Sunday, August 24, 2014

Tips on Jammed Sewing Machines or Correcting Improper Stitching

Because I have been asked this many times over the years, I figured a write up is in order.  Has your sewing machine jammed or is stitching a mess suddenly?

Stop!  Don’t keep sewing messy seams.  They will just fall apart most likely.  

Stop and take the time to get it right.  Besides you can do a lot more damage trying to force it to sew when something isn’t right.  You can damage the item you are sewing, or even worse your machine.

Don’t panic and call the repair people yet.  Odds are good you can fix it.  Don’t give up on sewing either.  Consider it a learning experience.  Every seamstress will wrestle with her machine once in a while.  Talk nice to it, it helps keep your mood civil while you tinker.  ;-) The more you do it, the better you learn your machine and eventually you will be an expert on that machine.

Resist the urge to go messing with your tensions if it was sewing properly the last time you used it.   Smack your own hands away if you have to!!  Odds are you will just mess that up.

Look for obvious improper threading.  Check both the upper thread and the bobbin.

Rethread the machine.  Upper and bobbin.  Don’t partially do it fully and completely.  Sometimes the silliest things will be solved by a re-thread and you will never really “see” what the issue was.  Be sure when you un-thread, you pull only in the direction the thread normally goes.  To do otherwise will mess your tensions up.  There is an exception when you get REALLY desperate.  More on that later.

Clean the machine well with a brush.  Avoid compressed air unless absolutely necessary.  A brush is always better so you don’t blow fuzzies back into the depths of the machine.  Not to mention canned compressed air kicks off chemical sometimes instead of just air.  Not healthy for you or your machine.

When you clean it, remove the throat plate too. (The area your needle goes down into)  You will be shocked at what accumulates there.  Never underestimated the ability for fuzzies to ruin your tension and stitching.  Clean it meticulously. 

Re-thread the machine properly again for good measure.  (seriously, I have re-thread what felt like a million times before..LOL)

Change your needle.  Many people sew on needles too old.  I am guilty of it too.  Sometimes a needle will have lost it’s point or be bent to where your eye doesn't see it well visually.  A bent needle will kill your stitching line and be messy.  It can also damage your machine.  For that matter, avoid sewing over pins.  Many a lady has ruined her machine’s timing from doing that.  At very least, only sew over them when you REALLY have to in a tight spot on something hard to hold.  If you chose to sew over pins, don’t get mad at anyone but yourself if you kill your machine.  If your needle hits a pin, assume at very lest it is probably bent with a dull point now.

Oil the machine, but only in the proper places and just a little as necessary.  (see your manual)  Make sure you sew on a scrap for a while after oiling.  If you get too heavy handed with the oil, it can come up into your stitching and kill whatever you are sewing.

Re-thread it again.  (You might be laughing...but I am serious :-))  For that matter, get a new bobbin and wind a new one.  I have also had bad bobbin winding cause poor stitching.  Make sure your bobbin is in it’s case properly and spinning in the proper direction (if you have a bobbin case for your machine).  If you have a drop in bobbin, you still need to be sure you are putting in down there properly and in the right direction.

Then and only then go playing with your tensions if it still isn’t right.  One exception to this rule.  If you have small children always make a mental note of your normal tensions so you can see at a glance if they decided to play with the knobs and buttons.  (guess what happened to me today!!!)

At your own risk on this one....but you can try flossing your machine.  Not with dental floss, but your thread.  Unthread the needle.  Take ahold of the bottom and then grab the thread from behind the machine coming off of the spool.  Gently and firmly move it back and forth just a little bit.  You might find you dislodge a big ol’ piece of lint in your tension discs if your machine has those.  Again, GENTLE!!!  It is a risky thing.  I was most prone to do this with my older serger where things would lodge in the tension discs regularly.  More modern machines with computerized tensions, it is a really bad idea.  So this one is very much at your own risk.

Finally re-thread your machine.  ;-)

Hopefully one of these solves your issue.  One final tip that has nothing to do with your threading or stitching...just a sewing PSA.  Please, I beg of you, stomp not on thy foot pedal.  Your seams are not a race!  Sew at a reasonable speed limit.  As my husband once counseled me, enjoy the process of sewing not just the result.

Do you have any tips to share?  Feel free to share in the comments!  I know some of seamstresses can be a bit opinionated on the matter.  I would love to hear others thoughts on this one.

