We all enjoy quilting, and most of us find it to be a relaxing hobby. But did you ever finish a quilt, step back to look at it and realize that your back hurt, or your hands feel tight, or you have a splitting headache? Did you know that many of these symptoms can be avoided by applying a few simple rules of ergonomics.
You most likely have heard the word, but did you know that it’s just a fancy way of saying, “fit the task to the person?” There are many ways to accomplish just that, and you’d be surprised how simple it really is. Most people are so intent on what they are doing (enjoying our favorite hobby!) that they don’t pay attention to how they are doing it. Let’s explore some things that you can do to make your quilting hobby even more enjoyable.
Here are five general guidelines:
Practice correct posture at all times. We know it’s easier said than done, but you’ll feel better and be able to work longer if you do.
Any time you hold or repeat a position for an extended period of time—say 30 minutes—you are going to feel it. Varying your position will prevent aches and pains in certain areas. Instead of cutting all of the fabric for two hours, try cutting and then sewing one section of your quilt before moving on to another.
Whenever you hold a body part in an awkward position it applies unnecessary pressure on that body part. So, if you are sitting on your feet because your chair isn’t high enough, your feet are going to fall asleep. Get a taller chair, or an adjustable height table. Listen to your body.
Set up your workstation so that it is comfortable and efficient. You should not repeatedly stretch or twist to perform a task.
If you have a physical limitation, ask your quilt shop owner to show you tools that are intended for your specific ailment. The best quilts shops are members of QuiltingHub. Search for one to help you. They will have photos, ratings, and list their upcoming classes and sales.
Check out the most popular tool on QuiltingHub. Use the search 'Map Of Resources' or the 'Resources Trip Planner' to the right (or below).
Vicki has over 30 years of writing experience with many successful publications such as Stained Glass News, SGN Publishing and Quilter's Digest. For more information about Vicki, visit www.stainedglassnews.com