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Denman Island, British Columbia, Canada
Jean Cockburn retired from her professional career as an academic librarian in 2008 to become a textile artist living on Denman Island, British Columbia. She draws, quilts, embroiders, knits and crochets, makes wearable art, weaves baskets, dyes fabric, and paints watercolours. Her work has been exhibited locally in juried and group shows on Denman Island, in Courtenay, Comox, and Duncan on Vancouver Island, in West Vancouver, and across Canada with the Surface Design Association.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Free Motion Quilting on my Singer 201

I have talked before about my wonderful old Singer 201 sewing machine.

My Singer machine.

These models are not supposed to be the best for free motion quilting, as the horizontal drop-in bobbin arrangement means that the bobbin thread makes a 90 degree turn before meeting the needle thread. However, the stitch quality is so high that I love using my machine for FMQ.
Yesterday I was happily quilting the trees on my "Moonset Over the Beaufort Range" wall quilts, when, eek, the tension went all funny.

Notice the clumps of thread build-up at the end of each stem.
I fearlessly took the upper thread tension apparatus apart, and fiddled for awhile, to no avail.

The tension works just fine now, even though the number dial is set up incorrectly.
Then I truly got serious, and actually read the manual and some information from the Internet. Then it all went together just fine. I did not get the number dial back in quite the right order, so tension level 3 works like 5, but who cares, as long as it works? I also put the feed dogs back up, as some folks said that dropping the feed dogs disrupted the tension, and made no difference to the FMQ action; in fact, having the feed dogs engaged gives more control.

Nice tension for this tree.

A little grease under the thumb nail, just like a real mechanic.

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