Add on tips from others:

Baby Lock recommends the "unwaxed" dental floss (never ever waxed floss) running it down like your thread would go.  I know you didn't recommend floss, but I have seen it recommended and I am sure it was Baby Lock since I use it for that one.  Bernina folks say to use a dollar bill.
Also, if you get a new needle or esp. two or more out and put in the machine and it is still bad, try one from another new package.  You can get whole packs of bad needles and I know that for a fact, it happened over at a local shop, they got a whole batch of them and had to have them replaced...I bought some of them....and still run into some of them.....

You can also get a burr (sp.) on the throat plate from a broken needle that will cause havoc.  They recommend an emory cloth for that.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Examine Yourself: Are you doing what you condemn?

Fair warning....I don’t feel very good and this might be a bit more blunt than I usually am.  I am not saying it to be mean however, but hopefully to inspire some self examination.

You get upset and frazzled about men looking at your body, yet at the same time you have shirtless pictures of muscular men on your FB wall?  Witty sayings on the pics don't make them any cleaner.  You don't think those are as stumblingblock to other women?  I am here to tell you they absolutely are.  

Even more, do you not see the overall disconnect in your logic?  You are choosing to do the same thing you condemn and dislike.   You call men names and moan of the the way they are.  You feel they see women inappropriately.  You don't want to be a piece of meat to be devoured.  They look at you, call to you, smile at you and you become angry.  You feel used and like an object.  However, how is that picture of the sweaty dude you giggled at and maybe thought of him as "eye candy" any different?  Are you not treating him the same way you DON'T want to be treated?!  It is a fool who mocks another's sin when they are doing the same thing!
It is very much like those who knock a man for looking at porn, then fail to abstain from romance novels that have the same content.  Written format can create just as much sin as visual format.  If you are going to chastise and mock others for sin, make sure you aren't doing the same thing just in a sugar coated form.  Please don’t sugar coat abomination.  Women like to make things sound sweet, thus the term "eye candy"...but come it for what it is.

Here is the next line of thought.  I know there is a degree of subjectivity of the word modesty.  I get that.   The Bible does require modesty in no uncertain terms.  Humans and believers will argue what constitutes modesty until we are blue in the face.  Some of us just see things differently there.  

Ultimately it is between each person and God.  Here is a thought though, make sure that your own opinion of your modesty standards meet the Biblical one.  You don't want to compare it to the cultural standard.  Compare only to the Biblical one.  That is the best advice I know of.  Don’t worry over anyone else’s standard, just make sure you meet God’s.  

Getting too much unwanted attention can be a sign that you might be showing too much for free.  Don’t show off the goods, then get upset if someone window shopped.  Now I realize it is possible to be extremely modest and still get a little unwanted attention.  I am not saying it means you are for certain dressing inappropriately.  It is simply something that needs checked and examined if you are having this happen on a regular basis.
Finally, make sure you are approachable for other sisters in Christ to talk to you about these things.  Do you have a tendency to get highly upset anytime someone suggests you might want to watch your walk and witness.  When is the last time you listened to and weighed a correction examining yourself to see if the person might a point?  Do you start making posts about “how dare anyone judge me”...etc...  Resistance to even the hint of correction is a FLAMING sign that you aren’t walking the narrow path you should be!!!  

Is it politically correct to admonish someone else.  No.  

Should we care about what is popular in such matters?  Nope.  

It is however Biblical to correct to help one another along the narrow path.  That is a GOOD thing.  Not something we just bristle at and scorn.  

Yes, at one time or another I have been guilty of the same stuff.  It has opened my eyes to some of this stuff though.   Perfection I will likely never attain in the time I have left on this ol' earth.  Shucks most humans couldn't agree on what even defines perfection.  

God is perfect!!! Study Him and try to be like Him!!!!  Walk the narrow path He laid out for us in His Word.

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?  ~2 Corinthians 13:5

Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye. ~ Matthew 7:5

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Submission, Blessing or Curse?

The few of you who read this blog should know how I feel.  :-)  If you do not,  I will save you the suspense.

Submission is no doubt a wonderful blessing to my life.  The day my eyes were opened to the concept, my marriage was forever changed.  Not in that one day, but over the course of the years...a little at a time.  I have ZERO regrets.  It has many times over been a huge help to our marriage and our individual walks.

I know, I know it isn't popular today.  In fact, my attempts to talk about it all in internet land usually lead to people name calling me or anyone who dares defend my words.  I have been called lots of unkind things over my videos that reference this topic.

