It’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to write an update here. We had a wonderful trip to Ontario to visit with our two daughters and their husbands there. We started our trip in London where we were so proud to watch our daughter and son-in-law graduate with their masters in music from the University of Western Ontario. We got to spend a few days with them and their two dogs. Then, we drove through the pouring rain (my friends in Ontario always tell me that it only rains in Vancouver – I sure found out that they were wrong!) up to North Bay to see our other daughter and husband. There we got to meet our newest grand-dog, a beautiful puppy Weimaraner named Bentley, and see their new house for the first time. The sun came out in North Bay and Keith and I felt summer for the first time this year – it’s been cool and gray and wet here in Surrey. We had a great visit there and then it was back home and back to work!
Since we returned, everyone here at A Great Notion has been busy, busy, busy preparing for our annual stock-taking. Last Sunday we finished counting in our Abbotsford store and this coming weekend we do our warehouse and our Surrey store – and we’ll finish with a big sigh of relief to have it done for another year. If you come into our Surrey store right now, you’ll find it in a real mess as we try to sort fabrics by codes to keep track of them properly. In Abbotsford, we’re getting back to normal so the store isn’t in as much disarray! The exciting thing is that next week, all our new fabrics will start to come in and we’ll have lots of exciting new fabric lines to choose from. Keep your eyes open both in the stores and on our web site for new fabrics! Pam and I just spent 3 days ordering all kinds of great new fabrics from many fabric companies. Soon you’ll see a great new selection in both stores – here are a few examples: Wildflowers from Northcott Silks, Giselle from Red Rooster fabrics, Funflowers from Lakehouse, Hey Diddle Diddle from Clothworks, Disney fleece and flannel panels and fabrics from David textiles, along with lots more including a great selection of new Batiks from Hoffman, Timeless Treasures and more. You’re just going to have to check back often to see them all!
Keith is now busy working in our local schools to get all their sewing machines running perfectly for the next school year. He asked me to include his top tips here for you to keep your own sewing machine in great running order. Here they are:
- Always use a surged protected power bar to plug your machine into. This will prevent power spikes that can damage your sewing machine. Also, make sure that you unplug your machine before trying any maintenance on it – that way you won’t accidently sew into yourself while you work!
- Wipe down the exterior of your machine with a soft, damp cloth. This will not only keep it looking fresh and clean, but it will also prevent threads from sticking to the surface that could get caught in your flywheel or take up lever.
- Clean the lint build-up out on a regular basis. Use a lint brush or Mini Dust-It (available through our on-line catalogue at http://www.agreatnotion.com/product.php?pName=Mini_Dust-It&productId=1866 ) to clean around and behind your bobbin case. Keep the lint out from around the tension guides and take up lever as well.
- Check your sewing machine manual, and if it recommends oiling your machine, apply it on a regular basis in the spots the manual shows. (Some machines do not recommend lubrication so watch out for that too!) Make sure you use a good quality light machine oil – don’t try to use vegetable oil or other oils – they will just cause your machine to gum up.
- Keep some spare light bulbs and needles on hand for your machine – nothing is worse than having a bulb burn out late at night when you just have to finish that project, and the same goes for needles!
- Change your needle regularly – usually with every project, and make sure you use the right type for the fabric.
- Get in the habit of remembering your sewing machine needs regular upkeep. Some things you can do yourself, such as the things suggested above, others will need attention by a professional. Just like any other tools, if neglected, your sewing machine can cause you grief, but if well-maintained, you’ll love sewing on it for years!
Time to go for now. Stay posted – we’ve got lots of new things coming up here!