* If you are a beginner in quilting or thinking of becoming a quilter, one of the best tips I can give is to take a local quilting class that will teach you the basics in fabric selection, needle and thread options and rotary cutting. Once you know where to begin it will make your first project much easier. Then like the rest of us once you have completed your first quilting project, you'll be hooked for life !
*Always use a fusible stabilizer, whether it's a woven or a knit fabric. I find that all fabrics have some kind of stretch to them and this is the best way to begin stabilizing. Then I add a cut away or a tear away under the hoop, depending on the density of the design.
Want perfect thread tension? Try this technique, cut a piece of fabric 6" or 8" square and stitch a line from corner to corner. With a stitched corner in each hand, stretch the square along the stitched line till you hear or feel a thread break. If both the top and bobbin threads break in the exact same place, you have perfect tension.
The first website listed has a free BOM quilt called Henrietta Whiskers, you can download the blocks and the instructions for FREE! The second website listed is for all you embroidery addicts! Lots of wonderful designs.
Factory preset tension settings for sewing are different from those required
for quilting and enbroidering, so a just-out-of-the-box new machine is not set for quilting and embroidery functions. Most machines have a tension scale ranging from zero to (no tension) to 10 (very tight tension). The average factory preset tension setting is 5.0 and remember,that is for 50 or 60 wt. polyester sewing thread. If you use a cotton, metallic, silk, monofilament, delicate, sensitive, or heavier threads a tension setting of 5.0 is too tight in most instances. We have about 25 different types of threads including fine, medium and heavy threads in various fibers. The most common tension settings recommended for the majority of our threads range between 2.0 and 4.0. (Superior Threads) So what does automatic Tension mean? Can a machine sense every different type of thread, fabric, batting, and backing? Of course not. Automatic tension means that the machine adjusts (usually lowers) the top tension setting when some specific stitches are selected or when the embroidery function is engaged. If you use a range of different threads, it is important to learn how to manually adjust the top tension and not rely on the automatic function. I guarantee this will solve many sewing-related problems and open the door to new possibilities.