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    Free Motion Quilting Help

    Good morning!

    I have just started practicing free motion quilting and giving the meandering stitch a try. The front looks fine but when I flip it over my stitches look like this. What is causing this?

    When I first tried stitching my thread was coming out of the needle so I worked on the tension and it seems to be staying in there now but I would love to know what tensions work for other people. I have a Janome 4120, it's a brand new model but almost exactly the same as the 3160.

    Thanks for any help or guidance!

    Hilary
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    #2
    Re: Free Motion Quilting Help

    What your stitches are telling me is that your bobbin tension is too tight. I'm not familiar with the Janome so check your manual for FMQ, with the Pfaff the top tension should be set to zero. If your machine has a bobbin casing, loosen the bobbin tension a little and see if that improves the stitches, continue to loosen until the bobbin is not pulling your top thread through. If your machine is one of the 'self regulated/can not be adjusted' type then I don't know but certainly start with your manual. This pulling can also happen when you are moving the quilt too fast relative to the speed of the sewing machine.
    Lynn

    "Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass....it's about learning to dance in the rain" Anonymous.

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      #3
      Re: Free Motion Quilting Help

      Hey...I have a quilt that looks like that too! I used a Janome 1600DP and ended up ripping out my stitching and adjusting the tension on the machine. Seems to be ok with the practice swatch but am very leary about trying it again with the Janome. I think the Bernina will be used instead.
      Susan

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        #4
        Re: Free Motion Quilting Help

        I am just beginning free motion myself and I've learned when that is happening to me, it usually means I'm moving my hands/fabric quicker then my pedal/needle. I do this more often on bends and curves and I believe the term used for this problem is 'eyelashes'. Try cornering much slower and see if that helps any.

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          #5
          Re: Free Motion Quilting Help

          I have a Kenmore and had the same thing happen but it did improve as I practiced my speed control. I feel like I have to go fast and when I move in a curving fashion I seem to go even faster. It does get much better with practice.
          Patti
          "Like" me on Facebook @ Sweet Cherry Quilting to help spread the love of all things crafty and quilted!

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            #6
            Re: Free Motion Quilting Help

            Thanks for the tips, everyone. I'm going to keep experimenting with different speeds and tensions to see if I can't get this right. I'm sure it will just take time. : )

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              #7
              Re: Free Motion Quilting Help

              I don't have a solution for you...just offering support because I feel your pain when it comes to FMQ.......Barb
              sigpicwww.whisperofrose.blogspot.com


              Scottie Mom Barb

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                #8
                Re: Free Motion Quilting Help

                Hi- I have a Janome and the same thing happens. The front looks great but the back is not that attractive! I know it won't be looked at much but I feel like it needs to be perfect! It definately happens when I make curves. I feel like I am moving slowly but apparently not. Drives me insane.

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                  #9
                  Re: Free Motion Quilting Help

                  Something else that can cause this is when your bobbin thread is a different weight from the top thread. If they're the same, it's most likely the tension.
                  When life throws you scraps, make a quilt! :icon_bigsmile:

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                    #10
                    Re: Free Motion Quilting Help

                    Well, I've fiddled with the tension and have improved a lot. I found that setting the top tension to 1 and the bottom to 4 has produced the best results for me but I have no idea why. I've tried both at different numbers and this setting so far has the least eyelashes (what a perfect term!) but still not the best looking on the back. Still a lot of practice needed but I'm not giving up!

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                      #11
                      Re: Free Motion Quilting Help

                      I do a lot of free motion and when my stitches look like that it means I forgot to up the tension on my upper thread. The upper thread tension has to be tight enough to pull the bobbin thread up halfway through the fabric. When I was learning about tension I was told to never mess with the bobbin tension, but to use the upper thread tension. Tighten it to pull up the bobbin thread, loosen it to let the bobbin thread pull the upper thread.
                      Nancy Wilkins
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                        #12
                        Re: Free Motion Quilting Help

                        Nancy--with your advice I've had my best results yet. Thanks a million!

                        Hilary

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