Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Tip Tuesday! - Basic Sewing Machine Home Maintenance

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Welcome to
"Tip Tuesday!"

I love learning new things and then sharing that knowledge with my quilting friends. So, every Tuesday I'll provide some tips, hints, tricks, tutorials, shortcuts, etc. that I've learned over the years and share them here on the blog. 

"Tip Tuesday" will be a collection of information about a wide variety of subjects garnered from a large variety of sources.  I am not an expert by any means and do not take credit for being the great wizard behind all of these hints and tips. I will gladly give credit where credit is due whenever possible.
These tips will be archived and accessible to you just by clicking on the "Tip Tuesday" tab above. 

Read, enjoy, and be inspired! 

Basic Sewing Machine Home Maintenance Suggestions

Saying that our sewing machines are very important to us quilters is truly an understatement; yet I continue to be amazed at how little we know about these machines or in some cases, how little we take care of them. I firmly believe that we should all send our machines to a Sewing Machine Spa for some TLC by an expert every so often, but there are some things we can all do at home to prevent or delay some serious issues. 

Some of these are maintenance suggestions, while others are simply good habits that we should consider adopting.Your machine will thank you!

Read the manual - ALWAYS read the manual first!
Keep It Covered
            1. Cover the machine when not in use, even if for just a few hours or 

    2. Avoid placing your machine near open windows because of what 
        the draft can bring in

Thread Direction
            1. Thread is meant to move from the spool to the needle, not vice 

            2. When finishing a seam, pull the thread to the back to snip, not to 
                the front or side

Needles and Thread Compatibility
            1. Use the correct needles and thread for the project
                        A. The most common cause of thread breakage is using a 
                                 needle that is too small for the thread

            2. Change the needle often
                        A. Needles pass through the fabrics thousands of times per 
                            minute, so if the needle is dull or bent, you may get 
                            skipped stitches, broken or looped threads, runs or pulls 
                            in the fabric, or even damage to the machine

            1. Contrary to popular belief, there really is no such thing as a 
        universal bobbin! Just because it fits, doesn't mean that it 
         will perform at an optimal level.

    2. Be sure there are no thread tails from the bobbin when inserted 
        into the bobbin case (they can jam the machine and cause upper 
        thread breakage)

Regular cleaning is essential
            1. Controversial topics-ask your machine dealer what he/she suggest
                        A. Canned air
                        B. Blowing into the machine
                        C. Q-tips

            2. Clean after each project, especially if you are using different types 
                and colors of thread

            3. Start at the top of the machine and work your way down
                        A. Use a soft cloth to dust off the machine

                        B. Use a folded piece of fine muslin and clean the tension 
                            1. Have presser foot up so the tension springs are loose 
                                and the muslin can move easily between the disks, 
                                dislodging any lint or fuzz

                        C. Remove the needle and clean that entire area

                        D. Clean the feed dogs
                            1. Remove the throat plate (you may need a 
                                screwdriver to do that)

                            2. Using a lint brush or small paint brush to thoroughly 
                                lean the area, including under the feed dogs and 
                                around the bobbin are

                           3. Check for jammed or entangled pieces of thread, but 
                               do not use sharp instruments to remove them which can 
                               nick or burr machine parts; use tweezers instead    

                           4. If the hook mechanism is removable, take it out and         
                               wipe it clean with a dot of oil on a piece of muslin, 
                               and give it an additional small drop of oil before 
                              returning it to the machine    

                           5. Following the manual’s instructions, use only a small 
                               drop of oil for each spot it says to lubricate
                               (It’s always better to oil too little more often 
                               than too much once.)

Take care of your machine, and it will take care of you!

1 comment:

Jason said...

Nice list of helpful home maintenance tips. Thanks for sharing. In case you need additional resources, I recommend a site called "House Logic". Cheers!