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?