The 5 Stages of Annual Machine Maintenance

June 13, 2016

I should be able to live without my machine for 2 weeks. That’s what I tell myself every year when it’s time for her annual service. She probably needs the vacation, and who am I to disregard the rules of good sewing – if you want a machine that runs in tip-top shape forever, you have to keep her maintained.

So this year…after cleaning every inch of my sewing room including shampooing the carpet on day 2 without my Bernina 560…I came up with a handy dandy little list of the stages I went through during her 2-week trip to “Spa Bernina.”


fa543000-f30d-4549-9f6f-637b492bd8b3Stage 1: Grief. Look longingly at the spot were she goes. Picture how much fun she’s having with the other machines. Try and feel happy for her instead of sad for yourself.

This stage is often accompanied by the following symptoms: cleaning and reorganizing sewing rooms, finding the most perfect pattern and fabric you forgot you bought during said cleaning spree, realizing it would make the perfect outfit or gift for an event that occurs two days before you get your machine back. Tears. It’s okay to admit.


c69cdec0-7cec-4c93-81d9-cc4f1d3b4ee3Stage 2: Leaning on Other Friends. Remember you have another machine. Or a serger. Or both. Or maybe a whole bunch of machines that are none of them as dear to you as your main machine. Shoot, this isn’t working. 

This stage is often accompanied by the following symptoms: finding the knits you have in your stash and deciding this is as good a time as any to use your serger. Make yourself a yellow polka-dot bikini. Wonder why you ever bought yellow polka-dot swimsuit material. Tears again. It’s okay to admit.


2a98eb18-5a2d-4b15-8eec-f60c595a22c8Stage 3: Taking Matters Into Your Own Hands. Decide that you’re a quilter after all. Take up hand-sewing. Get ambitious and decide a Lemoyne Star in rainbow ombre is a good project.

This stage is often accompanied by the following symptoms: re-learning the quilter’s knot, band-aids, Netflix, more band-aids, altering your queen-size quilt plans down to a table runner, maybe a table topper, maybe just these diamonds strung together as a Christmas tree garland…


cutting collageStage 4: Anticipation. She’s coming back soon! (Or, you know, in another week. Who’s counting.) Cut everything for all the projects you wish you were making right now. If you could chain piece with your mind, you’d be doing that. 

This stage is often accompanied by the following symptoms: More band-aids (close that rotary cutter!), finding things in stash you forgot you forgot about, at least 3 rotary cutter blades, a mile-high pile of projects ready to go.


28644ee5-45eb-4cdc-9fc6-0bb0e67ef77fStage 5: Celebration. She’s back, she’s back! Decorate your sewing space to welcome her home. Try not to cry in front of her. She had a great time, and you don’t want her to feel bad. 

This stage is often accompanied by the following symptoms: Euphoria, singing, starting eleven projects at once because you can, a shiny new needle, putting away the hand-sewing until next year when she goes in again, wearing a yellow polka-dot bikini while you’re sewing, because where the heck else are you going to wear that thing. 

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