A Tip and a Product Review

February 5th, 2016
I have been very disappointed in the suction cup magnets that are sold to hold small scissors on the sewing machine because the suction cups seem to fail really often.  That kind of thing drives me nuts!  But, I came up with a cheap work-around a couple months ago and have been using it on multiple machines and it has never failed on any machine.  Here’s a shot on my Pfaff:
…and here’s a shot on my George:
You can set this up yourself really easily.  I use the super small command strips that come in a packet of  20 and I use 1 small rare earth magnet.  (These are super-strong magnets that are very small.)  You can find them pretty easily nowadays and I think I bought mine at Harbor Freight and Tool.  Here’s what the supplies look like:
(There are several magnets left in that packet, so know that they are pretty small.)  You only need a small piece of that Command adhesive, so feel free to trim it if you’d rather have less of it showing.  The nice thing about the command strip is that it comes off easily by pulling the tab, and it leaves no residue.  (Don’t be distracted by the small plastic clips in that photo above; you don’t use those clips in this system, only the adhesive strips.  Those clips are great, though, for holding power cords, etc from lights attached to the sewing machine.)  Here’s a shot of the setup without any scissors attached:
2/6/16 Addendum:  I have received 2 emails of concern about the risk of placing strong magnets near a computerized sewing machine.  Here is a copy of the email from Mary Ann:
I just read in another blog that those small magnets are disruptive to electronic equipment. Mary Corbet at needlenthread blog wrote: Another con: if you use electronic equipment around your embroidery – camera, smart phone, tablet – a neodymium magnet can cause damage to those things. Craft magnets that are a lot weaker aren’t too dangerous, but the very strong neodymium magnets can cause problems with electronics. I’m always very aware of the location of my magnets in relation to my camera and the like.  Just be careful around that very expensive quilting/sewing machine.
I’m not really sure what to think about all this.  I proceeded with my magnet system because this question had come up in a class at a Pfaff dealer some time ago, and the dealer said it was not something to worry about.  In truth, I have heard from other sources that it can be a problem, but I guess I figured that it was ok because this dealer said it was.  When I read about it on the internet, I am seeing some contradictory info, so I’m not sure what is right.  If you are thinking about doing this with your machine, please talk with your dealer first to get his/her advice about the safety of it with your machine.  My husband does woodworking and he has these very heavy lights that attach to his machines with very large, very heavy magnets and he has never been told not to place these onto computerized woodworking machines; they are sold and marketed for that very purpose!  For myself, I think I will leave these up on the machines that have them since nothing bad has happened in the many months they’ve been in place, but I will not place them on any other machines. 
Next, I wanted to let you know about a product I started using 4-5 months ago.  It’s called The Thread Director and here’s what  it looks like:
Thread Director 2
This is a small gizmo that fits onto your bobbin winder base in order to create a new spool holder that orients the spool in a completely different orientation.  The reason I got this was because on my Ellisimo, I have trouble sometimes with mini-cone shaped spools like this one:
It happens mainly when I’m embroidering, but the thread can get hung up between the spool’s tip and the spool cap and when it does, really bad stuff happens. I mean, REALLY bad suff happens!!  So, by adding a new spool holder in a different orientation that stems from the bobbin winder, that problem is solved:
…and here’s a closeup shot so you can see it better:
It’s easy to put on and take off (easy-to-follow directions come with it, as well as a few spool caps in various sizes), but I just leave it in place except when I need to wind a bobbin.  This is a generic alternative spool holder, made for all kinds of domestic sewing machines, not just Babylock.  We recently started carrying it in our store and you can find it by clicking here.  In the mean time, keep quilting and enjoy the weekend!  I am hoping for some quality time for quilting…