Maintenance Required

Don’t we all dread when that message pops up on the dashboard? But, just as with our cars, maintenance is an important task to keep our precious machines humming along.

Over the years many of our articles have touched on machine maintenance, including Sarah Ann Smith‘s article in our March/April 2014 edition. Here are a few basics:

Change your needle regularly. Once it’s making a “thump,thump, thump” noise it’s definitely time for a new one! The small expense of a new needle can prevent costly repairs down the road.

My brother once told me “A clean engine is a happy engine.” The same is true for our machines. Make it a habit to regularly clean lint out from beneath the feed dogs (on a domestic machine) and around the bobbin case. I try to do this every time I switch bobbins. Keep a cotton swab or pipe cleaner near the machine for easy lint grabbing.

Lint can be cleaned out of the bobbin area with a cotton swab, pipe cleaner, or brush. Photo credit Sarah Ann Smith

Oil! Machines have lots of moving parts, and oil is a necessity to keep them running smoothly. Only use oil that is designed for sewing machines. Your user’s manual should clearly indicate where, how much, and when you should oil your specific model. For instance, my machine has small felt pads that require one drop of oil periodically, as well as a reservoir close to the needle plate. If you can’t figure out how your machine should be oiled, check with your local dealer.

Some machines have a wick or felt pad where oil is applied. See your machine manual for the specifics for your machine. Photo credit Sarah Ann Smith

If you won’t be using your machine for a while, cover it to prevent dust from collecting on and in it. You can improvise by covering your machine with a pretty dish towel (or some fabric you might have on hand), or whip up a cute cover like this free pattern from our sister magazine.

Sewing Machine Cover by Vicki Anderson, featured in Modern Quilts Unlimited Fall 2012 issue



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