Tension is a tug-o-war…

I had the opportunity visit with Jean Impey at the Utah State Quilt Fest. I’m not sure how this came up, but she told me something that she learned from Libby Lehman back in the day. It relates to an article written by Bob Purcell at Superior Threads that you can find here: https://storage.googleapis.com/vw-superiorthreads/docs/tug-of-war-diagram.pdf

Imagine a machine loaded with pink thread on top and blue thread on bottom having a tug-o-war match. The number of people on the pink ‘team’ is represented by the number on the tension dial.

When the tension is correct, all is well. But what if the pink thread is being pulled too much to the back of the stitch? You need more people on the pink team to pull that thread up. You can add them by moving your top tension to a higher number.

If you see blue thread pulling to the top of the stitch, it means that the pink team is pulling too hard… it has too many team members. Turn the tension to a lower number.

I don’t know about you, but I struggle to remember which way to turn the tension dial. This helps a whole lot. Thank you Libby, and Jean, for sharing the perfect way to remember!


Image by Anna Samoylova, #535880, Unsplash


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