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zslhhx wrote
on 27 May 2014 3:53 AM

Hi! I am new here.

I like handmade. I found this website by accident. I hope I can learn more in here.

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Velma51 wrote
on 6 Jul 2014 7:24 PM

Hi my name is Velma and I am brand new to quilting and sewing. I am trying to make new friends and to pick brains about their timeless knowledge. I have a few things wrong with my hands, but I do have lots of sewing machines. I just need a push or some encouragement. I am 62 and have lots of time on my hands to do things. I just don't do them.

How about you? The pictures of the things you have made are too awesome. I do not have that kind of talent, I can see it in my mind, but can't put it to work...

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ckquilter wrote
on 12 Jul 2014 4:23 AM

hi velma

welcome to quilting !!   should warn you - it is addicting !!

and you meet the nicest people !

my hands don't work too well either. deformed from 40 years of arthritis.

so i do most of my work on the machine.    there are some things you can do, and tools to acquire that will make sewing easier and more comfortable.

find a rotary cutter that works for you. some (most) put a lot of pressure onyour hands and wrists - pressure in the wrong place.  find one where the handle fits your hand - without having to hold it real tight. (i have no grip strength. so my handle fits my palm without having to make a fist.

change blades as soon as they start to dull -so you don't have to use any more pressure than needed.

find scissors that work for you. i like the fiskars sof touch. boththe large and small. they have a rubber type handle , so are not slippery. also, they self open. so you use your hand strength to close  them, only. which is the way you hand has the most strength. regular scissors you have to use strength to both open and close - they are very had on your hands

i can't use regular han sewing needles anymore either. too short. i can't hold them. so i use long needles for doing the backs of bindings and attaching labels.  if my hands get much worse, i will quit sewing bindings by hand on the back , and just usethe machine or satin stitch edges.

another nice tool for me - i can't sew more than an hour, or my knuckles get so swollen i can't use my hands the rest of the day.  so whenever i do hand work, i use a pair of the quilt eze gloves. with them on, i can hand sew for a couple hours, and still use my hands the rest of the day.   i also put them on if am gonna type for more than a few minutes. or if i am gonna write letters. or if the room is cold.     the really help me.      they also have some that extend over the wrist - great if you have wrist problems or carpal tunnel pain.

set up your work area so that it does not cause pain .   get your tables the right height.  having your work area set up so that you can sit down and start working immediately, makes it more conducive to getting things done. and being able to turn off the machine and iron, and walk away without having to spend a lot of time putting stuff away, makes it easier.

 find a lightweight iron. the expensive ones are often very heavy, and thus hard on arms and hands.    i am very hard on irons. and have to replace them every 4 or 5 years.    and i spend the time to find one that is not too heavy, and that the handle does not force my hand into a bad (painful) position.

now we just need to work on your mindset.  who says you don't have talent ?  if you can see it in your mind - you are half way there. now you just need to figure out how to make it. and for that, sometimes you need help. we all do. we were not born knowing how to do these things. either someone is gonna have to show you, or you are gonna have to figure it out for yourself.     the quilting arts magazine is a good place to start. they cover lots f different methods, and show you lots of different supplies and tools.              quilters are very generous - both with their time and talents. find a guild or local sewing group, and ask for help !! chances are someone in the group will have an idea of a method that will accomplish what you want to make.          take some classes. i prefer group classes -not online.    you learn more than just what the teacher shares in group classes. you learn by seeing what others are doing.  and you have a chance to make new friends with similar interests.                          find a small group that meets weekly, and go. you will make friends and can learn from them.

i always have several projects in progress. some require handwork - and i can't do a lot of that in one day.     sometimes i get stuck and don't know how to accomplish the effect i want - so i set it aside until i figure it out, or someone shows me a new method. or i don't have the right fabric (i ave one that has been waiting almost 2 years for me to find the border fabric. i have the perfect brown - almost a fat quarter worth. unfortunately it needs almost 2 yards. so i keep looking.  )  some years ago i needed a half yard of a certain water type fabric for a stained glass quilt. it took me 5 years to find the right fabric. but when i did- it was perfect. and that quilt was then finished quickly. and last year went home with my cousin.

if there is anything specific we can help you with, please ask.                            happy quilting    ckquilter

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