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Handicapped Quilter

Old 12-31-2017, 06:36 AM
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Question Handicapped Quilter

I work in a quilt shop and a customer told me of a quilter who recently had a stroke. Her left side is paralyzed. I would like to help this lady still quilt. Does anyone have techniques or suggestions of how to do this? I think the biggest problem would be guiding the fabric while machine sewing.
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Old 12-31-2017, 07:37 AM
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If it's just quilting, a holder or hoop such as Martelli has with handles could help with that. There are feet for most machines that will guide for piecing.

Even studying such a hoop might give you an idea.

My Pfaff 2170 has what is called a continuous hoop. You can do a length of fabric in multiple hoopings by lining up in the software. I've made yards of edgings for garments.

Since she might not have a machine of that capability, watching these videos might help design a guide that would allow her to straight line quilt, or even meander with the hoop. Most here pooh pooh the hoops, but I have a Martelli with the grips that I used while one hand was in a cast. It worked.
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Old 12-31-2017, 07:40 AM
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Maybe she needs therapy help to get the use back on her left side before sewing again or find alternative way to 'guide' the fabric under the needle of the machine to sew. I would inquire of the family or caretaker if you could help in any way and get the straight of the story directly from the family. It is nice to be concerned and willing to lend a hand, the world needs more caring angels in its mist.
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Old 12-31-2017, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by eimay View Post
I work in a quilt shop and a customer told me of a quilter who recently had a stroke. Her left side is paralyzed. I would like to help this lady still quilt. Does anyone have techniques or suggestions of how to do this? I think the biggest problem would be guiding the fabric while machine sewing.
Hi there-

I suffered a stroke as well and sew and quilt with only my right side. If you would like to message me I can help you out with ideas, As far as guiding the fabric I just go slow and am able to do it. It does take practice though and yoou don't have the percision of a two handed quilter.
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Old 12-31-2017, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by nikki128 View Post
Hi there-

I suffered a stroke as well and sew and quilt with only my right side. If you would like to message me I can help you out with ideas, As far as guiding the fabric I just go slow and am able to do it. It does take practice though and yoou don't have the percision of a two handed quilter.
This warms my heart. So wonderful of you to help another quilter with the same problem. There's another star in your crown.
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Old 12-31-2017, 01:24 PM
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A physical guide helps me piece with more speed and accuracy. I use molefoam which I cut into approximately 1/4" strips. It has an adhesive backing that does not damage current machines (I would not use it on a vintage featherweight, as that type of finish is different). I use my favorite ruler to line it up on the bed of the machine. Lower the needle so it touches just right of the 1/4" line on my ruler, lower the presser foot to hold the ruler in place, check to make sure the ruler is running straight front-to-back, then take the paper off the back of a molefoam strip and butt it up to the edge of the ruler. This gives me a physical barrier for strip piecing that increases both speed and accuracy

I ordered my molefoam from Amazon. You can always find moleskin in the foot section of pharmacies, but molefoam is harder to find in pharmacies. Molefoam is thicker than moleskin. I have used moleskin too, but then I like to layer 2 pieces of it. Easiest way to do that is to first stick one slab of moleskin on top of another slab, then cut into strips. This is easier than trying to align one strip of mokeskin on top of another while at the sewing machine.

For cutting, I would think an electric Accuquilt would be very helpful.
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Old 12-31-2017, 01:37 PM
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Have you checked if she still is interested in quilting? How long ago was the stroke?

Dad had a stroke in May 2015 and was in rehab for 4 months. He regained much of what he lost, but many things are a challenge.

I know every person is different and each stroke is different based on where in the brain it occurred. Post stroke abilities are different and new ways of doing things have to be found. Cognitive ability needs to heal as well.

Challenges I see:
Prepping fabric - washing, folding, ironing, starching.
Cutting fabric - scissors or rotary cutter
Matching seams - How can this be managed?
Pinning - I could not manage this one handed
Sewing - is her machine an old one where you have to nudge the flywheel to get started?
Quilt sandwich
Quilting - this could be possible if she has a LAM and someone loads the quilt for her or she quilts by cheque.

Perhaps there are other ways she can participate in quilting, if she wants too.
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Old 12-31-2017, 02:05 PM
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Lovely that you are doing this. So sweet...
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Old 01-01-2018, 05:26 AM
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Originally Posted by Tothill View Post
Have you checked if she still is interested in quilting?

Challenges I see:
Prepping fabric - washing, folding, ironing, starching. 1. Cutting the fabric into smaller pieces simplifies this part. Ironing can be easier if you turn the board around so she works on straight sides.
Cutting fabric - scissors or rotary cutter, 2. You can offer to trade a skill she still has for doing her fabric cuttiig.
Matching seams - How can this be managed? 3. Binder clips can be used instead.
Pinning - I could not manage this one handed.
Sewing - is her machine an old one where you have to nudge the flywheel to get started?
Quilt sandwich
Quilting - this could be possible if she has a LAM and someone loads the quilt for her or she quilts by cheque.

Perhaps there are other ways she can participate in quilting, if she wants too.
Just my thoughts...good luck to her and tell her,”Where there is a will, there is a way.” Hugs.
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Old 01-01-2018, 05:52 AM
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Maybe it is good to watch the episode of The Quilt Show with Nola Emerie who suffered a stroke but still took up quilting. She is a very brave and inspiring woman.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=96PFcp4YpaM
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