John Power, a Northampton area physical therapist/trainer who has worked with both Lee and Adele, gave a talk on ergonomics in general, and specifically some ergonomic tips to keep in mind when sewing and quilting. John’s main message was “how you perform a task, especially a repetitive task, will determine how you feel overall”. Asking yourself the question “are you comfortable while doing activity X?” will go a long way towards ensuring that you enjoy activity X, and that there will be no long term, negative physical/structural consequences of doing activity X. Critical in this is to always “be mindful of your body and its positioning”.
John stressed the following, verbally and with the aid of illustrations:
that stronger hips and legs allow you to pick an item off the floor more readily without injury
to always use hips and legs when standing up from a sitting position
when performing repetitive tasks, take breaks and change position often
to keep your spine straight, and not rounded
Some sewing/quilting specific tips:
Always make certain that table height, whether sewing, quilting or cutting is right for you. Adjustable height tables are versatile and affordable. You do not want to be leaning over your work
Similarly, ergonomic stools and chairs, on wheels, that can be height adjusted also offer versatility in positioning and comfort when sewing and quilting
Correct lighting is important. Ott lights, magnifier lamps and the use of hands-free headlamps were discussed
When rotary cutting, replace your blade often to reduce the stress on back, shoulder and wrist. Don’t put your finger on top of your blade; rather, grip the tool like you would when shaking hands, with your wrist in a neutral position. Cut using a rocking motion, using your hips
Finally, John finished up with a tip that closed cell foam, available at Joanne’s Fabric, can be used to create adaptive pieces to your sewing machines to make those repetitive tasks more comfortable
It was suggested that we have a follow on meeting where guild members discuss their own personal experiences with ergonomic sewing hacks…
There is now a form that needs to be completed when proposing an outside speaker for a workshop, trunk show, presentation. Please download the form, fill it out, then scan it and send it to Ellen Follett by email. These will be kept on line. If we assume we will bring in 1–2 speakers per year, and since speakers’ availabilities differ, we can use the information in the forms to manage in a forward manner.
Diane Wespiser completed a form for Amy Friend to come. The meeting attendees voted to have Amy come in the Fall for a six hour workshop on more advanced improv paper piecing for 20 sewists in total. Details on cost per person, location, etc to follow via email, FB page, and our website.
Threads of Resistance Quilt Show
The Threads of Resistance Quilt Show will be a traveling quilt show with quilts illustrating various messages and statements on current political events. Some of our members, eg. Diane and Jeff, are submitting quilts to this 1May2017 deadline, jury selected show. The journey starts on 15July2017 and runs through 00Sept2017 at the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA, and then travels to destinations across the US. April meeting attendees voted to have a field trip to Lowell any Saturday in July after the 15th, or any Saturday in August. Robin volunteered to select 2 Saturdays in July and August, poll members and post the date for this field trip.
NMQG Show at Chester Common Table scheduled for September 2017
Robin spoke with Erin, the proprietor of Chester Common Table, 30 Main Street, Chester, MA about NMQG having a quilt show in their restaurant. Currently showing at this establishment are quilts, pictures and wares from Hilltown Artists Guild. We are now scheduled for September. As discussed at the March meeting, quilts should have a “food theme”, inspired by a favorite meal. Last month, Timna suggested checking out the book, “Women of Taste: A Collaboration Celebrating Quilt Artists and Chefs”. March meeting attendees agreed a good size for the quilts would be no bigger than 30 in x 30 in. Since Robin visits this restaurant, she took a tape measure: 100 inches from floor to ceiling, 28 feet in length in main dining room, largest picture currently up is 29 in (L) x 21 in (H). There is a smaller back room as well. Sleeves for hanging will not be needed.
May meeting program
Our May meeting, 7May2017, will be a Sherri Lynn Wood style improv round robin. You can read more on this on pages 41–50 of Sherri Lynn’s book, The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters, A Guide to Creating, Quilting and Living Courageously”. WE WILL START THIS MEETING PROMPTLY AT 11:00 AM, and there will be no business or show and tell. Robin will be sending out by email supply lists and instructions one week before the meeting. It will be important to plan ahead for this, so Robin will also be asking who will be attending. We will need sufficient ironing and cutting stations set up for the number of attendees. Robin will also be needing volunteers to bring cutting mats, ironing boards and irons.
HAVQG Show notes
Rachel reported the following: the less than desirable weather did not affect show turnout. Rachel reported on who won the raffle quilt, who won the numerous awards, and how much was made selling the mini-quilts
Show and Tell
Diane and Jeff showed quilts