Today I realized it had been a while since I'd cleaned my sewing machine, so I opened it up and... oh my god. It looked like a flock of tiny little wooly sheep had taken up residence in the inside of it. Clearly I hadn't cleaned it in a while, so I dug out my little brush and machine oil and got to work. It didn't take long to do and I'm sure my machine is much happier for it.
Whether you work at your machine only occasionally, or like me you're at it every week, it's important to give it a good clean out every so often. How often really depends on how much you use your machine and what you're using it for... some fabrics, quilt battings and even threads will leave more fluff and dust behind than others. There are plenty on-line tutorials (such as Craftsy's Dos and Don'ts and Colette's Machine Maintenance) to walk you through the basics, and of course always check the manual for your particular sewing machine for any important safety/maintenance information.
Another important thing to remember is to put in a fresh sewing needle. I have heard a lot of different theories as to how often you should change your needle ranging from every 4 hours of sewing time to after completing each project. Again, it depends on what sort of work you're doing... personally, I usually change out my needle at the start of a new project.
So just a friendly reminder... keeping your machine fuzz-free and well-oiled with a sharp, straight needle will keep it running smoothly and help to avoid costly repairs; so if you haven't done a little maintenance on it lately, now might be a good time to do it. Happy sewing!