I finally got to start hand sewing again after a forced break of two months.
Two months without a needle and thread in my hand!
It was hard, but I did as I was told and my hand/arm/shoulder are doing much better now. 🙂
Several people have asked if I’m doing anything different to prevent future injuries, so I thought I’d write up a post with some more info.
In a nutshell – yes. I’m doing a lot of things differently.
First, and most importantly, I’m not stitching for hours and hours without a rest. And when it starts to hurt – I stop. Immediately. That’s kind of the no-brainer fix. 🙂
But I’m doing other things too.
Before I start stitching, I warm up my right hand and wrist. Literally make it warm. I’m one of those annoying people who are always cold, so I run it under warm water, or wrap it under a blanket for a few minutes before I start work.
I’m also paying more attention to my tools and supplies. The one thing that still gives me pain sometimes is pinching something between my thumb and forefinger. Like a needle! I’ve learned that thicker threads are much harder to grab and pull – they just require more force. But I love using thick thread for embroidery! So I’ve done two things.
I break up my thick-thread sewing with some thin thread sewing. I would normally do all the thin-thread whipstitching all my pieces down first, then move into all the decorative stitching with thicker thread. Now I do a bit of thin thread whipstitching, then immediately embellish those bits with some thicker thread. That helps a lot.
But I’m also using a different needle type. I usually use embroidery needles because they have a nice big eye. But the sides of that eye bow out, which makes the eye significantly wider than the rest of the needle. That makes it harder to pull through the fabric, which means I need to pinch the needle harder, which makes the base of my thumb hurt very quickly. I’ve been experimenting with using milliner’s needles because their eyes don’t bow out. It’s definitely better, but I’m still trying to find the right length for me. I’ll keep you posted as I finish experimenting.
For the thin thread sewing I’m using the very thinnest needle I can find. It really does make a difference. I’ve also experimented with different glues, but so far nothing is better than my favorite fabric glue sticks. As long as I don’t use too much, it’s pretty easy to needle through.
So that’s it! Warm up first, take breaks, and use the tools and supplies that cause the least strain. Want a little peek at the new piece so far?
Every month (on the 15th) members get a new pattern for a fun applique quilt block.
The blocks are all sized to finish at 10 inches square – so you can join them together into a funny faces quilt, or mix and match them with my other quilt patterns. They’re so much fun to play with!
This is Paxton Penguin – he’s the first block in the club, available to members right now. Isn’t he a cutie?
Here’s another version – in classic black and white.
You don’t have to make a quilt. You’ll also get free patterns for lots of other projects you can make with a single quilt block – pillows, tote bags, receiving blankets. placemats, and more. 🙂
The club includes complete video instructions for Quilt as You Go and applique with fusible adhesive – my favorite way to make quilts.
As long as your membership is active, you’ll have access to the virtual clubhouse where you’ll download your new pattern every month, find all the video lessons, ask questions, and chat with other club members – and share photos of your finished funny faces!
The color palette is the Pretty Pinks fabric bundle. I like the colors so much that I think I’m going to use it for every month’s block pattern. I’ll end up with a pretty pink quilt with lots of different funny faces. 🙂
Download your wallpaper below – there are options both with and without the April calendar.
There are a LOT of free lessons here at Shiny Happy World.
That’s awesome – but sometimes it can be a little overwhelming.
Do you want to learn to make a quilt using my super easy Quilt As You Go method, paired with painless applique with fusible adhesive?
Then I’ve got the perfect free workshop for you!
It pulls all of my QAYG and applique lessons together in one place, and arranges them in the best way for you to learn the whole process from start to finish. We cover everything from fabric and supplies, to picking a pattern, and all the strps of the process – including binding your quilt!
This class is for you if. . .
You’ve never made a quilt of any kind.
You’ve made pieced quilts but have never tried applique.
You’ve made applique quilts but want to try a new method.
You’ve made pieced and applique quilts but you’ve never tried Quilt As you Go.
You already know how to make all kinds of quilts and you want to make one with some new friends.
This class will take you step by step through everything you need to know to make a cute and cuddly quilt!
You work through the lessons at your own pace – using any pattern you like. There are even several free block patterns you can download to give it a try!
The class is organized on the Teachable platform, designed especially for online workshops. When you follow the link below you’ll be prompted to create a Teachable log in and password. You can use that same log in to sign up for any of the classes and workshops I host on Teachable.