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Thread: Quilts are getting heavier to work with.

  1. #1
    Super Member maryel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2010

    Quilts are getting heavier to work with.

    I am a seinor {67 years young} and I am noticing my upper body strength and back isn't what it used to be! I got a new machine with a 9 1/2 inch arm almost 2 years ago so I could quilt my own tops. Now I am rethinking that anything over a twin size quilt I will have to bite the bullet and send it out, as the larger ones are just too heavy. Anyone else out there having this issue? Thanks, Mary

  2. #2
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Lake Elsinore, CA
    Rather than change your quilting plans, I would suggest that you join an exercise group for seniors. In Oregon we have a Better Bones and Balance class that is wonderful. You can iimprove that upper body strength, as well as your overall health, and enjoy your quilting even more.

  3. #3
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    I am not quite the same age as you are, but the idea of quilting anything larger than a Twin just brings me into a mind of dread and negative thoughts. There are affordable long arm services , I use one that charges .01 per sq inch, I will pay that any day to avoid quilting a large quilt.
    Not only is it the weight, but the preparing the sandwich of a large quilt. Now that everyone seems to have bigger beds ... it makes a queen or king just seem like a daunting task.

  4. #4
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    home again, after 27 yrs!
    Blog Entries
    Oh yes, me too. think of doing your quilts in sections. at least two. quilt and then sew together. Machine quilting in Sections is a good book. Reversible Quilts by Sharon Pederson is also. It's a quilt as you go but bigger.
    "From hence only infer that an Englishman, of all men, ought not to despise foreigners as such and I think the inference is just, since what they are today, we were yesterday, and tomorrow they will be like us"
    Daniel De Foe -The True Englishman

  5. #5
    Power Poster
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Ontario, Canada
    I have quilted up to a twin on my DSM. I have tried quilting in sections and have had limited success. I will send my big quilts out to the long armer.

  6. #6
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Rapid City, SD
    I just getting into quilting all my own quilts on my DSM. I was told to use a table to the left and lower side of the machine to take up the weight of the fabric. Also was advised to only think about the part of the quilt actually being quilted - you are only moving a 9 inch section. I'm with Dunster - we can all use a bit more exercise in our lives. My Mother who is 89 attends exercise classes 4 days a week. She is stronger and more agile than I am!

  7. #7
    Super Member Stitchnripper's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Mableton, GA
    I totally agree with the suggestion to do some upper body strength work through a senior center or appropriate gym. At least to start. I am 69 and go 3x a week for strength training. I can lift all my quilts and then some and I am surely not a body builder!! Quilting in sections is good but as a choice.

  8. #8
    Super Member MartiMorga's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Springville, Tennessee
    Exercise, so easy to say, so hard to get into! I use to go to a Silver Sneakers class and while going loved it and felt better, problem, it is 15 miles from my home (problem with living in the country). Had a sore muscle in my derriere and stopped. Now I have to get my "mind" back into it.
    God Bless Quilters and Sewers

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    You could perhaps also try making your quilts thinner, use a thinner batting or maybe use fleece as the backing and skip the batting altogether.

  10. #10
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Outside St. Louis
    I am your age, in fact I will turn 68 in a month. I can quilt a queen and larger on my 9" throat machines. I don't exercise, I know I should. I do physical work every chance I get. I use a high loft poly batting, warmth without the weight. I hope I will always be able to quilt my quilts. I take pride in being able to say I made it myself. Like someone else said, you need a big table behind the quilt, to the left side and right next to your left hip and leg. Let the tables hold the quilt for you.
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  11. #11
    Super Member Daylesewblessed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    West Texas
    Just today I was working with the final borders on my QAYG quilt. It was tiring. My solution is to do a little each day and not get in a hurry.

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