Surprise! The tension was great, and it was also great after I changed the thread and quilted her Hanukkah quilt on her machine. No clue why it straightened out. Hopefully yours will straighten out, too.

Exuberantcolor/Wanda S Hanson said...

I had one quilt that I have decided the backing fabric was the problem. No problems on the next quilts I quilted.

Anonymous said...

A few thoughts. What needle has been used?
I don't sew many quilts but once the thread path starting the in first loop above the spool of thread was askew so I always check that it is directly over the spool and that nothing impedes the thread path.

Groz Beckert Needles
Some sizes:
90/14 = 3.0 100/16 = 3.5 110/18 = 4.0 120/19 = 4.5

For fine, thin thread like 100 wt Silk or a 60 wt thread like Bottom lin a #14 or #16 needle is recommended.
18 is a good overall general sized needle for 40 wt thread like Omni or Fantastico.

Most of the time I use So Fine in bobbins.
80/20 hobbs cotton batts
Prewash backs.
All material in pieced blocks has been washed before cutting.
The top, batt, and back layers are not too taut when the machine is loaded.

Gene Black said...

Tension issues can be very frustrating. I always try to think "what has changed since the last time I quilted on this machine? Sometimes that leads me to the culprit.

Vicki W said...

I had a period recently with bad tension issues. In my case it turned out that I needed a new bobbin case. I must have dropped it one too many times!