Thursday, January 29, 2015

Sewing Machine Maintenance - So Important

I know that many of my readers already know the importance of sewing machine maintenance. I get a lot of customers write me and share photos of the items that they made from my patterns, and many of them tell me that they are new to sewing. So I thought it would be nice to share this tidbit of information. I'm also going to give you my very own personal tips as well. I've been sewing with anti-pill fleece lately and figured this would be a good time to share some of those tips and photos with you. Just take a look at all the lint that was in my machine!

To begin, you will want to look at the manual for the sewing machine you are using. If you don't have a manual, I'm sure you can google your machine's model number and find a PDF version of the manual online. If not, you can do some research on the Internet. Youtube has some great videos showing the basics. I just popped over to Singer (my machines) and see that I can download any of them. While you're at it, you might want to pick up some sewing machine oil. Be sure it's for sewing machines. You can get this anywhere you can buy sewing supplies. 

How often should you clean it? I've seen some articles saying after every project. Well, that can be confusing because I may do one project that requires seven or eight hours of stitching time, or I might throw a mug rug together can be done in about an hour. It really depends on how often you use your machine. 

Is your machine a workhorse? 
Do you do assembly line sewing? 
Do you crank out a bunch of potholders for craft shows? 

In the above cases, you're going to want to clean it at least once a day. 

Are you an occasional sewer? 
Only sew once in a while? 

For these stitchers, you might want to clean after each project so you don't lose track of when you did it last. 

I personally sew often, but my machine isn't what I'd call a workhorse, so I make sure to clean and oil my machine once or twice a month.

My Personal Tips: Now you know the importance and basics, and have read your manual or researched your machine, so you know what to do. I'm now going to share some of my own tips with you.

1.  Fresh oil is a must. If you aren't sure how long your oil has been sitting in your cabinet, or your oil has turned yellow or another funny color, toss it and buy another one. Old and dirty oil will not be good for your machine. It's not that expensive to replace.

2.  When removing or replacing the throat plate, be careful with those screws to make sure they don't fall into the machine.

3.  Never blow into the machine to remove dust and lint. You can actually send the gunk to places you don't want it. You can use a small vacuum and remove it that way if you want.

4.  I'm not a fan of that small and stiff brush that comes with the machine. I use a soft makeup brush that I bought just for this purpose. The lint seems to attract to it like a magnet, and since it's so soft, you can really get a nice cleaning job.

5.  Now is a good time to discard the old needle so you can start your next project with a fresh one. 

6.  I always run some old fabric through the machine as if I were sewing (without thread) to run the oil through.

7.  Now that your machine is nice and clean on the inside, make sure you wipe off the outside and keep it covered until next time you use it.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Once a Hero, Now an Angel

I'm a very lucky girl. Since I was about eight years old, I had two dads, and both of them are truly amazing and I love them both so much. Today I lost one of them after a difficult battle. As you may have noticed, I have not been posting much the past few months. Since we found out that my dad was terminal, my main focus was to spend as much time with him as I could and everything else will be there later.

The handsome man you see in the pictures was an incredible individual. He was a WWII veteran and his plane was shot down. Fortunately he was saved, hidden, and nursed back to health by the underground French. After returning home he joined the Gary Fire Department where he once again, spent his life as a true hero, saving countless lives. 

He married my mom when I was about ten. He never treated us as stepdaughters. He raised us as if we were his own blood. He was an amazing man who was loved by everyone who crossed his path, and he will be missed so much.

I promise to catch back up with all my blogging friends soon. While you are waiting for my return, please let all your loved ones know how much you love them. Tell them, hug them, and be there for them. When it's all said and done, there is nothing more important than the people you love.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

What a Week!

Sometimes it can be tough to create a balance in life, and I'm still trying to find it. This week was one of those crazy weeks where we got a little bit of everything. 

Resident Fox: Notice what looks like dog prints in the snow. Well, they aren't dog prints, they are fox prints. Yes, we have a fox in the yard now. I noticed him about four or five nights ago when I saw something moving in the snow. I knew it looked too small to be a deer or the coyote, so I ran to the window and there was a really cute fox walking around in the yard. This morning when I took Bubba out, I noticed more of his little prints coming out from under the pool deck, down Bubba's potty path, and into the neighbors yard. Poor Bubba, we have to be so careful taking him out.

The BEST Part of the Week: Of course the highlight of the week was having Baby Paige overnight while mom and dad had a date night. She was so much fun and as usual, she was an angel for us. She loves her Grandpa Brian! She follows him all over the house and when he was on the floor cleaning out the pantry, she decided that cleaning time was not important because it was Paige time so she plopped down in his lap and started pulling bags out of the pantry one by one. She's so darn cute!

Florida Sunshine in a Blizzard: While I was out visiting my mom it started snowing so I decided to head home before it got bad. I decided to take back roads because I refuse to drive on the expressway in snowstorms. After two hours (should only have been one) I finally arrived home and found a box that was sent from my dad and bonus mom. I opened it up and it was full of grapefruits picked fresh! They know how much I love that grapefruit!

Busy in the Studio: A lot of time was spent in the studio this week as well. I was able to get some Valentine mug rugs finished and listed, as well as these bathing suit and burlesque style. Definitely ready to think about summer!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Project 365 - Week 52

Project 365 - I did it! I took one photo a day for a year! It was a fun project, and was the second time I did it.

Day 358 - My favorite photo from Christmas Eve. Santa filled Paige's stocking at Nana's house!

Day 359 - Paige and her cousins on Christmas Day. They certainly do make Christmas special. 

Day 360 - My studio is back to working order. It was a comfy place for Elyse to sleep while she was here.

Day 361 - Goodbye tree and decorations. See you next year.

Day 362 - Punkie misses Elyse. 

Day 363 - I got this really cute calendar for Christmas. Pictures of Paige all year long!

Day 364 - One of my favorite Christmas presents from last year. Brian made it for me and since I love candles so much, he added a glass shelf that holds a votive.

Day 365 - Our annual New Year's Eve dinner with my sis and her husband. Olive Garden this year, yum!

For more of my Project 365 - Click HERE
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