Friday, May 1, 2015

Exercising While Quilting

Got outside in my South garden and dug up weeds and raked clay soil. When the sprinklers go on again, it will be like working with hardened cement. The particular weeds I am removing form this deep root system and also have a plant matter canopy that is incredibly tight, suffocating other plants out. I let it go too long and made more work for myself. I dug out the stepping stones and will replace them. 

Inside, I found a couple of spools of brown thread for machine quilting, so I loaded 6 bobbins. As it happened, there is still some of it left after doing all the quilting, so it had been a good day to try out more of the machine stitches. This quilt is for the youngest of my Nephews. I finished his Brother's last year but didn't want to rush this one just to be done, so held them both back to go out together this year. I've been told that its best to give everyone in the house a quilt at the same time (if the plan is that they all get one). It was a solid day of working on it, with enough breaks in between for healthy reasons.

My new machine stitches are much more clearly marked and when the quilting stitches are selected, the machine automatically handles the feed dogs. Its so smooth.

Quilting can be quite sedentary if a person isn't aware. Time slips away, as they say, when you are having fun. I found this link ten-exercises-for-quilters and do most of them regularly.

The last two, 'gripping' and 'thumb stretch' are new to me and I want to make them part of my regular quilting practice. The article says that repetitive movements put us at risk for developing certain wrist problems, so it is recommended to release muscle tension. Doing them made me realize just how stiff my hands were getting. This movement takes care of both at once in the flex extension.

I've seen folks set up work stations so they don't have to get up and down. However, I need to be in motion and sitting too long just doesn't work for me.