I knew my sewing machine needed to be cleaned, but it wasn't until it started acting all wonky and disturbed, that I knew I'd better clean it or it'll behave worse. It's like my machine suffers from multiple personalities or something, or perhaps it thinks it is a "backwards" day, where everything I tell it to do, it does the opposite (my kids are always trying to have "backwards" days). My machine will go backwards when I tell it to go forwards, it'll go zigzag when I want a straight stitch, and it'll leave the needle up when I want it down. These are all signs that my computer has gone wonky and the machine needs cleaned and oiled. That's where my husband steps in.
He performs surgery on it, gets everything nice and tidy, then we test it to make sure it's working right. After that, he puts it back together again. What a great husband I have!
Here is a picture of the inside, before it was cleaned. Lots of lint and strings and dirt that keeps the machine from performing optimally.
Now my machine is working great, which is fantastic because I've got a lot of sewing to do!