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Thread: Why you should ALWAYS put a piece of fabric in your machine when not in use!

  1. #1
    Super Member QultingaddictUK's Avatar
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    Why you should ALWAYS put a piece of fabric in your machine when not in use!

    I have for years taught my pupils, group members when packing their machine away to put an odd piece of fabric in their machine, with the needle down, why? It stops dust and particles going down into the bobbin area and protects the needle are just a couple of reasons.

    On buying my little Frister Rossman Cub 5 I found another reason, and what a discovery. When packed away without the fabric, for a considerable time look a the damage that occurred, fortunately I had a spare sewing plate from a recent machine.

    When at first I looked at it closely I could actually see the shape of a presser foot on it, since then a few more bits of chrome have fallen off. I will be keeping it to show my pupils tha value of that little piece of fabric!
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  2. #2
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Wow. I never considered that could happen.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  3. #3
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    I cover my machine (foot up) when it's just sitting out. Dust is a hazard to more than just the bobbin area...think tension discs, and all kinds of 'seams'. When it's stored away for long periods, like my spare machine is, I remove the needle and the foot, cover the machine and don't worry about it. Works for me.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  4. #4
    Super Member Candace's Avatar
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    I see people putting ads on ebay all the time with the machine running with no fabric between the foot and plate. It drives me nuts to see that! The feed dogs rub against a metal foot and it's a no win situation. Both the foot, plate and feed dogs all clash together and no good comes of it.

  5. #5
    Super Member irishrose's Avatar
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    I'd prefer to leave the presser foot up. I recently purchased a 1926 White Rotary that I think had been stored in a basement. The cotton fabric under the presser foot attracted moisture and there is an imprint of the presser foot in rust on it.

  6. #6
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    I always leave my foot up when I leave the machine. All 3 of my machines are in use and in my sewing room. Sorry your plate has a boo boo, luckily you have a replacement!

  7. #7
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    Never put my foot down when not using. That machine must have been sitting for a very long time...

  8. #8
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    My plate is a solid metal, not laminated like this one appears to have been. Can't imagine mine pealing in layers.
    When I transport mine, I do put the needle and presser foot down to protect the needle, but I'm bad about not covering my machine when I'm not using it.

    Jan in VA
    Jan in VA
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    peacefully colors my world.
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  9. #9
    Super Member nannyrick's Avatar
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    Thanks for this very interesting information.
    so many quilts to make, so little time.

  10. #10
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    I was told to put the presser foot down when not in use , because it releases the pressure on the presser foot, theres a spring or tension disc or something.

  11. #11
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    I always store mine with the foot down with a piece of fabric under it as I was taught in Home Ec, but I didn't know it was to keep dust out. Thanks for the info!
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  12. #12
    Super Member Latrinka's Avatar
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    Great tip, thanks!
    If a woman's work is never done....why start?

  13. #13
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    I think the trouble with this plate has nothing to do with the fabric being there or not, but the place where it was stored. Irishrose said her machine got rusty with the cotton fabric there. I think it was probably a poor quality plate to begin with. I have a 1956 Singer that had been not used for at least 30 years, but had been stored in the desk especially designed for it. I was using the desk for my office. I pulled it out this year when my Bernina was in the "hospital", and started using it. It ran perfectly. I had had it cleaned and oiled shortly before I had stopped using it, and it went straight to work. I know I should have oiled it before using it, but it had work to do. I love that machine. It has the small hole in the throat plate, and doesn't bunch up the fabric or thread, whether or not I have my startie-stoppie there.

  14. #14
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    I subscribe to the theory that I store (mind you that is when you are absolutely not going to be touching Babe (sewing machine) my machine the way it came shipped to me new from the factory --- cleaned, lubed, piece of fabric, needle down, presser foot down, fresh silica gel pak (to absorb moisture somewhere in with machine in its plastic wrapping inside the styrofoam and in its box, upright and in a non extreme environment (i.e. living qtrs. closet rather than unheated basement, garage, or attic). Regular after the project I just put the fabric, needle down and presser foot down under its dust cover or in its tote. Transporting with the needle and presser foot down also helps prevent stuff in the hook and bobbin area. Similar to my way of thinking to keeping a blank cd/dvd in a computer drive while moving it to protect the optical burner/lens. As for my sewing machines, if I haven't used them for a few weeks or months etc. I bring them to the sewing spot of choice, find a spare place to set them up, come back after they have adjusted to being out of confinement and proceed to sew through for a few minutes and check to see about oiling, cleaning etc. Normally that has already happened, but doesn't hurt to check. As for the "self-lubricating" machines, if they haven't been used steadily I will put a drop or two of oil in the bobbin area and run the machine. Mom. Dad and several home ec teachers and machine dealers and service people taught me well.

