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Photo Guide to Sewing Machine Maintenance

How clean is your sewing machine?

I was a bit worried that I wouldn’t be able to show you pictures of how to clean your sewing machine (if you need them), I cleaned my machine during the last quilt I made a few weeks ago!

But don't worry - it needed it!

It's important to keep this area clear so your machine stitches smoothly, a stray piece of thread can cause havoc!

Photo tutorial for most drop in bobbin machines:

1 - Drop in bobbin machine. Keep the power off.

2 - I remove the presser foot (and sometimes the needle and ankle) to give more space.

3 - Some machines have a one-section, some have two-sections but the front section will just slide off. Mine has two-sections that both need to be unscrewed.

4 - One of the screws in the back section has been machine tightened so might need a bit more oomph (technical term) to unscrew it the first time. Put the screws somewhere safe (and try not to drop them in the machine - that's never happened to me!!!!) Remove the bobbin holder and give it a wipe around.

5 - This is the mess created after half a small quilt.

6 - Take the small brush provided with you machine (or a soft bristled paintbrush) and wipe around the bobbin area. Wipe the lint off onto a piece of paper towel. Don't worry if you get any oil on the brush, it will help the lint stick to it.

7 - Get into all the nooks of the space you can see and gently draw out all the lint. Don't blow into the machine, you might move the lint further in.

8 - Check all the areas including the feed dogs, with this machine I find that lint accumulates in the spaces between the rows of teeth.

9 - Once you've got all the lint you can out, place the bobbin holder back in lining any dots up (there is a little white dot at the bottom right on the top of my bobbin holder).

10 - Put the sections back on and screw in place. Then you are ready to stitch your next project.

11 - This is what came out of my machine.

Remember to clean your machine regularly (after each project ideally) but set reminders for yourself if you are likely to leave it.

If you are are worried about taking your machine apart, take photos of each stage (or film it) then refer to them as you put it back together.

When was the last time you cleaned your machine? And what did you find in there?

Let us know in the comments.

Happy Stitching!

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