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It was a 7 bobbin kind of day…

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

Henry was plumb tuckered out from having to change so many bobbins!

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog

You know you’re really busy when you have a pile of empty – just used – bobbins resting next to your machine.  Recently, I was embroidering a burlap table runner – about 12 hoopings. Somehow I thought a table runner would stitch up fairly quickly. What was I thinking? Table runners span the LENGTH of the table not the width!  And a lace design with over 30K stitches take quite a bit of time.

Eileen's Machine Embroidery Blog


Here’s your assignment this week:

I know many of you have taken on impressive embroidery projects. I’m sure you get a sense of satisfaction when complete. And I think its rewarding to look at the pile of used bobbin and do a head count.  So tell me, have you ever had a 7 bobbin kind of day?  What’s the most bobbins you’ve gone through on a single project?

The winner of the last assignment answered the following question:

I’ll share the photos of the bride after her big day – don’t want to break any traditions! Speaking of traditions, I’m planning on embroidering a label for the gown, documenting the occasion. Have you ever done that? And if so, what information did you include? We’ll pick one random winner to receive a $20 gift certificate to Designs in Machine Embroidery.

The winner is:  

Kati: “It looks like the dress will be beautiful! I often use a piece of grosgrain ribbon inside the side of the shirts I sew to label them. I have a programmable machine that will stitch out small lettering on the ribbon. (Using tear away stabilizer)”






  • Donna Fecteau

    I did a set of fsl christmas ornaments and used 4 bobbins in one day. They were angels. 4 to the set. They were gifts for family members.

  • Gretta Wilhite

    i used 9 bobbins on each of 2 days. I embroidered 6 designs of over 30000stitches each to use in a table runner.

  • Belinda

    I’ve used 2 bobbins on a project. I plan on tackling a queen size quilt, using my embroidery machine to do all the blocks.

  • Valerie Gwara

    I did a rather dense patriotic design on outdoor fabric. It had 27 dif colors, 49 thread changes and umpteen bobbins.
    Came out great tho.

  • Carolyn

    I did an order for 50 double-sided can-koozies for a golf tournament. I went through 15 bobbins and 12 needles!!

    • Denise Holguin


    • Denise Holguin

      The visual of 50 double-sided can-koozies is… awesome! I bet you were relieved to finish that task.


  • Kristal

    The most bobbins I have used in a day has been 2. However, I am taking on bigger projects now, so I may have a 7 bobbin day in my future!

  • Sandra Sanders

    I summoned up the courage to stitch OESD’s free standing lace cross last year. The cross alone is 13 pieces. I didn’t stitch it in one day, that’s for sure!! I can’t even remember how many bobbins I used. I can tell you that it turned out beautfully!! I took it to my local quilt shop and they photographed it for their weekly e-newsletter.

  • Pam

    I am a beginner. OMG. Can’t even imagine a seven bobbin day!

  • Le floch, Anne

    Most I had to use for a project was 6 : It was a display for my kids ‘junior ranger badges’. 14 shields and the names of the 14 parks. 6 hoopings, I was SO nervous, but everything turned out fine. I am very proud of the result.

    • Denise Holguin

      What a delightful project and a treasure!


  • Sharon R

    Wow! I think the most bobbins I’ve gone through in a single day was 3′ and the 1st one was almost 1/2 empty. I stitched out a 49,600 stitch design from Urban Threads 3 times. The first was my test stitch and I didn’t hoop or stabilize correctly, causing more broken thread and upper/lower thread warnings that had me pulling out the bobbin to check things out. The design should have taken just under an hour, but the first stitch out took almost 90 minutes. Learned a few lessons that day.

  • Wanda

    I went through 10 bobbins of Yellow and Navy colors embroidering School Logos on Banners and Shirts! I was up most of the night after a long day to get finished!

    • Denise Holguin

      Chocolate and loud music usually keeps me going when I have to stitch late at night. 🙂


  • Cindy Jenkins

    i don’t know how many bobbins I went through but I was doing lace doilies for my daughters wedding. I had my machine running all day for a couple of weeks. Wish I had counted the bobbins I went through!

  • Nancy Weber

    Wow I have not ever used 7 bobbins in one day! I think the most I have used is 3 in one day, but I am a very slow sewist. I also enjoy using up a spool of thread and have used 3 or 4 of them in one day as well!

    • Denise Holguin

      I’m with you! I have yet to burn through 7 bobbins like Eileen. Even 3 is remarkable– someday I’ll reach those kinds of numbers!


  • Melanie Leigh

    I did pillows for a customer of her house and tennis courts. 190,000 stitches each. Each pillow was a 6-7 hour stitch out. Went through 5 -6 bobbins each pillow times 6 pillows. So around 30 bobbins. Pillows were gorgeous.

