Thread Tension Practice in my HQ Sweet Sixteen Machine

"I love my Plumes"
 
The day I sold my HQ Avanté sewing machine I had mixed feelings, I was sad to let go of such a wonderful machine but at the same time I was glad she was going to a loving house once I met the new owner, a kind Canadian lady.

Some weeks passed and finally I decided to buy an HQ Sweet Sixteen Machine. Once my machine arrived I started to play with it and since I like to change threads constantly I had some difficulty with the tension. No matter what I did, how many times I loosened or tighten the bobbin case, or the spring in the top, I couldn't find the right tension.

Reading Luann's blog she explains how she tried pre-wound bobbins from Bobbin Central which have a *magnetic* ring. I decided to order some and give them a try. It worked!
 
Let me show you what I did:

When I ordered my machine I asked for an extra bobbin case (I always do that with every sewing machine I have, so I can play around). I took out the backlash spring and replaced it with the magna glide pre-wound bobbin. I chose a hot pink color and only use this one for this exercise; what I changed was the upper thread for each feather.
You can see on this sample, I practiced feathers with: LYI 40 weight thread, Signature 40 weight thread, Kingtut 40 weight thread, Sew easy 50 weight thread, Kimono silk 100 weight thread, Lava 30 weight thread and Glide 40 weight thread.
You can see the back side. Once the bobbin thread was balanced it was not difficult to adjust the tension for the upper thread! I was so happy and confident that I decided to start a small project using all these colorful and yummy threads.
With a temporary marker, I marked a design (in this case one of my stencils) on a light colored fabric, sandwiched with batting and a backing fabric.
I chose to work freely without much planning. Once the bird was finished, I quilted the background with glide thread on top.

I am very happy with this discovery! I'm a happy customer :)

20 comments:

  1. How wonderful, love the plumes. I would love the sweet 16 sit down, some day! :)

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  2. What a cute bird! And great quilting!

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  3. I love this piece! It was interesting to see how you were able to solve the tension issue.

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  4. Whoa! Love it! Congrats on the new machine!

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  5. Darling project! The bird looks quite happy with her plumes! Thanks for sharing the tension solution. It's a good one to bookmark.

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    1. I had fun using all these threads :)in this lettle piece.

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  6. Love it! Awesome quilting! I have a HQ SS too... just got last December. I'll have to put this one my list to try... magnetic bobbins and order an extra bobbin case.

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    1. Fantastic Rose, let me know if you have any questions.

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  7. Congratulations on the new machine! Love the colorful quilting!!

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  8. Great, great project and fantastic FMQ!

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  9. Luckly you. I've been dreaming a sweet sixteen since I first saw one two years ago. But trying to live on a government pension as well as making some nice things is getting very hard. Your work Margarita is truly beuatiful well done. Julie Beard

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  10. Why did you remove the backlash spring? I am using Superior Threads pre-wound bottom line bobbins. Do I need to remove the backlash spring?
    Thanks xx Marie

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    1. Hi Marie,
      You do need to remove the backlash spring IF you are using *magna glide pre-wound bobbins* because they have a magnetic core, not when using the superior pre-wound bobbins.

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