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Thread: Just don't know?

  1. #1
    Senior Member diannemc's Avatar
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    I just don't know if I can do this...I did three preemie quilts and now My back is killing me!!! I just can't sit at the machine...Just 20 or 30 minutes at the machine and it takes days getting over it...It takes months to put together and crib size quilt...I just bought a quilting foot thinking machine quilting would help me get them done faster but forget that...i don't think I can sit at the machine that long...I just don't think I will be able to do any kinda sewing....I think I am going to take a couple of months off and see if I can get over this...

  2. #2
    Super Member Quilt4u's Avatar
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    Do you have the right chair for the job? Is your sewing machine close to you or feather back? Try closer. Pillow behind your lower back. Feet firmly on the floor. And please get up and strech Evey 10 to 15 min.

  3. #3

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    Have you thought about hand quilting? then you can sit wherever you are comfortable, on couch, recliner, and sew? I know a machine is faster but you should enjoy what you do. or take breaks , lots of breaks to get up and move around.

  4. #4
    Super Member mimisharon's Avatar
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    I have a bad back and I have to get up frequently. I keep my iron and ironing board across the room so I have to get up to press. I use a deeper cushion on my chair, I have a heating pad I use a lot of the time. Posture is really really important to, relax the shoulders, sit as straight as you can and keep both feet level as you can.

    Hope this helps, I've had to learn to lie down and hand quilt during the worst days. But it doesn't hurt the enjoyment.

    Hugs,
    Sharon

  5. #5
    Super Member amandasgramma's Avatar
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    I'm like Sharon...I get up often and walk around. I also have a recliner (my love seat) and I go in, sit back and crochet, sometimes for only 5-10 minutes. That helps a lot. Also, the height of your sewing machine can affect your back and shoulders. Make sure you're not stretching to reach UP.....

    I can't use kitchen chairs...I have to use office chairs....some day I'll have enough money to buy the really cool one for quilters -- maybe. :D

    Good luck --- don't give up yet!!!

    d

  6. #6
    Senior Member redrummy's Avatar
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    I injured my back several years ago, and workers comp sent me to a therapist and called it "back school". There I learned when standing for long periods of time ( I do it now for even short ones) relax knee, do not keep it rigid, and place other foot up on something at least 2 inches high. it takes the pressure off your back. Alternate legs if standing a long time. For sitting, the knees should be higher than the hips. So I put something on floor under sewing table to put mu feet up on. Every so often, the foot petal falls off, but putting it back is easier than back discomfort.
    I was at Verizon the other day and they have a bar for the standing workers to use at the work stations. I thought that was neat.
    I hope this helps you enjoy our wonderful craft, I would go stir crazy if I couldn't sew!!!!!

  7. #7
    Power Poster Mousie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by diannemc
    I just don't know if I can do this...I did three preemie quilts and now My back is killing me!!! I just can't sit at the machine...Just 20 or 30 minutes at the machine and it takes days getting over it...It takes months to put together and crib size quilt...I just bought a quilting foot thinking machine quilting would help me get them done faster but forget that...i don't think I can sit at the machine that long...I just don't think I will be able to do any kinda sewing....I think I am going to take a couple of months off and see if I can get over this...
    Ok, gf, I beg you to try this:
    I have fibromyalgia, and if I didn't exercise, my back and all, would not hold up to sewing either! ask me how I know?
    Start with something simple like a few calisthenics, and do sets of five each.
    Do this every day for a week, then start upping the number, and skipping to every other day.
    Your muscles aren't strong enough to hold you up for long periods of time.
    I used to do them with the tv on.
    Now I have a machine called a gazelle, and it is like a skiing motion, and the most fun I've ever had exercising. It actually feels good.
    I use a timer too. Hope you feel better, so your back at your machine soon. hugs, mousie :D

  8. #8
    Super Member MollieSue's Avatar
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    Have you tried going to a chiropractor? Maybe something's just a little out of whack.
    Or tried Aleve? If it's just muscle strain, Aleve works in like 20 minutes for me.
    My legs ache like crazy if I quilt for several hours straight. I have the bad habit of sitting with one tucked under me, or with my legs crossed.

    I hope some of the ideas posted help!! :-)

  9. #9
    Senior Member diannemc's Avatar
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    I peice the quilts on machine and hand quilt them...When in my recliner I am ok it is the sewing machine work that kills me...right through by shoulder blades and up my neck....i just can't explain the pain...it is like someone is pinching my spine and cracking my bones....it gets better with time...takes about 2 weeks before I can sew again...My chair is a good one and my table is the right height...guess it is just all the sewing when younger and computer job I had been doing for last 2 1/2 years...I am going to give myself some time off and see....The thing is I am all by myself during the week and as of June I have no job..Sewin gives me something to do...But like I said I am goin to stop for awhile and see...then start back slow...

