Friday, September 27, 2013

What I Did Yesterday

I taught Free Motion Quilting! Twelve enthusiastic quilters attended a 9 am to 4 pm workshop (with an hour-long break for lunch) in Spanish Springs, in The Villages, FL. We had a large, well-lit, open room in which to work.

We really appreciated and used the generous table space.

I especially liked the tilted-mirror table on which I could show everything that the group needed to see, including a picture of all of us. Hi friends! How handy is that?!

I always take along sewing machine cleaning supplies when I teach a workshop like this. 
1) a bristle brush, for removing lint in crevasses
2) a soft brush, for picking up lint
3) a square of an old t-shirt for wiping off everything, including covering my fingernail to wipe out grooves in the bobbin case base
4) canned air, for blowing out lint deeper in the machine
5) Tri-Flow, a three-in-one solvent, oil and lubricant.

Personally, I use these items to clean and oil my machine every time I have to wind a new bobbin. Years ago, a trusted Bernina tech told me to do the "every bobbin" thing, so I do it.

In room full of sewing machines, inevitably there's a particularly noisy machine, or one with tension problems. That's my opportunity to give a brief lesson about how to routinely care for your sewing machine. 

This is Joyce's old Singer. We all giggled and remarked about the lint she collected. Good-naturedly, she endured our ribbing, and then told us that bobbin area hasn't been cleaned out for 30 years! 

I did what I could to remove the obvious lint, but we concluded that her machine needs to be serviced. I take my machines in once a year. When was the last time you had your machine serviced?

After a long day of "work" (ha!) teaching quilting, I treated myself to a stop at our new local quilt shop - Simply Sew Boutique. I was tickled that owner Cathy listened to my request for Art Gallery Fabrics (designer Pat Bravo lives here in Florida). I found bolts of the new Angela Walters "Legacy" collection, and these are the favorites that I came home with. I love the colors in all of them, but that curved text brackets print on top spoke to the writer in me.

Could that teal color be a hint of things to come? Carolyn Friedlander (also a Floridian) has teal-colored prints in her new "Botanics" collection. Maybe teal will be the 2014 Pantone color. Linda


  1. That is a really great classroom. I'm sure everyone enjoyed your teaching. Love your new fabrics. They are fresh and fun. I also clean my bobbins regularly, but usually do it every other time. Also get my machines serviced once per year. Cheaper than replacing one. Have to say that I am in love with my new to me Janome, but my Bernina is getting good use as well. Thanks for the fun post.

  2. Sounds like you had a great class! I love teaching. I taught a class on Monday and had so much fun. I cleans my machine regularly to keep it running good. It's so important. Love your new fabric choices.

  3. I try to have my Juki serviced every year- if I can bear to part with it. It doesn't need oiling but I love getting in and removing all the lint! Looks like you had a fun day- cleaning and all!

  4. Those are great reminders on how to clean your machine. I do most of that with my Berninas too. I've never heard of Tri Flow - I'll have to look for that. I use the sewing machine oil that came with my Bernina for cleaning and oiling where I need to. Those new fabrics are fun looking. I saw where Angela had her new line released. We had her for an all day workshop several months ago. She is amazing and so down-to-earth.

  5. A well-lit room is such a plus for quilt classes. I take my machine in each year for it's check-up. Thanks for the Tri-Flow tip. Have not seen or used it. Saw your Bloom and other quilts at Quilt Fest yesterday. Congrats on the ribbon! The show was outstanding, and a member of our guild, Jill, earned the Best of Show award. Quite exciting.

  6. Oh Linda! I wish I could take a class from you. I bet their confidence just soars . The only time I've had any luck at FMQ was in a class. At home, nope.

  7. I would love to be a fly on the wall at one of your classes. How rewarding it must be to teach others to quilt. I love my Bernina and take very good care of her, too!!

  8. Funny that you would have a post on cleaning and servicing machines . . . I was just thinking yesterday that I need to get mine serviced as I was piecing my FIRST modern quilt together!!

  9. You've been a busy girl! Teaching others to quilt is a wonderful thing.

  10. Oh, I bet the mirror *was* handy. :) I had to giggle at the lint wad from the basically-never-cleaned machine - my sister once called in tears because her machine wouldn't stitch properly. Turned out she never knew you're supposed to clean the bobbin area out. It was so stuffed it was literally felted in there! lolol Yeah, I clean mine out every bobbin for Aurifil/So Fine/etc. and every other for fat threads. I aim to take my machines in annually for service since I do so much sewing, but they probably *really* get in every 18 months.

  11. Wish I lived near you!! I would take your class in a heart beat. Nothing like hands on! I DO clean my machine - usually with the vacuum cleaner to get right underneath what can't be removed. :-)

  12. Thanks for the heads up on a new shop. We're always looking for new fabric sources as we make our way out of the panhandle.

  13. Someday I'm coming down there for a private lesson! :) blessings, marlene

  14. When Marlene comes, could I come too? I would love to meet you both in person!


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