Thursday, December 11, 2008

Cat Quilt for a Friend - Part 3

Well I've been experiencing frustration with the thread tension in my free motion quilting on the Curious Kitties quilt. I'm using a new thread for me which is a good quality one from YLI made for machine quilting.

It's a beautiful seamist colour but the thread is considerably thicker than the previous threads that I have used (King Tut, Sulky, Guterman, etc.). When I was doing the stitch in the ditch portion I had no problems with the thread tension. I use a walking foot when I'm doing that task and that seems to eliminate issues with tension and slippage.

With this thicker thread and free motion quilting, I had to increase my tension a fair bit but it seemed to be a very fine line between where the settings were right for the tension on the right side of the quilt vs. the back of the quilt. When I go around curves the tension isn't quite right on the back and there doesn't seem to be a right setting to resolve that problem. It's minor, in that the person who is getting the quilt won't even know there is a problem because she doesn't sew. But none the less, I find it frustrating that I'm using this wonderful thread but it just won't behave. Hey at least it's working for the front of the quilt.

I had the machine in for servicing back in the summer but I also have been doing a lot of quilting. So once I'm done my projects for December I might take it back for another servicing to see if that might clear up my tension issues. I've had a few others issues with the tension that got resolved but it seems to keep cropping up.

1 comment:

Quilt Pixie said...

A couple of ideas that might clear up your tension problem (no gautantees of course)
1) take apart the bobbin area of your bobbin machine as far as you're able and clean it well...
2) try a newly wound bobbin that you've wound at a medium low speed on your machine... (sometimes the tension you wind the bobbin at changes slightly which is a pain)
3) slow down as you take the corners -- the extra "pull/push" as you move and the slightly different position of the needle/thread means the stitch is actually amde a millisecond later than when straight sewing

I'm not convinced any of the above will solve it -- sometimes I just have a thread that if I'm using top and bottom is not going to play nice -- but thye are worth a try...