Thursday, January 17, 2008

Protect the Quilter

We all know that the fine skills that are required for quilting can take a toll on our bodies after a time. The Lost Quilt Come Home website has some wonderful information on protecting the body of a quilter. Here are some great tips on how to protect yourself when quilting!

Protect Your Back and Neck

Quilters tend to sit a lot, whether quilting by hand or at the sewing machine. You can protect you back and neck, first of all, by taking frequent breaks. And avoid sitting completely still: gently sway or shift your weight occasionally. An if you need to stand for long periods of time, at the ironing board or a long-arm machine, then place one foot on a short stool -- 6 to 9-inches high -- and make sure your posture is as straight as possible when standing or lifting.

Protect Your Muscles

Quilting requires a lot of fine motor skills and many repeated actions. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can be a real threat. Make sure you keep good posture and use an ergonomic workstation. Vary your hand quilting techniques and take frequent breaks.

Protect Yourself with an Ergonomic Workstation

With all the stress that quilting can put on your body, make sure your workstation isn't adding any more unnecessary stress. Your chair and table should be the right height for your body. A table that is too high can cause strain on your back arms, and wrists. A chair should support your lower back and your feet should be flat on the floor with you legs at a right angle.

Protect Yourself with a Break

Take a 10 minute break every hour. In fact, you can increase your productivity by doing so while prevent possible injury. You should also vary your activity: cut fabric then witch to machine sewing, then iron for a while. This will help prevent overuse of any one muscle group.

Protect Your Eyes

Make sure you have plenty of good lighting so you don't have to strain your eyes. An give your eyes a break: every few minutes look up at something across the room or out a window. Also, drinking plenty of water will help your eyes stay well lubricated.

Protect Your Health

Quilting is a wonderful, but sedentary, activity. Make sure you are giving more than just your creativity a work-out! Adapting a regular exercise program as well as a healthy diet will help ensure that we'll all have many more years ahead of quilting!

(Image from QuiltLover who will professionaly quilt your quilt tops using all these health tips, I'm sure!)

Make sure you follow the link to the Lost Quilt Come Home page where I found these great tips. There is more information to be found there! In addition, all of these health guides originated in the book Rx for Quilters: Stitcher Friendly Advice for Every Body by Susan Delaney Mech.

1 comment:

Attack of the Vintage said...

What a great post to include in our blog!