Ahhh, bobbins. I never gave them much thought until I bought my Janome Artistic SD. The saleslady assured me that the built-in bobbin winder was fantastic– even threaded your bobbin as you stitched!
So how exactly does that work in truth? For me, abysmally. For one thing, winding a bobbin as you stitch means you need two spools of thread- one for quilting and one for bobbin winding. And I typically do not have that. For another thing, free-motion quilting demands my whole attention. Evidently, bobbin winding does too. It is no fun to pause in your stitching, and look up to see that the thread didn’t catch on the bobbin.
So for me, the bobbin winder on the Artistic is just not a valid option. Even when I focus entirely on bobbin winding, I can’t get a good, smooth wind on that machine to save my life. Maybe I’m doing something wrong. I’ve watched the Tin Lizzie videos on bobbin winding a dozen times- my thread just won’t stay put like theirs does.
For a while, I gave up on bobbin winding, and started buying Magna Glide prewound bobbins. They are fantastic, and work wonderfully. See my previous post here about taking out your anti-backlash spring so these bobbins work correctly. And if your LQS doesn’t sell prewound bobbins, you can buy them online here.
However, those prewound bobbins can be pricey, and it limits me to just using Glide. So I started searching for separate bobbin winders.
Several people online recommended the Side Winder, even for the large class M bobbins. You can buy one at JoAnn’s with your 40% coupon. But it doesn’t work with M bobbins. (See the pink bobbin in the top picture?) Evidently there’s a deluxe version out there somewhere that will wind M ones, but this basic one does not do well with that. Fortunately, my daughters love pink, so this bobbin winder found a lovely new home on the girls’ side of the studio, and I kept searching.
I found this Easy Winder online, and decided to give it a go. Here’s a picture of it straight out of the box. I was impressed that they included a wound bobbin to show you the thread path.
Now I’m all set up and ready to roll.
The first bobbin wound was a disappointment. Then I read through their instructions again, and saw they had a different thread path for slippery threads, so I tried that with the glide.
And we have success!!! Some other features of this winder that I really, really like are it’s small size and how quietly it runs. I can wind bobbins during naptime, and no little heads come peeking out to see what’s causing all the commotion.
Now I need to get some other thread types to try out. What’s your favorite quilting thread?