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we need computers to control tension?
quiltingwolf
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quiltingwolf
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Date: 5/16/13 2:30 PM

After reading all the post on the Bernina tension problems and other information on various other machines with tension issues. I wonder if this is a good thing to have auto tension or computer controlled tension? I say computer controlled as I read the the answer to the Bernina issues is an computer update. I can get beautiful tension with various threads on my Singer Rocketeer. Unlike my computerized Bernina 1630 which seems to not like have two different types of thread in him. Bobbin thread must match top. Now the Janome I have never had to adjust that tension on the 10 years I've had it. Except when embroidering if I don't use Janome bobbin thread I will get white showing on the front on satin stitching. I wonder if it's overzealous design engineers who won't leave well enough alone and make things so sensitive to cause problems. Or a case of simpler is better. I had a beautiful manual needle threader on my Singer CXL worked every time still works. But on the auto one on the Janome it was a constant problem and get stuck in down position preventing me from sewing and had to go back to tech meaning a week without a machine etc. So I stopped using it. Have machines come to a point where it's time to stop designing and start perfecting what we already have.

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Soolip
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Date: 5/16/13 3:00 PM

As in all the arts, there is a real trade-off in quality when it comes to computer-controlled vs. human-controlled. Machines do not have our eyes, our sense of aesthetics, nor can they read our minds. This why I prefer to set my own tensions, top and bottom, have the ability to adjust the presser foot pressure, etc. I like to control the tool, not have the tool control me. The current trend is to make machines that require little, if any, adjustment by the user. Unfortunatley, this means many of these machines cannot be easily adjusted, except by a dealer.

quiltingwolf
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In reply to Soolip <<
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Date: 5/16/13 3:10 PM

And then unless you have multiple sewing machines time away from sewing, gas spent to take to dealer etc.etc. The tension is something so basic on any sewing machine. It's so hard to believe that an expensive sewing machine can't get it right. I would expect this problems with cheap Walmart machines but not with $5,000 and upward. It's not just Bernina I've heard bad things about Vikings also. And I've known some people to have issues with Janome. I remember back in the day way back in the day with my first sewing machine the fashion Mate 237 I was always fooling with that and rather enjoyed it. Is it nice to have a machine you don't have to constantly adjust yes but I think somewhere in the middle would be nice. That's one of the reasons everyone like the janome 6500 had a big old tension dial there just waiting to be fiddled with. Our dependence on machines doing everything for us is starting to concern me (shades of terminator lol). I can see a sewing machine with flaming eyes now.

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Jennifer Hill
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Jennifer Hill
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Date: 5/16/13 3:27 PM

There has always been a segment of the marketplace who can't or won't learn how to set the tensions on their sewing machines. I regularly see posts here by folks who say their moms/home ec teachers/SM techs told them to "Never touch the tension!" and even though they are now well grown up, they remember those stern admonitions. Manufacturers are always eager to incorporate "value added" features to their products, and seek to sell such features (at their higher price points) to the entire market, not just those willing to choose them. Then soon such "improvements" get touted as necessary to provide a total high end sewing experience.

Personally, I be totally appalled if I had to take a sewing machine in for professional service because its tension couldn't be user adjusted to provide a decent stitch quality. I'd be particularly upset if such a machine had cost the equivalent of a decent used car....

Jennifer in Calgary

Cat n Bull
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Date: 5/16/13 4:21 PM

I think it's a WONDERFUL thing to have computer controlled tension, as long as I still have the option to manually change it if needed.

There is not a SINGLE negative thing about putting any combo of thread in the top and bobbin and having the machine automatically PERFECT the tension needed to get a perfect stitch. No testing, no adjusting, no nothing. Thread machine, sew. Pick a different stitch. Sew.

The times I have had to adjust tension, like for differently textured fabrics, such as the FMQ I just did with the extra thick poly batting exposed on the back. The threads had to get through all that fluff to meet each other. It is a simple thing to adjust, the machine doesn't sulk or fight the change at all.

So yes I would be FURIOUS if one of my machines needed a technician to adjust the tension, but LOVE having a machine that I don't have to spend my sewing time messing with the machine.

Some people LIKE messing with the machine, for them that's part of the fun of sewing, but I am not one of them. I like to sit down and sew, the less fuss the better.

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Cathryn

quiltingwolf
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In reply to Cat n Bull <<
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Date: 5/16/13 4:28 PM

But Cat you have a Pfaff lol. I'm going to buy a CS after I win power ball this weekend. Half a billion dollars unbelievable.

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easterbun
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Date: 5/16/13 5:14 PM

I think it's unrealistic to expect that computer controlled tension *never* needs tweaking, much like you can't expect to never mess with the dial on a traditional tension system. The problem is that a lot of people assume computer controlled = I don't have to change anything, and that isn't how it works.

That said, I agree with Jennifer, if I was unable to adjust my machine for satisfactory stitch quality without having to take it in to be serviced I'd be very unhappy... especially if it was a TOL machine.

tourist
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Date: 5/16/13 8:04 PM

If it helps at all, I do remember my mom complaining about setting the tensions on her little portable Singer back in the 50's. The difference then was that the "Singer man" would come to the house. Yes, to the HOUSE! and fix it. And we lived in Nowheresville, BC back then, not a big city.

I could not possibly work with a machine that needed matching threads. I can barely get out of the house in matching shoes....

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http://bgballroom.wordpress.com to follow the progress on my next ballgown.

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