Oiling the bobbin area on the Handi Quilter Sweet Sixteen

2 12 2012

I couldn’t find any videos on where to place the SINGLE drop of oil when oiling the bobbin area on the HQ Sweet 16, so I decided to take some photos to share.

Firstly, HQ recommend you clean and oil the bobbin area after every two bobbins, but I do it after every bobbin change as I tend to use 80 wt bobbin thread, so I stitch for a much longer time with a single bobbin than if I was using 40 wt thread.

I also only put ONE drop of oil in the bobbin area, then I stitch on my scrap sandwich to make sure the tension is OK and to get rid of any oil residue that may occur (it rarely does, but sometimes I’ll get a patch of oil for about 10 stitches on my scrap sandwich).

  1. Remove the bobbin case and bobbin from the bobbin area.
  2. Use the brush to brush out any fluff, lint, etc. from the bobbin area and from the bobbin case.
  3. Pull the nozzle end of the oil bottle to extend the nozzle fully.
    Oil bottle as stored

    Oil bottle as stored

    Oil bottle with nozzle fully extended

    Oil bottle with nozzle fully extended

  4. Remove the nozzle cap and carefully place it where you won’t lose it.
  5. Squat down (or bend or kneel) and look under the table at the bobbin area. (Easier alternative: Unscrew and remove the needle plate and go in from the top.)
  6. Place the nozzle at about 7 o’clock on the first groove of the bobbin area.

    Squeeze ONE drop of oil at the 8 o'clock position

    Squeeze ONE drop of oil at the 7 o’clock position

  7. Squeeze gently so that only ONE drop of oil goes into that area.
  8. Put the cap back on the nozzle and push the extended nozzle back into the oil bottle. (See the update for Feb 2020, below, for alternatives)
  9. Replace the bobbin in the bobbin case (remember, the thread goes over the top of the bobbin and hangs to the right as you place the bobbin into the open side of the bobbin case).
  10. Test and adjust the bobbin tension, as required.
  11. Gently push the bobbin case into the bobbin area until you hear it click in place.
  12. Do some stitching on your scrap sandwich to test the tension and to get rid of any excess oil (there shouldn’t be much).
  13. Start quilting!

See also this 6-minute video from Jamie Wallen on oiling the bobbin area of a long-arm quilting machine: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xNH06ILNPpU

Update Feb 2020: Helen Godden recently did a Handi Tip video for Handi Quilter (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCfCMU1bRDQ) where she advises to leave the tip extended, keep the bottle in a cup so it doesn’t tip over, and to get a new bottle of oil when the oil becomes yellow. As you can see in my photos above, my oil was always yellow, right from when I bought my machine in 2012—eight years on, and it’s still the same colour.



14 responses

2 12 2012

Where is the part about standing on your head…..or…..trying to see that specific spot when your bifocals don’t line up with the spot you are trying to see! I have a small Maglite/flashlight next to my oil bottle. Helps to see that “sweet spot”…Ha!

2 12 2012

Thanks so much. Great photos showing everything we need to know.

21 02 2013

Thank you for clarifying!

16 07 2013

No one ever told me about oiling the bobbin case! So thank you very much. Kate

28 09 2013
Dawn C.

Very informative & helpful site.

17 12 2013

THANK YOU!!! I have been married forty one years and get away with not changing light bulbs – any light bulb – because it’s too mechanical 🙂 so figuring this out was a challenge. The 7 o’clock info really helped

26 04 2014
Threads and tension: Practise before quilting | Rhonda Bracey: At Random

[…] brush out the bobbin area at every bobbin change, and put one drop of oil in the bobbin area then too. But with the Magna Glide pre-wounds, there’s not a lot of lint in the bobbin […]

18 08 2014

Thanks for the help.

18 09 2015
Shirley Fowell

thanks for the help

5 11 2015

I oil mine as told by my distributor but today I am hearing a metal sound. Is there somewhere else to oil. I took out the bobbin and I’m still hearing it….any ideas?

5 11 2015

If you’re still hearing a metallic sound after oiling it, I think you should take it back to your dealer. Your timing may be out (and therefore the needle is hitting part of the bobbin area where it shouldn’t), or something else might be awry. If you’re in the US, you could try calling Handi Quilter technical support where a technician may help diagnose your problem.

23 09 2018

Awesome tutorial!

7 08 2019
Donna Woodhams

Thank you checked book should have had those instructions in it

24 08 2019
Shannon Robinson

Thank you so much. I have never understood how that long metal rod thing was supposed to work. Who knew that the very top of it was a nozzle cap that would unscrew? Now I totally understand how to do this without getting oil everywhere. And, as a previous viewer commented, the 7:00 clue was really helpful.

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