The Dreaded Empty Bobbin Message

We are excited to have Eileen Roche, Editor of Designs in Machine Embroidery share this content with you, which was originally posted on Eileen’s Machine Embroidery Blog :

Several weeks ago, I wrote about quilting Sunkissed on the Shorte. I promised to tell you what you do when you have to change the bobbin in the middle of the quilt. First, I’ll give you two steps to set yourself up for success.

  1. Wind several bobbins before beginning the quilting, you’ll go through them faster than you think.
  2. After quilting several rows of designs, check the bobbin level when the right edge of the quilt is in the hoop. It’s easiest to check the bobbin when you’re stitching near the right edge.

No matter your best intentions, it might slip your mind and you’ll wind up getting the dreaded empty bobbin message:


The first thing to do is exhale, it’s not the end of the world. Now, take a moment to locate the last stitch.


Carefully reach under the quilt and release the hoop from the pantograph. Before actually moving the hoop, grasp the Monster top frame, quilt and bottom frame all together, firmly holding it by the frame – not the fabric. Slide a flat board such as a clip board or the magnet shield (that comes with your hoop) under the hoop to create a flat, sturdy resting spot for the hooped quilt. Move the frame/quilt to the left to reveal the bobbin case. Remember the quilt is still attached to the ShortE so you can’t just move the hoop to another work area.


Change the bobbin.


Firmly grasp the hooped quilt by the frame and reattach it to the machine. When attaching, push the hoop onto the machine by the attachment, not the frame. The needle should be positioned over the last stitch.


If not, lift the top frame and reposition the fabric so that the needle is over the last stitch. Hold onto the needle thread and drop the needle into the fabric and pull the bobbin thread to the top surface. Pull a 6-7” thread tail. Continue to stitch the design.

The magnetic frames make minute adjustments under the needle a breeze!

Thanks for reading! Reprinted with permission from Eileen's Blog.
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