Rescuing a Thread Malfunction

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 embroidery thread?

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 spool.

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 Santa hat.

Sometimes, mistakes teach us a lesson. I hope my mistake is helpful to you some time!

Do you have any great “mistakes” to share?

Debbie SewBlest


Please login to comment