Saturday, February 10, 2007

Quilting problem

I have started quilting this king size quilt - it's reallt hard work to move it !I planned on really big swirls but that's impossible as I cant move that much of the quilt at once. But these smaller ones are OK. This is just a quick practice quilt made with sale fabric so I don't mind that they are not perfect.

So I have two questions for you if you don't mind....

Firstly, do any of you use those plastic machine quilting hoops with the hand grips and if so are they better than the gloves with the plastic stipples on that I am using?

Secondly, I have a problem which I suspect is all about tension but I don't know how to fix it. If I have the top tension at less than 5 I get this on the back - stitching lines perpendicular to the sewing line.

However set at around 5 the top thread keeps breaking.

What doI do to fix this?


Diana said...

Hi Helen, Sorry I can't help on the tension problem. Thank you, though, for your comment on my blog and for adding me to your link list.

Tracey Petersen said...

You can release the bobbin tension (it is tighter because it is pulling the top thread to the back). Your bobbin case will have a small screw on the front which you can release by a quarter turn. It is just a matter of coordinating the top and bottom tension mechanisms.
In terms of quilting a big quilt, be sure that you are not pulling against the weight of it. Bunch it up a little around the machine so that the part that you are working on will move freely.
Hope that helps.

Eve said...

Hi Helen, the photo suggests you may be trying to quilt too large an area and/or running the machine too fast to keep up with the weight of the quilt.

Forgive me if you know this already but it would be worth the time and tediousness to make your own machine guide - using a long strip of quilt sandwich, pinning a note for each 'section' giving details of the tension used. It can be useful for subsequent machine embroidery experiments, but more importantly, if the settings in your guide do not match your results when working on a full scale piece you'll know there are other factors at work - in this case, most probably as Tracey Peterson says, the weight of the quilt and/or you are pulling against it.

Enjoying your blog very much! [From someone in an allied line of business and similar creative interests]

Helen said...

If your top thread keeps breaking you could try using a larger-eyed needle like an embroidery or topstitch needle. It puts the thread under less stress as each part of the thread goes back and forth through the needle about 20 times before it gets sewn into the fabric. I had a problem quilting with rayon thread a while back, the top thread kept on breaking and my friendly sewing machine mechanic's wife suggested this and it worked!

YankeeQuilter said...

I've tried the plastic rings and they were more trouble then they were worth. The two pieces of advice I'd give are to use a really large table to the left and behind the quilt so it can support the weight of the quilt and make it a bit easier to move. Also changing the needle helps.

Good luck.

Dianna in Maui said...

Ditto what Yankeequilter said about having a larger area to support the weight of the quilt. If you are planning to do a lot of machine quilting, it is worth the investment to get a machine bed extension table for about $100 (still use it with the extra tables for support). Or, if you or your husband are handy, build yourself a table from 2x4's and a countertop, then cut out the countertop so you can sink your machine so the bed is level with the countertop. If $$ is no object, invest in a sewing table (Koala, etc.). In addition to adjusting the tension in the top and bobbin (mark your bobbin tension with a dot of Sharpie or nail polish before you adjust), you may want to slow down your hands a bit on swirls, or speed up your machine. Good luck!