It is something I stand behind 100%.  It is God's Word and it is pretty black and white on the topic.  If you claim Christ, you need to wake up and read the scriptures that call for wives to submit to their husband.  Folks make arguments against it often, but most are pretty baseless in my thoughts.  I don't mean to just outright dismiss them.  It is just that back when I was on the other side of the fence on this topic...I was a pretty adamant, independent, feminist myself.  However, one day God kindly opened my eyes and I see the passages so clearly I can't fathom how I ever made excuse otherwise.

I do not claim to have all of the scriptural understanding of all the Bible..  This is a topic I still learn daily on.  It is something that is a radical thought in this day and age.  It is so hated.  Our culture is growing to be nearly matriarchal.  Most decisions, especially buying decisions are made by women nowadays.  Women are often the real source of leadership in marriages, unless it is an older traditional-type couple.  Most younger couples have submissive men and dominant women.  They might not admit it, but they are.

Yes, I knew there are a few exceptions....but there sure don't seem to be a lot.  We don't have cable tv anymore, but when I get a glimpse of it and the commercials see it obviously.  Look how wise the ladies are portrayed.  Look at what idiots the men are made out to be.  It is just a reflection of our current culture.  It is not a reflection of Biblical values at all.

Do I hate women as I was once asked?  Hardly.  Of course I am one.  I love my sisters.  I only wish for them to experience the blessing of submission in marriage.  It truly is beautiful if you are open to how God can make it into a wonderful thing.  It is hard to learn a Bible based concept, if you have nothing but hate for it.  Don't hate it, embrace it.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Headship Order is Not to be Mocked

A while back I made this picture in correction to one I had seen online.  There were two versions of the same umbrella concept floating about facebook land.  Which is correct?

Read I Corinthians 11: 1-16
1Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
But I would have you know, that the head of every man is Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.
Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonoureth his head.
But every woman that prayeth or prophesieth with her head uncovered dishonoureth her head: for that is even all one as if she were shaven.
For if the woman be not covered, let her also be shorn: but if it be a shame for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her be covered.
For a man indeed ought not to cover his head, forasmuch as he is the image and glory of God: but the woman is the glory of the man.
For the man is not of the woman: but the woman of the man.
Neither was the man created for the woman; but the woman for the man.
10 For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.
11 Nevertheless neither is the man without the woman, neither the woman without the man, in the Lord.
12 For as the woman is of the man, even so is the man also by the woman; but all things of God.
13 Judge in yourselves: is it comely that a woman pray unto God uncovered?
14 Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him?
15 But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering.
16 But if any man seem to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.

This passage covers the "Headship Order".  It is primarily where the Christian Headcovering (or veiling) stuff comes from.  The veil aside, the root of the passage is the headship order.  God, Christ, Husband, Wife.  It is a chain of command.  It is structure.  It is actually a beautifully functioning dynamic when taken in a humble spirit.  It is not to be mocked or misrepresented.  If you share one of the umbrella illustrations....please share the correct one.

Friday, June 6, 2014

Edify Your Beloved

Once, long ago, I read The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie O'Martin.  While I might not agree with everything in the book, one of my big takeaways......edify your husband always.

Never speak badly of him to anyone.  Sometimes we wives have a tendency to want to "unload" with our sisters.  We like to "share" or have girl talk.  There is a point when you betray the trust of your beloved.

The most simple test is this....

Are you sharing something that is negative about him?  If so, shut your mouth or think of something nice to say.  You know that saying... If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say it.  How much more should it apply to marriage.

Are you sharing something that you would be offended or feel betrayed that he shared it with his friends?  If so, again, shut your mouth.  Wanting to have "sharing" time is no excuse to sin and betray trust.

Never EVER tale-bear about your husband!!  God forbid we have a false witness about the very one we love!!

Pray for him daily in specific ways.  Pray his name be respected by others. Likewise, show him respect as scripture COMMANDS of you.  These are just a few things, but they have stayed with me a long time.  They have served exceedingly well in our marriage.  I would recommend them for anyone who is married.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

The Sin of Gluttony

Something many of you know I struggle greatly with.  Gluttony.  It is evil and I wish nothing more than to forever purge myself above it.  Food has been an idol and a vicious thorn in my flesh.

Yes, I do have a thyroid issue.  That has it's effect.  In changing meds a while back, I really shot myself in the foot and regained a lot.  I am back on the original med now, so hopefully it can help a bit as it kicks in.  However, I can not blame my morbid obesity on meds and hormones alone.

