Quilting Tip #3…and the lies they tell

Ladies, we have been lied to all these years:  THE WORLD WILL NOT COME TO AN END IF YOU ADJUST YOUR BOBBIN TENSION.  This goes for longarm, midarm, and domestic sewing machines.  I don’t know why this lie got started.  Did it have something to do with sexism?  Were women considered too hairbrained to handle a screwdriver?  Perhaps adjusting bobbin tension would adversely affect the ovaries?

I do not blame Mrs. Gaska, my 7th grade home economics teacher, for telling me this lie.  I am sure ‘they’ lied to her too.  Feel free to use an eyeglass screwdriver to make incremental adjustments to your bobbin tension (righty-tighty, lefty-loosey), especially if you tend to run different weight threads in your bobbin.

Adjust the screw here with a screwdriver from an eyeglass repair kit.
Adjust the screw here with a screwdriver from an eyeglass repair kit.

As a general rule, I run my bobbin thread as loose as possible on my longarm–much looser than the manufacturers’ typical recommendation.  This means I am less likely to have too-tight tension on the back of the quilt, where I can’t easily see it until I have quilted way too many stitches to want to remove.

What lies have the quilt police told you?


2 thoughts on “Quilting Tip #3…and the lies they tell

  1. These are hilarious, Neroli! I am so glad you got over all the negative advice and started doing what your heart and head wanted.

  2. Ah so many lies – this one is a good one though. Below are my other favourites:

    You must learn how to sew points before you can do any creative work.

    You can’t design / sell (fusible patterns) until you know how to do a scant 1/4″ seam (and of course the above mentioned points)

    Bindings must be done in the conventional fashion – and stitched on at the back

    You have to match your top machine thread with your bobbin (seriously? Where did this one come from?)

    You can’t sew free motion with metallic threads in the top and bottom

    If your machine isn’t sewing well it’s as it doesn’t sew that brand / type etc

    You should never mix synthetics with natural fibres

    You can never cross over your line of stitching when free motioning

    I’m sure I have enough for my own blog post here. These actually put me off quilting for a year or so about 6 months after I started. Silly, silly me. All are so very wrong and I do perfectly nice quilt (with sound construction) without heeding a single one.

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