Tension problems when embroidering

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Susan Posted: Sat, May 5 2012 9:08 AM

Has anyone solved the problem of bobbin thread showing on top when using embroidery thread in the bobbin? I've tried adjusting embroidery tension with no success. I'm using a Babylock Ellure. I am trying hard to avoid purchasing the second bobbin case (it says that's for prewound bobbins but I've been told you can change the bobbin tension on that one). With all the tension adjustments available, isn't there a solution that doesn't involve spending $70?

Susan

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Hi SUSAN, not knowing why you are using embroidery threads in the bobbin I hesitate to say much. I have a Janome MC & I have two bobbin cases. One is set from my dealer for heavy threads in the bobbin ie #12 #30 cottons, the one I have all the time in my machine is set from factory. Now then my bobbin cases only cost around $30 and I would not have bought one had I not gotten the tension off so bad from jacking with it my self. in doing that I had my needle bent and a nest of threads too bad to describe. when it was all said and done and cleaned up the tension spring had lost it's ability to go back to factory settings. Now that one is used for any heavier bobbin threads. when embroidering I use a 60 wt bobbin thread that I wind myself in either white or black that is polyester (shiny looks like rayon), I only place the rayon or poly embroidery 40wt in the bobbin when I do FSL, or satin stitches.Can you tell us why you are using the 40 wt threads in the bobbin?

I'm not sure I can adjust the embroidery tension on my machine, I can do it for regular and decorative sewing, and I do that in the set folder in my machine computer.

Hopefully someone with the Babylock Ellure will know more. I call my dealer for everything we have a great relationship and I am most thankful for that.
BTW I use regular cotton blend 60wt for quilt piecing, and I wind dual duty or all purpose C&C for regular sewing. I have many bobbin boxes marked.

Happy Sewing, Quilting and Embellishing with Embroidery!!
Carylanne

 


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Donna B replied on Sun, May 6 2012 12:47 AM

Susan:

Has anyone solved he problem of bobbin thread showing on top when using embroidery thread in the bobbin? I've tried adjusting embroidery tension with no success. I'm using a Babylock Ellure. I am trying hard to avoid purchasing the second bobbin case (it says that's for prewound bobbins but I've been told you can change the bobbin tension on that one). With all the tension adjustments available, isn't there a solution that doesn't involve spending $70?

Susan

 

Hi Susan,  I quilt and embroider with a Bernina 200E and an 830LE (that I am just getting used to).  I use only 1 bobbin case for each machine.  I usually use Polyester thread for embroidery (40W) for the top and Bottomline (60W) for the bobbin.  This has  worked well for me.  The lighter weight thread in the bobbin insured that the top thread is pulled to the back making a cleaner looking embroidery design.  Occassionally, I use the same weight poly thread (40W) in both the top and bobbin in the same color (or very close to the same color)...if it really matters what the back side of the embroidery looks like.  

I also am very leary of messing with the bobbin case tension.  I have had it messed up in the past and do not want that to happen ever again.  Every once in awhile, I will need to tighten the top thread tension a little to make everything work, but that has been the most that I have had to do. 

Hope this helps a little, but a fellow Babylock user is probably your best bet.

 

 Winthrop, WA

 

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Susan replied on Sun, May 6 2012 10:23 AM

Hi Caryl Anne
I'm using the embroidery thread in the bobbin for the quilt I'm doing. The back quilting design is almost as important as the front. This setup worked fine for the standard quilting, but there are parts that I'm embroidering - that's where the only trouble comes. 
On the Ellure, there's a separate setting for embroider tension in the settings menu. In my manual, that's what it says to change, but it's not working. The regular & decorative stitch tension adjustment is in the actual stitch menu and not available when you're embroidering. I have a good relationship with my local dealer also, but they're closed all weekend... While I'm trying to work on the project!
I guess I'll have to wait till Monday. I need to check into the alternate bobbin case.... If yours was only $30, Maybe I misread the price!
My last machine (incredibly ancient but solid) got really messed up because of me playing with the tension, too! I guess we all have to do it once. But now I'm really hesitant to mess with anything unless it has the handy "reset" button like I have in the stitch menu.
Thanks for the feedback!

Susan

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Susan replied on Sun, May 6 2012 10:28 AM

Thanks, Donna. This is one of those quilts where the back really matters. Otherwise, I do use bobbin thread. 
I agree... messing with bobbin tension is something best left to professionals! I always thought that if I needed to do that, maybe someone at the (really close) Babylock store would set it up for me with a second bobbin case! I'm paranoid since I screwed up my old machine so bad. But I wish they made bobbinfill in different colors. I've already started the quilting with the dark blue but black bobbinfill might not be too bad since the back fabric is dark blue.


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Shoot I feel you Susan, drat those people for taking a day off when we are being creative..  Let's see maybe a batch of chicken and dumplings will help. at least it is a all afternoon project.. LOL take a nap, each some chocolate  read a novel, or new quilt mag, and breathe.
Monday AM will be hear soon.

