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  1. #1
    Machine Stitcher

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    Default Tension troubles... I think.

    Oh quilters... I'm so frustrated right now. I've been working on quilting this blanket for so long because every time I turn around I make a mistake and have to figure out how to fix it. Now this problem is with the machine, so I'm at a loss.

    When I'm free motion quilting, the thread moves along fine. But the moment I stop, because maybe my bobbin ran out of thread, and I pull the blanket out from under the needle, the top thread doesn't want to let it go. If I pull harder, the thread snaps.

    I'm happy to learn from my mistakes but I think I'm learning all of them with this one quilt. Can someone help before I pull out the rest of what's left of my hair, please?

  2. #2
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Tension troubles... I think.

    Is it possible that your needle hasn't been raised to the full upright position before you try to pull the quilt sandwich out? If the needle is stopped in between all the way down and all the way up the top and or bottom thread will not disengage so you can pull them out.
    Stash Treasure Acquisitions Beyond Life Expectancy. My stash keeps me STABLE, oh yeah.... and dark chocolate.

  3. Thanks SewingSusie thanked for this post
  4. #3
    Machine Stitcher

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    Default Re: Tension troubles... I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseSm View Post
    Is it possible that your needle hasn't been raised to the full upright position before you try to pull the quilt sandwich out? If the needle is stopped in between all the way down and all the way up the top and or bottom thread will not disengage so you can pull them out.
    I don't think so. It's mechanical. I push a button and it raises or lowers. So I'm pretty sure that it is going all the way up.

    I did have this issue before and I decreased the tension of the thread and that seemed to solve it that time. But now, nothing.

    I appreciate you taking the moment to offer a tip. If you can think of any others, I'm ready to try anything from the ridiculous to the tried and true!

  5. #4
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Tension troubles... I think.

    Does your sewing machine have a thread cutter button? Occasionally my machine will lock the top thread when the thread cutter is jammed open.
    Stash Treasure Acquisitions Beyond Life Expectancy. My stash keeps me STABLE, oh yeah.... and dark chocolate.

  6. Thanks Claire Hallman, SewingSusie thanked for this post
  7. #5
    Rotary Pro

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    Jun 2016
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    Default Re: Tension troubles... I think.

    Did you raise the pressure foot? I know it kind of floats when FMQ but the tension stays engaged if it is not raised as you do when regular sewing

  8. Thanks SewingSusie thanked for this post
  9. #6
    Machine Stitcher

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    Default Re: Tension troubles... I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by DeniseSm View Post
    Does your sewing machine have a thread cutter button? Occasionally my machine will lock the top thread when the thread cutter is jammed open.
    No, it just has a little razor that sticks out a little bit to snag the threads and break them. But I appreciate the thought! That gives me something else to look at in the future, should I ever have a machine that nice! lol

  10. #7
    Machine Stitcher

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    Default Re: Tension troubles... I think.

    Quote Originally Posted by cjsews View Post
    Did you raise the pressure foot? I know it kind of floats when FMQ but the tension stays engaged if it is not raised as you do when regular sewing
    No, that I did NOT check. I kinda do it out of habit, but with this issue, I wonder if I'm forgetting to because I'm frustrated. Hmmm. But would that keep the thread from advancing out?

    Thank you for replying, I will check that out and come back and let you know if it did the trick!

  11. #8
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Tension troubles... I think.

    [QUOTE=SewingSusie;1057469. But would that keep the thread from advancing out?

    [/QUOTE]
    Yes, if the pressure foot is down the top tension disk is closed putting pressure on the top thread and keeping it from advancing freely.
    Stash Treasure Acquisitions Beyond Life Expectancy. My stash keeps me STABLE, oh yeah.... and dark chocolate.

  12. #9
    The Guild President

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    Default Re: Tension troubles... I think.

    Do you have a thread net on thread? Might the thread be getting hung up at the spool when you stop?

  13. #10
    Block Queen

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    Default Re: Tension troubles... I think.

    Definitely sounds like you are not releasing your top tension, which is released when raising the presser foot. I can see where you might forget when free motion quilting. Personally I usually have the opposite problem- I forget to lower the presser foot when I restart, which leads to a very bad tangle.
    If you can't see the mistake from the back of a galloping horse, nobody is going to notice it.

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