Sewing Gadgets – Bobbin Winder

Next to my rotary cutters, my bobbin winder is my favorite sewing gadget. I have the Wrights SideWinder I picked up with, you guessed it, a coupon at Joann’s.

I haven’t even figured out how to use the bobbin winder on my Viking – why? This little guy does it fast, easy and I don’t have to rethread my machine, stop a project, change thread colors…and I can do a dozen in a few minutes with no hassle. My Viking has very specific bobbins, but I’ve also used my winder with an old Kenmore and a Janome and it works great on all 3 very different bobbins.

Vikings in particular are very….particular. This is my bobbin.

Viking Bobbin
Viking Bobbin

Most (newer) bobbins have a thread hole you pull the thread through before winding to keep it secure until it has a few rounds of thread in it. My Viking logo has to face down on my winder to get the thread the right direction and depending on your machine, that may not be necessary. My little Swedish bitch is picky, though, and everything has to be name brand.

Empty Bobbin on Winder
Empty Bobbin on Winder

I pop the bobbin on, slide the guide to the bobbin – when it reaches thread capacity, it turns the winder off. I lightly hold the string from the hole and let the winding pull it from my fingers – that is my highly technical way of getting the thread started.

Full bobbin
Full bobbin

When it’s done, it stops. I pop off the bobbin, trim the thread, and do it again.

Bobbin Winder
Bobbin Winder

Here is the whole machine in action…again, my fussy Viking likes Gütermann thread or better…so I buy the big spools usually in neutral colors like cream and gray – a trick I learned from mom the quilt master.

That should be capped. Mom The Quilt Master. It’s a reverent title.

Your mileage may vary – just do the thread test: if you can pull on the thread and it snaps easily, it’s going to snap in your machine. That is bad. Save it for basting, or what I like to call, hand-sewing that there’s no way in hell I’m going to do.

Pile'O'Bobbins
Pile’O’Bobbins

This pile makes me happy. I will still scream in pain as if I was bit by Cujo every time my bobbin runs out and I notice after I’ve gone several inches along…but it’s a little less dramatic if I know I have a pile of bobbins waiting to fill it.

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