3 Handy Tips To Ensure Your Bobbin Fits


Quilting Contessa covers some useful tips into how to select the right bobbins to fit in our machines. What to look for when purchasing bobbins.

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3 Handy Tips To Ensure Your Bobbin Fits

To save time many of us make sure we have plenty of bobbins pre-loaded and ready to quilt. We soon use up the spare bobbins that came with the machine and need to buy more. But, how do we know which ones to go for?

3 Handy Tips To Ensure Your Bobbin Fits


Wouldn’t it be great if all bobbins were interchangeable? Unfortunately, not all bobbins are created equal. One size does not fit all machines. Using the wrong type can cause endless problems causing serious delays in your quilting progress.


From jammed machines; skipped stitches; tension issues; timing issues; to the pesky critters jumping out of the housing, the humble little bobbin can create very large gremlins for quilters.


We all know how important it is to make sure our machines are fitted with the right needle and thread but, when it comes to bobbins, most of us are totally in the dark.


Bobbins can be metal or plastic and come in different sizes. There are bobbins for domestic machines, embroidery machines, longarm machines and industrial machines. And sometimes, manufacturers will use different bobbins in the different models within their inventory.


It’s enough to make your head spin right round like a... bobbin.


So how do we know which ones to go for?


Just follow these 3 helpful tips for successful bobbin selection every time.

messy bobbins


1 Make Time For Your Manual

Now is the time to dig out that manual to find out the type and size of bobbin. If your machine didn’t come with a manual, check online to see if you can download one.


2 Dial Your Dealer

Call a dealer for your brand of machine and ask them. Alternatively, contact the manufacturer.


3 Stick With The Same

Although metal and plastic bobbins look identical, they aren’t. One is metal and one is plastic. If your machine came with plastic bobbins, it was designed to work with plastic bobbins. If it came with metal bobbins, it needs metal bobbins. Using metal in a plastic bobbin machine, or vice versa, will upset the delicate balance called tension between top and bottom threads. It might even throw out your timing causing an expensive trip to the repair shop. To keep your machine purring like a kitten, always stick to the type of bobbin it came with. 

metal bobbins


If it came with plastic. Use plastic.

plastic bobbins


Here’s a bonus tip:


4 Put A Bobbin In Your Purse

When you’re shopping for a matching thread for your quilting fabric, chances are you have a sample of it in your purse. The same goes for bobbins. Take one of your existing bobbins with you when you buy more. That way you can compare it with the ones at the store.


If you are purchasing online, keep a bobbin handy so you can check it against the picture on screen.


Following these tips will keep the gremlins out of your quilting and make sure it’s only your bobbin doing the spinning.


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A spool or reel that holds thread or yarn for spinning, weaving, knitting, sewing, or making lace.
A term sometimes used for unbleached muslin, dating from the nineteenth century when printed fabrics were generally imported and plain fabrics were generally manufactured domestically.
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