Aching back??? Aching/sore shoulders???? Hands, arms or wrists that are telling you “enough already”?? Well, after a day of quilting on either my Juki-DSM (domestic sewing machine) or, even, Ms Sweetie (HQ Sweet 16) I most definitely have! My ‘normal’ quilting schedule is from 9:30 in the morning, 1/2 hour break for lunch and back at it ‘til 4:00 pm. I love it but my ‘bod’ doesn’t always….especially if the quilt is one of the larger ones. Well, while there are many suggestions to help with the above, I haven’t really found that setting up additional tables, supports, silicone sprays for the table tops, etc, etc, etc have alleviated the “heart” of the problem……..and that is the weight of the quilt sandwich that must be moved around as the stitching is done. The solution: some type of overhead “lifting” apparatus that will take the weight of the quilt not being stitched off of the table allowing the quilter to only move the fabric needed to accomplish the motif in the specified area. I present 3 solutions that I’ve come across in the past several years. The last one is the one that I have come up with for me, given my surroundings. The first one I saw on Leah Day’s site in 2011. The post can be found here. This image is from her post:
As you can see, she uses bungees w/ clamps that are attached to handles secured to the ceiling. A great idea but one that wouldn’t work for me……….I have a suspended ceiling that wouldn’t tolerate that kind of weight!!
On to the 2nd idea. This one was recently posted on Rhonda Bracey’s blog “At Random” in answer to a question brought up on a Yahoo forum. Again, a photo from her post:
Once again, a great solution but one that wouldn’t work for me as my table must remain up against the wall that it’s on and snugly in the corner. Simply put……I have very little room to work with.
#3……the method that works for me!!!!!! Above my machine is a shelf (one that I purchased at a home improvement store) that holds books, manuals, etc, measuring 48” wide by 12” deep. Using some small spring clamps, I clamped the quilt, where needed, to the edge of the shelf……..and it worked beautifully!!!! A photo is worth a thousand words!………………………………….
A bit odd looking but no more heavy drag to reposition the quilt in order to smoothly, and without resistance, stitch!!!!! No…..it’s definitely not “rocket science” but, for those who love to quilt on their DSM/’fixed’ mid-arm, it totally eliminates some of the physical challenges that may be present.
For those of you reading this who are “long-armers” this discussion/solution may appear a tad humorous but, believe me, it really makes a difference (and, yes, it does look funny!!!!!). Anyhow, I have solved the problem without a trip to any store or any further expense……..yay!!!!!!
So, I’m off to do some quilting…………………………………