  10. #10
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    When I set up my sewing table, I had everything at the recommended height, and it almost killed my back. I have a height adjustable chair, and lowered it until the feed dog is breast high and that made all the difference. Maybe I was leaning over too much because I'm so near-sighted, but now my back doesn't hurt even if I sit for a couple of hours.

    Good luck!

  11. #11
    Super Member mimee4's Avatar
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    We all care about you. How about a massage? I go once a month and she really helps me work out the aches. Sure do hope you feel better.

  12. #12
    Super Member Rose Marie's Avatar
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    I was having lower back problems so I went to the Lazy Boy store. I found a recliner with back support and several height adjustments for your feet. This is my lifesaver chair. It keeps my spine in place.
    I also now walk 30 minutes every day.
    I use an adjustible computer chair as my sewing chair also.
    Have you checked out those machines that you turn upside down in? those should stretch your spine. They sell for 99 dollars and anything that keeps you from cripling back pain is worth any price.

  13. #13
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    The only advice I can give you is what works for me. I sit very straight, my neck not bent, just lower my head to look down. I don't not slump my shoulders but keep them pulled back, in other words jut out my boobs, look down and sew. Have the machine lower then you think it needs to be. It should be like keyboard height. I can sew all day and not have any back, shoulder or neck pain. This is the way I sit. I sit this way in any chair now. Even the car.

    Have you had your spine checked to see if it is out of alignment? That could be a big factor. I hope you find a solution, it's not fun to hurt.

  14. #14
    Senior Member quilter girl's Avatar
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    I work for a chiropractor - and it sounds like one could do you
    alot of good. They can even give you some exercises to help
    stretch and strengthen your muscles. I also get a massage once
    a month - between the chiro treatments and massage it keeps me
    going.

  15. #15
    Super Member Olivia's Grammy's Avatar
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    I use a weight belt that I bought from Nancy's Notions when I know I'll be sewing all day.

  16. #16
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I had back surgery in 2003 and I have to be careful too. I invested in a good office chair and made sure that my station is reasonably well set up (ergonomics). Sometimes I forget to get up and I get sore but I try to be conscious of my position and sit up straight, shoulders down, not angled to the machine......I can sew for hours. Of course my butt is flat then.lol

  17. #17
    Super Member OHSue's Avatar
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    Hey, did someone say this was a race?
    Quilt as much as you can tolerate, enjoy that and don't pressure yourself to be a speed demon. I read way more books and magazines about quilting than I could ever dream of sewing.
    I was once interviewed for my local weavers guild and someone asked, what would you do if you couldn't weave anymore. I said that if I couldn't weave anymore I would read about weaving and if I couldn't read anymore I would be content to just talk about weaving. It goes the same for quilting, sometimes I don't get to the machine for a week, but what little I get to do I enjoy. I do it for the process, not the product.

  18. #18
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    My first thought is that it must be the chair. Get a good one with proper support. That should fix you up.

  19. #19
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    There was a recent thread on a similar topic; quite a few people posted experiences on it, including me. Here's the link:
    http://www.quiltingboard.com/posts/list/26072.page

  20. #20
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    Sure hope you get some relief. Changing the height of your chair might do wonders. It has helped me a lot.

  21. #21
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    My chair was the problem. I had to get one I could adjust and set it up just right. I also have to get up every half hour or so and stretch.

  22. #22
    Super Member Sheree from Chicago's Avatar
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    I know how you feel. I cannot sit for longer than 30-60 minutes since having my back rebuilt. I don't do my own quilting, however every 30 minutes add up to a quilt completed. Baby steps.

  23. #23
    Super Member sewmom's Avatar
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    I have 3 disks in my back with degenerative tears in them & have been in Physical Therapy. theyre really big on strengthening your core to help your back. i cant sit for very long either or on a seat too soft or i hurt. Since i have been so lazy about my PT exercises, i have a lot of problems with my back. But i like my stability ball and my Miracle balls to relieve my discomfort.

  24. #24
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sewmom
    But i like my stability ball and my Miracle balls to relieve my discomfort.
    Those balls are fabulous. (I love to use it too now that I know it won't pop when I sit on it.)

  25. #25
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    Hi - alot of the advice given is excellant but you should start with the basics before taking anyones' advice. See your doctor - you may have a pinched nerve or arthritic condition in your neck or upper spine that is giving you such severe pain. Using over the counter pain relief or "ignoring" or self treating may mean that a serious problem may be overlooked. Please take good care of yourself - hope you feel better!

    Terri

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