As long as we are learning about bobbin winders, we might as well get familiar with your bobbin case too. The more you know about your machine, the better you’ll be at using it and getting great quilting results.
There are four types of bobbin cases that are used in various generations of Handi Quilter quilting machines. You can access a PDF with all the detailed information here. Any of these bobbin cases can be used in any HQ longarm machines. And all of them work great! If you find you need to order a part for your case, you’ll need to know which one you have.
Parts of a bobbin case
Let’s get down to basics first. We will refer to the following picture to learn the parts of a bobbin case.
The part that is highlighted in blue is the tension spring. You adjust the bobbin tension by turning the larger of the two screws, highlighted in green. The smaller screw, highlighted in orange, holds the tension spring to the case. Do not try to turn this small screw to adjust the tension. The screw will come out easily and if you drop it, you will never find it again. It is exceedingly small!
Bobbin Brake Spring
This part is highlighted in yellow. Some folks refer to it as the anti-backlash spring or simply the backlash spring. Just like the name implies, it acts as a brake. Picture this: You are merrily quilting along, and then you come to the end of your beautiful design and you STOP. While you were quilting the bobbin was spinning and paying out thread to form the stitches. When you stop, momentum causes the bobbin to want to keep spinning. If that were to happen, thread would continue to be supplied and you would end up with an ugly knot of excess thread on the back of your quilt every time you stopped the machine. So we have the bobbin brake spring that stops the bobbin spin when you stop the machine. Yay!
The part on your machine that you put your case into, the place where you put the drop of oil, is known as the bobbin RACE. (Not pictured). I just wanted to throw that in here since many do not know the difference between the bobbin RACE and the bobbin CASE. So now you know.
The differences in bobbin cases
Pre- 2017 Cerliani
Notice the shape of the bobbin brake spring. It is C-shaped and it is attached to the bottom of the bobbin case with a tiny screw. On the outside of the bobbin case opposite that screw is a brake adjusting screw. You can make adjustments in how much pressure the spring makes on the bobbin. These things are the notable differences between this bobbin case and the others.
Over time with continued use, the spring can get flattened out. The user can adjust the spring by turning the screw and raising the spring. You can also add a new spring when needed. This spring does not easily fall out.
In the Post-2017 Cerliani, the brake spring is M (or W) shaped. There is no screw holding it in. It is held in by the small tabs, 2 on each side. This spring can pop out. If you don’t have a spring in your case you will have all kinds of issues with stitch quality. If it does come out, it’s a little fussy to get it back in properly. You must pay close attention to the location of the tiny tabs. They go into small openings in the side of the case. If you lose it, you can order another one. You just need to know which kind of case you have, to know which spring to get.
The Koban case has the M-shaped spring. But if you look closely, the tabs are different from the Post-2017 Cerliani. It has one larger tab and one smaller tab. Another difference is the side of the case has JAPAN printed on it.
The Desheng case has the M-shaped spring with 2 tabs on each side like the Post-2017 Cerliani. The identifying difference is the letters ND printed on the side.
So there you have it. Go pull your case and see what you have in your machine.
You’ll likely want to replace the bobbin brake spring, whether you lose it or flatten it. So it might be a good idea to get one to keep on hand.
And here is my best pro-tip: Purchase a spare case and keep it in a safe place. Bobbin cases are fragile and if you drop yours there is a chance it can bend out of round. When that happens you will not be able to quilt. It will happen when you are in a big hurry to finish a quilt and your local retailer is closed. So having one on hand will be a life-saver!
Quilt Every Day
by Mary Beth Krapil
Thank you for this information. I am new enough that I didn’t realize there were different cases. I have 2 different ones. Now I know why I replaced one – the pre-2017 Cerloani. The bobbin break spring is in incorrectly. I will go to my dealer and have this taken care of.
grest knowledge but sometimes I forget which way the bobbin gets put into the machine //…which direction the thread should go. like a “P” or a reverse “P”.
When the bobbin is in the bobbin case and you pull the thread, the bobbin should turn clock-wise.
Also my problem or issue. I keep watching others and I still mess up. Wish there was a very visual blog on this.
Keep on practicing Judy! You will get it.
Wonderful information. I just purchased a spare bobbin case and didn’t realize it will likely be different then my original. Good to know.
.These numbers appear on my bobbin case–130.10.045 and an M in a circle. What kind of bobbin case do I have?
Muriel, I’m not sure. Did it come with a Handi Quilter machine? You might want to take it in to your local retailer and let them look at it.
Great article!! Where may we find the PDF to download? Thanks!
If you click the word “here” in the post, it is hyperlinked to the site.
Thank you for the great information. I will check my bobbin out and order a spare.
How do I know when to change out the bobbin spring?
When you start having issues that can’t be resolved with normal troubleshooting procedures. Or when you see that the spring has totally flattened against the bottom of the bobbin case, it’s time for a new spring.
If I am reading this correctly, I can replace my HG00586 with a QM00586 (newer version). Yes?
Hi Joni, No need to replace your bobbin case as long as it is in good condition. But yes, any of the cases shown in the post will work great in your Handi Quilter longarm.