Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Great Posture for Sewing

Here is a new video on posture that I filmed at the Bobbin Case store in Brighton, New York. I hope that you will find it a useful reminder on how to cultivate a habit that will help alleviate stress on your back and make your quilting more enjoyable!

video

10 comments:

  1. Loved your video.
    I am in northern NY. :)
    I seem to want to be low so I can look behind the needle to see the area behind. How can I see where I'm going backwards if I'm sitting up so high like you are and how do you have your feet FLAT on the floor up there?
    Thanks for your help.
    Susie

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  2. Hi Susie,

    I just went and sat at my own machine to ponder your question. Re the feet on the floor - the ideal set up would have the machine sunk into a sewing table. I don't have that myself but honestly don't find that I have a problem touching the floor with the extra height of this chair position at my own machine. I suspect that I emphasize the balls of my feet touching the floor. In fact, at my computer, I have a foot rest that I notice is slanted so my feet are rest at an angle. The goal with your arm angle is to avoid a situation that can aggravate carpal tunnel issues.

    So far as seeing behind the needle - I think I might sit a little farther away from the machine. Will have to explore that more this afternoon when I am sewing.

    Hope that helps and thanks for commenting.
    Judy

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  3. Ok my machine is in my table. My husband did it for me. :)
    I just went up my sewing room and found that my feet are flat. Must be when I get to sewing I get up on my toes. LOL.
    I also noticed that if I just SIT BACK as you said and sit up straight I 'can' see behind the needle. Beats hunching.
    I also put something under the back of my peddle and I think that is going to be great too.
    Your video was SO helpful. I just didn't know how helpful until I went to the machine.
    I use my left foot to sew so my right leg is free to move the pressure foot lifter. :)
    Thanks so much,
    Susie in northern NY

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  4. Awesome. I am glad if it helped. Check yourself occasionally when you are sewing. It is really easy to slip back to old habits.
    And, have fun sewing!
    Judy

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  5. You bet. Thanks so much. :)
    Susie

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  6. Great video, Judy! I have a similar need as Susie does, above. I'm tall, and often lean back and hunch over to see the needle and what's going on behind it. Depending on what I'm sewing, I've also found that if I put a book under the front part of my sewing machine so that it tilts backwards a bit, that really helps, too, but I can't do that on large pieces. (Hopefully sewing with it on an angle isn't damaging to the mechanism inside!)

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  7. Your video has clear and simple instructions, thanks for this useful information, Judy! May I add, that something under the feet is also good. I personally find it helpful to have extra height from a book under both feet, especially for the foot operating the pedal. A good thing to note that taking breaks is VERY important even with good seated posture...our bodies were meant to move!

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  8. Thanks Holly and Linda for the comments. Holly, I just spent a couple of hours piecing a simple basic quilt top. I thought about the special situation of being tall - I have to imagine what that would be like. Here were two thoughts that passed through my mind - could you get a lower table, not so low you would bang your knees but that might compensate. Also, in that workshop I took last weekend with Pat Pauly (Monday blog post), she mentioned that she stands when she quilts. She is very tall. I guess that is another idea.
    Linda, I agree with you on the foot rest totally. And, taking breaks - that is when I do my stretching exercises. :)
    BTW, I paid more attention this afternoon than usual to my view of my sewing. I was only piecing and am guessing I might feel differently if I was freehand quilting but I really don't look past where I am sewing much while I am stitching. I tend to lean over to the side when I stop to check things out. Since I stop often, it hasn't been a problem. Sitting farther from the machine does improve my view when sewing - it is just that I don't pay that much attention. I will check out when I am actually quilting, I suspect I may behave differently then.
    Bottom line is that my back always feels better when I don't stoop or hunch my shoulders - and that keeps my mind fresher and I make fewer errors. I think I would keep experimenting until I find a sewing arrangement where stooping isn't required. Backaches are no fun. Hope we get some more comments!

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  9. Very good video, Judy! I don't think about my posture enough while I am sewing. I bought an adjustable chair a few months ago because I was not sitting high enough. It helped my back and shoulders to be higher, but I'm short so my feet barely touch the floor. Add to that, my chair is on casters and I have wood floors. I spend half my time hanging on for dear life because my chair takes off backwards when I start pushing on the foot pedal. I think I need a floor mat! :)

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  10. Thank you, Bee. There are foot rests that you can get that will raise your feet off the floor. I just did a Google search for foot rest and found one for $12 called Fellowes Foot rest. It tilts to adjust to your position as you shift about and according to the blurb ' alleviates pressure on back of lower thighs. It might help.
    Judy

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