Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Little Genie Bobbin Washers with a Drop In Plastic Bobbin - Before and After Comparison

I came across Little Genie bobbin washers on Sharon Schamber's website while trying to learn what I could do to improve the quality of my free motion quilting.  Among other things I learned, the bobbin washers were a neat little doohicky said to go in your bobbin casing or under your drop in bobbin and it would help with backlash and nests.  I was a little skeptical as to whether they would work with my predominantly plastic sewing machine (guts and all!) but I wanted to try.  Here's what I found!

Left is Back WITH Bobbin Washer - Right is Back WITHOUT Bobbin Washer
 It's hard to see on the side by side, but if you click on the image and look closely at places like the feather spines and any point where the thread sharply changes direction, the places where I did pebbling - you can see a definite improvement, but nothing earth shattering.  I quilted these on my Brother SQ9050 - a $200 machine sold at Wal-mart, mostly made of plastic inside and out.

The Brother I purchased has a completely plastic bobbin and drop in area - so there isn't a lot of static electricity happening in the bobbin area to begin with and the back is really actually pretty nice and clean without the bobbin washers.  When I use the slick thin polyester threads I do tend to get some nesting and looping though, and because I do a lot of feathers the improvement is most apparent to me in the spines of the ones I did here.  I have found anywhere you get a large accumulation of thread loops and catching begins to happen for me.  SOME of that nesting in corners (really it's knotting) is from sitting in one spot too long with my needle, (read - plan ahead!) but if you practice with this, you can kind of tell where you were sitting in one place with the needle too long and when there is looping from backlash or you can hear the bobbin kind of tick inside the machine on a sharp turn.
Back of Piece WITHOUT Bobbin Washer
I really like the look of thick feather spines on fabric where I really want to see the quilting - but the only thing I don't usually like about that is the back - but look how much better!!!

Back of Piece WITH Bobbin Washer

Front of Package

Thin and Pliable

Reverse of Packaging
Something to think about with these washers is that they raise your bobbin up in height about a millimeter higher than it normally would be.  The washer itself is thin, but it has a bit of a bend to it, raising up a lightweight plastic bobbin, even filled with thread. 

When they make these machines everything has been created to meet specific measurements and even the tiniest little change makes a difference.  If you've ever noticed what a small barely visible nick on your needle plate will do when working with fine threads - it's just a really fine tuned symphony happening down there in your sewing machine and it's very easy to knock out of whack!!  I noticed I did get a bit more top thread catching on the top of my bobbin (when the top thread comes down into the bobbin area and wraps around the bobbin thread to create a stitch) and in turn, thread jams.  None of them broke my needle and that's a good thing.

I have yet to use this in my Simplicity, maybe I can squeeze that in today and share more pictures.


Sewing Junkie said...

Val, I use one in my machine even to piece with. I find the thread feeds better off of the bobbin. I read an article that a sewing machine company was asked why they didn't add this to their machines and they said they didn't notice enough of a difference to utilize it. Sometimes something simple makes a big difference in your stitching. Hope you like them. Chris

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