Friday, March 18, 2011

How To - Tell When You Need a New Sewing Machine Needle

Image courtesy of Create For Less

Good Morning Friends,
I hope your weather is warming up at your home as it is here for me.  We just finished a nice spring break with my family in Kansas.  It's always great to spend time visiting with my parents and the cousins and the weather was perfect!

I want to tell you about this little gem above that I found at JoAnns Fabrics.  It is a pin cushion for your sewing machine needles.  I'm having issues with getting my photos uploaded to the computer so I got this image off the web but I wish I could show you a side view of it.

So each section of the tomato is for a different type of commonly used sewing machine needle.  Then on the sides there are horizontal lines printed around the pink tomato so it is actually like a grid.  The horizontal sections are then labeled, 1-4 hours, 4-8 hours, 8-12 hours and Purchase.  You place your machine needles in the correct section of the grid so you know how long you have been sewing with a specific needle.  I've read numerous places where you should change your machine needle after 8 hours of sewing (some articles say even less).  It is something like if you have been sewing for 8 hours your needle has penetrated fabric around 750,000 times.

I used to change my needle when I would hear the popping sound as it penetrated the fabric indicating that it was getting dull or developing a slight hook at the tip.  That is too late.  A needle not working properly can affect the timing of the machine and not changing your needle often enough is one of the top reasons why machines end up in the repair shop.  I think this is more important now as most all machines have some computer parts that help regulate the timing.  (Remember my old Bernina was over 30 years old and it was completely mechanical with no computer devices running it).  I need to change my ways here and remember that my new Brother will take a bit more loving care to keep it in its best shape.

Anyway,  as I said, I got my little pink needle cushion at JoAnns Fabrics and I used a coupon making it $1.19.  Very clever if you ask me!

One final tip:  If you don't have a way to keep track of the hours you've used a sewing machine needle here is a rule of thumb.  Change it after any large project or after 2 or 3 small projects.

Happy Homemaking,

1 comment:

Ellen said...

This is the best tip yet! I always changed it when it snapped. Perfect timing because I just got new machines and want to take extra special care of them. I have visited with many sewing people and never heard this. Not even the guy who services my machines annually. He just tells me that I use my machine a lot. Thank you!


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