Tune-Up on Twenty: Sewing Maintenance, Giveaway!

It’s time for your Tune-Up on Twenty. On the 20th of each month, we remind you to take care of your sewing maintenance. Here’s a short checklist.


k4384193 Tune Up on Twenty: Sewing Maintenance, Giveaway!

1. Gently clean the lint/dirt/debris from all areas of your machine as instructed in the owner’s manual. Oil the machine according to the instructions.

SchmetzMicrotex Tune Up on Twenty: Sewing Maintenance, Giveaway!

2. Put in a new sewing machine needle and throw the old one away.

 Tune Up on Twenty: Sewing Maintenance, Giveaway!

3. Change the blade in your rotary cutter and throw the old one away safely.

*     *     *     *     *

Now you’re set. You’re Tuned-Up on Twenty! If you completed these tasks, leave a comment by midnight Wednesday, May 22 and let us know. We’ll pick a winner and send them a little bundle of quilty fun. The winner is Janet who left comment #79. She has been notified. Thanks to everyone who left a comment and got all tuned up!

About Diane Harris

I'm an editor for Quiltmaker magazine in Golden, Colorado, USA. For six years, I wrote pattern instructions, product reviews and how-to articles. Then I spent four years as QM's Interactive Editor, working to generate much of our online content. Now I'm back to patterns and how-tos, which is a great fit for me. I still love writing about quilt-related topics for Quilty Pleasures, and I always have my finger on the pulse of the quilting world. I teach a variety of quilt classes and give guild programs, too. Reach me by email: editor@quiltmaker.com.
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168 Responses to Tune-Up on Twenty: Sewing Maintenance, Giveaway!

  1. I own a Jenome 6600 which I LOVE and use almost every day! However, in the 89-page owners manuel, there isn’t a single mention of how to oil the machine. In fact, the word “OIL” doesn’t appear anywhere! I’ve owned the machine for 5 years and although I clean and de-lint it regularly, have oiled it exactly twice (2 drops maximum) and have had it professionally serviced 3 times. Runs like a champ.

  2. Joyce O. says:

    All done. Thanks for the reminder.

  3. Linda L says:

    Wow, I’m between projects so along with cleaning up the sewing room, I did a little preventive maintenance on the machine, changed the needle and cutting blade as well. Thanks for the reminder though.

  4. Eileen Swanstrom says:

    Done! I love this reminder….it’s so easy to get busy and forget. Thanks!

  5. Karen Witte says:

    Tune up done. Love this idea! Thanks for the suggestion.

  6. Jane Freeman says:

    I have done it! In fact while machine quilting, I have replaced 4 needles in 2 days!

  7. michele s says:

    machine is oiled, lint free, new needle and blade change as well. all ready to start work on a ufo

  8. Judy G says:


  9. Linda Halcomb says:

    Tasks completed! Great day today finishing a UFO. Now I can start on something new!

  10. Lana Ebeling says:

    All done! I do this frequently.

  11. Patricia Hersl says:

    On top of it all!

  12. Donna Parker says:

    Thanks for the reminder! This works awesome!

  13. Maree says:

    Tuned up and ready to go! Thanks a bunch for the reminder and the chance to win! ☺

  14. Julie says:

    What a great idea to set a definite date to do these things–especially to change the needle (I think mine is related to the ever-ready bunny–it keeps going and going and going)!! Just did it tonight and have marked it on the calendar for next month. :-)

  15. Mary Ann says:

    Cleaned the machine and changed the needle, but not the rotary blade. I’ve been sewing alot but not cutting.

  16. I always clean the lint before putting in a new bobbin, but I will start following the Tune up on Twenty suggestion.

  17. Cecilia says:

    I did this yesterday before I started quilting a new quilt top. Thanks for the reminder though.

  18. Theresa MacLean says:

    And very timely reminder, goes well with cleaning out my work space, which took about 10 hours over this past weekend!!

  19. Barb says:

    Needle is changed and dust bunnies have to find a new home outside of my machine.

  20. Carol N. says:

    Thanks for the reminder! I am getting ready for a quilt retreat weekend and had been planning to do all this on my Featherweight and also put in a new blade in my rotary cutter.

  21. Chuck DeBono says:

    Done, and mom says she did all hers too ! lol She also says thank you for the chance to win :)

  22. Susan says:


  23. Beth B says:

    Thanks for the reminder. All completed.X

  24. Carolyn Mills says:

    All done, thanks for the reminder.

  25. sue says:

    They are a good reminder and I’m done for this month.

  26. Cynthia Carlson says:

    I checked my list and did them! Every time I get ready to start on a new quilt project I clean my machine, change the needles, change the blades and wipe down all rulers and cutting mats.

  27. Roxanne Hartwig says:

    Great reminder – thanks!

  28. Clara Chandler says:

    Good reminder!! I recently moved and the unpacking is about done. Time to sew!! Thanks for the reminder.

  29. Shirley pearce says:

    Thank you for the reminder because i just finished the teacher’s gifts!
    Definitely dusted, changed needle and have the new blade ready for the change.
    Reminders are always good!

  30. Gloria P. says:

    Done ! Thanks for the reminder!


    Thanks for the redminder, I am taking my machine apart today.I Hope it solves a thread problem I’m having.

  32. Joellyn P. says:

    I was getting ready for a class at my quilt guild, so it was perfect to get my machine and cutter ready for class by doing the cleaning, oiling, and changing the needle. I just changed my blade prior to prepping my fabric for the class.

  33. margaret Schindler says:

    Done and I am glad I did it

  34. Cheryl says:

    Done. Yay:-) It’s the simple things….

  35. Janet says:

    Simple things…thanks for the reminder!

