November 14, 2014
What do you do with a bobbin’s worth of thread wound on your
bobbin winding shaft? An old saying recommends making lemonade from lemons.
Here’s how I salvaged a major thread malfunction.
One of the first rules of machine embroidery is to not walk
away from the machine when it is running. Recently, while winding a bobbin, I
was glad I honored that rule. Either I had inadvertently started winding the
first bobbin thread behind the bobbin or the thread slipped while winding and
started wrapping around the bobbin winding shaft. By the time I noticed the
problem, a tremendous amount of thread had been expended.
Now what? I was stitching a freestanding applique (see a tutorial here), so the
bobbin was being wound from the spool with which I was stitching. It would be
bad enough to waste regular bobbin thread, but who wants to just throw out good
I decided to conduct an experiment to see how much of the mess
I could save. I didn’t have an empty spool (my four-legged helpers use them for
entertainment) so I took another spool of thread and carefully wrapped the excess
thread on to it.
I chose a completely different color of thread on the spool
so I could easily see how much of the salvaged thread remained on it. I wound
the thread by hand and tried to evenly distribute it over the length of the
It worked great. I had enough thread to do all of the
placement and tack-down stitching as well as the red satin stitching on the
Sometimes, mistakes teach us a lesson. I hope my mistake is
helpful to you some time!
Do you have any great “mistakes” to share?