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Does Tension Cause You Stress?

I bought my first longarm from Craigslist and was so excited! I loaded fabric and batting and began to stitch. The stitching looked horrible. The tension was really bad the thread was laying on the top like a straight line. That meant the upper thread is too tight or the bobbin thread is too loose. I wasn't afraid to adjust the tension because I thought it's nothing more than a big sewing machine. The first thing to do was get the bobbin tension fixed. I removed the bobbin, then placed it flat in my hand and pulled up on the thread. The whole bobbin lifted off my hand.

That meant the tension screw was too tight. I found a tiny screwdriver and loosened the tension screw a little on the bobbin case.

I did this until the bobbin would stand up on my hand but not lift off my hand.

Now that the bobbin tension was good I moved on to the top tension. I cranked the tension knob all the way down to fully loose. Then I cranked it back up about 5 turns and began stitching to test. I knew from my regular sewing machine the the stitches on top are the bobbin thread and the stitches on the bottom are the spool thread. I kept adjusting the tension knob and stitching until I had perfect tension. The stitches should interlock between the layers and the stitching should look the same on the top and the bottom.

Are you afraid of touching the tension? I have found that when you are first learning to longarm you should pick one type of thread and use that same thread while learning. Why cause frustration while you're learning? I choose to use So Fine thread by Superior Threads. I had several spools of it that came with my longarm. Once I had my tension set I only have to adjust it when I use a different thread. Once you get comfortable with your machine then try different threads.

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