When a “bird’s nest” of thread appears, the likely culprit is your upper thread tension. If loops appear on the underside of the fabric, the upper thread tension may be too loose. If knots appear on top of the fabric, the upper tension may be too tight.
Tick removal: Squirt a glob of liquid hand soap on a cotton ball. Cover the entire tick with the soaked cotton ball for a full 20 seconds. The tick will back out and be stuck to the cotton ball when it's pulled away.