12 days of Sewing Tips: Take Care of Your Sewing Machines!

For the month of December, I want to give you, dear reader, some gifts. Whether you celebrate a gift-giving holiday or not, we all know that quilters have amazing generosity! So I’m going to start the month off with a series of mini-tutorials and tips that can make your quilting a little bit merrier!

Today’s tip: Take care of your sewing machine and it will take care of you!

  • Get to know your manual. If you don’t have one, you might be able to get a PDF version by emailing customer service. It worked for my Janome from the 70s! The manual will explain how to clean and oil your machine. No manual? YouTube might have a video of maintenance steps for a similar model.
  • Every time you change your bobbin, clean out the bobbin area. Lint and broken threads can build up, and they are the enemy of good tension and consistent stitches. You might be able to just brush or blow the lint out, or you may need remove the hook race and other bits (that’s the technical term) to remove bits of thread that might be stuck.
  • In between major projects, or after a couple of small projects, oil your machine. Your manual will tell you where, but you just need to put a few drops of good sewing machine oil wherever moving parts touch other parts. A drop in the hook race, and a couple of drops on the rods and cranks and whatnot (more technical terms) up top are all you need. We’re talking tiny drops, not a stir fry!
  • Once a year or so, bring your baby to a reputable sewing repair center to get a little spa treatment. There are things that need tightening, tweaking, and cleaning to keep the motor purring. You can also learn a few things from your repair center to make sewing more pleasant.

If you can’t remember the last time you cleaned or oiled your machine (ahem, like me), now is a good time to give it a little love!

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