The purpose of this post is to talk about the sin aspect.  There is no doubt that pleasing my flesh has been a major source of a problem area in my life.  I am an emotional eater.  I am a bored eater.  I eat for celebrations.  I have ate because I absolutely love the taste, smell, and textures of food.  Make no mistake about it, I have an issue with sinful eating.  Enjoying and thanking God for each bite of food is certainly okay and desired.  Destroying one's temple with sinful overeating is not okay.  You might be like me and VERY overweight.  You might even be at an ideal weight, but knowing full well you have an issue of an inappropriate use of food.  You might even be an under eater.  God has a lot of scriptures on this topic.  I will post some below.

I am still learning a lot about myself each day.  One thing I wanted to share for those of you who are like me and have struggled with this thorn in the flesh.  There is an online free Bible course on the sin of gluttony.  Setting Captives Free has several courses on multiple topics.  The one about gluttony is called the Lord's Table.  I am no more than a few days in and sometimes I miss a day here and there.  But I will say, it is really starting to change my thought process the more I study and think about it all.  I have known it was sin for a long time, but there have still been aspects of my thinking that have had to change.

I encourage you to join me there and go through the study if you struggle with this as I do.  Your issue may be something else they have covered as well.  Check them out and pray about it.  No matter what, don't put off the process of dying to the flesh.  Don't let sin have control.  Drink of the LIVING WATER and not of sin.

Philippians Chapter 3  - 18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, [that they are] the enemies of the cross of Christ:  19 Whose end [is] destruction, whose God [is their] belly, and [whose] glory [is] in their shame, who mind earthly things.) 
1 Corinthians Chapter 9 - 24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.  25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they [do it] to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.  26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: 27 But I keep under my body, and bring [it] into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
Philippians 3:19 - Whose end [is] destruction, whose God [is their] belly, and [whose] glory [is] in their shame, who mind earthly things.)
Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.
Proverbs 23:21 - For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe [a man] with rags.
1 Peter 5:8 - Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:
Proverbs 23:2 - And put a knife to thy throat, if thou [be] a man given to appetite.
Job Chapter 23 -10 But he knoweth the way that I take: [when] he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold.  11 My foot hath held his steps, his way have I kept, and not declined.  12 Neither have I gone back from the commandment of his lips; I have esteemed the words of his mouth more than my necessary [food].

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Responses to Correction

So when someone tells you that you are wrong for do you act?

What if they tell you that you show too much skin?

What if they say you need to watch your potty mouth and take more care in your words?

How about if they say you offended them?

What if they correct your parenting skills?

What if they tell you that you eat an inappropriate amount of food?

Of course this could apply to a LOT of things and topics.  As you read, keep in mind I am not addressing whether or not a person SHOULD be correcting you on  particular topic.  I am also not addressing the manner or method of correction.  We all know some people can be quite unthinking and feeling and entirely too nosey on occasion.

Sometimes, they are right despite their poor skill in giving a rebuke.  Some things are just not another person's business.  Their lack of finesse might not negate the their accuracy in their assessment.  Rebukes or corrections, whatever you like to call them, are sometimes needed in the Christian walk.  Even non believers have occasion where they want to hear truth and good counsel from their friends.  As believers we are called to gently lift and correct one another. Some of us do it better than others.  Some of us are terrible at timing and manner of delivery.  The point is, rebukes happen.  How do we deal with it?

I want to zero in on is your reaction.  You might feel like "you won't take nothing like that from anyone!".  You might be very defensive.  You might be angry.  I think the majority of people tend to get defensive.  I surely do sometimes.  It can depend on the topic.

You might be downright apathetic.  You could know full well the correction is just, but you just don't care.  The full knowledge of sin, combined with an utter lack of repentance is a scary thing.

However, you might have a humble and meek heart.  You could have been approached in a hideous manner, on a topic that was absolutely private.  It could be something you already frequently pray about with the Father.  Still yet, you self examined to see if you were in the right or wrong.  You forgave the manner in which you were approached.  You just looked to see if it was something you needed to get right with God on.

Of these three things.....which do you think the Bible would have us do?  We are always to examine our hearts.  We should be humble, meek and open to rebuke.  We need to be forgiving, loving, and thankful when someone cared enough to say something.

The next time someone issues you a correction or rebuke, what will your response be?

Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?2 Corinthians 13:5

Open rebuke is better than secret love.Proverbs 27:5

 My son, do not despise the Lord's discipline and do not resent his rebuke, because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in.  ~ Prov 3:11-12

A fool spurns his father's discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.  ~ Prov 15:5