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Tension Again
By Dan Novak

Tension Again

I canít push the issue enough, tension is not a hard problem to fix. You can have all of the fancy tension gauges in the world, but if you do not understand what causes tension to change or understand what it takes to make the tension right, it will always be a problem.
First, make sure that you are using a good quality thread and that you have the machine threaded properly.
It does not take very much to change the tension. Something as simple as a change in fabric or batting can cause the tension to differ from when you started.
With one quilt top, the fabric may change many times across the quilt.
You may have to change your plans when you get to a certain type of fabric. You may need to adjust the tension a little to get through a certain type of fabric. The reason that one fabric may require that the tension be changed a little is because some fabrics have a tighter weave than others and this will add more drag to the thread as it is pulled through the fabric. Different types of batting also effect the tension diffrently. Different types of thread and different colors of thread can also effect your tension. Some types and colors are thicker or thinner than others.
Donít be afraid to turn the knob on the tension assembly or the screw on the bobbin case to make adjustments, if you were not supposed to make these adjustments, there would not be a screw or knob to turn.
If the bobbin thread is pulling to the top, you have two choices. Loosen the top tension or tighten the bobbin tension. If the top thread is pulling to the bottom, You again have two choices. Tighten the top tension or loosen the bobbin tension. It is really that simple. If you use a gauge before you start quilting, you should keep in mind that the tension on the thread will change when the thread is being pulled through the fabric and batting.
Make sure that the tension assembly is threaded properly and that the check or take-up spring is in good working order.
Be sure that the bobbin is placed in the bobbin case properly, this can make a diffrence.
Try to avoid using opposing threads such as black against white, tension is never 100% perfect and opposing colors will show up on your quilt.
With a few of these simple ideas, you can set yourself up for success.
Good luck and keep the quilts rolling.

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