Welcome to SewVeryEasy, my name is Laura. And today it’s a special episode on tension and your sewing machine. It is very scary sometimes to change the tension on your sewing machine because, after all, we’ve had that tension and it’s so good for us every time when we sit down with our all-purpose thread. However, there are a lot of amazing threads out there and boy it would be nice to know how to adjust your machine to do them. And you 𝘤𝘢𝘯 adjust your machine. It’s no different than changing the temperature on your oven: You need to turn it to 350°, it goes down to 300°, goes back up to 400°… The tension is the same thing. It’s a matter of two disks together and they’re called tension disks and when the tension is very loose the disks are farther apart and the thread goes between these two disks that are like plates. And the pressure that’s put on these plates should match the pressure that the bobbin is, so the bobbin the bobbin and the top thread should be in the same tension. the same pull. And when that happens you end up with the stitch the same from the top and the same from the bottom, so they meet equal in the middle. You don’t have the top showing on the bottom and you don’t have the bottom showing on the top. Now there are a lot of different threads out there and I have come across a program that I have just signed up for and I think it’s a great program and it’s put on by Superior Threads, and they call it Superior University. It’s a 12-month program, you pay one price a month, they send it to you. They send you everything you’re going to need to make a little project, and at the end of the year you’re going to have 12 little gifting items to give away. That’s if you can stop at 12. But they’re going to send you the thread and everything you’re going to need except for fabric. What a great opportunity to learn how to master that tension on your sewing machine. Now I just got the kit in the mail for the first month and it came with a lot of information. It came with this little manual and in it is all their different threads and colors of their threads. I’m going to be able to refer back to that many times. Then there’s this DVD. It’s an hour and 45 minute class on threads. I didn’t think anybody could talk for an hour and 45 minutes about thread, however my girlfriend and I did the other day. It’s a great bit of information. And they send you this binder to keep all of your project information in, and they’re going to send you stuff every month. And in it they put all these sleeves with papers and it tells you what needles to go with what thread and the machines, all sorts of information on this. This will be a nice thing to keep on hand. Now the other thing they send with this first installment this is nice big piece of Soft and Stable. Now soft and stable is very similar to a quilt batting however it’s stable. Quilt batting is more for quilts: it’s soft, it’s supposed to bend. This is bendable but it keeps its shape and this I have no idea what we’re going to do with it but it’s going to go with all of the projects they’re going to send you to use. They also sent this beautiful spool of Bottom Line thread and it is great for the bobbin. And it’s great for quilting because it’s very, very soft and smooth. Absolutely no lint on this and my machine will be very happy with no lint. Titanium needles is another thing they’re going to send you. Now titanium needles is a fairly new thing out. What it is is a coating that goes over top of the needles and it makes the needles very smooth. There’s no burrs on them they’re very very smooth and it strengthens the needles add it strengthens the needle tip so you get more bang for your buck out of titanium needles. Now here is the best thing. Way to adjust your machine. They recommend that you start off with an 8″ by 10″ piece of fabric and you make it into like a little quilt sandwich, so what I did is because i know there’s 12 projects in this coming for 12 months, I pre-made 12 of these quilt sandwiches. And this is all going to go in a box so that it’s ready when the project comes in. Now here’s the best part: how to adjust your machine, and they talk about all of this so it really takes a lot of guesswork out of it. But you start with this quilt sandwich and you draw the line down. And this you can do with any project, any thread. You start with the number 0 and you go every inch and ½ inch until you get to 10″. And here’s the idea: You start at the top, you put your machine to a 0 tension and then as you adjust, as you get down to 1, you change your tension to 1. As you get to 2 your tension is going to be at 2, all the way down to 10. When you take this off from the machine you’re going to be able to compare the front to the back and you’ll know what is the best tension your machine wants for that thread because every machine is a little bit different. So if it’s at a number 4 then you know your machine likes that thread at a number 4. This is a great idea! This was so great I decided I was going to do this not only for the projects that are coming up but for my own. So I have