Warm-up Wednesday

Well, I thought about doing this post yesterday with the title Tension Tuesday but Warm-up Wednesday seems to have a better ring to it!

I test tension and warm up for free-motion thread play at the same time. After testing my tension and ending up with this flower, I decided I needed to do my machine’s tension test on a solid piece of fabric (maybe a painted sky scrap?) so that I could add to it every time I tension test, creating a picture (which I may paint in the future). I know the best way to test the tension is sewing loops and straight lines but I can’t seem to help myself!

warm up flower
stitching tiny produce

I recently learned on LuAnn Kessi’s blog about a tension gauge, but decided to hold off on buying one since I seem to be doing okay on my own. Have you used a gauge for checking sewing machine tension?

I mentioned it before – Because I change thread often while working on art quilts I have gotten pretty fast at adjusting the bobbin tension on my Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen. I had a student in one of my workshops say that she uses only one kind of thread so her machine never gives her tension trouble. I think in some cases that is a good idea, but I like to change up the thread to get different textures. It also helps me remember to clean the lint out.

Adjusting tiny screw
Adjusting tiny screw

I wonder if some day sewing machines will just “feel” the thread, automatically make all the adjustments so all sewing goes smoothly!

About Ann Scott

Working with fabric and fiber for over forty years. Design, instruction, and sales.
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2 Responses to Warm-up Wednesday

  1. Joanna says:

    Since my Janome has a plastic bobbin case I can’t turn a little screw. What I’ve done is buy a low tension bobbin case that has solved a lot of my tension issues. Now if I could just get rid of the tension between my shoulder blades…

    • Ann Scott says:

      Joanna, Thanks for the laugh, I needed that. Please tell me more about your low tension bobbin. So timely, I was working on my student’s Janome bobbin case today (hence, needing the laugh). His Janome and my machine (Janome made Kenmore) have the same plastic bobbin case and they actually have a metal screw.

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