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.
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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