I bought my Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen just under two years ago. With it came a bobbin winder, which my dealer showed me how to use. The instructions that came with the machine were next to useless…
So here are some instructions for THIS bobbin winder (see picture below). I believe Handi Quilter now supplies a different style bobbin winder with the Sweet Sixteen, so only use these instructions if your bobbin winder is made by cuTex and looks like this:
How to thread the cuTex bobbin winder
See the diagram below for the thread path; you can thread either side of the bobbin winder, just don’t cross thread over from one side to the other.
- Pull the thread off the spool and up and through the thread mast.
- Poke the end of the thread into the little hole above the tension knob (circled in yellow in the photo above).
- Pull the thread you’ve just poked through the hole back towards the spool and ‘floss’ it between the tension disks (the silver part of the tension knob area)
- Pull the thread towards the silver spindle (far left in photo above — NOTE: there is no bobbin on this spindle). If you have a bobbin with a slot, poke the thread through the slot, then push the bobbin onto the spindle. If you don’t have a slot on the bobbin, wind the thread around the bobbin several times before pushing it on the spindle – it needs to have a decent grip so the rest of the thread can ‘catch’ on it when you switch the bobbin winder on.
- Press the On switch.
- Adjust the timer (how much time will depend on how thick the thread is – I tend to have mine set between 9 and 15, but thicker threads will require less as they fill up quicker). You can always restart if the timer stops before the bobbin is full.
- Press the Start button and make sure the thread ‘catches’ on the bobbin and starts to fill.
- Use your fingers or the back of your hand to feel the tension of the thread coming from the tension disk to the bobbin – it shouldn’t be too tight, but equally it shouldn’t be totally slack either. There should be some ‘bounce’ in the thread tension. If the tension is too tight or loose, turn the tension knob – retest the ‘bounce’ and adjust the tension as required.
- Do NOT overfill the bobbin – only fill it to about 80% full, not all the way. If you overfill the bobbin, it will not work correctly in your machine.
- Turn the bobbin winder off when you’ve finished, cut the thread near the full bobbin, and remove the bobbin — sometimes the bobbin will be quite tight, so you may need to use a bit of brute force to get it off!
As I tend to use similar weight threads for my bobbins, I only need to tweak the tension a little every so often; otherwise, it’s set and forget.
- I use the back metal holder on the bobbin winder for some of my spare bobbins — it holds about six (see the top photo).
- To stop thread from spooling off the bobbin once it’s wound, I wrap it was a child’s ponytail elastic (see picture below) — I can get a pack of 20 or so from the supermarket for just a few dollars.
- I keep my already-wound bobbins in a zip-lock bag suspended by a ribbon from the unused thread mast on my Sweet Sixteen — I find it’s easier to keep them there as they are only an arm’s length away (see picture below). Unfortunately, the metal spool holders on the Sweet Sixteen are just a tad too thick for the bobbins — I wonder if they’ll change that in a future design? So many thread spools have different thicknesses in their central cores, I’m surprised HQ didn’t just go for a versatile spool holder thickness that would suit thread spools AND M-size bobbins.