Thursday, 14 April 2016

Bob bob

Every now and then I sort through my bobbins and rearrange them. Over the years, I have accumulated quite a stash. I have purchased a few of the black and white pre-wound bobbins from Janome (12 bobbins in each packet), and one of the great things about these is that the empty bobbins can be used over and over again.

This is my stash post rearranging. I have some bobbins stored in the machines’ tool boxes, some in my to-go kit, and some in my hand sewing kit, but the majority of them is here. 

The big box has been with me for years; once filled to the rim, it now contains my pre-wound bobbins only. Most of them are cotton threads which I have used for quilting. They have been sitting here for years as I tend to forget them when I start quilting a new project.

The bobbinsaver holds my piecing threads – black, “neutral” (light blue but it works like grey), and white. The darker blue is my boys-pants-knees-thread which is frequently in use. I have one more of these rings somewhere, probably holding more bobbins.

The smaller box contains the rest of my wound bobbins. I often wind way too many bobbins in the beginning of a project, and the leftovers are set aside for next time. 

Having this many bobbins available is a luxury really; I remember winding thread upon thread on my mother’s sewing machine, not the best solution when the one you need is the third layer down. 

The special threads, which are prone to unwinding, are secured with small rubber bands from when my daughter had retainers.

(Same box, different angle, what can I say, I love the rainbow of colours)

I keep all my almost empty bobbins right next to my machine. I use them whenever I don't mind changing bobbins often, like when piecing scraps or basting, or when I need only a little thread. My goal is to empty them so they can get back in the circle of bobbins.

My empty bobbins are stored in an old button tube that I got at a yarn outlet.

There is room for lots of bobbins in one tube, and I have many more tubes if ever needed.

I have recently tried winding a few bobbins with this gigantic cone of not quite black bobbin thread which I picked up at a thrift store; 

15.000 metres on one (new) cone thank you very much.

A regular big spool of thread looks like a miniature compared to this one.

The thread is quite thin so I get a lot of thread on one bobbin. It curls though; when pulling a length you get a bird’s nest, or a bird’s head like here. I'm not sure why it does this, but hopefully it will stitch allright anyway.

Winding the first bobbin, the thread got spun so tightly that it curled up on itself, so I turned the cone upside down and that worked much better.

I’m planning to use it while free motion quilting this quilt which is next in line. I’ll probably try it out on a test cloth first to see how the thread tension works with cotton thread at the top and this at the bottom. Time will tell.

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Hi Nina Lise! What a lovely post! I'm so busy lately that don't have much time to comment but I try to read as often as possible. You have impressive collection of bobbins! This made me think how I use threads, colours and bobbins. That black thread created art-picture! It is clear bird and perhaps you could quilt that figure somewhere. It could be a postcard etc. Have a great day! x Teje

  2. I once attended a brief course on thread, and I learned that the curl is dependent on how it was put on the spool and how it comes off. Your black thread is cross-wound; it shouldn't twist if it comes off the top of the spool. When thread is stack-wound, the spool needs to be in a horizontal position to keep it from twisting. For clarity, here is an article...

    If your bobbin threads breaks when sewing, you'll know why! Hope this is helpful.