Stitched By Me

A place to share projects from my sewing room.

Practicing on My Babylock Tiara

When I first brought my new Babylock Tiara home in early December, it was noisy.  After a moment or so of stitching, it would start to make a clackety, clunkety noise. If I adjusted the tensions, it would sound better, but the stitches looked terrible.  I would continue adjusting tension until the stitches looked good and the noise would start again.  After going back and talking to my dealer  a couple of times, and playing on the demo machine there to see how it sounds, we decided that I should bring it in.   After dropping it off Tuesday, it was ready for me to pick on on Thursday.  The take up link assembly was re-set.  Thanks George, for getting to it so quickly!


I did manage to do several practice sandwiches before taking it in, but my focus was on the tensions rather than on making any type of design.


Yesterday, I just had to sit down and play for a while.


Now that I have it back home, it sounds so much better and the stitches are much nicer and more evenly balanced.

For this practice piece, I used 3 different sizes of the circle templates and decided to fill them in with the feathers that I had practiced.  Oops!  The feathers on the left side of the center circle are going the wrong way!  I meant for them to go up each side and meet in the middle.   -Lesson learned!

I should have place the bottom of the design along one of the edges instead of toward the corner.  -Lesson learned!

Can you see the pinkish lines marking the center?  That was marked with an iron off chalk marking pencil.  What you are seeing is the ghost line after ironing.  I am glad that I learned this on a practice piece instead of a real quilt.  -Lesson learned!

Practice pieces are a great way to learn.


This is the practice piece I did today.

I used basically the same set up as the previous photo, but with better planning this time.

The round, center area was stitched with Aurifil 50wt. cotton and 60 wt poly in the bobbin.  This time, the feathers are all going in the desired direction.  Echo quilting was done 3 times around the center feathers and then filled in with pebbles.

The much less attractive “swirls” stitching was done with a much heavier thread.  I used 12wt cotton on top and stayed with the 60wt bobbin thread.  The bobbin thread was being pulled to the top so I loosened the top tension, a lot.  I could still see some bobbin thread poking through, plus the top thread was poking through to the underside and my machine did not sound happy.  I probably should have tightened the bobbin, but I decided to just hold off on heavier threads for now.

I am happy with how much I am learning and how each time I practice, my stitching looks just a little bit better.

I hope that by the time Easy Street is finished that I will be ready to quilt it on my Tiara!


  1. Looks great! Glad to hear they could fix it and it was an easy fix right away.

  2. Oh! Your practice pieces are sooo pretty! I could only hope you be as good as you one day!

  3. Karen kelley

    June I enjoy your blog. I also just got a tiers and am having a blast. Unfortunately ther are no classes for me to take and I need to also live and learn. I find that when I do points and turn there is know at the point. Do you have this problem. I am sure it is tension but don’t know exactly what to do about it. Should I slow and stop then make the point? Or is it maybe a needle problem. If you have had this happen could you let me know what you do about it, any tips are appreciated thanks. Karen

    • Karen, Congrats on your new Tiara! I am in the same boat as you, with no classes, etc. There is a yahoo group for owners of Tiara and Sweet Sixteen where you will find lots of helpful information:

      There are also Craftsy classes for FMQ on a domestic machine, you would apply the same info, but have the advantage of a much larger work space and much better visibility of your project.

      As far as tension problems, especially when you are doing points or corners, I would pause for a stitch or two at the point. For me, this has helped to keep the corner/point stitches on the under side of the quilt from being distorted. When doing curves, I believe that slowing the movement of the quilt will help, but not so slow that your stitch length changes noticeably. The more I use my Tiara (when I do get the time to use it), the more I realize that I just do better if I stitch at about 20-30% speed.

      Have fun!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s