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Thread: Need advice

  1. #1
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    I am new to sewing and quilting. Was in a hurry today and am not sure what went wrong but I broke a needle. I have never changed a needle before but will read my manual. I have been sewing for about a year have made about 5 lap size quilts. Should I have changed needle? I have never cleaned my machine. How do you do this and how often? Thanks in advance for the info

  2. #2
    Power Poster MamaBear61's Avatar
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    Your manual should help you with these problems. Your machine may need a cleaning (to get fuzzies out of the bobbin area) and depending upon your machine you may need to oil it as well. If you needle gets dull or blunt it can catch on fabric and/or the plate/bobbin area and and cause it to break. Good luck.

  3. #3
    Super Member Thumbelina's Avatar
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    Ditto, and welcome from the snow belt of N.E.Ohio. Glad to have you join us. I usually clean mine after each project and put in a fresh needle.

  4. #4
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    You are supposed to change the needle every 6-8hours of sewing or every new project, i usually just change it with every new project and have never had a problem. 6-8 hours of sewing doesn't seem that long to me. Also, i usually clean out the bobbin area after each project, because lint build up can create problems with skipped stitches and stitch quality

  5. #5
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cdrlinda
    I am new to sewing and quilting. Was in a hurry today and am not sure what went wrong but I broke a needle. I have never changed a needle before but will read my manual. I have been sewing for about a year have made about 5 lap size quilts. Should I have changed needle? I have never cleaned my machine. How do you do this and how often? Thanks in advance for the info
    You should clean and oil your machine every few bobbinfuls. I do mine every 3 bobbins. You clean and oil in the area where your bobbin is. The manual should tell you where on the bobbin race you should apply a few drops of sewing machine oil which you can pick up anywhere, even walmart. Cleaning involves taking a stiff bristled brush and brushing any lint that has built up out of the bobbin race area. I also remove the plate that sits over the feed dogs, it usually unscrews or snaps up and get all the lint out of the feed dog area too.

    Here is just one link of many I found. If you put "How to clean and oil a sewing machine" in the seach engine it will bring back loads of stuff

    http://www.ehow.com/how_5064_clean-sewing-machine.html

  6. #6
    Super Member beachlady's Avatar
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    I clean mine every bobbin change. And probably do not change the needle enough - kind of like my blades in the rotary cutter.

  7. #7
    Junior Member creativesheila's Avatar
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    Ditto what some of the others have said. I change my needle after a project and clean my machine too. All those little fuzzy things get in there and clog things up. Also, make sure you are using the right needle for your project. Lots of articles on the web about needle selection. Nice job of your lap top production - 5! Way to go!

  8. #8
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I clean my bobbin area after every 3-4 bobbins. I stack the empties in one area as a reminder.

    Changing the needle? Yes, but not as often as I probably should. Find a cheap source and it is less painful to toss what appears to be a good needle when in reality it is probably past it's prime LOL

    Check your manual for oiling or not... my machines are self lubricating :D:D:D

  9. #9
    Senior Member Mary M's Avatar
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    I sure do wish that Janome would have gave good directions in their manual for the 6600P. I clean lint from mine after every project and needle fairly often but don't know if I am doing enough.

  10. #10
    Power Poster Sadiemae's Avatar
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    I clean the bobbin area with each bobbin, so it is clean when I oil the hook. I don't change needles as often as I should, but the machine lets me know when it is time.

  11. #11
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cdrlinda
    Should I have changed needle? I have never cleaned my machine. How do you do this and how often? Thanks in advance for the info
    DOn't feel bad. The first time I went to a class, the teacher talked about changing the needle after 8 sewing hours or so - I had not changed the needle ever. (Admittedly, most of my projects had been small)

    When I did change the needle - what a difference. You will get to the point soon to where you can hear or feel that the needle is getting dull.

    In changing the needle you need to make sure that you orient the needle correctly. It is advisable to put a piece of paper over the feed dogs JUST IN CASE the needles drop down unexpectedly.

    As for cleaning: I use a small brush to take lint out of the bobbin case. Every so often, I take off the needle plate because lint can compact under it in the little areas. Make sure to read your manual and check if the machine needs oil or not.

  12. #12
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I clean the bobbin area and oil the race after each bobbin change, oil machine after 6-8 hours, change the needle on the machine I quilt on before quilting a quilt. On the piecing machine I change the needle when I hear a pluck pluck or the stitches dont look so nice. This all works very well for me.

  13. #13
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    A sewing machine repairman told me that if the sound of my stitching changed and I could hear a soft sound sort of like "pup" when my needle pierced the fabric that I was overdue for a needle change. He said that depending on the fabric I was stitching on and the speed of my sewing I might need to change my needle after every project. I try to be good about changing the needle often but I forget.

  14. #14
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I switched to Titanium machine needles and they last much longer then regular needles. No need to change so often so I save money. I clean and oil my machine frequently. Some machines don't use oil so check your manual. But all need to be cleaned. Dust and lint will hold heat inside your machine causing all kinds of problems, can groove the tension disc plates, can clog up gears, mess up the bobbin tension and cause the feeddogs to over work.

  15. #15
    Super Member lalaland's Avatar
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    If you have a mechanical machine, you will need to oil it and clean the bobbin area

    If you have a computerized machine, about all you can do is keep the bobbin area clean.

