Imagine That?

One of the things I stress in the beginner level sewing classes I teach is machine maintenance. Namely, that regular use is needed to keep a machine in good working order, as well as annual “spa days.” It’s advice that I more or less follow myself.

So I have this embroidery machine, a BabyLock Emore, which I affectionately refer to as “the paperweight.” I bought it 4.5 years ago for a steal because the model was on closeout and have since used it rather sporadically, mostly around gift-giving times (Christmas, birthdays, end of the school year). For the most part it sits on its own little rolling cart in my studio, gathering dust.

When my sweet and talented friend asked me a couple of months ago if I would let her come over and use my embroidery machine for a costume she had in mind, I of course said yes. We discussed technical details like thread, designs, hoop size and stabilizers. Last month she came over and we got down to business.

We stitched out designs, testing thread colors, sizes and fabrics. To say this is an embroidery-intensive project is something of an understatement. She joked about moving in for the duration, since she was (is) determined to do as much of the work as possible. We planned lunches, tossed around ideas for other costumes, talked and talked and talked some more. And the learning curve. Definitely some major navigation of the learning curve related to the embroidery machine since she’d never used one and I had basically ignored it for so long.

Funny thing about machines. They really need regular use and tune ups if you expect them to do their thing. It really should have come as no surprise, then, that said embroidery machine completely locked up after the third day of nonstop stitchery.


I am eternally grateful to have a great machine repair guy who is not only fair in pricing but fast, too. He did point out that the damage could have been much worse had I not stopped the machine when I did.

Lesson learned, for sure.