8 Stretches to Help with Stitching Stiffness

I came across the Auckland Patchworkers and Quilters Guild site, and decided to look around. (Which reminds me that I’d like to explore websites and quilts from Guilds around the world. But that’s for another day.) The Auckland site has an article listing “stretching tips to help avoid problems associated with long periods of repetitive stitching.” The information was originally provided by Sarah at The Good Use Company and I’ve included her suggestions below.

“You can work with a strain, but never a pain.”

Hold each stretch for 3 seconds as you exhale and repeat gently 3 times.

Shoulder Stretches to ease neck stiffness:

  1. Roll your shoulders in large circles, up, back, down and forwards 3 times. Reverse the direction and repeat.
  2. Lift one arm across your body, taking your elbow past your nose, and feeling the stretch behind your shoulder. Repeat with your other arm.
  3. Drop one hand down your back and gently increase the stretch by pulling on the elbow with the other hand. Repeat with your other arm.
  4. Stretch both arms above your head, clasping your hands high above you and squeezing your arms in to your ears. Breathe out then lower your arms.
  5. Clasp your hands behind you at bottom level and pull your hands down, bringing your shoulder blades together and opening the front of the chest.
  6. Forearm stretches:

  7. Put the palms of your hands together and, keeping the whole hand and fingers in contact, press downward, stretching the under side of your wrist. Roll your fingers to point toward the floor then back to point at your body.
  8. With arms at your side, straighten your elbow. With your shoulders relaxed, flex your wrist, pulling your fingers up, and slowly rotate your whole arm as far as possible in each direction.
  9. Drop your arms at your side, flick your fingers and hands, stop and pause. Combine with a long breath out for good micropause effect. Stop, drop, flop and pause for 3 seconds.

    Micropause every 15 minutes when sewing continuously but if arm or hand pain occurs, micropause every five minutes.

    Do you have any other favorite stretches for quilters?

Jo-Ann’s Craft and Quilting Contests

Brief information on two contests sponsored by Jo-Ann stores, with links to the official websites.

Jo-Ann contests.jpg

Craft for a Cause Contest 2010

  • Use your creativity, skills & passion to help your favorite worthwhile cause.
  • Judged on creativity, quality & functionality for the charitable organization receiving the item.
  • Crafting contest begins August 15, 2010 and ends October 30, 2010.
  • Additional information from Jo-Ann’s blog

Quilt Your Colors Contest 2010

  • Use your talent & skills to create an award-winning quilt made with fabric purchased from Jo-Ann.
  • Winning entries chosen for: Workmanship • Originality • Level of Detail
  • Contest begins August 29, 2010 and ends December 18, 2010.

Will you be quilting for a cause or quilting your colors?

Quick Weekend Projects and New Notions

Looking at the myriad of quilt-related blogs and articles on the web, I found some quick projects that could be accomplished over the weekend. Maybe some of these will fit into your schedule?


Scrappy Bookmarks
Very simple. Instructions are shown following the second photo. Back to school item?

Organize quilt projects
Inexpensive and space-saving method of storing in-progress projects.

Cell Phone Pouch
Hmmm, my Mom was asking for one of these. This pattern could also be made with a solid piece of fabric for a simpler style. Or add beads and other embellishments.

Fabric Fortune Cookies
These would be fun for a Friendship group or Asian-themed party. Or just because they would surprise my family!

Fabric and fast2fuse Heart Ornaments
Couldn’t this easily be adapted to any shape? I’m thinking pumpkins or Christmas bells.

Christmas Tree napkin
Dottie showed this at Show-N-Share last year. Never too early to start thinking of Christmas!


Fiskars Fingertip Rotary Cutter
Handy for cutting the intricate pieces. (Shown on Amazon; this is an extra “plug” for shopping through the SBQG Amazon link!)

Clover’s Soft Touch Thread Pic
“…the perfect tool for hiding or removing stray threads as it easily slips through fabric, leaving no marks or punctures.”

Does anyone have additional quick project ideas? Happy quilting!


Friday Freebie – American Glory pattern

Thanks to Dottie and Arlene for this guest post.

The Moda Bake Shop blog has a simple stars and stripes quilt that could be adapted to the Quilts for Wounded Soldiers size. The pattern creates 9″ finished blocks, which can be laid out in 5 blocks x 8 blocks (45″ x 72″), plus 3″ borders.

The pattern calls for two solids and one print, but would also be interesting made from scraps. Or try switching the colors to a red/blue background with white stars.

The pattern, with cutting and piecing instructions, is available on the Moda Bake Shop site.

New forms for SBQG members

Two new forms are available in the Members Only section of the website:

  • Show ‘n Share (under Intraguild forms): Use this form to describe your show-and-tell project. Your information will be read while you present your wonderful, completed project to the Guild!

  • 2010 Fashion Show Entry (under Fashion Show forms): Use this form to submit your aprons, garments, and/or accessories for the November fashion show. Submission deadline is October 19th.