4 Things Quilters Need to Do More Often

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Clean the lint out of your machine

People don't realize how much the build up of lint can affect their stitch quality. Hint: it's a lot. My bobbin will actually start to make a distinct rattling noise once it's passed a lint threshold, so I'm always mindful. If you have a drop in bobbin, it's important to lift out the entire bobbin case and dust under there as well. Just remember not to use a can of air unless you have an open path for that dust to exit the machine. Otherwise you're just blowing the mess further inside.

Give your cutting mat a spa day

Cutting mats take a lot of abuse and don't get nearly enough love. You can extend the life of your cutting mat by keeping it hydrated. Yes, hydrated. Once a week (or sooner if it seems dusty), I spray my mat with a water from a squirt bottle and wipe it down. Every couple months or so, I'll put it in my bathtub and fill it with enough warm water to cover it. I soak it for 10 minutes before rubbing it down with a washcloth to work out any fiber bits that have gotten stuck in the cuts on the mat.

Stretch those muscles

I always feel silly when I tell people how I'm experiencing muscle pain in my upper back and shoulders from binding a quilt or doing EPP. At a recent checkup, my doctor made me feel a little better about it. She told me that any kind of repetitive movement, even small movements like hand stitching, are likely to cause pain over time. She showed me some upper back stretches to do every half hour or so when doing handwork and it's helped immensely! Doing stretches for quilting may sound dorky, but it's better than an aching body.

Wear sunscreen

Just because you're sitting inside doesn't mean you're immune to sun damage. Chances are you have some kind of natural light in your sewing area, and that means you're being exposed to UV rays. Even compact fluorescent light bulbs can emit UV radiation (which is one of the reasons I use LED bulbs). Sun damage is the number one cause of skin aging. If you don't believe me, just look at this photo of a professional truck driver. I wear sunscreen on my face every single day. And no, the SPF in your makeup is not enough. You should be applying 1/4 teaspoon of sunscreen to your face. As a personal note, I've found that Korean and Japanese sunscreens both feel and perform better than heavy, greasy American brands that leave you looking like Casper. I personally love Tonymoly's Mango SPF50+ PA+++.

1 comment :

  1. Window glass blocks UVB rays, but not always UVA. Most sunblock, however, only lists protection against UVB - SPF numbers only refer to UVB. (UVA certainly can burn - it is often used in tanning beds). If you're using sunblock indoors, you need to look for 'broad spectrum' in the states or 'P++' - 'P+++' on Japanese sunblock.