. . . . . . Enjoying the journey of quilting

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Quilting is Like Wrestling an Alligator

And as you can see this alligator is quite smug because at the moment he is resting since this quilter (me) needed a break. Will he win or will the quilter return to hefting the quilt through a small hole on a domestic machine? He watches on at the flushed faced quilter, brushing her hand across her sweaty forehead, stripping GrabARoo gloves off, groaning with the aches and pain across the shoulder blades and neck, and grabbing for a swig of water. Hehehehe! Quilter chugs more water and sighs pondering as to whether she can quilt  just one more line of stitching from corner to corner, maybe 2 more.  

Hmmm, what's happening on facebook. Steve Martin 67 has his first child. His wife is 41. Oh that is a scary thought - a newborn at that stage of life!

Well Facebook surfing isn't helping me to get back into the match. Maybe a little web surfacing I can find some great ideas for handling large size quilts. Here are a couple of tips found at Modern Quilt's website worth trying:

  • Push the sewing table into the corner against the wall. This will prevent the quilt from hanging down the back and left sides and reducing drag on the quilt.
  • Have the quilt rest against my chest versus sitting in my lap.
  • Position my left arm and hand underneath the quilt instead of resting on the top.
Okay Mr. Gator let's see who finishes this day with a smug smile. First had to move furniture around to put the sewing table in the corner. Behind and underneath was hideaway storage which some of it made its way into another bedroom closet and the remaining is piled and stacked high needing a new home. It's beginning to be quite cluttered again!

I think it was a tie.  Though utilizing the above tips gave more ease I still felt like I was wrestling and feel much like I do after a workout at Planet Fitness.  I wish I had, I wish I had, I wish I had a longer throat on my machine. That would have made a BIG difference! I did sew 2 1/2 rows. I ran out of bobbin thread and decided to call it a day.

If you like the gator picture it was free from the following website:


Wishing all a goodnight. Tomorrow will be another day.


  1. Rest your tired shoulders and back, Joanie. Tomorrow is a new beginning!
    I didn't realize Steve Martin was that old, I was happy for him, but I see what you mean...oh, well, they can afford a nanny,lol ~

    1. Pokey, I have rested my tired and aching shoulders and back and look forward to seeing what today will be like. I spent the last couple of days doing data entry which uses those same shoulder, neck and back muscles. Today those muscles will be used for quilting only. I am anxious to complete a UFO that has been in the making for way too long! The quilt is for someone who knows that it is being made for them. I am looking forward to gifting them with it.

      Funny the same thought crossed my mind - Steve Martin will have all the assistance he needs to raise his child. He looks quite content and happy in the picture. I'm happy for him!

  2. Quilting is definitely an upper body workout. You're on the right track with your set up though. I do all of my quilting on a domestic machine with a "normal" opening. Do your best to fluff it up so that there isn't any drag in the front. Keep the bulk of the quilt on that cabinet in front, not on your lap.

    It is a beautiful quilt. I'm sure the recipient is going to LOVE if.

    Happy quilting!

    1. I have the strongest neck and back muscles!! Thank you for stopping by and encouraging me onward. I spent a couple hours quilting this morning and the one thing that really helped was keeping the quilt out of my lap. I don't know that I had ever specifically focused on doing this before. It certainly lessens the drag!

  3. Thank you for the tips on wrestling the gator. Gypsy Girl is still laying on the bed ready to quilt. Yes, I'm procrastinating on the internet. I want a long arm, but would I still procrastinate? I usually quilt an hour and rest. My shoulder complains alot. Good for Steve Martin-I thought maybe he was gay. lol

    1. Me too! Me too! I am dreaming of a longarm machine! But for the mean time I will put into practice tips for quilting on a domestic machine. I can hear my mother "Be Practical Joanne!" Oh how I didn't care much to hear that.

  4. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a lovely comment and a thread trail so I could find your blog. When you compared quilting on your home machine to wresting with an alligator I could really relate. Lol. I have quilted larger quilts like this on my home machine ... including a queen size one on my older machine that had a 7 inch throat. When I can, I take my larger quilts to my LQS and rent their long arm and do FMQ. So much easier. At home, I wear gloves, tuck the quilt against my chest and twist and fold and turn and roll ... and wrestle. I have tried putting my machine against a wall to do this, but it does not work real well for me. Not enough room to move the quilt. I fold the sides do they do not hang off the table ... of course, sometimes they unroll and hang off the table. I have not tried putting my left hand under the quilt. That is a tip I shall have to try next time. When I am done, I always feel sooooooooo accomplished. Your quilt is beautiful! :-) Pat

    1. You have quite a lovely blog Scrapatches - Pat now that I know your first name. I have an almost King Size quilt on my bed that I line quilted. It is one of my favorite quilts. It is made up of 3 inch nine patch blocks. I quilted it with monofilament thread.

      While quilting my gloves were off and on. It depended on my mood. At times I wanted to feel the fabric while other times I wanted/needed the non-slip impact that the gloves offer.

      I actually ended up alternating which hand or arm was under the quilt. At times when there was so much bulk I would drive my right arm underneath to keep the quilting moving through.


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