Bobbin Embroidery Takes Center Stage

comments (0) June 18th, 2008     

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JenniferStern Jennifer Stern, contributor
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Heres a DigiBobbE design stitched with thick decorative thread from the bobbin.  Just place your fabric face down in the hoop and the design will stitchout under the hoop.

Here's a DigiBobbE design stitched with thick decorative thread from the bobbin.  Just place your fabric face down in the hoop and the design will stitchout under the hoop.

Photo: Courtesy of Bonnie Lyn McCaffery

Have you ever tried bobbin work? One of my former co-workers discovered DigiBobbE—a twist on the traditional technique—at the Janome convention. Created by Bonnie McCaffery, DigiBobbE is essentially “bobbin work” for your embroidery machine. Like traditional machine-bobbin work, which is done on with the right side of the fabric against the sewing machine, DigiBobbE are embroidery designs that you stitch on the underside of the hoop.

Whether you do it the traditional way or this new way, you need to wind a bobbin with heavier than normal thread. I recommend using heavy decorative threads and slowing down the speed of your bobbin winder. Many of the threads that will work well for this technique are the same ones you would use with a serger to do decorative stitching. The Candlelight metallic and Success yarns from YLI and 12-weight cotton threads that I use for traditional bobbin work also work well for DigiBobbE.

If you have any trouble with bobbin tension, you can adjust your bobbin case (because you are working with heavier threads, you typically have to reduce the tension on the bobbin thread). Just remember “righty tighty, lefty loosey.” Make really small adjustments at first, and check to see whether that helps your tension problem (imagine the face of a clock and the screw on your bobbin case is the minute hand; move the screw in 5-minute increments).

If you’re timid about touching the screw on your bobbin case, most sewing machine manufacturers sell bobbin cases specially set for heavier decorative threads.

Visit Bonnie McCaffery's Web site, and check out her very inspiring vidcast called “DigiBobbE with or without an Embroidery Machine.”

posted in: embroidery, digibobbe

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