Did your sewing machine come with a little red, or white, or beige disk of felt?
Those are spool pin felt pads, designed to be used with upright thread supports. They help your spool of thread spin smoothly, and to quickly stop your spool from spinning, when you stop sewing. Some spools of thread have large center holes. One of these felt pads will help stabilize the spool. They also protect your machine from friction and scratching that can be caused by a spinning spool of thread.
Older machines, like the vintage sewing machine in the above picture, has a clear coat to protect the finish and painted decals. Protecting the intricate decoration on a new sewing machine from scratching is probably how these cute 2" flowers were born, and 'm going to guess that these handmade crocheted doilies came before the felt pad, but more research is required!
Anyway, the felt pad does the job just fine, but I like the handmade doilies better, personally, just because they are pretty.
My favourite doily (and yes, just like fabric, and thread, and machines, I also have a collection of doilies) is this black and gold one, because it matches with most of my vintage Singer sewing machines.
While doing some research on the origin of doilies (I didn't find much!) I came across this pattern, (a free PDF dowloadable pattern on The Singer Featherweight Shop). It is super adorable, and would be an awesome scrap-busting project.
If you have fun and interesting spool pin stories you wish to share, or a story about the history of these dainty doilies, please go ahead and leave us readers a comment below!