Quite awhile ago I got the following question from Diane C.

I love your site, but have been looking for some tip on avoiding neck pain while appliquéing by hand. Am I the only one who has this problem?

Diane, I feel certain that you’re not! I’ve been on the lookout for some good information from you. First I’ll chime in with my own very non-expert two cents worth.

• Make sure you can see well. If you wear glasses, get your prescription up to date.
• Good lighting goes hand-in-hand with good vision. Make sure you can directly illuminate your appliqué.
• Support your work. I use the cushioned side of 12″ quilter’s pressing/cutting mat. I also put my feet up on a footstool.
• Warm up your neck, shoulders, and arms with standard stretching and rotating exercises.
• Break your appliqué up into shorter stints. Sew a little, get up and do something else. Sew and little, get up and do something else.
• Stop stitching the minute you feel strain. Get up and do some gentle reverse stretching.

So that’s what comes to my mind. Now let me direct you to a great post over at Stitch This!, the Martingale blog. It’s written for the knitter, but the information will work for any type of stitching ergonomics.

Tips for Ergonomic Knitting

Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie