So, Suze and I went to spend a morning with dear Donna at The Cotton Patch in Lafayette this week. On a cotton quilt sandwich with a batting of similar loft to the Quilters' Dream Cotton I typically use, we experimented until we got it right.
Free motion quilting with a #29 foot, we found the following made perfect stitches without any tension, breakage, or entanglement issues:
- Top Tension at 3.0, Topstitch 90 Schmetz needle, Single Stitch Throat Plate, pulling about 8" of bobbin thread to the top before starting with a few close stitches:
- With Superior Polyester Monofilament in the bobbin, wound at half speed, and the bobbin tension TWO CLICKS RIGHT of normal
- Top threads that worked with this:
- 40 weight Superior/Hollis Chatelain Living Colors, Nature Colors and Highlights (I have every color these come in)
- 40 weight Mettler Quilting Cotton
- 40 weight Mettler Poly Sheen
- 30 weight Aurifil cotton
- YLI 40 weight cotton in variegated solid colors -- top and bobbin -- worked for free motion quilting with Top Tension at 1.25 and Bobbin Tension at Normal
- At home later, I found that with Alex Anderson's Masterpiece thread, I had to set top tension at 1.0 with MonoPoly at TWO CLICKS RIGHT of normal in the bobbin. Or is it that I stitch faster than Donna was stitching? (The reason I don't use the BSR is because I like to stitch fairly fast.)
Appliqué with Superior Bottom Line in the bobbin and Superior MonoPoly on top, which we used with a 5.5mm throat plate, foot #20C, and stitch No. 2 or 3, bobbin tension TWO CLICKS RIGHT of normal
Bobbin Thread Painting worked great with heavy Jeans thread in the bobbin (sorry, the label is gone so I can't state the particulars) and MonoPoly on top, bobbin tension TWO CLICKS LEFT of normal, Top Tension at 3.0, Topstitch 90 needle.
Still to be resolved, which our genius tech guy (Chris at Cotton Patch) will look into this week:
- Using Superior Living Colors or Nature Colors or Highlights both on the top and in the bobbin, I still had breakage.
- Using Superior's 40 weight Rainbows on top, I had major breakage.
My thanks to Donna, Suze, Carolie, Cotton Patch, and Created by CJ for getting me to focus in and resolve these questions. I hope this helps others, too!