Saturday, November 2, 2019

A Word on Tension....

No, I don't mean stress but thread tension. I think I have figured out why the seams on my Postage Stamp blocks have been splitting when I didn't have this problem before - at least not to this extent.

When my Janome came back from service one of the first things I did was to make sure the thread tension looked balanced and that my stitches looked good and they did. So away I went on a sewing frenzy when it came to the strip piecing.

It was really disheartening to see my seams splitting on pretty much every segment that I had sewn together even when handling them with care. I changed the stitch length to a smaller size and racked my brain trying to think of what the problem could be.

I got it - finally. I think when the technician adjusted the tension and thread balance on my machine it was made too loose. I ran a test piece through the machine and when I tried to pull the two pieces of fabric apart I could see small gaps between the threads.

In order to get the thread tension correct I really needed to increase the tension on the bobbin - a lot. I was surprised because normally you would adjust the tension screw only slightly but I actually turned it probably a couple full revolutions. This is not normal! When I got it to where I thought it needed to be I adjusted the upper tension accordingly and loaded a bobbin with contrasting thread. I sewed some test samples and I fine tuned the upper tension using the contrasting thread to guide me.

My stitches look great, my test fabric looks great, and I no longer have the seam splitting issue. I sure wish I had thought about this sooner!!!!!!


Deb A said...

Oh no! I hope you called the technician and let them know. Glad you were able to figure it out and get it all fixed.

Carla A Few Of My Favorite Things said...

So glad you figured it out! My husband is skilled and can clean and oil my machines but when it comes to tension I need to step in. It's such a good feeling to get it working correctly! Happy Stitching!

The Joyful Quilter said...

I just got my machine back yesterday from being serviced. I'm having similar issues. Thanks for the timely post!