    If I'm working on fabric that throws up a lot of dust or lint, like flannel or fleece, I clean the bobbin area a couple of times during the project. If it's a big project, I'll clean it more often. If I'm working with cottons or blends, I clean the bobbin area after the project is complete.

    I don't change my needles until they "talk" to me. A needle that makes a "thawcking" sound while you sew needs to be changed.

    And read your manual. Amazing things, manuals, really good ones even give you wonderful sewing tips!

  16. #16
    mbrwfy's Avatar
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    I clean the bobbin area before I start a project. My machine came with a little brush just for that purpose. If the plate around the feed dogs pops off (check your manual to see if it does), clean underneath it. After doing 5 lap quilts you probably have little fabric fuzzies in there that look remarkably like the fabric from your quilts.

    I don't worry about changing my needle unless my needle starts making "clicking" or "thwacking" noises. The "clicking" noise may mean your needle is slightly bent and hitting the feed dog plate. The "thwacking" noise is cause by a dull needle as it goes through fabric.

    I also sew as well as quilt and will change a needle if I'm sewing fabric other than 100% cotton. Some fabrics work better with a particular type of needle.

  17. #17
    Super Member luckylindy333's Avatar
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    My machine is computerized and needs the bobbin area cleaned out- I clean it every time I change the bobbin. I also try to put in a new needle when I start a new project. I need to take off the face plate and clean under there, too, I have never done that. I am taking my machines in for servicing when I go on vacation in March.

  18. #18
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    You need to clean your bobbin area (including taking off the throat plate and getting the lint glob from under there) periodically. Those who feel it is needed after every bobbin are probably sewing with linty thread. Switching to a less linty thread will have the added benefit of not linting as much. As for changing the needle, I agree that the new titanium needles are a good value in that they last much longer. Keep in mind that even a "new" needle may be defective -- I've heard as much as 1 in 5. Skipped stitches, a punching sound, and any time you hit a pin are signs that you should change the needle. I don't follow the 8 hour rule, but I don't go weeks, either.

  19. #19
    Super Member grma33's Avatar
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    This isn`t about changing needle but some said if you have a computerized all you can to is clean out the fuzzies.
    I bought a Janome special edition SE last Jan and asked my dealer whom I love if I should do anything else.
    He told me to put a small drop of oil under bobbin case once a month. I do this faithfuly.
    Gale

  20. #20
    deema's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lalaland
    If you have a mechanical machine, you will need to oil it and clean the bobbin area

    If you have a computerized machine, about all you can do is keep the bobbin area clean.

    If I'm working on fabric that throws up a lot of dust or lint, like flannel or fleece, I clean the bobbin area a couple of times during the project. If it's a big project, I'll clean it more often. If I'm working with cottons or blends, I clean the bobbin area after the project is complete.

    I don't change my needles until they "talk" to me. A needle that makes a "thawcking" sound while you sew needs to be changed.

    And read your manual. Amazing things, manuals, really good ones even give you wonderful sewing tips!
    What she said!

  21. #21
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    you should change your needle with every new project or 8 hours of sewing time what ever comes first...and your machine should be cleaned (especially in the bobbin - throat area) every time you change your bobbin...and more often if working with flannels or other (linty fabrics)
    follow your manual's instuctions for cleaning and oiling and your machine will last for generations...just use it like a work horse with no regular maintenence and you will be shopping for a new one in no time

  22. #22
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    I thought that the "change your needle every 8 hours" rule applied to 8 hours of embroidery, which is a LOT more stitches. In 8 hours of embroidery a person could do 100,000 stitches. I doubt if a kingsize quilt has 100,000 stitches in it. Maybe an appliqued quilt if all the appliques are outlined in a machine satin stitch.

    Once I find an internet site to buy needles 50 at a time at a much reduced price, now I can't find it again. Does anyone have a good source for reduced price titanium needles?

  23. #23
    Super Member quiltmom04's Avatar
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    You should change the needle about every 8 hours of sewng time. Not to say that it won't work after that, but if you could see the tip magnified, you could see that the tip was getting worn and will affect its performance. So if you want the best from your machine, change the needle as advised. And clean the bobbin area, pop off the neele plate and clean at LEAST after every project, and ideally at every bobbin change. These are such little things that will keep your machine running more smoothly.

  24. #24
    Junior Member Pattil's Avatar
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    I change my needle every time I start a new project,nothing like a nice sharp needle to make your sewing go nice and smooth. And I also clean my machine after every project,anywhere you can get to clean the lint,it's very important. I have never had my machine in and it's going on 6 years now. I have a Viking. Take real good care of your machine and it will last you a long time. Have fun and most of all enjoy sewing.

  25. #25
    Super Member fireworkslover's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lalaland
    If you have a mechanical machine, you will need to oil it and clean the bobbin area

    If you have a computerized machine, about all you can do is keep the bobbin area clean.

    If I'm working on fabric that throws up a lot of dust or lint, like flannel or fleece, I clean the bobbin area a couple of times during the project. If it's a big project, I'll clean it more often. If I'm working with cottons or blends, I clean the bobbin area after the project is complete.

    Also if you're paper piecing your needle needs to be changed more frequently.
    My machine tells me when the bobbin area needs to be cleaned - it stops working until I clean it.
    Read your manual, there's lots of good info. in there.
    I don't change my needles until they "talk" to me. A needle that makes a "thawcking" sound while you sew needs to be changed.

    And read your manual. Amazing things, manuals, really good ones even give you wonderful sewing tips!

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