Don’t let a sore back or a few pin pricks be the reason you take a break from quilting. If you’re finding 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. Below are some tips you might find helpful for maximizing quilting comfort.
Tip #1: Cushion for Knees
I use a garden kneeling pad when arranging blocks or layering backing, batting, and quilt top on a floor. It’s more comfortable for my knees than the hard floor.
Tip #2: Cheap Finger Protection:
Wrap a strip of ordinary, white adhesive tape around the end of the finger that you use under the quilt when hand quilting to help protect your finger.
Tip #3: Multitasking Quilter
Cutting up old jeans for denim quilts is drudgery for me. To make this job manageable, I cut for a half-hour during “Fons & Porter’s Love of Quilting.” Before too long, I have enough for a quilt, and the task is made easier by multitasking with something I enjoy.
Tip #4: Up You Go
Elevate your cutting table to a comfortable height by placing books under the legs of the table. This will help the strain on your back when you’re doing a lot of cutting.
Tip #5: Iron Safety
Because he knows I sometimes forget to turn off my iron,
my grandson made me a beaded bracelet to wear when I turn the iron on. If the bracelet is still on my wrist when I get ready to leave the room, I know I need to check the iron. When I turn off the iron, I take off the bracelet.
Tip #6: Prop It Up
My eyes aren’t as sharp anymore and so when I’m referencing my pattern, it helps to prop up the pattern with a clipboard and a couple of books. Sometimes, I use a magnifying glass to make it even easier to read.
Tip #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 4″ squares of my favorite fabric on my desk, just to feel it. 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. Quilting doesn’t have to be a pain in the neck.
If you’re still looking for ways to make quilting more comfortable, Michael Engman is leading a webinar on Quilting Ergonomics. Learn to identify the sources of your pain and implement a recovery regimen in his helpful webinar.
I hope these tips have been useful for you, and you find yourself enjoying quilting more than ever. Comfort and safety while quilting that will ensure you continue for many years to come. If you have any other tips on quilting comfort, please contribute in the comments below.