Hello all, Mary Ellen here.
Got my sewing/crafting room straightened up and somewhat clean today. Starting fresh for 2013.
Changed the blades on all of my rotary cutters. I always write the date on one side of the blade when I put a new one in. In a few weeks or months, depending on how much I use them, I will clean the blade, add a drop of sewing machine oil and flip it over. I write the date on the other side then. I can get awhile longer out of it usually. But it doesn’t pay to be stingy on those blades. A sharp blade can make a lot of difference in your cutting accuracy, and will reduce some strain on your wrist. I see many quilters in my classes using the smaller diameter blades. If you do a lot of cutting, consider moving up to the largest diameter. Again accuracy goes up and strain goes down. You also can cut through more layers at once with the larger blade. I’ve tried a few of those gadgets for sharpening your rotary blades, but haven’t noticed any improvements. Never have tried the electric rotary blade sharpeners that appear in the catalogs now and then. Anyone out there have any luck with the sharpeners?
Gave my machine a thorough cleaning, inside and out. Actually got out the mini vacuum and cleaned up the nooks and crannies of the machine and table, and got lots of lint out of the inside of the machine as well. Don’t forget to clean up on the needle bar, around the dials, and inside or around your walking foot. Whenever I do this, I am reminded of the story about the woman who complained to the sewing repair man that when he returned her machine to her, the felt pad that goes around the feed dogs was missing. Ladies, I’ve never seen a felt pad inside the machine–that might just be a ton of compacted lint!! Lint is actually very abrasive, particularly for those of us who have the newer electronic/computerized machines. You do not want lint “sanding” the insides of your machine. That’s another reason to buy better quality thread, so less lint is generated. The static electricity the machine generates actually attracts the lint. Well worth the time spent regularly cleaning out the innards of your machine of lint and mini thread ends. Your machine will reward you with better performance.
Checked out which of my good scissors need to be sharpened. I don’t see the guys at the fabric stores much anymore. Perhaps we could bring one to a guild meeting again, as we did a while back. All the points in favor of sharp rotary blades apply to sharp scissors as well. I’ve also been told for years, starting with my father, that sharper blades are actually safer since they don’t need as much force. When a dull blade hangs up and you apply more force to it, accidents can happen when the blade finally cuts through. If you have something in the way of that forced blade, it will likely get badly cut. Hopefully- it will be just fabric or a cutting mat, and not a finger!
It’s time for me to get off my soap box now.
So how about you, all you all set for a fresh start on a sewing project?