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Bobbin Tension 101 (part 1 of 2)

Posted: 27 August 2014 at 6 a.m.

What’s this? You’re telling me that I can adjust my bobbin tension?

bobbin tension

Yes!  You can indeed adjust your bobbin tension (and you should learn how to do it by reading the rest of this article).  90% of the time, we adjust the top tension to achieve the perfect stitch.  However, for the other 10%, we may need to adjust the bobbin tension to get the results you need.

You may have been taught to never touch the bobbin tension, but we hope to help you feel confident in knowing when and how to adjust your bobbin tension.

When to Adjust Bobbin Tension

Bird Nesting: A very descriptive term which describes bunching of thread on the underside of your project. This is usually due to loose bobbin tension and generally occurs when using a slick or fine bobbin thread. Luckily, it’s an easy fix by tightening your bobbin tension.

Changing to a thicker/thinner bobbin thread: When doing fancy bobbin work or reverse quilting with thicker threads, such as Razzle Dazzle, it may be necessary to loosen your bobbin tension. Using fine threads like Monopoly may require a bobbin tension tightening. 

Looping and breaking: If you loosen the top tension and see looping on the back and then tighten the top tension and experience breakage, loosening that bobbin tension will help even out the tug of war  between your top and bottom threads and give you nice stitches.

Return tomorrow to learn the ‘how’ to adjust your bobbin tension!

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  • 1. Maggi (27 August 2014 at 3:30 p.m.)

    Love your thread and love your tutorials. Wish you would come to San Antonio.

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