August 27, 2010

Free Motion Quilting: Prepare your machine

Feeling excited to start free motion quilting? Great! Let's channel that energy into a little sewing machine maintenance. When free motion quilting, lint accumulates like mad. If your machine is already packed with lint that's just going to cause problems. Time to clean.


I found a blogger who wrote pretty much everything I was going to write about how to de-lint your machine. She has great pictures. Instead of reinventing the wheel, how about you all pop over there and see what Miss Tarilyn has to say. She has a top loading bobbin but if you have a front loading bobbin things are not that different. Trust me, I have one of each, and the front loader is super easy to open and clean.


If you'd like to see some lint horror pictures, go here.


Make sure there's no lint jammed in the corner of your bobbin case. If you start free motion quilting and get lots of birds nests and wonky tension the first thing I will ask you is when you last cleaned the lint from your machine. It would be so awesome if the answer was "last week"!

Please note that I heartily agree with Tarilyn that you should NEVER use compressed or canned air on a domestic sewing machine. See you soon!

13 comments:

BaileyGirl5 said...

I just recently learned about taking OUT the bobbin case and was totally freaked out by the accumulation of lint under there! How do you feel about using the dustbuster with the small attachment to suck up the lint? That's what I do and I've been wondering if there is some reason I shouldn't do that.

Thanks for doing this series. Quilting is my most challenging part and I've been wanting to improve.

Terry said...

I just cleaned mine all out! I'm ready! :0)

Gene Black said...

I clean mine pretty regularly. If anything isn't working right (skips, tangles etc) that is the first thing I check for -lint.

MissMary said...

I cleaned my machine just a few weeks ago. GAA! Grossness. But worth it. And--woo hoo!--my darning foot came in the mail today!!! YIPPEE! I am 100% ready now!

Debbie said...

I clean when I change a bobbin. Lost a machine to lint a long time ago, so I learned the lesson. I also use a long pipe cleaner to reach tucked away nooks and crannies, and it works great and is cheap to pick up at the craft store.

Cal said...

Need to clean my machine, has not been cleaned since I bought it one year ago! Also I just ordered the free quilting foot, as it was an optional extra and not included in the original bundle.

WoolenSails said...

I made sure I cleaned my case out and put a new needle in.
After making a mess on my free motion quilting, the machine went bonkers. I realized I had forgotten to put the thread back in right, so it ruined the tension and jammed. All fixed now, but my little piece got ruined, live and learn;)

Debbie

Becky said...

When did you last cleaned the lint from your machine? My answer would be everytime I put in a new bobbin. I hate lint in my sewing machine.
Becky in Utah

Allie said...

I clean mine with every bobbin - and change my needle often! Gotta take care of your tools, right?

Quiet Quilter said...

Cleaned it yesterday AND changed needles...of course I will have to change again to quilting needles anyway...

Gladys said...

Hola, Christina! Muy buen consejo, pues es algo que siempre olvido! Gracias! Un abrazo!

Carmen said...

Hola Cristina:
Pues la verdad es que aunque fuera para otro trabajo , ya me tocaba limpiarla, así que me va perfecto en este momento.

Besillos

Tamera said...

I'm so glad that you put up this post before you started. It always amazes me how many quilters are unaware that they need to regularly clean their machines. This was such a good reminder!

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