Tips – How to Secure Bobbin Threads

Happy Mother’s Day! I plan on spending a wonderful extended weekend surrounded by my children and grandchildren. If you read some of my previous posts, you know that I was blessed with two grandsons in March and April. I made photo transfer gift pillows this week to commemorate their births, which I will be giving to my children on Sunday.

Additionally, I created the little pink flower in the opening photo and will share the directions with you next week.

While working on the embroidery for the pillows, it came to me that some of you may like to try my method for securing those pesky thread ends on your bobbins. You can obtain products commercially that accomplish the same result, but I have a lot of bobbins to secure, so cost would be a factor.

Instead, I purchase a length of clear tubing at the hardware store. You can take a bobbin sample with you to make sure you buy the correct size. (I believe mine is about 3/8″ circumference.)

With a pair of heavy duty kitchen or utility shears, cut pieces of tubing the interior width of your bobbin. Next, cut through the circle to create an opening.

Simply slip the tubes around your bobbins and thread tails will be a thing of the past.

Blessings to you and have a wonderful weekend.


N. Rene West
Time Treasured

Quilts – Like the Stars (part 2)

Since fabrics were chosen individually for color placement, cutting proved to be a long, timely process. I just took a deep breath and tried my best to keep all the pieces in order. Following the cutting phase, I began gathering my supplies for photo transfer work.

Twelve verses from various chapters of Daniel were to be printed on the twelve main squares of the quilt. I’ve done lots of photo transfer work before, but this was the first time I worked with fabric that wasn’t white. I simply followed the same process I always. First, I prewashed the twelve fabrics to remove any sizing or chemicals used in their production. Next, I soaked the fabric pieces in Bubble Jet Set according to the directions on the bottle. (I use a large, rectangular stainless steel pan that I purchased from a kitchen supply company.)

Buble Jet and tools

Once the fabrics were dry, I cut them to size using a ruler made just for this purpose and sprayed the wrong side with a quilt adhesive spray. I then attached them to light 8 1/2″ x 11″ card stock. I know many people use freezer paper for a backing, but I find card stock works much better. The key is to smooth the fabric until there are no air bubbles or loose threads on the surface.

Many printer inks work well for this process, but some do not so always check first. It’s best to do a test print and then if satisfied, change your printer’s setting to the highest quality printout offered. I printed the squares on an Epson Stylus with DuraBrite inks.

Owing to a time conflict, I let the squares dry for about five days. What a difference that made! Previously, I had rinsed my work in Bubble Jet Set within twenty-four hours. By waiting days rather than hours, I found that virtually no fading took place. Each piece received a good pressing with a dry iron and the process was complete.

Photo Transfer

When I continue, I’ll share a little about the piecing process and my “secret” to matching all those points.


N. Rene West
Time Treasured