Since bobbins are relatively cheap, and I am relatively lazy, I decided to have a separate bobbin for each color of bobbin thread that I have. That way I always have the right color bobbin at my fingertips, already wound and ready to go. I don’t have to search high and low for a bobbin so I can wind the color I want. I don’t have to wind a second color onto a partially filled bobbin, only to find out later that I need the first color. A separate filled bobbin for each color makes everything quick and easy. Once I got my bobbins, I just popped in a movie and mindlessly wound all of the bobbins at once. When they are all filled, the question becomes, how do you keep all of the bobbins organized so you can actually find the color you want later? I knew I wanted to keep each bobbin with the corresponding spool of thread.
Here’s my solution: straws! Yes, regular drinking straws. I found two sizes of straws. The standard size (just under 1/4″ diameter) is a little too small, but we happen to live three buildings away from Dairy Queen where they have fat straws (5/16″ diameter), and sweet hubby just happens to like Blizzards. (Okay, I do, too.)
The Dairy Queen straws need a little bit of tweaking to make them the perfect tool to keep spools and bobbins together. First I cut them to the same length as the spool plus the bobbin. Then I flatten the straw and fold it in half lengthwise. This creates a nice, spring effect. Holding the crease in the straw, I slip it into the spool’s hole. Once I let go of the straw, it unfolds slightly to fit snugly into the hole. Then I can slip the bobbin onto the remaining straw that is left exposed. Another great feature of this method is that the bobbin stays with the spool, even if I hold it upside down.
Here’s another tip that I’ve been using. I can easily get confused about what type of thread is on a bobbin, so for regular sewing thread I leave the bobbin untouched, but for all of my BottomLine (a lighter, 60 wt. thread) bobbins, I color the bottom side of the plastic bobbin with a Sharpie. I also write the color number on the top of the bobbin.
For my last tip of the day, do you still have some of the older spools that have the little notch that you are supposed to secure the end of the thread into? Sometimes my older eyes have a hard time finding that notch. I’ve started marking the notch with a Sharpie so it is easy to find every time.If you’re on Facebook, Cathy Geier of Patchworks That Praise kindly shared my quilt, “Windblown,” on her Facebook page yesterday. Thanks, Cathy!