June 2006 Newsletter
Request From Mother Superior
Machines differ from brand to brand so we are compiling a list of hints and tips for different machine types. For example, if there are certain things you do or settings you use to make decorative threads run better in your machine, please e-mail us. We will post these on our website.
Education: Golden Retrievers and Dalmatians
Getting the perfect stitch is the goal of all sewing. It is fine to use different threads in the top and the bottom, whether they be different fiber types (for example, cotton and polyester) or different thicknesses. Adjustments for these differences are made with the tension settings, usually to the top tension, but occasionally to the bobbin. Machines differ in tension settings from brand to brand. Some machines are like calm, loving Golden Retrievers, very eager to please and they love everything we do. Other machines are like high-strung Dalmatians, requiring lots of attention and extra training. Most machines are somewhere in the middle. Even within brands, there is some variance from machine to machine. Just like a dog, if we learn how to train or adjust the machine, it will serve us well and bring much happiness. An untrained machine (and dog) can cause more frustration than joy.
If you have experienced problems running decorative threads and have adjusted the top tension every possible way and still cannot get good results, the solution might lie in the bobbin tension setting. For example, if the top thread is breaking because the top tension is too tight, it is necessary to loosen it. If you loosen it to the point where the thread does not break, but the top thread then loops on the back, the top tension is now too loose. This is a common problem with some longarm machines. Neither of these solutions work and adjusting the tension settings in between these two extremes doesn't work so what can we do? The problem is that the top tension and bottom tension are too far out of sync so no matter what we do to the top tension, it will not solve the problem. In order to fix this, we must loosen the bobbin tension. Many of us were taught to NEVER touch the bobbin tension. That was when thread choices were very limited and decorative threads hadn't yet been invented or used on high speed and longarm machines. Times have changed.
If you can thread a sewing machine, you can adjust the bobbin tension. There is no need to spend money on a second bobbin case. With a permanent marker, put a dot where the tension screw is now pointing to so you can always return to the original setting. Then, with a screwdriver and thinking of a clock, make adjustments by turning the screw equivalent to what a 10-15 minute movement would be. Counterclockwise loosens the tension (the most commonly required adjustment) and clockwise tightens the tension. Remember, lefty loosey, righty tighty. For longarm machines, the bobbin tension should be loose enough that if you hold the bobbin case in your left hand and pull the thread up with your right hand, the bobbin case should not lift off your left hand. The old '4 inch drop test' is gone.
Now, after having loosened the bobbin tension, any adjustments you make to the top tension will be more effective because the top and bottom tensions are more in sync. You should be able to pull the thread through the needle fairly easily without feeling much tension.
You have now been given permission to adjust the bobbin tension! It will make a huge difference.
1. Superior Threads offers informative and interesting seminars and workshops which teach all about thread types, qualities and techniques. The seminar has been presented at most major national quilting and sewing events in the U.S. including International Quilt Festival (Houston), AQS (Paducah), American Sewing Expo (Novi, MI), Sewing & Stitchery Expo (Puyallup, WA), NQA (Columbus) and QHC (Lancaster, PA).
As a result of numerous requests to present seminars at local quilt guilds and quilt stores, we are pleased to make this program available. In addition to the seminar, we offer our "Open Thread Bar" workshops which provide quilters and thread artists with exciting hands-on instruction using a variety of specialty threads. Details are listed on our website. On our home page, click on the Seminars & Workshops button or e-mail us for more information.
2. Polyarn colors cards are now available. Polyarn is a woollie-like polyester (that means it is colorfast and heat resistant) serger thread that is a replacement for woollie-like nylon threads. Nylon threads are never recommended except in the case of a fusible thread. Polyarn is a wonderful thread to use with fleece and minkee.
3. Jumbo thread display racks. These new large cone display racks can be used as a store display and also for storing and organizing cones of thread at home. This jumbo rack is similar to our white store display racks for our smaller spools of thread, but think SUV size. The rack is approx. 24 inches wide, 12 inches deep and three and a half feet tall. It is 8 rows across, 7 rows tall, and 4 cones deep (for up to 224 cones). If used at home to store cones of thread, it can be easily covered with a sheet to keep dust off when not in use. We sell these at our cost of $86.50.
Invitation to Retail Stores
If you own or work at a store that carries any of our products, please add your store information to the Store Locator on our website. Customers can find you by country, state, or zip code. We will tell the world about the your store, list all the Superior products you carry, list your phone number and website, and even provide a map. Listing is free. Here's the link: http://www.superiorthreads.com/locate/
Favorite Bumper Sticker
I decided to stop worrying about my teenage son's driving and take advantage of it. I got one of those bumper stickers that say "How's my driving?" and put a 900 number on it. At 99 cents a call, I've been making $50 a week.
Bob's Superior Joke of the Month
Several men are in the locker room at the golf clubhouse. A cell phone on a bench rings and a man engages the hands-free speaker function and begins to talk. Everyone else in the room stops to listen.
Woman: "Honey, it's me. Are you at the club?"
Woman: "I am at the mall now and found this beautiful leather coat. It's only $1,000. Is it OK if I buy it?"
Man: "Sure, go ahead if you like it that much."
Woman: "I also stopped by the Mercedes dealership and saw the new models. I saw one I really liked."
Man: "How much?"
Man: "OK, but for that price I want it loaded with all the options."
Woman: "Great! Oh, and one more thing. The house I wanted last year is back on the market. They're asking $950,000."
Man: "Well, then go ahead and give them an offer of $900,000. They will probably take it. If not, we can go the extra 50 thousand."
Woman: "OK. I'll see you later! I love you so much!!"
Man: "Bye! I love you, too."
The man hangs up. The other men in the locker room are staring at him in astonishment, mouths agape.
He smiles and asks, "Anyone know who this phone belongs to?"
Thank you for reading. Please forward to a friend and have a SUPERIOR day.
Bob Purcell, the Thread Professor
Superior Threads: The ONLY thread with a guarantee.
Copyright 2006 by Superior Threads. If you wish to reprint the Education portion of this newsletter, authorization is hereby granted as long as the source is clearly cited as follows: .
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