Saturday , 3 December 2016
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Thousands of Bolts Only One Nut

Fabric shopping is a subjective thing, particularly online. You can’t touch and feel the fabric and are restricted to just the accuracy of the images provided for making your selection. So I don’t normally make recommendations for online fabric purchasing. At least with Hancock Fabrics and JoAnn’s you have the opportunity to go to a store and see it first.

But is different. They have a large inventory, logically arranged. They tell you how much they have in stock before you make your selection. They provide swatches that represent six inches with the option to view a two-inch representation. The search feature allows you to search by name, manufaturer, and even sku.  They have a wish list section that includes a designer’s pallette that allows you to drag and drop fabrics in any order so that you can group fabric selections.And, you can save the wishlist if you have an account. Last but not least, their prices are great and their sales are awesome!

I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of my fabric when I received my first order last week. They’ve been added to my favorites and can consider me a regular customer!

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top thread quilting

Tension and my Gammill Charm – A Break Through!!

In my continuing quest to conquer thread tension on my Gammill Charm aka Tasha, I stopped by Cut Up and Quilt to chat with Jade. They have two Gammill Statlers and Jade is their expert. Her observations/recommendations:

First, don’t thread your machine as instructed in the manual. Below are adjustments I made to my Charm based on her recommendations and how she threads the two Statlers.

Pretension knob: thread clockwise around the pretension knob. Note there is NO twisting  of the thread as it comes back through the eyelet.

Pretension Threading

Thread break sensor: Bend around the sensor but do NOT do a complete circle.

Thread Break Sensor Threading

Eyelet: Thread as normal

Eyelet Threading

Tension Knob: Wind around clockwise but do NOT complete a circle. Thread just far enough to catch the hook. Thread the rest of the way as normal.

Tension knob threading

Upper tension: pretty straight forward….adjust both tension and pretension knobs so that the screw is even with the knob when you run your finger across them. Then…….drum roll please…..DON’T TOUCH THEM TO MAKE TENSION ADJUSTMENTS!

Knob even with screw

Make all your tension adjustments with your bobbin case. Period. Using a TOWA gauge set your initial tension to between 180 and 200. If you are using a 50 weight thread such as So Fine. This should be all you need to do. In my case, I was using So Fine (50 weight) on the top and Bottom Line (60 weight) on the bottom. I had to tweak the bobbin case a couple of times because of the different weights. It ended up closer to 200 in my case…but here’s the result:

top thread quilting

As you can see, the top thread is perfect. I can’t believe how nice it looks…been awhile. I was shocked at what a difference these tweaks in threading and tension made.


And here’s the bottom side. Not as pretty as the top. I probably need to loosen just a smidgen. But I consider this a huge success.

The fabric used was batik with Warm and Natural cotton batting.

I was so used to fussing with the top tension this is a real learning curve for me. And Jade is right. Tweaking just one is way better than messing with both. If I’m flat-lining on top, I need to tighten the bottom tension. If I’m flat-lining on the bottom, I need to loosen the bottom tension. That simple.

Awesome. Hope this helps those who have been wringing their hands, biting off their tongues, or pulling out hair. Honest, there is hope!








  1. Hello!
    I was just searching reviews for ‘Thousands of Bolts Only One Nut’ and stumbled across your blog. I plan to order from them too. Do you have any other reasonably priced online fabric store you could recommend? I am from Malaysia.

  2. Looking for juvenile fabric that is blocks and each one has a different saying of something God gave us. I assume it is to teach a child. Has all different things, i.e., light, animals, flowers I believe. A friend used it and now her daughter had twins and she needs more but can’t find it. Thanks.

  3. I’m not sure if this is what you are looking for, but eBay has a large selection of quilting cottons and I saw something similar to what you’ve describe on ebay a day or two ago. They also have a fantastic search process when you shop via ‘sewing and fabric’. Just list fabric in the search bar and the department should show in a drop menu. Hope this help find what your friends are looking for.

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