Welcome to the Quilting Board!
A glass of wine may help you to relax before quilting!
I am with leatheflea. I tend to tense up and can have pain for days after a FMQ session. I have found that if I drink wine before, during, and after, I tend not to tense up while I am quilting - true story!
Wine is not always an option. For those that have have chronic pain or other medical conditions, most are on medication of one sort or another that would make drinking alcohol in any form very dangerous. Others prefer not to drink alcohol for their own reasons. Personally I take a little xanax when I need to relax, but I know better than to touch my machine once I have taken it, since I would have to have the Ambulance on stand by to remove the sewing machine needle from my finger !
If you ever see a quilt without any flaws, rest assured that I did not make it ! http://slightlyoffquilter.com
So, if you have a knee lift, the you would want to mount the foot pedal on the left side.
You also might discover that the pressure it takes may be harder on your knee/leg than having it on the foot.
I take you back to the earlier questions/suggestions I gave.
and will add ... What angle is your leg to your hip? your knee bend from upper to lower? and your ankle bend from lower leg to foot? Likewise for your elbow bend when sitting with your forearms flat on the sewing machine surface? Ergonomically you want them to all be closer to 90° than not.
What can help to adjust these ... chair height and/or a platform for both feet and foot pedal to be on.
Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!
On my Sweet Sixteen I can set my maximum speed on the control panel, then that is as fast as it will go when the pedal is pushed all the way down. My foot/leg can relax, no tension. Although I really like the idea of attaching the foot pedal to the leg of the table!
I tend to get a cramp in my left foot. I press down on it a lot while using my right on the pedal. I tend to place the toe of my foot on the pedal rather than the whole foot. that makes it hurt more I think but I do it every time! watch some tutorials that show the quilters foot action. that might help.
Omg--what an overwhelming response from all of you. What a wonderful group of people on this board. Thank you all for your support, well wishes and help! It took a little time for my response as I was trying some of your suggestions and thinking about others.
Actually my primary machine sits flush in a relatively new style cabinet--Perfexion 851 Quilter's Dream by Horn. I am able to sit right in front of the needle for a more comfortable position in relation to my machine. When I designed my sewing space last year ergonomics was a top priority. Unfortunately there are not many sewing machine furniture options in my area so I bought the cabinet online without trying it out. I do like it a lot, but one thing that is problematic is the design of hte bottom of the cabinet to the rear. It has a support piece of wood that juts out about 3-4 inches and sits parallel to the floor. This prevents me from being able to place my foot pedal far enough toward the back of the cabinet so that my calf and thigh form a 90 degree angle. I think this is the crux of my ankle/leg problem with FMQ. Now I will attempt to respond to your (mostly) wonderful suggestions:
QuiltE, Tartan & Mdegenhart - Unfortunately my primary machine does not have a start/stop button. However I have a small Brother sewing/embroidery machine that does. I tried FMQ on it last night and it was absolutely wonderful. I can't quilt on that machine; it's just too small. But testing with a sandwich enabled me to observe how that would work. A new machine with start/stop might be in my very new future. ;-)
Mandyrose - I'm sorry for your pain.
Hopetoquilt - I really can't use my left foot after sewing for 50 years with my right. Foot pedal is too close already which I think is a large part of my problem, but I will try stretching before and after. I think that would help.
SlightlyOffQuilter - I am sorry for your pain also. I will try your suggestions also--limiting FMQ time and moving around during breaks. I can't mount the pedal on the side of the cabinet because it is too far away from my seating position. Good idea though!
DOTTOMO - Thank you.
Busy fingers - I did try a phone book under each foot. My spine/back is fine. Just my ankle/leg were in pain.
Leatheflea - & sew4nin - Don't ever drink, won't ever drink--I have to answer to a Higher Authority ;-). Tension is not that much of an issue for me. Sometimes I actually find FMQ relaxing. :-)
QuiltE - I think ergonomics is definitely an issue for me with this pain. My calf to thigh angle is probably at about 65 degrees while pushing and holding that pedal--putting strain on all those muscles and tendons. My upper body is fine.
Nativetexan - I will try to find some tutorials; it might help.
Well what I did today was put the old pedal back on my Singer 201 that is mounted in a beautiful art deco period cabinet. Then I reinstalled the pedal in the cabinet to use the knee control. I have tried FMQ on it before and it is amazing, but FAST for a beginner. Using the electronic pedal, I had replaced the original with, on the floor didn't provide enough speed control. The original with knee control seems better. I will try FMQ tomorrow and see. If it works out I'll use my 201 for FMQ until I get a new machine for my H
(Sorry I must have hit some sequence of keys and posted prematurely.) If it works out I'll use my 201 for FMQ until I get a new machine for my Horn cabinet with a start/stop button or even a BSR! ;-)
Thanks again and Blessings!
(Hope this post wasn't too long.)
Sheddah ... I can relate to the cabinet issue! I got a new cabinet last year locally made, but probably Horn-like. For mine the shelf that the machine sits on in order for it to be flush with the table top brings it down lower than I really like. And too, I can't really get that 90° on the knee and ankle. I did a lot of FMQing on the weekend, and at times my foot/ankle got too far in front and oh my how my ankle got overextended and uncomfortable pretty quickly. I had to stop a few times and re work the positioning. It would all be OK if the foot pedal were not so high by its own design!
It looks like you are on track for figuring it all out ... just keep at it and you will. One thought I have had and might work for you ... is to put the desk on top of blocks of wood, in order to raise it up a couple of inches. Haven't done it yet, as would take some help and I want to make sure it would be a highly probable solution! Raising it, then affects the chair height, so would I gain? or would it just change all the other heights and angles and I would be no further ahead?
Sew many ideas ... just sew little time!!