Recently, a student in my Free-Motion Quantum Leap class was having a dickens of a time with her top thread tension -- she just couldn't get it to tighten up at all and she wasn't able to balance the top and bottom threads to get a good stitch. The machine was new, and she had tried for the previous two days in two other classes to get the tension right -- with no success. She did what I'm about to share with you and it was fixed in an instant.
You're sitting in front of you machine, threading it. The thread comes off the spool and through some kind of hook or loop on the top of the machine, then drops down the front of the machine toward the tension. The thread loops around the tension discs then back up to the take-up lever.
That loop-around-the-tension step is where the problem was occurring: the thread was going AROUND the tension discs, not popping BETWEEN the tension discs. So, there was no tension on the thread at all.
The simple fix is this: As you loop the thread around the tension discs, put the finger of your right hand on the thread on top of the machine. Now, when you loop the thread around the tension discs, it will tighten and pop between the discs.
My student was SO excited -- this solved her tension problem and the machine stitched perfectly.
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