So...at the lesson last night I found out that I had still managed to mess up the threading! I had gone through the viewing hole for the needle instead of the thread hole in front of the needle. I thought it looked weird... Which brings me to another point when considering a new machine: to buy online or from a local dealer. I did think about buying online, but after sales service is important to me, not least because I am clearly not that good at reading directions (ahem). Face to face trouble shooting is really important to me, and that's why I went with a local dealer.
Once I had rethreaded the machine for the third time, I got even better stitches. Still some pull back of top thread on the back of the work, but much, much better than yesterday's sample. What do they say about the problem with the machine generally being about 12 inches in front of the machine??
The lady who did my lesson attributed the front thread on the back on yesterday's sample to a tension issue. I looked at the tension on the dealer's machine and theirs is set to 175!!! Apparently each machine has its own internal consistency though. When I loosened my tension to 400, the bobbin thread came through the front, so I'm going to keep mine in the 400s for Isacord.
I'm wondering if the thread pull through isn't due to stitch speed and density too. From the samples above you can see that the most thread pull though came in the heaviest stitching, and on the curves of other shapes. Where the stitches were most consistent, the stippling, there is no pull through, and on the little swirls on a stick, a stitch I am very familiar with, there is very little too.
Testing tension on the same pattern
Somewhere between 435/440 seems to give me nice consistent stitches. Still a little green showing on the top of the circle where the most thread build up is.
And the more I practice the easier it gets - who knew??
When I stitched echo lines like this on my Bernina, I always got longer stitches going away from me. The greater visibility on the Sweet Sixteen makes it much easier to sew back and forth, not turning and always going in the same direction, and I can't really tell which lines were sewn coming towards me and which going away from me. I did find the needle and thread distracting when sewing away from me, they go so jolly fast! I think that's something that won't bother me for long though.
So day 3 and still a fan. Now to find some patterns to use on a project.