Tag Archives: bobbin case problems


I’ve had the most frustrating two days with my Janome 6500, normally a dependable machine.  I’ve been tackling the pile of tops that need free motion quilting and realizing, yet again, that free motion and I rub each other the wrong way.

Now, a dirty little secret of my Janome is that for free motion quilting you must use bobbins made/sold by the manufacturer, not the generic ones sold to fit several brands of machines.  If you don’t, your machine will seize up and leave a thread barf ball on the back after you cut your top loose. This sudden stopping does serious damage to any quilting rhythm you have going.

thread barf ball

So I’m doing my usual improv free motion quilting on a piece I call “Rust Never Sleeps” using my official Janome bobbins, and my machine seizes up four times in half an hour. Somehow the bobbin comes unseated in the bobbin case, though I don’t know if that’s the cause of the jam or the result of the thread getting caught and pulling the bobbin up. As soon as you cut the bobbin thread the bobbin drops back into the case. This doesn’t happen with the feed dogs up.

Between all the seizures I changed my thread and my needle, cleaned out the bobbin case, and changed to another bobbin entirely. Since the problem persisted I decided two possible causes of the fault remain – either my bobbins aren’t winding right or my bobbin case has gone rogue.

I plan to try winding my bobbins on my Elna, which uses the same bobbins as the Janome.  And I found something called a low tension bobbin case for free motion quilting on Amazon.  At $28 it’s a lot cheaper than a trip to the sewing machine store where a look-see would cost at least $100, and no one seems familiar with free motion quilting. Maybe I’ll buy a new regular bobbin case as well.  That would be an additional $30.

If you know of any solutions to my problem please send them along.



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