  15. #15
    Super Member QultingaddictUK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jackie Spencer View Post
    I was told to put the presser foot down when not in use , because it releases the pressure on the presser foot, theres a spring or tension disc or something.
    That is what my Sewing machine man told me also.

  16. #16
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    I never put them away - they are all out on the tables, so luckily I can spot any problems quite quickly. It is only the occasional visitor who thinks they need to be put in a cupboard...
    I oil them, dust them and leave the presser foot down etc as they are my pieces of furniture.

  17. #17
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    I put the presser foot down with a piece of fabric between, but I learned the hard ($$$) way NOT to put the needle down. The switch was accidentally depressed in transport, and when I plugged the machine in it went through it's little alignment shudder and knocked the machine out of time as well as breaking the needle inside the machine. A costly lesson learned.
    Shirley in Arizona

  18. #18
    Super Member BettyGee's Avatar
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    Many thanks for confirming what I was taught way back when, to me it is just a natural way to end a sewing session. You have just confirmed that my routine is a very good thing, happy sewing!
    BettyGee, quilter on a Rocky Mountain High

  19. #19
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    I put the needle down but never a small piece of fabric under the foot. That's what I love about this board. I am always learning something. Thanks for sharing.

  20. #20
    Super Member Helen S's Avatar
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    There are very few days when my machine is not in use, so I don't do this either. I guess you're either going to get pressure on the take-up spring or on the throat plate, and if I had to choose which one to replace considering cost it might be the spring. I can't imagine re-learning how to leave my machine when I walk away for the day after 50+ years of sewing. Wouldn't even want to try! lol

    I clean my machines every use or two, and often throughout the quilting process, since I've noticed lots of lint from moving the quilt around so much once it's sandwiched. I want my machine to run properly when I start working on something for the day.
    Being skinny isn't easy, so I gave up and opted for being sexy instead. (aunty acid)

  21. #21
    Senior Member captlynhall's Avatar
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    I never knew about a proper way to store the machine. Thanks to everybody for such good information.
    When a dying man asked his pastor "How long does it take to die?" his pastor's heartfelt reply was "A lifetime." Live life to the fullest, but stop now and then to enjoy the sunset.
    Lynda

  22. #22
    Senior Member IAmCatOwned's Avatar
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    Huh. I always thought that the reason why we put the fabric in was to remind you to put the needle down. I do remember vaguely (really vaguely) that my Home Ec teacher said to always store the machine with a needle in it. Couldn't remember why. Now I know.

  23. #23
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    Iím old school with my mechanical Featherweight and 301, needle down into fabric, then presser foot down. Just like my 7th grade Home Economics teacher had on her list of class rules many decades ago.

    The manual of my old reliable electronic Pfaff 1222 is very precise about what to do when youíve completed sewing. It says turn stitch selector to straight stitch, needle position to central position, presser foot control lever to horizontal position which means presser foot is not down. The presser foot lever on this machine has 4 positions which control the needle position, tension discs, and presser foot placement.

    The computerized machines are a whole different ballgame. So, it seems that the type and age of machine we use matters. If the machine is mechanical, electronic, or computerized makes a difference. One size does not fit all.



  24. #24
    Super Member QultingaddictUK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jitkaau View Post
    I never put them away - they are all out on the tables, so luckily I can spot any problems quite quickly. It is only the occasional visitor who thinks they need to be put in a cupboard...
    I oil them, dust them and leave the presser foot down etc as they are my pieces of furniture.
    Most of my ladies use their machines in class as well as at home so it is a necessary safety precaution IMO

  25. #25
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    I can see where all the jiggling around in a car ride could cause rubbing damage. I only transport my Featherweight to classes as you recommend.



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