Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Confession


Okay, I swear I've purchased at least 3, 10-packs of bobbins in the last 5 years; but I am lucky if I can ever lay my hands on more than 3 of them. What is happening to them?

I suppose the cats may play a role in this mystery, but frankly I think the sock monster in our drier is diversifying his portfolio... ;)

Anyway, the result is that when I finish a project I usually remove any thread left on the bobbin, freeing up that bobbin for a new project.

Of course, it seems like those times that I remove the leftover thread, a few days later something comes up and I wish I had left it on; and those times when I leave it on, the bobbin sits there for months and never comes in handy again... Some variant of Murphy's Law at work, no doubt. ;)

So, what do you do with your half-empty bobbin when you are finished with a project? Empty it or put it aside for the day when you need that color again?



Photo credit: LadyDragonflyCC

22 comments:

Lady Jenn said...

I always save my bobbins. They come in handy for basting work! And seeing I sew lots of children's clothing...right now I am making my 4year old's daughter's summer wardrobe...I have already emptied 2 bobbins with basting stitching for gathering!

I also use them in mending - when the inside won't show on little kid clothes! Shh...don't tell anyone!

mamafitz said...

i save all my partly used bobbins also, and use them up machine basting muslins together (i'll use bobbins for both the top and bottom theads) or for hand basting. rarely do i have to unwind one to put a new color on.

Claire S. said...

I've also bought (& those dryer gremlins have hidden LOL) many packages of bobbins. If you find where they stash 'em, let me know.

Now that I'm thinking about it, I ought to go buy another package.

So, since I can still only lay my hands on a few at a time, I always leave them threaded for machine basting but unwind them as needed for color-matching on final seams.

stitchywitch said...

I am another one who uses them up sewing muslins. I imagine there must be some people who carefully save them with the matching spools, but I am not one of them. If there's only a little left, sometimes I will just unwind it to reuse it in my next project.

Anonymous said...

I usually save wound bobbins until I need that color thread, or I need an empty bobbin. When they all have thread on them, it is a prioritization game to decide which one gets emptied - sometimes it is the one with the least amount of thread thus wasting the smallest bit. Sometimes it is the color least likely to be reused. I try hard when winding bobbins not to put too much more thread on them than will be needed - perfection is pulling the last seam out from under the foot and seeing the tail of the bobbin thread pull out. Frustration is running short of bobbin thread 2 " from the end of the seam. ;)

Lois K

Lori said...

I always save my bobbins. Occasionally, I have to unwind some thread but most of the time I can use them on something.

gwensews said...

When I run out of bobbins, I pull the thread off of them, all at once. I do keep black, white, brown, gray, navy, red and beige because those are colors I use often for mending or hemming.

Alison said...

I use them for gathering and muslins. Sometimes they're even the right colour for other garments!

Cindy said...

They're like pins. I'm always buying more only because my students walk out the door with them.

Because I'm so frugal I use all the thread on the bobbins. I don't put different colors on top of another. If all the bobbins are full I'll find one with not much thread, slap it on the spool holder of the machine and yank it off.

Because I get so many bobbins filled with all kinds of colors of thread I often use them for my own projects. I put them on the spool holder and act like they're a spool of thread. This is also good to do if you want to use a twin needle and don't want to buy another spool of thread. Just wind some thread to a bobbin.

I have my students fill bobbins with black thread when I teach them how to use the sewing machine. I use a lot of black thread :)

A little thing you can do to help keep the thread on the bobbin while it's hanging out waiting to be used is to go to the hardware store and buy 5/8" clear tubing. Cut it as wide as the bobbin and make a slit in it so it can cover the threads. OK... does that make sense? LOL I can take a picture and send it to you if you if needed.

I did buy a portable bobbin winder but I don't use it that often. I always end up doing it on the machine

Enjoy your sewing moments!

patsijean said...

