tuesday_tipsTuesday Tip!

The dirty little secret is hiding in your bobbin case and hook assembly.  What is this dirty little secret?  LINT!   We’ve all got it. This tip is one that may seem like a no-brainer but is often overlooked.

If you want to avoid frustrating sewing experiences it is important to open the bobbin case and clean the area out using a soft brush or foam stick on a regular basis.  I check the hook assembly and surrounding area before I start any new project and continue to check it frequently during sewing. This is especially important if you are using a lofty batting or cotton thread.

The hook assembly sits below the bobbin case. If you are not sure how to expose the hook assembly on your machine, check your owners manual. Typically, accessing this area involves lowering your feed dogs, removing the needle plate, and lifting the bobbin case out.

Tuesday Tip! Cleaning the Lint from the hook assembly.
Tuesday Tip! Cleaning the Lint from the hook assembly.

I have one tool that I love to use. This is a plastic stick that has each end wrapped in a pillow of foam.  I got these at a flea market.  I use one drop of machine oil on the foam and swipe it in the area. The oil is absorbed into the foam and the lint clings to the stick. I swipe once or twice and I lift it out and tap the lint into my trash.  You can also use a soft brush (you probably have one in your machine maintenance kit) to clean the area out. The goal is to remove any lint buildup you can see in this area.  Avoid using air to blow the lint loose as this will only send it deeper into the machine where you can’t reach it.

Lint is a natural byproduct of our sewing projects. It comes from loose fibers that hang out on the surface of our textiles. Threads, batting, and fabric all produce lint as the surface of it is pressed and brushed by the sewing machine action.  It builds up quickly under the needle plate and can interfere with the rotation of the bobbin and cause uneven stitching, tension problems, and thread breakage.  I’ve found that working the ‘better’ threads and paying attention to the lint demons lurking below the needle plate keep me from going ‘off the hook’ when I’m sewing.

Happy Quilting!