    • Denise Holguin

      I think you deserve to be in a Bobbin Hall of Fame!


  • Joyce Lockyer

    Post the pictures, please! I would so love to see the projects. I am a beginner.

  • Martha Morgan

    I have never counted my empty bobbins. When I run out – I put in a new one and immediately refill the empty one. Gee wonder what it could be. Maybe I will have to put a pad of paper next to my machine and mark them off.

    • Denise Holguin

      I need your efficient sewing habits! Every time I run out of bobbin thread I tell myself that someday I’ll spend some time winding a bunch of bobbins in advance. It’s a nice thought but never goes beyond that!


  • Sandra Showalter

    I just finished the carrier tote from Anita Goodesign and used 27 bobbins. The embroidery required one bobbin per block.

    • Denise Holguin

      Woweeeee! That’s wild!

  • Darlene Bares

    I have a 6 multi needle and alot of the things i embroider have multiple color changes, so in turn i change the bobbin to match my thread. I’ve done some free standing lace and have used 2 bobbins.

  • Saundra Romanus

    The most I have used were two. I was doing a photo stitch design of a long haired dachshund and it had 39,000 stitches. There were many stitches over top of stitches! (for shading) It was beautiful when finished, but I don’t think I would use the photo stitch designs again.

    • Denise Holguin

      Got to try everything at least once! Your post gives me ideas for my little Kibbles, (a chihuahua). She’d look great in stitches.


  • Janny

    Only 3, that’s the most I’ve used in a day! I think I need to step it up a bit!
    The table runner is beautiful. Well worth all those bobbins.

  • JudiC

    Absolutely I have had 7 bobbin days. My most recent is a lace angel made in several pieces, I did not keep exact count but I remember I had to keep winding more since the bobbin was the same thread as the top. I think it may have been 5 or 6. I love those days because it means I am playing in my sewing room all day

  • Karen

    I have never counted the empty bobbins when embroidering. I take care of them right away. I have used more than that when sewing on Hockey Shirts.

  • Sara Redner

    I wind all the bobbins at once so I have never really counted how many I used in one day or on one project, but there are days when it is quite a few. Would love to see the finished table runner.

  • Beth

    I don’t remember how many bobbins I used in a day. I do know how many I had purchased when I had made a king size machine embroidered quilt. I purchased over 30 bobbins for the embroidery alone. I also finished piecing the top. The piecing was probably another 5 bobbins. The quilt turned out great. I never thought to ask the long-arm quilter how many bobbins she had used.

  • Linda Couture

    I do a lot of large embroidery, and having two machines going at the same time can be a big bobbin eater. I purchase them wholesale — several boxes of 144 at a time. You’d be surprised how quickly I can go through them! I panic when I start running low on my Bataboff bobbins (my favorite brand).

  • [email protected]

    I haven’t kept track of my bobbins, but if feels good to see them pile up.

  • Kati

    3 has been my top! Would love enough time to embroider all day and use 7 bobbins!

  • Kim G

    I am just about to tackle my biggest machine embroidery project ever. I created and digitized a design for my daughters’ high school color guard/flag team. I will be machine embroidery on my single needle Babylock machine the backs of 20 warmup jackets. I was dreading the task, until my Babylock dealer showed me the Snap Hoop Monster Hoop. Oh My Goodness! I am in love with this hoop!! I purchased the 7″x12″ hoop to fit my machine. This will save me hours of frustration hooping these jackets. I have used it to sew the samples and it works perfectly. I am excited and a little nervous to sew the first jacket, but I will be proud when I see the team wearing them this fall.

  • Doreen Linehan

    I really like free standing lace. Once Christmas I decided to make all kinds of FSL for Christmas presents. I left the bolt of water soluble stabilizer on the roll and just continued to re-hoop as I completely filled the available space on each hooping. I went through a lot that day and a few more after that. I went through a ton of bobbins. I don’t know how many there were but it seemed like I was constantly changing them.

    • Jerry

      Fell out of bed feeling down. This has breihtgned my day!

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  • Lois Daubney

    I used 14 bobbins while completing 105 placemats for my daughter’s wedding. I embroidered two wolves on each placemat after quilting them. Lots of work but worth it?

  • beth

    I am still working on an embroidered quilt. It has been taken a couple of bobbins.

  • Karen W

    I can certainly sympathize! I think the most bobbins I’ve ever used on a project is 4 — I can’t remember if it was a Viking design set of Cutwork Lace (I made a sampler of 6 different squares of cutwork) which I used as a center panel for a blue & white quilt OR when I made 2 dozen FSL Icicle bookmarks from Embroidery Library for Christmas gifts. I have often used 3 bobbins when piecing a quilt & often ensure I have 3 or 4 before I start. I also make up several bobbins to match all my threads before I begin to embroider a project.