Sunday, January 23, 2022

Lately I learn the hard way, or no way at all

My sewing skills are fairly rudimentary. I'm including machine maintenance in that skill set. Some things are burned into my brain. How about replacing a needle and not knowing which direction to face the groove in the needle. It can be a mystery, if you don't have it written down in ink somewhere on the machine.

My sister quilts professionally, as you know, and can disassemble her machine in the dark, clean it and put it back together by the light of a flashlight held between her lips. She knows her stuff! On time I interrupted her to ask where the needle groove went on my Husqvarna machine. "The thread follows the groove!" she said, and left. I never forgot that.

Yesterday I found I no longer remember how many pieces must be disassembled to clean a machine! I was hemming towels, of course. Short of a modicum of mending, it's what I do on a sewing machine now. My current machine is a Brother, and it was jamming the thread. After I'd extracted the broken looper thread a dozen times, I thought I'd see if it needed cleaned. 

The inside was brushed to shining, when I looked, and I could see nothing suspicious. In desperation, I began shoving my finger around the inside. Finally I decided it felt sort of soft, there under the throat plate. I located my screwdrivers and began. The screwdrivers provided by Brother are shite, by the way, but I got the job done.

Now I remember I used to do that job with a long screwdriver in a set of old Singer drawers that I no longer have. I wonder if I gave them to Janice. Must check and reclaim that screwdriver if possible.

Anyway, I freed the plate, turned it over, and smiled at the stuffed cushion it had become. What did I expect, shoving the needle through 100% cotton, the real deal, to hem towels? I cleaned and cleaned, replaced the plate and the screws, the latter with my thumbnails, and it sews like butter, to quote a malposition from my daughter.


Lint, but not in my machine.


29 comments:

  1. Hari OM
    Oh yeah, that needed doing... malposition? That be a gynaecological term - but then there was something in the wrong place, so maybe...! YAM xx

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  2. Haven’t brought my machine out in so long, I wonder if I’d remember how to thread it or load a bobbin! Good investigative work, Joanne! -Jenn

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  3. Wow, you could make a rabiit or something, It looks like the beginning of a pet of some sort! Well done you!

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  4. Like Jenn, my machine is hibernating- I’d need the manual (with pictures) to remind me how to do those basic necessaries that make it go. Threading and loading have never been favourite chores….a bit like washing ironing cooking😊

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  5. Good detective work there. Trusting your fingertips were telling you something.

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  6. I always assume that nothing needs cleaning or taking apart so I get burned at times. Like when the outside blower on the dryer was completely plugged with lint. It couldn't have been good for it.

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  7. Sewing machines are an utter mystery to me. I've never had one.

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  8. Gee, that's a lot of lint. Glad you didn't sew yourself into the machine. I was afraid this was a self-injury report. Whew! Linda in Kansas

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  9. Dear Joanne, I always forget how to put the needle into the machine and then the way of the thread - thus I "lent" (meaning: forever) my beautiful Husqvarna to a neighbour who does a lot with it.

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  10. Well done you.
    And good screwdrivers are a must have.

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  11. That moment of blankness as we are accosted about how to mend a machine or service it. Sadly there are not many experts around to do these small jobs. Though there is a movement in England to set up repair shops.

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  12. I did my Janome a week or so back. It was a right old mess. I gave it a light brushing with oil too. Must be more diligent about that stuff if I want to keep sewing quilts.

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  13. Love the expression "Sews like butter". Reminds me when my mother always said "It washed like a rag". Which apparently was a positive thing, which I never understood.

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  14. You get full marks, Joanne. A whole new career as a sewing machine technician awaits you!

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  15. How fun to use the British version, shite, instead of the American version. It just seems so much more refined.😎

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  16. It must have felt so gratifying to clean all that lint out!

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  17. Yay. You still got it, Joanne. If you’re like me, you forget that sometimes.

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  18. You never always get the job done! No question.

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  19. I can thread my machine, brush out the lint, and I can even oil it following the diagram (not that I actually do very often) but the one thing I have never figured out how to do is adjust the tension. When it gets wacky I have to take it in to have it fixed.

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  20. Green with envy. Have never met a sewing machine that I could get along with.

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  21. I had a very good friend who, like your sister, knew her sewing machine up close and personal. I also remember the lecture I got from her about keeping my machine oiled and clean the day she came over to help me figure out why it wouldn't work.

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  22. Reminds me of all the stuff that can collect in my front casters...not a pleasant job but very necessary.

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  23. My ancient all metal Bernina seems to only have one point of lubrication, which doesn't feel like enough. Only the hook on the bobbin holder wants oil. Where ever did you find that picture of the machine full of lint?

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  24. It's surprising how much fluff gathers in a small place!

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  25. The right screwdriver for a sewing machine makes all the difference doesn't it! I found one at a sewing show that had a chunky handle and works perfect for me. I hope you find your favorite one.

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