When Bobbin Thread Shows, Color it Away!

Christmas Cookies machine embroidery by Sew Inspired by Bonnie

Sometimes, even if you have done everything right, you still get bobbin thread showing on top. I will show you how to fix it!

You have tested your tensions and cleaned your upper tension discs. Everything seems like it is good to go. You start stitching a project and you step out and, when you step back, you see some bobbin thread on top of your project. The project is already finished. Is there some way to save it?

My embroidery machine dealer showed me this trick that she learned from the commercial folks years and years ago. When bobbin thread shows on top of embroidery, color it!

I have had these textile markers for more than 10 years. I believe I got them from Marathon Threads. I know that The Embroidery Store sells textile markers and I believe Hobby Lobby does as well. Go where they sell the permanent fabric markers that quilters use for their quilt labels.

Choose a marker color as close to your thread color as possible. Wherever the bobbin thread is showing, just touch it up with the marker. You really cannot tell that there was bobbin thread there. It will save your project and no one will ever know!

I think every embroiderer needs to have textile markers in their Resource Center, just in case you have something like this happen.

Some of my Facebook followers have said that fine-point Sharpie markers and gel pens work quite well. If you are not sure if your pens and markers will run, test it on a little scrap of fabric and scrub it in the sink. The important thing is that you want something with a really fine micro tip for more control over your application.

See the full video here.

Have a day blessed with perfect stitches and GlitterFlex!!


Share this post...
Previous post Next post


  • Bonnie Welsh - August 22, 2020

    Gail—The set of markers I got from Marathon Threads over 10 years ago are not dried out except for the most regularly used one. As long as the cap is put back on tightly, I think they’ll last a very long time. =)

  • Gail - August 22, 2020

    Do these dry out if not used in a certain length of time? Would like a set but hesitant as I am a beginner. Don’t know yet if these will be used on regular basis.

  • Bonnie Welsh - May 27, 2020

    Karel—Wow! You have quite a story with your sewing hobby and how you got started. What fun! So many experiences over the years. We in the home industry have learned a ton from the commercial folks for sure!

  • Karel Drehle - May 26, 2020

    Oh my, I also learned this from Professional Embroiders that use to display at our Screen Graphics International Association (SGIA) shows that also included the Professional Embroidery’s Association with these two Associations it made the largest show in the World next to Drupa in Germany which also included the Screen Printers of the world. My hubby was chairman of the board back in the day so we were able to travel to lots & lots of shows & me being a sewer my whole life loved, loved the combination of screen/embroidery, that Bonnie is where I got my start with all this sewing. so I learned about lots of these tricks many-many years ago like back in the early 60’s. however the Screen Association has been in existence since 1948. We all learn by trial & error & so I have had lots of errors in my time with sewing projects. I actually use to sew for fun for a Fashion Designer in DC when we lived there she was a friend & told her because we traveled abroad so much I could only sew when I was not traveling with my hubby…hence I sew for fun & now spend most of my sewing time doing for charities in my lady’s group. This sharpies have been part of my sewing forever it seems & they work great for boo-boos too.

Leave a comment