Did you all know that there is a correct and incorrect way to un-thread your sewing machine? I did not until a little over a year ago. When I finally graduated from my Kenmore (which I still love and use, by the way) to my next machine, the guy was showing me all the perks on the new machine. In the process he was showing how the machine was threaded. Imagine my surprise when he went to un-thread the machine and he did not just lift up the thread spool and yank the thread backwards out of the needle and the machine in general. Instead he did what Emily is going to demonstrate for you here.
First grab the thread right as it comes off the spool and before it goes into any part of the machine (above photo).
Take your scissors and cut the thread somewhere along this area.
And resist the urge to pull this end of the thread backwards through the machine and out the top. It's hard to unlearn some habits....for me anyway!
Instead, locate the thread as it exits the needle. Once you see it, grab it and then gently pull the thread out of the machine through the needle. You also need to make sure your presser foot is up or else the tension disks will be engaged...in which case the thread will not easily pull out of the machine.
Then you'll be left with a piece of thread that is about 12-15" long. You can roll it up and throw it away like I did for a long time. Or...you can remember how expensive high quality thread is and pull it back out of the trash and thread it through a needle. Put a knot in one end and then park it in one of your pin cushions...where it will be waiting for you when you need to do a little hand sewing on a seam, hem, attaching a button, etc.
And now...I'm sure many of you know this....but just to humor myself since I did not know. The reason you remove your thread in this manner is because if you pull the thread backwards in your machine it pulls lint into your machine where it is not easy to remove it. Rather if you remove it the way the man taught me, the thread continues to move in the proper direction and the lint and dust is not pulled into places it should not be. Makes sense to me. Of course, you do not have to do this. I won't tell anyone. As a matter of fact....I yanked thread backwards out of my machines for 30+ years.....but don't tell my mother...because many of those years I was using her machine!