Sewing Machine Tension!!!

I got some surprising news last week! I have a Pfaff Grand Quilter, which I really like. It’s a big, heavy machine which only goes forward and backward (think inexpensive) and because of its big motor, sews so smoothly. I have been having some issues with the tension and finally got it so screwy that I knew I needed help. I went to the store that services it and sat down with the store manager. It happened that one of the technicians was in the room working on something else. When I explained that I was having problems with the tension, they both said “Why are you moving it?”. I was so surprised! Every quilt teacher I have had in recent memory talks about fiddling with the tension.

They both said that there was no reason to adjust the tension. I am always fascinated by all the sample squares that sewing machine stores have, and the woman got out a stack of different fabrics, leathers and a quilted piece and sewed through all of them with very nice stitches. When I asked why all these teachers would say to move the tension, she said she had no idea. One teacher I had also mentioned fooling with the tension on the bobbin and they were horrified by that.

I must say I am relieved. I have been sewing since I was a little girl and never touched the dials until I started quilting. I have always hated doing it and I find the dials on the Grand Quilter a bit difficult to read. Now I will happily ignore them. ( Jasmine promises to supervise.)

I am curious – what do you do?

4 thoughts on “Sewing Machine Tension!!!

  1. Deb Susan and I just went to a lecture by Cindy Needham from Superior thread Co. She was talking about tension. I will copy the hand out that she just emailed me this afternoon.
    I am hearing mixed facts about adjusting the tension.


  2. I do fiddle with the top tension on my GQ, but it’s never really perfect. I zoomed in on your photo to see if I could tell what you have it set at, but I couldn’t. But what I’m curious about is your pressure dial….I set it closer to 0 for FMQ….do you always have yours set between 2-3? Maybe that’s part of my problem! Glad to hear you like your GQ….I’ve been bugging my dealer to get Pfaff to make an 18.8 sit-down. He says “Be patient.” I told him I’m not getting any younger!


  3. Once it is set on my machine, I don’t change it (unless it gets bumped or a child takes it apart). Changing the bobbin tension…I’d rather walk on hot coals barefoot 🙂 . Cute pic of Jasmine! Bet he makes a great supervisor! Take care!


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