Be Kind to Your Body

How long have you been sewing?  Whether you’ve been at it for a month or 20 years, you need to be kind to your body.

This past year, I had some debilitating neck issues.  It not only prevented me from sewing and quilting but it prevented me from truly enjoying about 8 months of my life.  Now, this was not brought on solely from quilting but a lifetime of not being kind to my body.  I am not referring to drinking, smoking or drugs… I am referring to the act of living.  As we move throughout our days, we tend to take our body for granted.  That we will always be able to do the things we want to do and you should if you tend to your body.


I enjoy the accuracy of paper piecing… my next competition piece is paper pieced.  This is what my set up looked like.  You might be  thinking, yes, that looks very efficient and it was however, not very nice to your body.  I have since changed things around.  The only thing I do there now is sew.  If I need to cut or iron, I get up stretch my legs and neck and do it at my cutting table and ironing station.  This takes longer but I have found that it is much kinder to my body.

my paper piecing set up

my paper piecing set up

I have found that this video helps me tremendously when I do it every morning and if I am sewing or quilting a lot that day I will do it midday as well.  Check out the video here.  Hopefully you’ll find it as helpful as  I do.

Quilt on!



15 thoughts on “Be Kind to Your Body

  1. I occasionally will set up a spot like your photo but only if it’s for a very short project, otherwise, I get up and go to my oversized ironing board or my rotary cutting table/area. ‘Stretching’ is crucial to a quilter’s survival (long term) for sure!!! Great post!!!!!

  2. Reblogged this on Treadlemusic and commented:
    Personal health and well-being trumps “convenience” and the conventional wisdom that would suggest that the sewing set-up in the photo is “ideal”. Please, read, and consider, if there are any modifications that would better serve your situation for the long term.

  3. I have a lot of studio space. My long-arm, stash, and cutting table are in one room. My sewing machine/surface, ironing board, and design wall (and floor) are in another. I never resent moving back and forth between work stations, or up and down from the floor. It helps keep things loose. Besides that, though, I’ve taken to a lot more exercise, including abs/core work. And I know I hold a lot of tension in my neck. I’ve become a lot more aware of it and of how to release that tension during the day and especially when I lie down at night.

    Thanks for the post, and best to you as you continue to recover your comfort.

      • Mostly I just consciously relax those muscles. Now that I’ve found them, it is a lot easier! And sometimes I need to find a different position or push my pillow differently, so my neck is supported better. My pillow is older and should probably be replaced. It’s a memory foam pillow and has a big curve along one long side, which supports my neck pretty well. When I got it a few years ago, it made a big positive difference for my nighttime comfort.

  4. Thank you for reminding us! Fortunately I never felt able to cut while sitting so I get up when I cut and when I iron. But this computer is an other thing – how to avoid ‘Mouse hand’. x Teje

  5. Important reminders. I was just stricken with a rhomboid spasm for 3.5 weeks. It took a lot to get over it. I may have injured it lifting weights, but I simply never realized how important posture is particularly while sitting and doing work. Getting up and moving is critical.

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