10/21/2007

On the Road

Yesterday, I began my journey from California to Michigan. My mom, Billy's dad, and step-mom are helping us move. We loaded up the u-haul with all twelve or so of my fabric bins, sewing table and the rest of our house stuff. My bins of fabric weigh 25-30 pounds each! Me and Billy are so lucky to have such super family. My mom and I are driving my car back, and Billy's dad and step-mom are driving the little u-haul truck. My mom has never seen the Grand Canyon, so we're stopping there, along with the Petrified Forest and hopefully the strange gas station with the attacking chickens! Then Billy is flying back to Michigan one more time before he leaves. Living in the middle of the desert was a great experience, but I'm glad to be going back to the homeland. Billy found me a great apartment above a store downtown, and it's going to be a great studio for Always the Forest. I'll be in one place for at least a year, so that means I can crank out a ton of stuff for Always the Forest.

Goals for now: make stuff for and super-turbo promote Always the Forest, find a bunch of piano students and start teaching lessons.

10/05/2007

Clean Your Machine!

Whether you sew every day or every once in a while, cleaning your sewing machine on a regular basis is a must. Most minor problems can actually be fixed by cleaning! I use my machine almost every day, so I clean it once a week. That might seem like a lot, but if you saw all the lint and thread I pull out of it every week you would understand. If you don't use your machine a lot, just clean it our after each use, then it will be ready for next time.

First, remove all spools and bobbins. Oh, unplug it as well, to prevent those finger-sewing accidents! Then wipe the outside of your machine from top to bottom. Open all the parts that you can and brush the lint out of them with the little brush that probably came with your machine. Tweezers are also handy for pulling out those rogue threads. Some people use a can of compressed air to remove the lint, but it's not necessary. If you have an older machine, you need to oil all of the moving parts. While you've got your machine all opened up, look for loose screws. I have one trouble screw that will unscrew itself every so often and it would be quite terrible if it fell out!

If your machine is really gunked up, you may want to tie a few knots in a piece of string, dip it in rubbing alcohol and pull it between the tension discs to clean them. I use this technique on my serger, and it works very well.

Change your needle! Yes, it makes a huge difference! Dull needles lead to skipped stitches, puckered seams, and mad frustration.

Once you get in the habit of cleaning you sewing machine on a regular basis, your sewing will go much more smoothly.

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