Thursday, November 19, 2009

A clean machine is a happy machine...

Did you know you should change your machine needle with every project?  You should also clean out your bobbin case every time you refill the bobbin.  And finally, they recommend you have your machine cleaned at least every 2 years. 

But how many of us really follow these recommendations?  I'm usually pretty good about changing the needle.  But I'll also spend the extra money for titanium needles so I don't have to change it as often.    And my Husqvarna Viking sewing machine has only been in for a cleaning twice in the 9 years I've owned it.  It's a workhouse and I'm glad it's kept going.  I just find it difficult to part with the ~$85 a cleaning usually costs, although I realize that would be a better investment than paying for a new machine!  I'll have to put that on my New Year's Resolution list.

As for cleaning out the bobbin, I'm hit or miss.  If I have deadlines looming, I tend to forget about it.  But when I do get around to it, I do a very thorough job.  I take apart all the pieces and use my tweezers to remove every bit of lint I can reach inside the machine.  With my machine, I can rotate the bobbin case to get all the way around.  (You probably have to see it to understand what I mean.)  At the retreat last week, Tamah (who also has a Viking) began to clean her machine and so reminded me I should as well.  Look at all the lint I managed to get out!  Gross huh?

Remember each square on the mat is one inch!

Now back to the things I sewed to accumulate all that fuzz...  I started a pieced BOM (block of the month) last year through Quakertown Quilts.  There were 12 blocks in varying shades of white, red, gold and green.  I had finished all but the last 5 blocks.  At the retreat, I managed to finish those as well.


I enjoyed working on them even though they aren't really my favorite colors.  Each block finished at 12" so they would make a nice lap size throw by the time you add sashing and borders. 

However, I have enough quilts that size and figured a small wall hanging would probably suit us better.  I don't know yet what arrangement I'll use.  It will continue to sit in the UFO pile until some time next year.  

But I have taken a couple of the blocks and made a table runner for my SS.  December is the last month of the secret sister program and the time of our big reveal.  I haven't quilted it yet, but when I do, I'll take a picture and share it with you.

Now for the next step in the ugly quilt saga.  Just to remind you, my sister picked out a fabric she absolutely loves and asked me to make her a very simple quilt for her living room.  It's gone through several iterations and has been pretty hideous through each of them.  I decided to throw it out the door and start over.  I never felt comfortable with that design and I should have listened to my instincts.  I played around with EQ5 (Electric Quilts software) last night and came up with a design that I liked much better.  Luckily my sister agrees with me - so I'll get started on (hopefully) my final attempt.

This was the first time I imported fabrics into the program, but it won't be the last.  It was so easy to do and you get a really good idea about what the finished product will look like.  When I finish it,you can judge for yourself!

Until later, take care!

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