It’s a New Year, and there’s so many possibilities for your machine quilting this year! If you made a New Year’s resolution, then you may be starting a new project or are working on skill building. To start your year off with success, here are three tips to get you started off in the new year on good footing.
#1. Change your needle! Too often we sew with the same needle until there’s a problem. Machine needles are not like the batteries in your smoke detector…you need to change them often. You also need to use needles that are appropriate for the thread and type of sewing you will do. A general rule of thumb is to change your needle for every 8 hours of sewing and at the beginning of each project. Just like the tires on your car, needles wear out and need replacing, so the New Year is a good time to think about this and change out your needle.
#2. Tidy up your machine. The New Year is a great time to give your machine a good tidying up. Maybe it needs to go for a full tune up/spa day, or you can just clean out the fluff that has accumulated in it by removing the sole plate. Remember, never used canned air to blow out the fluff in your machine, as you just push the fluff further into the machine. If you haven’t oiled your machine in a while, now is a good time to oil it per your manufacturer’s directions. One area to remember is your needle bar. Lower your presser foot and needle to get at the accumulated fluff with a cleaning brush.
#3. Practice! The answer to the old joke on how you get to Carnegie Hall is our last New Year’s tip. Make yourself a few practice fabric sandwiches to warm up with before you start quilting on your project. A few minutes of drawing swirls and feathers on paper will also help develop the muscle memory you need to quilt your actual quilt. Very few people just sat down at a sewing machine and sewed at an expert level. It takes time, and putting in the practice is going to help you become a better quilter. You can use our Motif of the Month machine quilting tips to help you learn new styles.
These are just a few tips to help you think about your quilting goals and start your year off on the right foot.