Why Does My Bobbin Do That? Understanding a Lockstitch and Bobbin Tips

| Quilty | 320

Mary troubleshoots common sewing machine bobbin issues and explains what your sewing machine is doing when it takes a stitch! For more fantastic quilting tips and quilting ideas pick up Quilty the magazine, visit HeyQuilty.com or watch Quilty on DVD!

For more videos on how to get to know your sewing machine check out Top Five Sewing Machine Questions (Part 1), Top Five Sewing Machine Questions (Part 2), How to Make a Perfect 1/4 Inch Quilt SeamHow to Use Different Sewing Machine Presser FeetHow to Thread a Sewing Machine, & How to Thread a Bobbin.


Bobbin Holder Magnetic               Bobbin Ring                                     Quilty DVD Season 2


  1. I have not been able to watch the last two Quilty videos. When I click on this one I do not even get a window with the play button in the middle.

    Betty, 1 year ago Reply

    • HI Betty – please try again, we had some technical difficulties with the video.

      kloeffelholz, 1 year ago Reply

  2. This does not come up on my iPad but others do. Why is that

    Lmcfood, 1 year ago Reply

    • Hi – we just fixed it, please try again. thank you.

      kloeffelholz, 1 year ago Reply

  3. Another tip that I learned, if the bottom thread is a “nest”, and you’ve rethreaded the top thread, if the bottom thread is still a “nest” change your needle. A bent needle will also affect the bobbin thread.

    Cynthia, 1 year ago Reply

  4. My babylock, tells me there is no thread in bobbin, yet when I look there is thread. I still have plenty to sew with. What is going on and what else can I do?

    sandra, 1 year ago Reply

    • Hi Sandra – please contact Baby Lock Consumer Helpline at 800-636-4110 or email c.corley@tacony.com for Cindy. She will be able to help you! Thank you!

      kloeffelholz, 1 year ago Reply

  5. Mary: Thanks so much for this video. I have run across all of the problems that you mentioned. Also, please show a 10 minute segment on basting the quilt. I could really use some help there.
    You are wonderful. Just love Quilty!

    Susanne, 1 year ago Reply

  6. Incredible!!!! Helped me understand ALOT!!! Thank you!!!

    susan, 1 year ago Reply

  7. Hit everything I had problems with. I had forgotten top thread problem usually bobbin problem oriented, bottom is threading from the top. Keeping a sharp needle is so necessary and cheap to do. Good presentation Mary!

    Jeannie, 1 year ago Reply

  8. I thought you were going to talk about why the thread can look wonky on the bobbin. Any suggestions why it would look fat and then get skinny in some areas on the bobbin?

    Marty Jewell, 1 year ago Reply

  9. I was wondering what kind of sewing machine is used in this video? Or what kind of sewing machine you would recommend for a beginner quilter?

    Callie, 1 year ago Reply

    • Hi – we love Baby Lock machines, they have a perfect one for every budget! :) Mary is using the Melody here. thank you!

      kloeffelholz, 1 year ago Reply

  10. Mary to the rescue! For a bad jam don’t bother wiggling the hand wheel back and forth (it’s probably stuck anyhow), it can throw off the timing. Open the bobbin case and snip the longest thread you see (likely stretched over the race). Or lift your fabric and snip the crazy jammed threads under it. It frees the thread and you can just pull out the loose mess. Good opportunity to brush out any lint, too.

    MayMay, 1 year ago Reply

  11. Unplugging the machine to clear threads is a little unrealistic…Turning off? You’ll need the machine light to see what you are doing while you clear the thread tangle! You simply need to MOVE the foot controller away from your feet, so you won’t accidentally run the machine while working under the needle or in the bobbin area! How many of us have the machine plugged somewhere that’s easy to get to? I know, the quilty legal dept probably had to weigh in on this script eh?!!

    Karen Alexander, 1 year ago Reply

  12. that machine and how she set up the bobbin is my dream machine…. One day i will have one!

    Knowledgeseek, 1 year ago Reply

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