I tend to leave the thread on the bobbin until I need it for testing decorative stitches or another project. I don't have much trouble holding on to bobbins at all. Just put them in the tray or a container for bobbins. When I have no more empty bobbins, something like pink is taken off as the pink was probably for a special project that won't be used again.

marysews said...

I save the thread on my bobbins for when I need to baste something or zizag over cut edges before sewing. If there's very little thread on a bobbin and I'm working on a project with that thread, I will pull that last bit of thread off and refill the bobbin.

Julia said...

I save the thread on the bobbin. Inevitably, I will use it again. Of course, if there is just a tiny bit left I empty it. I buy bobbins very often and usually have plenty of them to fill. I have a special little drawer in one of those plastic storage containers that has three little drawers that I keep my bobbins in. It's within easy reach of my sewing machine. It seems that everything I've sewn lately needs changes of thread colors.

CarlaF-in Atlanta said...

I save my used bobbins for sewing muslins and I haven't had to unwind a bobbin. I also keep white, black, red and grey at all times because I constantly use those colors.

I'm very organized. I DO keep my thread (usually 1100 yds of Gutermann) and bobbins together in Jammers Kids Car Garage case. Got the idea for the toy car garage from Carolyn of Diary of a Sewing Fanatic. I keep at least one slot available for extra bobbins in each case. I always know where my bobbins are located and I have lots of extra bobbins because my local sewing machine shop has excellent pricing on bobbins.

rosa-draconum said...

Ever since I got my sewing machine, my Mom has mysteriously been losing bobbins. I, however, have plenty. It's a mystery!

However, I usually end up using the ends of bobbins for hand sewing (of which I do quite a bit). I also try not to completely fill bobbins unless it's black or white thread.

Shannon Hillinger said...

I always save my bobbins. If there's just a little bit of thread left, I will use it for hand sewing. If there's more then a few stitches, I'll use it or basting, or piecing quilt squares.
My second sewing machine came with a plastic bobbin holder with a lid. I keep all the bobbins in there and I haven't lost one since I got it. Weird, because I used to lose them all the time.

Summerset said...

I save them and unless they are a standard color - black, white, cream or red - I use whatever is left to baste muslins together or baste whatever needs it.

sewducky said...

Some colors I know I will use again (orange, navy, black/white) others become tailor tacks and marking thread.

Now, I forget to buy bobbins so I use some that came with my machine when I got it which makes them pre-1960s. And I have about 7. Most of the time, I do so much handwork on them I empty the bobbin out before I ever get to sewing.

Sarah said...

I save 'em. Costume shop habit... With basting and staystitching and things that come out, it's pretty much hard-wired to save things like that for the things that don't require perfect matches.

Lisa Laree said...

I save the bobbins, too. I hate filling them and am always a little relieved to find a leftover bobbin in the right color! Really oddball colors that I'm not likely to use again get used for basting or tailors tacks.
I posted a tip about keeping the bobbins neat a while back...helps a lot!!!

Faye Lewis said...

I keep all of my bobbins in three plastic departmental boxes. They are clear boxes that are left over from my nail classes that originally held nail tips. I thought they'd work well for holding bobbins. I leave the thread on after each project and usually end of using them on other projects. I rarely have to remove thread from them.

Karin (the Mrs.) said...

I have a lot of bobbins and usually leave the thread on to use on a next project. Although, when there is just a tiny amount of thread on the bobbin I take it off. Nothing irritates me more than an empty bobbin in the middle of a seam, so I try to avoid that at any cost. Maybe silly, but I can't help it :-)

My bobbins do behave nicely most of the time, though. No lost sheep there. It's the scissors here that I can't seem to keep under control. They wander through the house, ending up at place I never expected them. Really weird!

Becky said...

I usually save them, and then use them up either on muslins or on garments where the thread color is close enough. At least for seams. I don't like wasting the thread. If I need to use it up otherwise, I'll use them for the thread for handbasting or tailor's tacks or whatnot.

Either that or I set the bobbin down on the table and then lose it altogether, lol!