Ever sit down at your machine to sew and then realize you’re not ready? You spent all that time cutting out and organizing the pieces for your latest project …. you should also spend time getting your machine and supplies ready! If you do this ahead of time, you will enjoy your sewing more.
Do you have a pre-project checklist? I will share with you the steps I go through before starting a project. Maybe you’ve thought of these? Maybe these will help if you haven’t!
1. Start with a clean and oiled machine. When was the last time you did that? You should do this after every project, if it’s a large one, or after a couple of table runners.
Follow the instructions for your machine. I clean out under the throat plate, in the bobbin case and compartment. Then I oil the parts as recommended.
Yes! That pile of lint under the throat plate is not a part of your machine …. although you may think so!
2. When was the last time you changed your needle? Many quilters do not think about changing the needle until it breaks. We figure …. it’s still in one piece; it should be OK, right? Actually, that is wrong!
To the naked eye, the needle may look like this:
However, under a microscope after one project the needle is nicked and bent.
And it gets worse with even more use. A dull, overused needle will snag your fabric or punch larger holes than is needed into the fabric as you are sewing. You don’t want to damage that fabric!
3. Depending on what kind of thread you are using, you may use more than one bobbin of thread. If you are doing a large project, wind some extra bobbins. Same thing goes for when you are machine quilting. When you are machine quilting, you go through a lot more thread than when you are just piecing. So, wind some extra bobbins so they are ready and you do not have to break your concentration!
When it’s time to change the bobbin, that’s also a good time to do some light cleaning that makes your pre-project cleaning for the next project that much easier!
4. I also keep my pincushion close by and my wooden “presser”.
I have to admit this is a great tool! I can press smaller seams and not have to keep going to the ironing board.
5. A few last things. Make sure you have good lighting, a comfortable chair and that you take a few breaks to stretch. It’s not good to sit at the machine for hours at a stretch …. although we’d like to get that project done fast!
Well, that’s my checklist to begin sewing. Do you have some things you always do before starting?