Bob, Bob, Bobbin’ Along

A stack of sewing machine bobbins with thread

Bob, bob, bobbin’ along.  No, this post does not refer to the old song made famous by entertainer Al Jolson in 1926 (“When the Red, Red Robin Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin’ Along”).  Specifically, it refers to the humble sewing machine bobbin.  

Undoubtedly, we are all aware that a sewing machine bobbin holds the bottom thread.  Critically, it allows the bottom thread to interlock with the top thread.  As a result, this interlocking of threads is what forms a stitch. 

However, did you know that there are many different types and sizes of bobbins?  Your sewing machine comes with a few bobbins that are specific to your machine.  Most importantly, if you try to insert a different size/type in your machine, you will most certainly have issues. 

To be sure, we all know when the bottom thread runs out.  The machine stops stitching!  Also, you might even say something like “darn” or even worse!  Unless you have another already filled bobbin, this interrupts your work.  

Consequently, you must pause to refill it so you can get sewing again.  This humble part sits in the bobbin case, which also serves a very important purpose.  Specifically, it controls the tension between the top thread and the bottom thread.  If the tension isn’t correct, the stitches will not look good. 

In conclusion, the humble bobbin is not just bob, bob, bobbin’ along.  It is performing a very important job. 

Read more about bobbins in this article from Quilting Hub.  This article also mentions “bobbin work”.  Learn more about this technique here and here.

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