StitchFun News
the daily embroidery newsletter
Advertising the Best of the Embroidery Internet
Friday, September 30, 2016

Tension and the FOXY Test

Tension... We all have it. But what I am talking about it tension on our embroidery machines. How do we know if it is off? And if we think it is off, how do we fix it?

Most embroidery machines have a factory setting that is between embroidery and sewing and works well. That is great if we always stitch like the factory does. BUT, if we change what the factory used then the tension may not match.

Some machines have a different bobbin case for embroidery and for sewing. Some use just one. But that magic setting is somewhere that you can live with to make your stitches come out perfect in embroidery and not have to be adjusted much for sewing.

On the embroidery machine we all have our thoughts on perfect tension. For most of us, we want that upper thread to roll to the back leaving us with a nice clean line on the edges, and a bit of a roll to the back so we are sure none of the white bobbin comes to the top. Smooth edges, clean lines and a beautiful embroidery is what we are all searching for.

The best way to test your tension is to use the "FOX" test. Take your block can use what is built into your machine and write the word FOX in all capital block letters. (The word FOX has all the different angles that your embroidery machine will need to travel in any design.) Choose a contrasting upper embroidery thread that you can see well and stitch the word FOX out using the normal stabilizer, threads, bobbin and fabric that you use most often. Unhoop and check the back of the embroidery.

Is the top thread pulled to the back leaving only about 1/3 of stitching on the back being the bobbin thread. If it is then you have wonderful tension. If you have less than that, you will need to tighten your bobbin thread. If you know how to tighten the screw on your bobbin case, do it in 1/4 turn increments and test the word again till you get what you need. If you are uncomfortable tightening the screw then take it to your dealer, along with your test stitch and your normal choice of bobbin and upper thread and tell him you want it tightened to show the 1/3 only bobbin on the back. This adjustment can also be a bit less than 1/3 bobbin thread as well, it is your choice. But any more than 1/3 bobbin showing may cause your embroidery to be less than perfect on the front, showing white edges on satin stitches and more.

Your regular sewing should follow easily with most all jobs with this same tension you have just created. But be aware you might have to adjust again if you change brands of bobbins or upper threads. It is always a good thing to do this test before you run a project. Just for fun I have created an embroidery design of the word FOXY so you can test...and with the added Y you can use it on a project if you want...none of us wants to waste any kind of embroidery. Click here to download this free design.

Next issue: embroidering on felt

from Lyn Christian of A Design By Lyn

Missed an issue of the StitchFun News? Check out the Archives Page.

Oak Leaves

Oak leaves become
graceful embroidery with
these elegant designs.

Golf Shoes

Just like Mommy
and Daddy! Make
them right in your
embroidery hoop.


8 flaming cars and a complete
outline alphabet to personalize.

Dog Gone! Fabrics

Fun fabrics coordinate with
the Dog Gone! embroidery
designs. Quality cotton for
quilting and in-the-hoop designs.


5 lovely butterfly designs
with floral accents. Stitch
in your favorite color.

Cosmetic Bag 02

Zippered, leak-proof,
with all seams finished

Embroider with your
favorite designs or
showcase a special fabric.

Set of 3 sizes.

Pumpkin Jewels

Beautiful jeweled designs
can be stitched with or without
Mylar. 7 designs for the
5x7 hoop.

Save 20% with
coupon code

Teeny Candy

Miniature designs to
satisfy your sweet tooth.

Half-price, today only!


Cute, happy appliqué
designs to delight your
future aviator.


Great collection of
pumpkins, ghosts and other
fun Halloween designs.

Harvest Basket

A lovely basket
filled with colorful

Includes filled and
redwork variations.

Love Paw

Proclaim how you feel
about your furry friends with
this special design. For the 4x4
and 5x7 hoops, in your choice
of filled or appliqué.

in the Night

Stitch these elegant
designs with glow in the
dark thread, sparkly 
metallics, or basic rayon
or polyester thread.
Today is the last day
to buy them at 50% off!


Gorgeous roses in a lighter
fill for beautiful stitching on
even lightweight fabrics.

5 designs per set, or
buy both sets and save!

Introductory pricing!

for Everyone

Heirloom quality hankies
for all occasions are easy
to embroider. Stitch a chic
gift for someone special.

Crystallized™ -
Swarovski Elements

Hot Fix
Crystals & Pearls

Add some sparkle to your
everyday embroidery with
hot fix crystals.

Two Pumpkins

Simple fall design transcends
Halloween. Lightweight contour
stitching is ideal for tees and
table linens. Works well on
heavier fabrics, too!

Candy Corn
Softies & Appliqué Set

Candy corn toys each have a pocket on
the back to hold a gift card or other surprise.
These are made completely in the hoop
with no sewing required.

Matching appliqué also comes in 2 sizes.

StitchFun News
the daily embroidery newsletter published by
Perfect Little Stitches.

To subscribe to the StitchFun News,
enter your email address below:

Emma Allen is the owner of Perfect Little Stitches and can be contacted at .
Thank you for reading!


If you enjoy reading the StitchFun News, or have found the
information helpful, please consider sending a donation through PayPal.
Any amount is appreciated. Thanks!

The contents of this newsletter are copyrighted. StitchFun is not a mall and does not sell designs. Please contact the individual designer if you have questions about her designs or special offers.

Visit the StitchFun home page and
Advertiser Index