Monday, March 14, 2016

How to Handle the Big Quilts a Little Easier!

A lot of quilters complain of fatigue and shoulder and neck pain when they sit down at their sewing machine to work on a quilt. Since I quilt for several hours every day, I have found that working in no more than 90 minute increments keeps me from having my chiropractor on retainer!

After a maximum of 90 minutes, I get up and stretch, walk around a little and generally loosen up. Then I’m ready to get back to work. Four or five 90 minute segments works well for me as a regular work schedule.

A lot of the difficulty quilters experience with large quilts is controlling the weight of the fabric, batting and pins! If your quilt is constantly falling off of your work surface, you are expending a lot of energy repeatedly lifting it back up to the table. After three years of struggling with this issue in my quilting business, I finally found a way to “trap” the quilt’s bulk on my table by putting my sewing table in a corner so that the left side and back of the table are both along a wall:


When I'm working on larger projects, I use the whole table positioned in a corner so that my quilt can bank up against the walls. This makes the weight of the quilt much more manageable...


For smaller quilts, I put some decorative storage boxes and the cover to my sewing machine on the table. This creates the barrier "closer in" so that the little quilts will bunch up and then will be easier to maneuver...

Once you have hoisted your heavy quilt to this table, it can’t fall off. The weight is supported by the table and all you have to worry about is the part that's in your lap!

Another problem with quilting large quilts is that gravity always seems to be pulling your quilt down. If you keep the quilt fluffed up as you feed it through your machine, you will not get the loss of control and the little bitty stitches caused when your quilt is “hung up” on your machine table or on a corner of the platform that fits on your machine (if you are not working on a flush surface).  I pull the quilt up from my lap, pile it on my chest and then sew down from there rather than trying to pull the quilt directly from my lap to the machine. Try it - your stitches will be more even.

See more tips and tricks on my website!

1 comment:

  1. I have always put my sewing table in a corner with the wall to the front and left side. It definitely helps keep the quilt on the table.


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