Today, we will look at bobbins and bobbin holders. There are a LOT of different kinds of bobbin holders out there–a simple acrylic box with a hinged lid, a box with individual wells for each bobbin, doughnut shapes, magnetic, improvised. There are also different types of bobbins (plastic and metal), and the kind of holder you use will be determined partly by the type of bobbins you have.
I have mainly this type of bobbin...
...and I also have a few of these plastic ones.
I have mainly metal bobbins, although some plastic ones came with my sewing machine. I don’t use those unless all my metal ones are full and I need to wind a new bobbin. The plastic ones don’t seem to spin as easily in the bobbin holder; they ‘catch’ sometimes and cause thread to break and tempers to flare. OK…to be honest, my temper doesn’t flare until it’s about the fourth or fifth time the thread breaks and there is NO reason for it (that I can see) and I’ve rethreaded the machine about a dozen times and it’s STILL not working and…you get the idea. Plastic bobbins: last resort.
Each bobbin in its own cozy compartment.
To store my plastic and metal bobbins, I have several of the boxes with the individual compartments. The boxes are clear acrylic, and the bobbins are stored on their sides, so I can see exactly what colors are in there. I mainly use this type of keeper for bobbins that are not in constant use–colors of thread that were purchased for a special project, funky colors, duplicate colors, colors for which I inexplicably have no matching spool of thread. I keep these boxes in the bottom of my sewing basket, easily accessible but not in the way.
Not mine, but the same kind.
For the bobbins I’m currently using, I have a nifty magnetic holder that was my grandma’s. This one stays by my machine, and it holds black, white, off-white, brown, navy, red, yellow, green, and whatever colors are in my current project(s). I LOVE this bobbin holder! It’s trim and tidy, nice to look at, practical, handy, and just a tad sentimental. This type is also available in a plastic version, but I’m glad Grandma had a wooden one. It’s lovelier to me. Alas, if you have only plastic bobbins, this will be of no help to you.
Some other bobbin-keeping ideas I’ve seen don’t require a trip to the notions wall at your local fabric store, but rather the hardware store, plumbing supply, or discount department store (Target, Wal Mart, or even a dollar store). Flexible tubing (with ribs like a bendy-straw) or clear vinyl tubing may be cut to any desired length then split open to hold bobbins. Little girls’ stretchy terry ponytail holders (the teeny ones) can keep thread from unwinding from its bobbin. (The greatest drawback to this idea is that you can’t see the thread once the ponytail holder is in place…unless you’re using plastic bobbins.)
Who'da thunk it?
If you need to take a few bobbins along to a class, a retreat, a friend’s house, or any place that isn’t your own sewing space, you can use a toe separator to keep those little spools from unwinding and making a mess in transit. I love it when someone thinks outside the box, then lets us share in their cleverness!
There are many, many more ideas out there for the storing of bobbins. Find what works for you, and share it if you like!