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Thread: Quilting overdose

  1. #1
    Super Member Harmony's Avatar
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    I've been madly hand quilting my Mary Englebreit quilt. I love how it's coming out, but I want to get it finished--other projects on my plate, if you know what I mean. Yesterday as I was quilting my right hand kept going numb. This is not a new problem--I am a court reporter, and we ALL have problems with our hands and wrists. But this time it was much worse--after my hand went numb, it would start to feel like the nerves were on fire. I finally had to stop quilting, and this morning I got a brace for my wrist. I'm hoping that if I just rest it (except for having to do my job, of course) it will go away.

    This might finally be the push I need to start machine quilting (or sending quilts out to be quilted, something I've never done because of a lack of $$$.) Has anyone else had this problem specifically from quilting?

  2. #2
    Country Quilter's Avatar
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    I dont' hand quilt but also have the numbness trouble... in both hands, wrists.... this happens alot when I am machine quilting if the quilt is a large one especially or if I forget to relax! It also happens when I am on the phone too long and have to keep switching hands holding on to the receiver. And if I run the rotary cutter for hours and hours cutting out a quilt top.

    I bought myself a wrist band also....it helps but I should have bought two! LOL

    My working years were all secretarial with the exception of bartending for a couple years .... I do think it has alot to do with what you do for a living...JMHO

  3. #3

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    Just talked w/a gal that has the same thing..she's going in for carp. tunnel surgery over hers. Here's an interesting thought...that Jenny Beyer that hand quilts ( think that is the who) she alternates her hands...for her hands wear out on her too since she quilts so much. She said she taught herself to use her other hand and anyone can get the hang of it if they try and work on it too. I too love hand stitching/quilting...but, my hands wear out on me too much...so have opted for a momma machine here that will allow me to piece and quilt w/it!! So, I say go for it...if you can rest your hand to recovery by wearing braces for awhile and learn to quilt by machine...Go go for it!!:))My 2 threads of thought here;))Skeat

  4. #4
    Super Member Mamagus's Avatar
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    OH yeah I hear you! Had to give up cross-stitching because of "carpel tunnel".
    Then by the time I had the surgery done and felt like cross-stitching again, my eyes had the "over 40" syndrome". By the time I gave in and went and bought double sight glasses I had lost interest in cross-stitching. Anyone wnat to buy 500 cross-stitch patterns! LOL


  5. #5
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
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    I have very painful finger cramps....when I sew on the machine to long. I have had my fingers swell when I sew by hand for long periods. :roll:

  6. #6
    Senior Member redrummy's Avatar
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    I was having that problem, went for testing. They said I did not have carpal tunnel, just over active nerves. The Dr. suggested I apply ice, then apply heat to the arm above the elbow on the underside of the arm. ice first, for 15 mins, then heat for 15 mins. I used a towel, wet with the hottest water I could stand. it helped me some. you might want to try to see if it helps you. I found if I don't do it, my fingers will go numb and I cannot feel nor hold the needle. :cry:

  7. #7
    Super Member Harmony's Avatar
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    Thanks for the suggestion about the ice and the heat. At this point I'm willing to try anythng short of surgery. I'm hoping I just irritated the nerves by being such a fanatic!

  8. #8

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    Oh gosh, can't wait to see your quilt when your done, I love the new Mary Englebreit fabric.

    I have the same problem - I even find my wrists acting up and my fingers going numb when I'm just machine piecing. I did secretarial/accounts payable work for several years, on top of it sewing, and also of course blogging and looking up quilts online is my other hobby. Lol* My wrists had no chance! Lol* I wear ace bandages when they don't hurt, it's less restrictive than the brace, but it helps. Hope things improve for you. My Mother just this past week realized that she has carpal tunnel - she has lost so much strength in her left hand she can barely close it to make a fist. Sheesh. I don't know what I'd do if I couldn't sew. Lord save my hands and my eyes...I can live without most of the other parts! :)

  9. #9
    Super Member Minda's Avatar
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    Try these exercises for carpal tunnel pain and numbness. You don't have to stand up to do the exercises. I used to do them several times throughout the day while sitting at my computer at work. If you do them regularly, they will hopefully start alleviating the numbness and pain. The exercises worked for me. I hope they help you. Also, be sure and wear your wrist brace to bed every night.

    http://www.expertvillage.com/video-series/425_carpal-tunnel.htm

    http://www.carpaltunnelexercises.net/

    http://www.carpaltunnelhelp.info/basics.php




  10. #10
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    I have always had jobs that were very hard on the hands, and I was always crocheting or doing some kind of craft work too. I have had tendinitis, and currently have arthritis and fibromyalgia in my hands, I ended up being sent to an occupational therapist. I was advised to wear rubber finger tips, the little fingers (like surgical glove material,) gloves that have the rubberized bumps, rubberized handle scissors, or use the needle grippers whenever possible. The idea behind it is this, if you grasp with something that "grips" you do not have to grasp it as hard. They said theoreticcally, it will allow you to do 2-3 times as much with less strain on the hands. We should also do "warm ups" before using our hands, the same as we are advised to do before excercising. I was also told to set a timer and make sure I stretch my hands and rest them for a few minutes after 30-60 minute periods of time. Also, that if you have neck and shoulder strain being hunched over a project, the strain will follow down your arms and into your hands, (also all the way down your back too.)

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