Happy National Sewing Machine Day! Today we are taking time to celebrate the machines that allow us to do what we love! Sewing machines bring creativity to life with beautiful quilts, and are immensely practical, allowing us to create for our homes, ourselves and loved ones.
I sewed A LOT of projects on my sewing machine last year! The Juki TL-2010Q is by far my favorite sewing machine at the moment because of how fast it is. If it were a car, it would be a red sports car. It’s that fast! The foot pedal also activates the thread cutter, which is a big time-saver. To keep my machine running and looking like it’s brand new, I clean the lint out and oil my machine regularly. That way I can spend more time sewing and less time in the shop.
I invited some friends to share their sewing machine tips! Read on to see how they keep their sewing machines in shape and why they love them!
A clean machine is a reliable machine! My mom has always taught me that a sewing machine is due for a cleaning after going through 3 full bobbins of thread. This means frequent cleaning for me! It’s amazing how quickly the lint piles up inside the machine! Of course, you should always consult your sewing machine manual for proper care instruction. Every time I clean my machine, I also replace the needle–another tidbit from Mom. I also take my Bernina into the dealer for a deep cleaning once a year.
Keep up with Vanessa of Lella Boutique on her blog and Instagram (@lellaboutique).
There is nothing better than spending time at my wonderful Solaris. This machine has so many cool features, like a lever to lift off the plate for cleaning the bobbin area, a laser guide beam that shines a line onto your fabric for ease of positioning, and it has so many built-in embroidery designs, including some of mine!
I’ve found that keeping my Aurifil threads from my Perfect Box of Neutrals in a basket next to the machine lets me keep on sewing when I’m in a crunch! If you love to sew along with others, join me for one of my upcoming Sew Alongs like my free Block a Week Summer Soiree. You can find my other Sew Alongs here, and be sure to join my sewing community!
I keep a little notebook by my machine. I am a numbers/statistics person. In my notebook, I keep a tally of the blocks I make, as well as a tally of the number of blocks needed to finish up a quilt top. Doing that breaks up the monotony that can happen with making the same block over and over again, and helps motivate me to keep sewing until all the blocks are completed.
I think that the machines I have had are great on collaborating! When collaboration happens, magical things happen!
Follow Wendy on Instagram (@ivory_spring).
Given that my “youngest” machine is fifteen years old, and my “newest” machine is a now-70-year old Bernina, I am all about taking care of my sewing machines. The machine I sew on most is about 38 years old, and I still have the machine my parents gave me for Christmas when I was… let it suffice to say that it’s more than 40 years old haha!
Regular cleaning and oiling, and regular needle changes. And regular “spa days” at the machine shop.
For maybe thirty years now, I have used a non-scientific system to keep track of when it’s time to clean-oil-change needles. I wind four bobbins. When the last bobbin is empty, I really do stop what I’m sewing, and do the maintenance. That means a full cleaning with a brush and micro-cloth. Then the machine is oiled in specific spots, and a new needle is put in place. When I’m out of bobbin thread, it’s time to do this again.
A caveat – with older machines, they did get oiled. And I learned where to oil them in the Guide classes I took at the sewing machine shop.
Most of the time, sewing is relaxing for me. I’m less concerned about how fast. I love the process, even the parts others find a bit tedious. That said, I have a good Bluetooth speaker near my machine for music and audiobooks. (Nope, I don’t binge-watch Netflix.) A favorite scented candle. Flowers – real or faux – always. And a pin-bowl dish made from a finger-bowl of my Mom’s china.
Find Carrie Nelson on Instagram (@justcarrieintexas).
What about you? Leave a comment and let us know what makes your sewing machine special, and what you keep nearby to make sewing productive and fun!
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Thanks Ladies. Was fun to see you all. Just cleaned my machine but need to replace the. needle. Thanks for the reminder.
I have several vintage machines that I have brought back to life, and I love, but my steady workhorse these days is my Elna 780. I saved for it for a few years, and I treat it like the Queen she is! She gets a thorough cleaning every project, and sometimes halfway through one! Always a fresh needle,too. Now, in a bigger house, I love that she’s always set up and ready to sew. I end up with a lot more little projects done in between quilts and other items!
I also have a Juki and I love it. I clean the lint with every bobbin change. It takes two seconds with a fan shaped make up brush I don’t use. (My make up is not that fancy!)
I am a sewing machine junkie! My favorite is my Bernina440 QE I bought her when I turned 50 so she is 16 now. I learned to free motion quilt on her.
I have a featherweight born in 1955 just like me- his name is Sal. I also have a Janome 6500 – that I use and an old tan Singer that I haven’t used yet. My sister in law gave me a beautiful old Singer treadle machine that I do not know how to sew with.
I have a Babylock Journey that I haven’t used much yet but intend to explore machine embroidery on and my newest birthday present to myself is a Juki TL-2020 platinum edition- I have wanted a Juki for about 3 years after hearing how much Kimberly loves hers. I obviously have a bit of an obsession with sewing machines and all things quilty- but unlike psychotherapy- I will have plenty of quilts to show when all is said and done. ☺️
Pfaff 7570, Singer 2010 and 1956 Singer Featherweight 221, are my 3 main machines! Girls are very mature, but they “Rock” at what I ask of them!
Thanks for the comments about changing your needle when you do regular maintenance. I usually just change my needle when it breaks, haha.
I own an Epic was my retirement gift
I used a New Home for 30 years. It was a great little work horse. Now I have a Pfaff. I love it! Very smooth and quiet. The automatic cutter saves me so much bobbin thread I am amazed. I also have a juki for machine quilting. I need to give it more tlc, but it never stops!
I have 3 I use
Baby Lock Quilters Dream
I have a Husquavarna Viking Ruby Royale. I LOVE it!!!
Always nice to see how others care for their machines and what routine they have come up with. The most important thing is we have a routine and love that this reminds us all to “keep to it”….thanks
I love both of my sewing machines. I’ve used a Bernina 153QE for the last 17 years. It is a great machine and has had no major issues or repairs. I keep it cleaned and oiled. I recently bought a Juki TL-2010Q and I love it! It IS really fast and I love the automatic thread cutter, something my Bernina did not have. I want to say that I’ve bought my last sewing machine but you never know. Happy Quilting!
I have a Singer that I received for my high school graduation in 1977, a 1950’s Singer (fully refurbished) that belonged to my best college friend’s mother, a Juki serger, and a Husqvarna 500 (currently on an extended vacation in the repair shop). I have always taken care of my machines but fear mu Husqvarna may not be able to be repaired anymore. I garment sew and quilt and don’t really have room for any more than 1 machine to do both on – it’s been challenging to decide which features are most important and to find them all on one new machine!
I bought a Bernina 770 QE last year, it does need frequent cleaning and oiling but I enjoy sewing on it. I also have a Viking 960Q, these are set up in my sewing room with different projects and a little Pfaff passport3 that I take to classes and retreats. I love my collection of sewing machines
I have a small Brother machine for taking to quilt classes, but my main machine is my Babylock Crescendo. It sews beautifully, and is so user friendly, I just love it! I can free motion quilt because of it’s large throat space, which is why I bought it. Quilting by checkbook can get expensive, plus I enjoy making the whole quilt, start to finish.
Fun reading everyone’s favorites. Old portable Singer, Brother, 2 Pfaff;s, and a Sweet 16 . Gave away my old Singer, and not so sure what our grand did with it.