taken and made myself a nice bit quilt sandwich and I have half of a black and half of it white because if you’re using a black thread you would so on the light and that way you would be able to see what the tension is. Mind you, you’re going to sew on black fabric but this is just to test the tension. So I’m going to use a light color thread: I would go to the black side. I’ve drawn my lines so every project that I get to start I’m going to be able to do a line of stitching to make sure my tension is perfect. And I’m going to have it great reference manual when I’m done, so this is going to be a great thing. So with each project I’m going to make one of these samples and I’m going to show you how to do it with a Razzle Dazzle thread. Now the Razzle Dazzle thread is the first thread that comes to make a kit but it is a very beautiful thread, but when you look at it really close it seems to be very thick, and it’s made to use in the bobbin. So what you’re going to do is you’re going to spool up your bobbin and you are going to sew upside-down. So the front is not the front; it becomes the back. So when you are stitching, your top thread will be the back and when you turn it over you’re going to be able to see the thread work. It’s a very easy way to do it but it’s also a very good way to show you how to use this 0 to 10 method. Let me take you to the machine and I’m going to show you how easy it is to start from 0 and go to 10 and understand what you’re looking for, and that will clear up a lot of information about getting to know your tension. You’re going to start on the 0 line and from 0 to the 1 I’m going to increase. Now I’m at my 1 mark so I’m going to change my tension to 2. I’m at my 2 mark Im going to increase it to 3. Then I’m going to so do the 3 mark. And I’m going to continue this all the way down until the 10. So when you’ve gone all the way, take it up and this stitching line of course is your top thread, but you are sewing backwards so this becomes your top thread. So you see here you have some little pink sticking out on the top. That should not be showing from this side. Nor should your stitches be loose. Nor should you have the gold on the other side. So the stitches must be even. So here you can see you have no gold coming from this side and when I turn it over I have no pink on this side. So that would be the right tension. So between 5 and 6s is a really nice spot for me to use so that’s going to be my preferred tension for this Razzle Dazzle thread. So I wrote it down and I won’t forget. Now I’m going to test it doing a decorative stitch and a free motion stitch and you can see how it is just not good at the beginning and then it starts to get a little better and then down here you can see how beautiful that stitch looks so you’ll know that is the right one. Let’s test it with a quilting stitch so what I’ve done is I’ve put little one-inch marks and I’m going to just free-motion a loop and then a loop and each loop is going to be a different tension. Do a loop, stop, change the tension. And you’re going to do this all the way and when you’re going to turn it over you’ll be able to see what stitch is the best stitch to use. So there’s all my little marks and when I turn it over you can see how it gets tighter and the stitch gets better, so I know that in this mark this is where it’s better so when I turn it over I know it’s between 8 and 9. I have my thread marked on my fabric, I have the information for my straight stitch, the information I need on my decorative stitch, and the information I need on my free-motion. And I wrote what needle I used and what top thread I used. So let’s just do a recap: You can see at 0 how obviously this is not going to work with any one of the threads, but as you go down you can see the difference, and you will be able to know exactly what the right tension is. So this will be a permanent reference that you will always be able to go to. And doing this with every project will definitely take the guesswork out of it. So all that beautiful thread that you see in the stores and you’re not too sure what to do with, now you can have confidence and buy that thread because you will know how to adjust your machine. I’m going to put a link in the description for the Superior University if you want to sign up and join along, because I really think this is going to be a great thing. I’m very excited about it. I’m going to have 12 projects done at the end of the year, then I’m going to have some nice little gift items, and chances are I’ll probably make more than one thing with the threads testing things. So I hope you join along because whenever I get these kits in the mail I’m going to be giving them a try. And I’m going to show you how I’ve been able to adjust my machine, and different ideas on how to use the different threads. Let’s face it it’s always nice to have other possibilities and other threads. I do hope you join along. Thank you for joining me today on SewVeryEasy. Feel free to subscribe and come on back and let’s see what we’re sewing next time in the sewing room. Bye for now.