Inspiration, Sewing

Craft Shop Favourite – Exeter Sewing Machine Company

As part of my Craft Shop Favourite series I would like to introduce the Exeter Sewing Machine Company. As well as selling fabrics and hosting a variety of classes, they also sell and repair sewing machines. I would love visiting the shop when I lived in sunny Devon. I have remained in contact with shop manager Jenna and I am delighted to share this interview with you. There is also an amazing giveaway!

What Sewing Machine could you not live without?

My new Brother Innovis VQ2. Sewing machines are often designed with a particular craft in mind and the Brother VQ2 is for the quilters. It has a 11 1/4″ long arm and fantastic lighting system.

Brother Innovis VQ2

Brother Innovis VQ2

What are your top 5 tips for Sewing Machine Maintenance?

1. Check if your machine needs oiling – many modern computerised machines don’t and oiling can actually damage them. Generally speaking the computerised machines with a top-loading horizontal bobbin do not need oiling, but check your manual to be sure.

2. Gently clean the surface of your machine with a damp cloth and wipe it again with a dry cloth. Remember to unplug the machine before doing this.

3. Clean the bobbin case. Dust and lint gathers here. Use the cleaning brush supplied with the machine to remove any lint and dust.

4. Use the best needle for the job, remember to change your needle often. This help prevent possible damage.

5. One of the best things you can do for your machine is to use a good quality thread. Poor quality threads, or those actually intended for overlockers will shed more lint and break more easily which will clog up your tension discs.

What is your favourite item that you sell?

There are so many essential sewing tools available now and we are always seeking to stock new and exciting products! My current favourite has to be Aurifil thread. I first heard about it on social media and knew it was creating quite a buzz in the quilting world – so I had to find out more. Since using Aurifil I haven’t used any other thread for my quilting projects. What makes it so special is the superior quality and reliability of the thread, combined with strength. We’ve started stocking the finest weight, which is perfect for applique and piecing as well as quilting.

Check out all this thread!

Check out all this thread!

We are happy to give one lucky Katie Gets Crafty reader a pack of Aurifil threads as a giveaway. The pack contains five reels of thread!

Win me!

Win me!

To enter simply:

  1. Like Katie Gets Crafty facebook page and leave a comment on the giveaway post letting me know you would like to enter.
  2. and/or send me a tweet @katiegetscrafty and use #KGCgiveaway

Here’s the important stuff: The giveaway will close on Friday 8th August at 6pm and the winner will be picked at random. I will announce the winner on Saturday 9th August. Sorry but this giveaway is only open to UK residents.

A BIG THANK YOU to Jenna for her tips and advice and especially for the FANTASTIC Aurifil giveaway. If you find yourself in Exeter then you MUST visit the shop. Also please make sure you visit and follow @exetersewing and

Inspiration, Sewing

My beloved sewing machine

I have been the very proud owner of a Janome DXL 603 for 3 years now. I saved up for almost two years to get it. I wanted a machine that I could get to grips with as a beginner but one that would grow with me. For years I researched my perfect machine online, but when the time came for me to finally purchase my machine I sought the advice of the Exeter Sewing Machine Company. I had spoken with a number of my crafty friends for their advice and Janome kept coming up time and time again. The staff at the Exeter Sewing Machine Company were, as always, very welcoming and spent a lot of time with me talking through my requirements and the machines on offer. At the time of my purchase Janome had a special offer on, so I also got a free quilting kit.

17 - Janome

Sewing machines can be a huge investment, I try to do the following as often as I can.

  1. Dust my machine
  2. Open up and dust inside the bobbin case
  3. Change the needle – I have heard mixed things about this. One friend said they change their needle after every project. I probably change mine every 3 projects. I think it depends on fabric thickness etc.
  4. Have your machine serviced. This isn’t always cheap but I believe if you have invested in your machine then it is worth looking after it to ensure it lasts a lifetime.

So if you are looking at buying your first sewing machine I would suggest the following:

  • Research online
  • Talk to sewing friends – find out what machine they use and the pros and cons
  • Visit your local store and ask for demos on various machines

I hope these little tips help and I hope you love your machine as much as I love mine!