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Thread: Help for a friend that had stroke

  1. #1
    Senior Member jetayre's Avatar
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    Lightbulb Help for a friend that had stroke

    This Board has been so helpful to others that I thought I'd try to help a friend. She used to quilt and did many other things. She had a stroke that paralized her right side (arm and leg). She has recovered some but is in a wheelchair. She does live alone. Has few neighbors so would like to find something she likes to do so she could do them again. Does any one have any ideas how she can push material so she can sew on machine? Also any ideas to hold material to cut it. I have been trying to think of something for a year. She does most of things now on the computer and that can be boring after a while. Thanks for any ideas.

  2. #2
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    If she can afford pre-cuts or the machine to cut fabrics that would be a way to avoid having to cut fabric. She could sew using one hand but it will be more difficult. Is she a puzzle person? I love doing puzzles and they would be do-able.

  3. #3
    Senior Member jetayre's Avatar
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    She has tried the sewing with one hand but cannot keep material in place.

  4. #4
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    For cutting, I would think the precuts would be her best option ..... or to find a friend!
    Perhaps you could cut for her, and make a kit that's ready for her to stitch?

    For sewing, I know you said she has tried ... I'm thinking perhaps this is where the practice practice practice that we all hear so often, comes into play. She may be saying she "cannot" do it, as she is expecting the perfection of her past and needs to allow herself permission for a little lower standards for awhile. She may be seeing it only as another frustration and disappointment in the new life that she has been forced to live. Can you give her more encouragement to try try again?

    Larger pieces to put together will be more forgiving than smaller in that they would not be so fiddly to work with. For fabric choice, I would think a heavier cotton would be easier for her to work with than some of the very thin, fine ones on the market. And/Or before cutting, if the fabric were to be spray starched, it would help give a little more substance that might make it easier for her to work with the pieces.

    Also, would there be a machine that might be easier for her to work with than the one she is using? Some of the newer features such as needle up/down, auto-cut, needle threader, etc. may be an asset to her. Is there a machine with the autolift meant for left leg operation, or that could be adapted?

    Thinking a little further here ... would an Occupational Therapist have the knowledge to help further? Is there support available through your Heart and Stroke association to help her make the adjustments?

    Good Luck to you and your Friend ... I hope that she can find some things to help return to her love of sewing.
    Last edited by QuiltE; 03-21-2013 at 06:09 AM.
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  5. #5
    Super Member tutt's Avatar
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    I did a google search for 'machine sewing with one hand' and got several hits some with some excellent tips. You might try searching. My thought was that she would use school glue to match the seams up before sewing and then she might be able to keep the material from "crawling" when she feeds it through.

  6. #6
    Power Poster QuiltE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tutt View Post
    .............to keep the material from "crawling" when she feeds it through.
    Which caused me to think "walking foot" ... she might want to try using it all the time.

    .......... Or if she has or buys a Janome with the Accufeed, it's built right in, and less cumbersome to work with IMHO.
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  7. #7
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    Today I finished my first quilt using glue basting. I used the non-toxic, washable Elmer's glue.

    As I quilted, I kept thinking it would be a good idea that I may try for sewing 2 pieces of fabric. Lay one piece on a table RSU(right side up) and put some glue dots at the corners and, if needed, (larger pieces) at a few place along the edges. Lay the next piece to be joined on top of it (RSD) and press the glued areas together with your hands. Then it won't slip while sewing the edges together. Would be great with precuts or cut pieces, wouldn't it? Might even work for joining blocks into rows and joining rows together.

    Is this a good idea or is my poor mind missing something?

    You would have to be sure that the pieces are laid together correctly because 'unsewing' would be awful if not impossible.

    Edited to apologize because I didn't read all the replies and missed tutt's suggestion about school glue. My bad.
    Last edited by ranger; 03-21-2013 at 07:40 AM.
    ranger
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  8. #8
    Super Member willferg's Avatar
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    What about lining something up on the right hand side of the sewing plate to keep the fabric moving through straight? I've seen people stack a little notepad of sticky pads to help guide the fabric. Not sure if that helps or not...

  9. #9
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    If I were her, I would get these:
    http://www.amazon.com/Dritz-Quilting...+guide+refills

    and set two on the sewing machine base -- one on each side of the needle -- to guide 2.5" strips through. To sew pairs of strips together, I would move the left guide over so it is 4.5" from the righthand guide.

    There is a seam guide that works in a somewhat similar manner. I'm just not sure if it would work better or less well than my idea above:
    http://www.amazon.com/Dritz-Seams-Qu...dp/B000AM2MMW/

    If at all possible, she should invest in an Accuquilt Studio die cutting machine. This is heavy enough to "stay put" while she operates the crank handle, and would give her a way of cutting pieces. She could even cut shapes out of strip-pieced sets.

    Another option is using a rolling cutter like this one:
    http://www.amazon.com/Fiskars-12-Inc...dp/B001CE38Z2/
    There is another one that might be better, but I cannot remember the name of it now. Fiskars used to have one that was 24" long so you could cut an entire width of fabric in one slice. It was discontinued some time ago, but someone on the QB posted recently that Fiskars is going to bring it back due to demands from quilters.

    I found this thread with suggestions:
    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/in...2064002AAPbP1U

    Edit: I'm thinking that she might want to start with a pattern that does not require matching of seams. I am thinking of a "brick" pattern where rectangles are offset in each row. Also, a jelly roll type quilt might be a good place to start. I saw a fabulous one that a guild member made, and she did not bother to press any seams until after the top was put together. (I'm thinking that ironing would actually be harder for me to do with one hand than sewing would be. If she could put a jelly roll top together, then maybe you could iron it for her. I personally love "the strip stick" for ironing seams.)
    Last edited by Prism99; 03-21-2013 at 05:05 PM.

  10. #10
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    One thing is for sure she will need to sew very slowly and a machine that has that option (rather than in the pedal) would be helpful. Also, she can use her presser foot in the down position to hold one end of the fabric as she manipulates the position of the pieces. Working with large pieces would be less frustrating. Maybe a ten inch square quilt. I just saw one of these in a quilt shop and all the customers were talking about how beautiful it was. As a matter of fact, I am thinking this quilt would be quick but make nice Christmas gifts and bought layer cakes at the LQS for that purpose.

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