Oh my gosh, you guys...you have to see this:
This is what I found when I took the plate off my sewing machine last night. My machine has been acting up...making really short stitches no matter how long I set the stitch length. So, I decided to check it out. And this terrible lump of lint is what I found:
Before you all tell me I suck for not cleaning my machine, let me explain. When I bought the machine (at an actual sewing machine shop), I asked the lady how I should clean it. She said "just blow the dust out of the bobbin case once in a while." That's it! I swear!
And speaking of the bobbin case...this is what was beneath it:
It was like a mini cotton candy machine! Gross.
And now? Now it sews better than it did when I first bought it (it was a floor model so it probably had a bit of lint going on already). I've certainly learned my lesson! And I hope this helps anyone who's sewing lady told them to just blow out the bobbin case once in a while.