Question about Kenmore 12102

1 Answer

Tension issue I am trying to set the correct tension and stich length so I can quilt using my new feed foot.  I normally have a tension of about 4 or 3, and a length of 2.  Quilting requires the stitches to be as I set my stitch length to 3, the back of the fabric now is covered in ugly loops.  Then I try to compensate by putting the tension tighter to say a 1, and the loops are still there.  I tried tightening my bobbin and it has not helped.  Please help me.

Posted by on

1 Answer

  • Level 2:

    An expert who has achieved level 2 by getting 100 points


    An expert that got 5 achievements.


    An expert whose answer got voted for 20 times.


    An expert who has written 20 answers of more than 400 characters.

  • Expert
  • 110 Answers
Re: Tension issue

If you set the tension from 3of 4 to 1 you actually lowered the tension. To increase the tension you must set the tension to 6 or higher. Be carefull not the set the bobbin case tension to tight as this will also have negative results

If suggest the following: First lower the bobbin case tension, half a turn. Then increase the top tension to 6 and see if there is any difference.

If you do this systematically you should rectify your problem.

Good Luck

Posted on Jan 21, 2008

Add Your Answer

0 characters

Uploading: 0%


Complete. Click "Add" to insert your video. Add


3 Points

Related Questions:

1 Answer

Bobbin thread will not catch unless the foot is down?

Ashleigh--Your machine will work satisfactorily ONLY if the presser foot is down. When the presser foot is up, the tension disk is released, therefore, no tension = a big knot of thread.

To free motion quilt, you should drop the feed dogs. Install a darning foot (this foot is shorter in length so when it is lowered, there is a space between the presser foot and needle plate). The space allows the fabric to be moved easily while stitching.

Some sewists will free motion quilt without a presser foot (if they don't have a darning foot), but that is very dangerous as one can easily sew through a finger. However, even when sewing without a presser foot, the presser foot mechanism needs to be lowered in order to properly form stitches.

How to Free Motion Quilt on Regular Sewing Machine

Feb 25, 2016 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Pressure foot for free motion quilting and settings

I have used the embroidery foot, which has a round hoop about 1/4" in diameter on the "business end." You can also use an open-toed foot. You want to set your tension so that the bobbin thread doesn't show on the front. You can free-motion quilt with the feed dogs either up or down; some people feel that leaving them up gives a more regular stitch length. You should try both ways to see which you like better.

Also, there is a really neat website with tons of free-motion quilting designs, each with a little video of how to do it; I recommend checking it out:

Mar 12, 2014 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Bernina walking foot that came with my Bernina QE 440. I have installed the walking foot correctly, feed dogs up, but quilt layers don't seem to 'feed' and stitches are tiny, regardless of the setting. I...

There are a lot of variables with your problem. I quilt for a living and I really would need to see a video to help you. Your machine is pretty portable and the issue is probably just operator error. I work for a Bernina dealership and we are instructed to be incredibly accommodating in these situations. Just take it in and ask for help.

Jan 27, 2014 | Sewing Machines

2 Answers

How do I set my pfaff mahine up for free motion quilting

try dropping the feed dogs, & reduce the top thread tension one number at a time till the stitches are normal

Feb 27, 2012 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

How do I set the tension on my Necchi 3101? I want to freehand motion quilt on it.

The tension is not changed.

You lower the feed dogs, or change the stitch length to zero and cover the feed dogs by taping an index card (make a hole for the needle) over them.

Be sure to use a darning or free motion foot and have the presser foot down when stitching.

Mar 17, 2010 | Necchi 3101 Mechanical Sewing Machine

1 Answer

My stiches are tight and small

Either the stitch length selector is not working, the feed dogs are not working, or the tension is too tight.

Check the manual for your sewing machine for the correct tension setting.

Thread the machine with the presser foot up - always.

Check the settings for the length and see if it changes when you change the setting.

Check the feed dogs to make sure they are engaged/up.

Never use thread for hand quilting or buttons as they both have a coating which can gum up the tension.

Keep the machine clean and lubricated (if this is indicated in your manual - some of the new models require this be done by a service tech).

Feb 23, 2010 | Sewing Machines

1 Answer

Settings for stippling freesia 425

Lower feed dogs. Turn on Needle Down. Presser foot pressure on Darning setting. Don't forget to lower the presser foot lever. That's about it! Since you are going to be the feed dogs, it doesn't really matter if you have a stitch length set or not, but do have width set for "0". The spring loaded darning/embroidery/quilting foot is the best for stippling, but try it with any open toe foot you may have. Do a few samples first using the threads you intend using on your project because the tensions might need tweaking. Try to get the result you like by adjusting only the top thread tension. If you really have to adjust the bobbin too, put a small mark on the bobbin case where the "normal" position of the screw is so you can return to that when you are done quilting.

Jan 31, 2010 | Husqvarna Freesia 425

1 Answer

L-344 loose stiching

You need to do a tension assembly test. Normal 0 MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:"Times New Roman";} Tension assembly test. To do this test. Pull the thread through the tension assembly and test it to make sure the tension is working correctly.
(To do this test, adjust your tension setting to normal or medium or 5 or something in the middle. Raise the presser foot and pull the thread through the tension. It should pull easily!! Lower the presser foot and pull the thread. It should pull noticeably harder.)
If it doesn’t work this way then you probably have a piece of thread or lint stuck inside the tension discs. To remove it, turn the tension to 0 zero and raise the presser foot.Using a small screwdriver, open the space between the discs and spray with canned or compressed air. The stuff should come out. Do the tension test again to make sure you got everything and then try sewing again.

Dec 22, 2008 | Janome L-344 Mechanical Sewing Machine

3 Answers

Needle thread breaks while quilting on machine frame

My friend and I both have the Juki 98Q but on different frames - we were both having problems (needles breaking, thread getting tangled) we removed the thin metal thing inside the bobbin case and have had no problems since (over a year now!).

Nov 01, 2008 | Juki TL-98Q

1 Answer

Free motion

If the machine works on regular stitching and only messes up on free motion ,the most likely problem is the presser foot has not been lowered. Get everything ready to sew, lower the presser foot lever and pull on the upper thread near the take up lever. It should have tension on it. Raise the foot and try again, it should not have tension on it . If this is what you get, lower the presser foot lever and try it again.

Jun 10, 2008 | Kenmore 19233 Computerized Sewing Machine

Not finding what you are looking for?
Kenmore 12102 Logo

665 people viewed this question

Ask a Question

Usually answered in minutes!

Top Kenmore Sewing Machines Experts

Bargain Box
Bargain Box

Level 3 Expert

1388 Answers


Level 3 Expert

94039 Answers


Level 2 Expert

182 Answers

Are you a Kenmore Sewing Machine Expert? Answer questions, earn points and help others

Answer questions

Manuals & User Guides