  36. Peg says:

    What a great reminder! I usually do a little de-linting after each project, but sometimes I get in a hurry to start the next great American quilt. I’m glad you a doing this

  37. Nancy M says:

    Done, wish I could have cleaned lint that was deeper in my machine, but have to leave that to the sewing machine dealer!

  38. Florence K says:

    Machine cleaned and oiled and put away for the summer( if it ever arrives). Need to find a new blade for my rotary cutter, (no fabric shop nearby ).. Thanks for all the good tips.. Happy quilting to all the summer quilters out there.

  39. Rosemary Younce says:

    All done – thanks for the reminder – ever use a pipe cleaner to clean the dust bunnies from your machine and around the bobbin-works wonders – all set for a day of sewing!!

  40. Teresa Heiselt says:

    What a great thing to remind us of maintenance. It would be very cool to win the package too. Thank you.

  41. Charlotte says:

    I’m in the midst of an eternal (time to make it!) quilt and have cleaned my machine as recently as two days ago, including needle replacement.

  42. Dawn B says:

    Done! Though I change my needle more than once a month when I’m busy!

  43. Susan Paxton says:

    Thanks so much for the reminder…just finished up a quilt top and put binding on another. Time to clean things up before the holiday weekend…

  44. Amanda Best says:

    Thanks for the reminder! I am really good about cleaning all the lint from everywhere I can reach. I hate to change needles, though, and hardly ever do it. I need to remember to do that more often! Thanks for the great giveaways!

  45. Carol F. says:

    I need to do better on the needle changing… I admit…I usually wait until…well you know, it breaks or something. Now the dusting & oiling…I do probably too often. As for the rotary cutter…I don’t have one. Thanks for the reminders! I’ll take all the help I can get! :)

  46. Janis T says:

    Perfect timing-lint was getting out of hand and I needed a kick to change the needle! Now I’m all set to continue creating!

  47. Ina Christensen says:

    Just have to change the needle tomorrow before sewing.Thanks for the reminder.

  48. Carol Baum says:

    I would like to add a few more tips for a deeper maintenance and it doesn’t take but a few minutes. Remove the throat plate and clean out the collected lint, dust, and occasional thread that finds it’s way into the machine.

    After removing the bobbin, clean the area and add one tiny drop of oil where the bobbin assemble is turning minus the bobbin and run the machine without thread.

    Blot the area that you oiled to remove any residual oil. and replace the bobbin and cover plate. Make certain there is no caked build up on the feed dogs also before you clean the bobbin area and brush it out. Often you won’t see the caked area on the feed dogs until you brush it out.

    I change my needles more frequently than once a month if I’m sewing a lot. You can
    actually hear the difference between the sound of a machine with an old needle and a new one. This care of your machine will keep your machine running and lessen the possiblity of machine repairs. Timing is often messed up by bad needles which also casue burrs in the throat plate and bobbin housing.

    I’m a machine fanatic…sorry about that!

  49. Ami McCarthy says:

    Great tips – I should do that more often, but I usually end up waiting until I begin the next project, so my machine can go several weeks between home maintenance. Thank you for the gentle reminder!

  50. Rhonda Best says:

    Done, thanks for the reminder!

  51. Betty Drake says:

    My whole sewing room needs a tuneup. But that can’t happen until my new sewing furniture is taken up from my livingroom

  52. Janet Sabol says:

    What a great reminder! I’ve cleaned out my machine and thrown out a couple of needles long past due!

  53. marjorie says:

    I am always reminding others to do these little things for the maintenance of their machine, but am guilty of not changing my needle as often as I should. Cleaning is done when changing the bobbin. Rotary blade, hummmm. Changing it now!!

  54. Linda says:

    Wow..glad I cleaned my machine…I have ben sewing flannel baby quilts and there was lots of fluff!

  55. Christine Sherman says:

    Just did this, I try to do it after each quilt :)

  56. Ruth Niehaus says:

    I change my needle frequently, oil and vacuum my machine after each quilt made. I change my blade in my rotary cutter after every two projects. This make everthing work so much nicer!

  57. Debi Pennington says:

    Gotta get more blades now that I used the last one!

  58. LeeAnn Pickerill says:

    I just finished making my Granddaughter a new dress for summer. I will be cleaning now that dress is finished. Put in new needle to make dress.

  59. Nina says:

    I cleaned my machine n changed the needle the other day. My rotary cutter blade was changed recently. Thanks.

  60. Jean says:

    Do all of these on a very regular basis. Thanks for the tip.

  61. Cheryl says:

    I try to keep a schedule but before I know it time has passed me by! Thanks for the reminder.

  62. Elizabeth Smith says:

    I haven’t used my serger for over a year. I think I’ll do this maintenance on it and my blades are already new from last week.

  63. Jane says:

    I clean and oil my sewing machine after every other bobbin (it’s a Bernina… she beginns to “scream” for oil anyway after a few bobbins)…
    And yes, I guess it was time for a new needle as well since the one that was in right now had about 12 hours of stitching done…
    Oh, yes – the new blade… it slices the fabric soooo easily… why do I always wait that long until I treat myself with a new blade?!

  64. Elizabeth Holman-Goold says:

    New blade, fresh needle, de-linted machine …. ready to sew. I am just awaiting t-shirts from Chicago.

  65. Nancy McFall says:

    I have to laugh at myself sometimes. I’ve had a nick in my rotary blade for weeks but it takes a comment on Facebook to make me DO something about it! Monthly maintenance complete.

  66. Elizabeth Holman-Goold says:

    New blade, fresh needle, de-linted machine …. ready to sew.

  67. barbara woods says:

    done , but I hate to change my rotary blade. they don’t last long enough

  68. Karen says:

    Done !! I went through my calendar and marked the 22nd of each month to clean my machine !! Thanks !!

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