|Faith spotted something like these online, and wanted to figure out how to make them. Easy, quick little bean-bag project. She didn't bargain for the bonus lesson...|
|Trusting child, just before discovering the sewing machine wasn't feeling very cooperative today.|
This little trick I could have used for the first 45 years of my life, as I'm sure it was tension (thread tension) that caused all the difficulty with my mom's old Singer, and then her Monkey Wards machine, not that I remember watching Mama sew on those. I actually learned to sew from watching my dad sew a backpack from a kit. I learned a lot of really good sewing words from him, too. None of which I will type here. What I didn't learn from Papa Bear was what to do when the tension adjustment doesn't fix the tension problem, and swear words don't do the trick, either. The solution to this I learned from my friend Carol Pilot, much more recently.
|How your bobbin thread should NOT look. Adjusting the tensioner should fix this, but on quilter's cotton, the mid-range sweet spot should be the right tension.|
|This is what your bobbin thread should look like.|
Carol sews to perfection, and happens to work at a sewing machine store, Creative Sewing. (creativesewingcentersmn.com If you are local and needing a machine, Carol's at the Minnetonka branch.) A couple of years ago, when my machine would not behave no matter how I adjusted, wheedled, or swore, I called Carol, and she told me the secret trick. I've yet to see this in a sewing machine manual, and it's so simple: Sometimes, the little screw on the bobbin case needs adjusted. That's all. No swear words required, just the little screwdriver that came with your machine for no reason mentioned anywhere in your manual.
|This is the little culprit that occasionally needs adjusting. A little screw driver will be much more effective than calling it names or threatening to throw it in a snowbank. Just go 1/4 turn each time, and do another stitch test. Pay attention to which direction you go, of course! In a few tries, in under five minutes, all your tension problems will be cured.|