Does this picture get your attention? Had to smile when I saw it online as it was taken during one of my classes at Heirloom Creations in Sioux Falls, SD. Try not to hit safety pins when you quilt!
We are expecting another foot of snow, so I had lunch with a friend yesterday and today and tomorrow will stay in and get some jobs done that I have been postponing. It's time to clean and oil my sewing machines! Actually, this is a job I rather enjoy. It's so nice to hear them hum again. Then I will quilt another sample of Relaxed Diane-shiko on something pretty.
I read on the Bernina blog recently how to clean your Bernina and it had some great photos of linty machines and where/how to clean out your machine. Go to www.berninausablog.com and scroll down to find the entry titled "Keep a Clean Machine!" In the comments you'll find Sara Snuggerud's from SD and some amazing photos from her shop of bent needles, etc. Wow.
Check your owner's manual for how to do maintenance, and/or go online to find out your brand's suggestions and tips.
I do know that when I am visiting various sewing machine shops they love to show me some of the interesting things that come in for repair, or tell me tales of the most packed-with-lint machine they've ever seen, the dullest needle, the most thread tangled inside, etc.
If I even nick something with my needle, like a safety pin, I change the needle. It doesn't happen often, but it is so crucial to have a good needle in the machine to have quilting work out well.
Also, I clean any buildup from my silk thread every 3 hours or so and my machine will quilt beautifully for me, and sound wonderful too. I take it in once a year for a thorough check up, oil, lube and filter, front end alignment, tire rotation, conversation with the mother ship for updates, and it always comes home so much better, like new. This is an investment you make not only in keeping your machine perking along, but in the quality of your quilting.
Keep quilting, your work gets better every day!