Thursday, March 6, 2014

Dusting? Housekeeping for your machine? Sewing Machine Tips?

Tooltron Fine Sewing Machine Cleaning Brush

I read about this on a couple of blogs and finally ordered one through Amazon. It just intrigues me. something a little more sturdy that will get all that fluff out in a hurry! 

I have a retreat coming up the beginning of April. I think I need to take my Symphony into the spa before I go. I want her to be up and running in prime condition! I'm thinking the sewing machines in there are going to be smoking with all the creativity! I don't want mine being the one pooping out!

Do you oil your machine? My manual for the BabyLock Symphony shows how to clean it -- cleaning out the bobbin area, etc. No oiling!  It has had a year of sewing/quilting, so it's about time it went for spa day. Of all the guck that I have pulled out, only makes me cringe to think of how much is underneath in the workings below the bobbin area that I can't get to!

Funny....I'm already stressing over leaving my baby! What if they do something to her? Maybe I should insist on staying with her during her checkup! Egads! "Her"? funny how attached we get to our sewing machines. I sure don't want to neglect "her", so I'd better get cracking and get her in quick! It seems like NO time is a good time to be without her! Thank heavens I have a spare!

The BL9 by Babylock is a basic little machine. It sure isn't the Symphony, but it is a great little workhorse! I doesn't have all the bells and whistles like the automatic needle threader, knee lift or thread cutter -- but, it's a spare!

Back to cleaning -- I heard the worst thing to do is to use canned air as it forces all those little fluffies into the operating mechanisms of the machine. Sounds like an easy way to do dusting -- but no thanks if it's going to damage my machine! Oh, before I go any further -- UNPLUG your baby and take out your needle! 

I also heard that using Endust on the bed of the machine is a good as having one of those large sliders on the bed when you are free motion quilting. Do you ever remember getting that stuff on the floor and then almost breaking your neck wearing socks and hitting the sprayed area? Trust me..that stuff is deadly! 

I heard another tip for when you are machine quilting -- use those rubber doorstops to tip the back of your machine forward. Yes, I did buy them, but realized that I would have to buy another set as I also have to raise the extension table to the machine.

I've always just used a clean, damp (with warm water) cloth (rung out as much as I can!) to wipe down the machine to take the dust off. I always store it covered, though I think I need to make a fancy/cute dust cover for it to match the rest of my sewing room!

I follow the instruction manual to a "T" when I am dusting out with the brushes. I found the brush that they provided wasn't very substantial -- I added to my little cleaning kit a set of new/cheap (read Dollar Store) set of makeup brushes. They help me get into the little crooks and crannies.

I clean out my machine after every project. There are tons of instructions on the internet on how to do it and if you are not sure, take your machine into a reputable dealer and have them show you how to do it for YOUR brand of machine.

It was many years before I got a new sewing machine and I take it seriously to clean it religiously. I made sure that before we even left the store with it  I was confident with cleaning it myself. Taking out the bobbin case (drop in one) still sets me on edge....but I do everything step by step. If I have to take out screws, I make sure that I have a container beside my machine so I don't lose those screws. You don't want to be crawling on your hands and knees looking for that little thing -- nor do you want to magnetize the screw with a magnet being swept across the carpet. Many of these new machines have so many electronic parts, you don't want to mess with anything that is magnetized to throw your whole machine for a loop!

If you do not have instructions on how to take parts off or out -- DON'T -- get advice from the experts!  I remember when I was 12, I decided that I knew enough on how to clean my mom's machine and do it myself. I am sure back in those days it was a LOT of money for the technician to put everything back TOGETHER! I wasn't allowed near the machine after that! It's a miracle that I picked up sewing again after that!

Be nice to your sewing machines! They will be nice back to you for far more years than you expect! Or...unless you really, really, want a new one, I am sure that I can take that thing apart for you for FREE! ha ha!

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