Monday, September 19, 2011

Bobbins Bobbins All The Way!!

Adventures in Bobbin Buying … that is the theme of my life right now! Between making quilts, creating machine embroidery and fashion and décor sewing, I have many machines by many different manufacturers. The one thing they all have in common is that they all use the exact same bobbins, whether they have a drop-in bobbin or an old-style bobbin case. While my quilting machine uses a metal bobbin, they are still the exact same thing as the plastic versions I use in my other machines … and I’ve been known to use whatever had the right color thread wound on it!

Sometime during our move here to Greece, I misplaced at least half of my plastic bobbins and all of my metal ones. I insist on using the same thread in the bobbin as I use on the top when embroidering, and my current project has 30 colors in it. This left only a couple of bobbins free for other projects. I decided that I needed to buy some more!

I began my adventure at the local Singer shop, which is the only place I’ve found that sells anything machine related. They had two types of bobbins and I was happy to see that they had the ones I needed. Unfortunately, the woman behind the counter finally decided to stop pretending she doesn’t speak English! She asked if my machines had the drop-in bobbin or the metal bobbin-case. I have both! Since it was easiest, I said that I had the drop-in type and showed her on one of the machines in the shop. She took away the packages of bobbin in my hand and replaced them with the other ones they stock … which, I must point out were not the same as those in the machines in the shop!

I figured I would take her advice, even though I was sure these were not what I needed. At home, I realized that I was right. On a return trip to the shop, she would not let me exchange them, nor would she allow me to purchase the correct ones, since she insisted they were not the ones I needed. She probably believes I have one low-end machine and little experience using it.

So, my next efforts took me online. I found some bobbins that were supposedly for many types of machines, including all of mine. I ordered 40 of them and a neat clip thing to help keep them orderly. Wouldn’t you know it? Those that arrived were exactly like those the Singer lady insisted I wanted. And, like hers, these are also not what my machines use!

Actually, I need to confess that all these bobbins will work in my machines, but they are small like the pre-wound ones that get thrown out after the bobbin thread is used. They do not hold a lot of regular thread and the thinner size tends to bounce around in the case (both types), creating thread messes more often.

Something this basic reminds me how often I need help at a fabric or machine shop and not one employee has any idea of how to sew an no further information than I have on various quilting supplies or embroidery tools! My son has worked for a major fabric chain for months, and doesn’t know anything. At least he can crochet and is interested in fiber arts. So many of those clerks are not interested in what they sell and customers like me end up helping other customers who need assistance … including which aisle they can find certain products on.

Still, I’m all for more people getting bitten by the stitching fever, so I have hope for those clerks! In the meantime, I just need to remember that I really do know what I need and that it’s okay to be firm with those who tell me I need something else.

So, I’m now off to research bobbins online again! This time, I think I’ll create a table of different bobbins types and the machines they will work with. Maybe my efforts will help those, like me, who just need a few extra bobbins from time to time!

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