Guest speaker, at the January meeting of the Cabot Quilt Guild, used the book, Creating Your Perfect Quilting Space by Lois L. Hallock, as the basis for her talk. As an Occupational Therapist, she was quite willing to give us some valuable pointers on making our sewing rooms work for us. Through interaction with the audience she found out the type of activities quilters perform and the type of pains and injuries that occur. Sitting, standing, sewing, cutting, and ironing were some of the activities mentioned. Many members confessed to suffering from back, neck, shoulder, wrist, hand and finger pain. Proper lighting was also an important consideration.
Here are some common sense points she made:
- Have a good chair that fits you - she gave some pointers for sitting / working properly
- Get up and stretch at least every 20 minutes
- Your arms should be at elbow height when in use
- Have your work area set up to avoid a lot of reaching and stretching
- Cutting tables and ironing boards need to be at the right height - blocks can be purchased to raise tables.
I realize that you are going to say that all this is common sense - it is! BUT how many of you may need to rethink at least one thing in your work space? When I got home that evening, I had a look around my room. I was satisfied with the room except that it isn't near big enough. However, the brain must have been working overtime while I slept that night. The next day I moved one of my machines further to the left of the table to give me more space to the right as I am right handed. Again, why didn't I think of that before now! I also purchased a steno chair with variable height. The one I have doesn't go low enough to use comfortably with one of my machines. It's great for working at the work table.
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