Unwanted Eyelashes

Dinner had been eaten and the dishes and kitchen tidied up.

I was looking at my new machine and quilting frame, wondering where to begin, when hubby says "I'm surprised you haven't turned that on yet".

Yes, even though we've been crazy busy, I, too was surprised that I hadn't made time to play with my new toy.

I pulled out some fabric and made a quick table runner - while hub read the instruction manual.

Before long, the runner was rolled onto the frame and ready to go.

After taking a few more minutes playing, trying to work out how to thread the machine - it was time.

I decided to start with swirls...

It was all coming along so beautifully.

The cruise control is wonderful and I enjoyed speeding up and slowing down while the machine keep the stitches looking good.

I thought I was going really REALLY well for a first go... until I looked underneath.

Those DREADED quilting eyelashes!!


I've rethreaded the machine and bobbin and turned knobs back and forth, but I still have lots of loose stitches at the back.


I'd love your suggestions on where I may have gone wrong.

Most importantly, I'd love your suggestions on what I can try, to fix my eyelash situation.

Hopefully I have more time to play with quilting later. I'm heading out to collect an order from my fabric wholesaler. Lots of lovely new goodies from Moda to tempt us fabric-aholics... and as its so close to the beautiful Ikea in Tempe, I may just need to call in there too...


  1. did you have the presser foot down?
    or tension is too tight.what machine do you have?

  2. Oh that's a pain! Usually rethreading works for me. There are Teflon bobbin washers to help reduce eye lashing too.

  3. Once I had this happen...well more than once,lol. But this particular time; I throught the bobbin out;used a new one and things were fine...give it a try. fingers are crossed!!

  4. I have found I have to use bobbin thread in the bobbin and have the tension like 8 or I cant machine quilt. It is a little frustrating at times.

  5. This always happens to me when I forget to lower the presser foot. Dang, I hate it when that happens.

  6. I find adjusting the tension just a tiny bit at a time works. It's just playing with it to make it work the way you want it to. Wine and chocolate help too. :)

  7. I find that adjusting the tension a little at a time helps. That and chocolate and wine. :)

  8. Looks like your top tension is too loose. It seems counter-intuitive, but if the problem is on the bottom of the fabric, often the solution is to check the top thread.

    you could also try leaving your feed dogs UP and reducing your stitch length to zero. On some machines the tension works better when the feed dogs are engaged even for free motion quilting (you can also try covering the feed dogs with some thin card or painter's tape if the roughness is catching on your fabric.

    Good luck!


  9. It's a top tension problem. I don't know what machine you have but you'll have to play with the tension and your timing. Speeding up/down changes the tension as well. It's a lot of practice since it seems you have a new toy. Don't give up as new machines take time to get used to. Have fun and I hope you get the top tension figured out. Good Luck!

  10. sorry can't help you! but good luck!

  11. Double and triple check that your machine is threaded properly. Make certain the same with the bobbin and that it is inserted properly. It appears that your top tension is too loose and if making it tighter doesn't work then you will need to tighten the bobbin tension. Best of luck.

  12. I think I had that backwards.....sorry! Top is too loose and bottom too tight. It's been a long day! ;)

  13. I just took my first fmq class so I don't have any real experience but I will say that I ended up with a similar effect - it was a total mess really - on the back of my practice piece at my second class and the problem was as simple as not having my presser foot down. That's all it was. Obviously I don't know if that's what your issue is but I see that someone else mentioned this as a possible answer ... so ... perhaps?

    Good luck! What a pain to have technical difficulties when you just want to be making progress and having fun doing it!

  14. Your top tension is too loose and you may be moving the machine too fast. The machine will sound like it needs to be moved quicker but it doesn't. Your stitches should be way smaller than the ones in the photo. Hope this helps...

  15. It sounds obvious but this is what I get when I forget to put the presser foot down. All looks good on top but a disaster underneath. Otherwise it looks like tension. Could it also be the thread your machine doesn't like. I recently bought some thread and no matter how I set my machine it hated it, it either snapped constantly or looped so I gave it to someone else to try in their machine or chuck it if hers hates it too! Went back to my usual thread and no problems! Frustrating for sure!

  16. If is a bobbin tension. Loosen the little screw justthe tinyest bit! (Righty. Tighty. Lefty. Loosey! )


  17. I'm with the gals who mentioned the top tension.. as long as the presser foot is down it would appear to be the top thread needs its tension increased to pull the cross over of the top and bottom thread into the fabric rather than it happening on the underside. I very rarely change the tension on my bobbin AT ALL.

  18. I had this trouble on mine, tis the top tension,but you have probably fixed it by now :)


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