I was just looking up some information on quilting with embroidery machine , and low and behold this may help. Perhaps you will need to experiment with the needle and not the tension

 Notes I took during the Floriani sales seminar; when ME onto layered quilt use a #90 for 30 & 40wt, and if the piece is extra thick use a #100 top stitch needle


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Hi again Susan. I purchase my bobbin fill online at house of fashion on e bay, the original purchase lasted me over 3 years. http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-4-XL-Cones-Machine-Embroidery-Bobbin-Thread-and-50-Bobbins-4-Brother-JANOME-/370595424349?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item564935685d

  I see now that abc embroidery is offering the color poly 60wt spools. check it out if you need color bobbin fill. great price since one bobbin fill spool at my dealer's is $5.99 a spool & only offered in black or white. http://www.ebay.com/itm/24-CONES-POLY-MACHINE-EMBROIDERY-BOBBIN-THREAD-60WT-/170391117647?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27ac1a1f4f


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Susan replied on Sun, May 6 2012 4:52 PM

Wow. You are a wealth of good information! I never thought of the needle. I'm still really new to machine quilting. I actually bought some needles marked "embroidery." I'll look up what size the needles are. I've never heard of #90 or 100! I may already have some. I bought a LOT of supplies when I got my new machine in January. I will definitely try that & check out the website. Color bobbinfill sounds soooo useful.

As it turns out, I'm sidelined this weekend anyhow. Allergies turned into bad asthma so I'm limited in what I can do. I think you probably understand that..... You are in PEARLAND! I'm in Missouri City just down the road. What a coincidence!

Susan

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Susan replied on Sun, May 6 2012 5:43 PM

I saw the 60 wt. bobbin thread set - very cool. Now i have another question... I remember reading that for some fine embroidery, it's suggested to use 60 weight thread. Is there a difference between the 60 wt. bobbinfill thread & 60 wt. embroidery thread? Very confusing. Machine quilting is SO much more complicated than hand sewing/quilting!

And I looked at my needles. A #90 is just a 14! I never paid attention to the 'other' number. I've been using a titanium 11 so as soon as I can get up & moving, I'll replace it. I've got a lot to learn.

Susan

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Oh how small a world we live in, yes I live in Pearland and my machine dealer is in Alvin. lol I looked at the Babylock machines in 2005 at the Little Stitches shop.

OK sew on to the needle thing, when you go to buy some new needles look for the top stitch word on the package.
I buy Schmetz for most of the specialty needles, a 11 or 14 embroidery needle and their quilting needles are made for high speed machines. I do have a few titanium embroidery needles I bought to see if they last longer , and I guess they do but the price didn't impress a need. Joann's notion wall on sale is when I stock up on all my many size needles.
as far as the threads go the 60wt is the bobbin fill and can be used for embroidery in the needle according to the ABC ad. I must say that I too am now interested in the color bobbin threads as I do allot of FSL . I think I will go put a design in and work it with the 60wt in both top and bobbin just to see if it is OK for that delicate stitching. Humm we may have something here. Hope you have a better day tomorrow, Warm and humid don't help with the tree pollens around here.

one other thing you may want to now about, the thin piecing threads 50wt. ( Madeira's Aerofil is the one I use) here is a page to read about all kinds of threads http://quiltbug.com/articles/threads.htm 

sew much fun sharing my searches!! look down the page to bobbin and see what it said about the bottom line thread tension. just a world of information bookmark this page.


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Susan replied on Sun, May 6 2012 9:30 PM

So how  long have you been quilting? I used to quilt and sew a lot but hat was in ancient times when quilting was done by hand and most of my quilts were filled with an old blanket... not batting.

Susan

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Susan replied on Sun, May 6 2012 9:35 PM

Little Stitches is my local quilt shop. 1/2 mile from my house! That was a factor in buying Babylock.... well plus I love my machine. Of all the needles I bought, not a single one is topstich. Ahhhhh....JoAnn's.
I was searching the web, too (since I can't do much else) and found this site. They sell individual spools of colored 60wt. Expensive, tho. I also saw that Madeira sells 60 wt.
I haven't tried the 60wt for top & bottom thread on FSL but then I've only tried a couple. Love them! Just got some new FSL for Christmas ornaments. Matching bobbin thread would definitely look better.
Great, one more reason to go to JoAnns! I know a lot of people don't think much of them, but I still love the store. Quilt stores are so small! And they have other things I want to incorporate. I'd like to try art quilts. The kind with paints and stamps, etc!
Susan

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Susan replied on Tue, May 8 2012 12:30 PM

Since we were talking about FSL using the matching top and bobbin threads, I thought I'd try it out on some Christmas ornament designs I just downloaded. Worked on so much better than using the regular bobbin thread. I'm going to attempt to load a picture to show you. The small butterfly was done using regular bobbin thread. Not exactly comparing oranges to oranges, but you can see the difference in quality is extreme. My husband saw the snowflakes and asked how I did them. He said they reminded him of shopping with his mom in Austria when he was a kid. He had been amazed watching women make Battenburg Lace. :-) 

Susan

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