One of the biggest issues I see students struggle with, is tension knowledge. To get a balanced stitch (assuming that is what you want!) think of it as a TUG OF WAR! Top thread vs bottom thread. Who will win? Just like the real game, the muscle wins the tug… meaning a heavy weight will almost always out-pull a light-weight! So if you use a 40 weight thread (the heavier one) on top, and a 50 weight (lighter thread) on the bottom (bobbin), the 40 weight is going to win, and will ‘pull’ the light thread to the top. To avoid that happening, you have to take some of the muscle away from the top thread, or remove a player so the odds are more even. To do that, you must loosen your top tension! I call it ‘taking players away’ from the tug of war. You have to take even more players away from the top if you use a 60 weight (an even lighter thread) in the bobbin. Make sense? Well… sew it out! Make a test sample, and see for yourself what your stitching looks like.
I think the chart above really helps bring that visual picture home. Get it! STUDY it! Then APPLY it to your sewing and quilting.
I also really like the “trouble shooting guide” – below. If you want to find out where to begin figuring out ‘what went wrong’ – then check out this handy guide:
Both of these items are invaluable. Have I told you how good they are?!! They are VERY good. I’ve learned ALOT from using them. You will too!
Get them! Print them out in color… keep them by your sewing machine! AND THE VERY BEST PART? They are FREE FREE FREE! Yay. Yay. YAY!