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Thursday, March 7, 2013

Information for Beginners

Once again a topic comes up on one of our groups that we respond to and then think well maybe this will help others also...I'm thinking...Who doesn't have problems with tension...minor or serious...tension can be a problem. It's kind of like teenagers. So in response to a group member's comments (where it was stated that she wanted to master tension before moving on...I know what she means but using the word 'master' resulted in the lottery comment...with 'in fun' being the intent) and request for assistance I responded what we have found to be helpful with Thread Tension. If it helps, we are glad. Of course our references are to Innova but you may find your manufacturer provides the same assistance to reset the factory settings.

Let me just say, tongue in cheek...if you get that tension thing mastered make sure you publish will be like winning the lottery. As I have said before...the Wallen Video was the biggest help we have received regarding bobbin tension...We tried the Towa...really to no avail considering it too comes with a range, i.e. Superior's Omni, using #18 needle Towa setting 170-200...with a little sarcasm...Well what is it 170 or 200? Totally understandable when one considers the variety of materials, batting, and threads. I'll continue to check my bobbin via Wallen and just run a couple of stitches over a swatch of material consistent with what the top is on the excess batting and back of the quilt I have on the machine.
In an effort to help I am trying to think what has been the best source of information pertaining to thread tension...I'm passing these on as being the two best that have aided our quest to produce the best quality, consistent even stitching and pleasing to the eye quilting that our experience, ever changing, will allow us to produce. Okay there are three...Print out and follow the ABM/Innova instructions on setting the machines tension...FROM SCRATCH…the Service Bulletin can be found on their web site. I'm old school...if you are going to give me the way it was set when it left the factory...then crated, moved around with a fork lift, transported who knows how many miles, stored in a facility that may or may not be 120 degrees or -10, moved by a couple of more fork lifts, transported some more and then set up by technicians that may or may not have ever quilted and may or may not know what thread tension is and the vibration, may or may not, have tightened or loosened the knob or affected the spring tension, well I'm going to reset it. Do we have to make any changes?...of course... we use different material, different threads, different batting. We check it for every quilt...when necessary we make the needed adjustments. 
NOW the two things: The Jamie Wallen bobbin method and the Superior Threads web site...Now it might just be us...but if you can't find help about thread and everything dealing with thread on this won't be found. And as you may or may not recall...I have this thing about KISS...they have pictures and charts.
And one more thing...if you have the resources to charity quilts, Linus Project, Quilts of Valor or any other organization in your area you might want to look into longarming for them...I don't mean that you just whiz through a quilt without due regard for quality...but I can't tell you how much experience you will gain in a very short amount of time donating a little of your time and thread. This is where I learned all about that little seam ripper thing-a-ma-jig I loath. Experience only comes from as often and as much as you can. Les and Elaine Page...Virginia Beach, VA  

Ya just gotta love pictures:


  1. The information written in the article is descriptive and well written.It is also simple to read and understand.Good Read.Information For

  2. I love the little stick figure illustrations. It really brings home what the basic tension solutions are for which problems. Thanks for sharing. :-)

  3. It really does follow the KISS theory. I have it readily available near our longarm. Great reference tool. Thanks for stopping by our little blog.