Nothing is worse for our furious, joyful Christmas sewing than sudden machine hiccups. We're sewing along, making progress, and then our machine quits purring and starts fussing. UGH. Here's my go-to list of things to try, whether your working on a domestic machine or your longarm, piecing or quilting.
1) Turn it off and turn it back on
2) Clean out your bobbin case (and oil your machine if you machine requires oil)
3) Rethread the top thread
4) Rethread the bobbin thread
5) Change the needle (even if your needle is brand new. Needles are mass produced, and like anything of that nature, they are surprisingly vulnerable to manufacturing flaws)
6) Change the bobbin (maybe the tension wasn't quite right when it wound or maybe it has a manufacturing flaw)
7) Check the needle plate for burrs (any little rough patch. A small file from your local home improvement store can be used to gently smooth the burr or you can take your machine to the shop)
8) Make sure your needle is the right size for your thread
9) Especially if you're long arming, make sure that you're presser foot is at the proper height. Did you know that if your foot is too high, it can cause skipped stitches and broken thread?? And too low can throw your machine out of time. YIKES. Your manufacturer can provide details on the proper height for your machine.
10) Adjust your tension (see my full post on tension HERE). In fact, as a bonus today, I'd like to send you a handy-dandy guide called "Perfect Tension Quick Guide"! Just enter your email below, and I'll send this one page, easy reference guide straight to your inbox!
11) If you get through all these steps, take a break and go have a glass of wine or a good nap. Then, come back and try again (sometimes you have to get the right combination of "tweaks" to get your machine to snap out of it). If that still doesn't work, it's probably time to take your machine to the shop and get the timing checked and have a professional look for other mechanical issues. You might need to have another glass of wine while you pine for your machine.
Did any of these tips help? Do you have other favorites I should add? Leave a comment below and let me know!
Happy Holiday Sewing!