Tip Tuesday: Maximize your Quilting Comfort – 7 Quilting Basics

Don’t let a sore back or a few pin pricks be the reason you take a break from quilting – some quilting basics in comfort will get you back at your sewing machine without the aches and pains. If you find yourself sore after a marathon quilting session, it might be time to take a look at your posture and quilting habits to be sure you’re making the most of your favorite hobby. Professionals, like Michael Engman, who work with ergonomics – the study of people’s efficiency in their working environment – offer great solutions for quilters with quilting basics about comforts in quilting.

No More Backaches - Quilting Comfort Quilt Basics

We also have some helpful tips  below – quilting treasures, I like to call them. Take a look at these tips from fellow quilters – you’ll likely find something that will help to maximize your quilting comfort.

Tip #1: Cushion for Knees
Use a garden kneeling pad when arranging blocks or layering backing, batting, and quilt tops on a floor. It’s more comfortable for your knees – no more kneeling on the hard floor.

Tip #2: Cheap Finger Protection
Here are some hand quilting instructions you may not have been expecting: with hand-sewn quilts, wrap a strip of ordinary, white adhesive tape around the end of the finger that you use under the quilt. This will Simple Comforts by Kim Diehl - Lap Quiltsprotect your finger from those pesky pin pricks. You can also try Colonial Thimble Pads, which work like a thimble, but are so small, you can barely tell they’re there.

Tip #3: Multitasking Quilter
Cutting up old jeans for denim quilts can be laborious. To make this job more manageable, employ these quilting basics: cut for a half-hour while watching your favorite show, like Fons & Porter’s “Love of Quilting.” Before you know it, you’ll have enough for a quilt, and the task is made easier by multitasking with something you enjoy.

Tip #4: Up You Go
Elevate your cutting table to a comfortable height by placing books under the table legs. This will ease the strain on your back when you’re doing a lot of cutting. Try this trick when piecing lap quilts from Simple Comforts: 12 Cozy Lap Quilts. You’ll have comfort all around!

Tip #5: Iron Safety
If you sometimes forget to turn off your iron, try this free quilting tip: when you turn your iron on, slip on a bracelet designated for this task. If the bracelet is still on your wrist when you get ready to leave the room, you’ll know to check the iron. Make sure you take the bracelet off when turning off the iron.

Tip #6: Prop It Up
If you don’t have 20/20 vision, we have some quilting basics that enlarge your quilting patterns for easier reading. When referencing a pattern, it helps to prop up the pattern with a clipboard and a couple of books, like with this Prop-It Bar Magnifier. Keep a magnifying glass on hand for that tiny print.

Prop-It Bar Magnifier - Quilting NotionsTip #7: Stress Reliever
To help with those days in the office, when the stress gets to be just a little too much, I keep a few of my favorite fat quarters on my desk, just to feel them. It’s amazing what the feel of fabric can do for a quilter who would rather be home sewing than coping with the stresses at work!

I had never thought of using a bracelet to remind me to turn off the iron. If you don’t have an iron that turns itself off, this can be very helpful and certainly much safer. All of these tips are so helpful! Thank you, fellow quilters, for taking the time to give us your quilting tips and techniques.

I hope these tips have been useful for you, and you find yourself enjoying quilting more than ever. Basic quilting comfort and safety will ensure you continue to enjoy quilting for many years to come. If you have any other tips on quilting comfort, please contribute in the comments below or submit you quilting tips for other quilters to enjoy.

Happy Quilting!


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5 thoughts on “Tip Tuesday: Maximize your Quilting Comfort – 7 Quilting Basics

  1. I love your tips. I have a herniated disc and find that standing for too long exacerbates my pain. I have found that cutting the quilt pieces for 15 or 20 minutes and then sewing the pieces ( so I can sit) works for me. I also have a table with extendable legs which allows me to adjust the height for comfort. I have also been known to lower the ironing board so I can sit to iron the pieces. Love your site, lots of great tips.

  2. Instead of using books to raise the cutting table to a comfortable height, I bought bed risers to put under the legs of a fold up table. They are a perfect height for me.

  3. To add to the “bracelet” idea, my iron is on the same power strip as a lamp. When I iron, I turn on the power strip. When I leave, I turn it off. So if the lamp is on, the iron is hot. It’s a huge reminder for me, especially at night!

  4. Instead of layering a quilt sandwich on the floor, I (or Mom and I when we are working on a quilt together) take the quilt to church where we can put tables together and work on the table. Then I might only have to be on my knees on the table for a little bit to pin in the center of the quilt. Works great for us.