Sunday, February 12, 2012

All gummed up, HELP!

I did it.  I sewed too much and got it all gummed up.  It started sputtering and kicking and rocking and then it stopped.  Hum my new best friend died on me.  Not being one that is feint of heart I opened her up and did some doctoring.  I do not know how or why but my thread decided to stop sewing into my quilt and started wrapping up into a knot inside my machine.  You can see on the right here I pulled her apart and looked inside.  I was not smart enough to record what I did, but in the second shot below I showed you where.   In my picture the red arrow is pointing at where it all went wrong.  That arm attaches to that other arm thingy, but because thread wound up on the right side it pushed the arm right off the side.

Once I got it all out and attached the arm back on (which was no easy feat she was again alive)  That was a week ago.  Sure why do I bring it up now?  My wife has been telling me that the reason that she can't sew is that she breaks sewing machines.  While I was off running honey do's today (which included buying material for my son more on that later) my wife calls all in a panic and says she killed my sewing machine. To prove it she holds the phone up to the machine and lets me her it crying in pain.

Needless to say my wife managed to do the same thing I did.  I showed her how to pull it apart and fix it and walked into the other room.  10 min later she tells me she broke it again?  OK maybe she is a little rough on it.  I come in the room to her showing me how the bobbin case is springing out of the machine and attacking her.  After 20 min of checking and playing and fussing with the machine, I realize that one big problem is that the needle is bent.  I look around and to my surprise I can't find any more needles.  So off to the store I go (Late at night this time) and luck has it Walmart is open and surprise it has this generic needle thing and it seems to work.

My slave driving wife, made me start this morning on my rag quilt and it was her mission in life that I had to complete it today. (Being Saturday)  and I am proud to say after all that blocked me, I have it sewed together now being 12:22 in the morning I am tired.  So its sewed I need to cut it up (rag quilt) and then wash it a couple times and then I will show it off (most likely Tuesday) maybe Monday.

So here I am new and dumb.  I busted (not the wife) my machine a couple times.  In pulling it apart today, I cleaned out a ton of crap in the bobbin area and picked out tons of loose and wild thread ,but there was lint dust bunny's every where.  What is the proper way of taking care of my baby?  The bobbin that we were using that bent the needle kept jamming up the machine (it might have been too full?) Any way it came out and the thread came out and new thread and new bobbin and its now working.

I need to be educated on proper care of my machine.  Do I need to pet it just right? Does it need a bath once a week?  What do I do to keep it from screaming in pain.  Why does my thread get all wadded up (yes this is now the 3rd time that arm thingy came off) HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Elizabeth said...

Check your owner's manual. It should tell you how often and wear to oil or lubricate the machine. Often, the newer machines aren't supposed to be oiled or lubed at home, but need to be taken in for a tune-up (which I think is ridiculous). It should also tell you how to adjust the tension, which may be why the thread is getting caught.

You need to dust out the area around the bobbin every time you wind a new bobbin. Keep it lint free.

And make sure you are using the right kind of needles for your machine and for the fabric you are working with. The Schmetz Universal needles work well in Singer machines, but there are also Singer needles.

Good luck!

xo -E

Impera Magna said...

What Elizabeth said...

Other rules of thumb:

1) NEVER EVER use the canned air stuff to delint/clean your machine. It blows the lint and threads deeper into you machine.

2) Pipe cleaners/chenille stems can reach into all sorts of nooks and crannies to capture stray lint and threads unreachable by any other method.

3) Check YouTube to see if you can find instructions on how to clean your specific sewing machine. I found two great videos that helped me tremendously!

4) I clean my machine (not that much to clean since I can only get to the part around the bobbin) after every project is completed. It's surprising what all accumulates in so short a time.

Good luck!

Lorraine said...

Since getting my new Bernina I have always cleaned it out at least once a week, oil about once a month. the stuff that comes out is amazing especially after quilting. Can you see my halo !!! LOL

Cheryl said...

My Brother did this to me a few times. Once I switched to a better thread it was working beautifully again. So use a good quality thread.

KaHolly said...

You need a lot of patience. Keep it clean and oiled, use good thread, and always a new sharp needle. My machine is 35 years old and I do all my own maintainance and it just keeps humming!!

bunbear said...

EVERY time you change the bobbin, use the little brush to clean out the bobbin case and bobbin area in the machine.

Wind your bobbins correctly and evenly, and do not overwind them.

Remove the base plate around your feed dogs and clean that area with the brush after each quilt. That is NOT felt by the feed dogs - it is matted lint from your projects and needs to be removed!

Don't use the cheapest thread. Period. Spend a few extra bucks and use something other than the bargain bin thread.

If your machine says to oil it, do it! Regularly!

Richard, if you get to a point of being frustrated with your machine, the passion you have, plus your wife's newfound interest in sewing, is going to go by the wayside. I seriously suggest you two find an older, mechanical machine on ebay or that is in good working order and doesn't have all the bells and whistles, just the basics. Personally, I would take an old machine, with metal gears, over a computerized one any day. You can't hurt them. Fewer things to go wrong.

Good luck!

LesQuilts said...

Hi Richard! Great recommendations above! I agree with Bun Bear, another machine for you both, would help alot. Even a entry point machine for your children, from Joann's when they have their sale, would be a good idea!
If you machine is computerized, all those chips and boards get misaligned, like a computer, and may need the codes reset.
I use Schmitz needles, usually 80/20 for piecing and the quilting needles for quilting.
I replace my needles after every project.
I clean the bobbin case and under it after a big project or after quilting.
I only use Guettermin (sorry for the spelling) thread. Period. I tried Madera, it frayed way too much in the top thread, before it hit the needle! I don't like Coats and Clarks thread as it frays like crazy at the needle and then breaks.
If I need a specific colour, and I have generic thread, I'll use it in the bobbin to use it up.
With all your flannel, rag quilts, LOTS of stuff under there. Think how much gets carried up into the machinery at the top of the machine?
Hope we are all getting you in the right direction!
Take care, Leslie

Susan said...

Sounds like you've had some good advice here. I would also add that since this has happened three times, you might want to take it to the dealer for a professional check up. Something could have gotten bent or out of alignment when the bobbin and needle danced together to the detriment of both. I also remove the entire bobbin race (the case the bobbin drops into) and clean that area about every 5-7 bobbins. Use the least linty thread you can find (probably Aurifil - expensive, but there is a lot of thread on there, more than the regular Mettler and Coats), definitely a long staple cotton. The rag quilts are particularly bad about linting things up, and sewing on flannels of any kind will do it, too.

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