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I hear you about the aching wrists and hands. I didn't start quilting until age 52 after less than wonderful carpal tunnel release surgery left me with a bum wrist and thumb. But never mind about that. Weak wrist added to too many birthdays plus I've learned that you need to cut while standing up at the table ... never try to cut while sitting down.
And I think cutting one layer of fabric at a time with an acrylic ruler and rotary cutter is the wrong way to go.
(At least in my experience it does not work well at all.)
Two layers of fabric or four layers of fabric give your acrylic ruler something to sink into when you press down on it.
A very sharp rotary blade is your best friend. Then you do not have to press down so hard.
(Pardon me for asking but when was the last time you put a new blade in your rotary cutter? Many of us ignore changing to a new blade because they are so doggoned expensive.)
Ask Santa Claus for new blades as stocking stuffers. Ask family members for gift certificates to JoAnn's for your birthday so you can buy new rotary cutting blades. Do whatever it takes to get new rotary blades. LOL
End of suggestions from me.
Others will have more.
I appreciate the suggestions.
I have changed my blades , several times. Probably more than I should but they are good and sharp.
Another suggestion - don't try to cut too much at one time, and take frequent breaks. I have often overdone it with cutting too much in one day, and my hands and wrists paid the price the next day.
I have a lovely friend who is an award-winning quilter, but a few years ago she suffered a stroke. She can no longer handle the cutting part, but she has a wonderful husband who does her cutting for her. And now she is back to piecing quilts again! Now, I am NOT suggesting that you get your husband to do your cutting. Hah! But you might find a local fellow quilter who might be able to help you out sometimes. Y'all could probably come up with something nice that you could do for her in return. Just an idea!
I have a friend here who has been quilting for about 30 years. She helps me some but is more of a "you are not going to master it if you don't do it" kind of teacher. She will stand next to me and give me pointers. When it all goes too far south she does take over and give me a break, teaching the whole time with words. But, she is moving in April........ :(
That's grand to know about your rotary blades ... looks like I was "preaching to the choir" as the saying goes.
Mishii I just brought one around Christmas time.Have not open it up yet.I have the electric one.I hope to use it alot with my dresses , bags quilt's for charity.
People demonstrating/teaching on video (or anywhere)how to do FMQ. BUT they are using either a machine with a large throat or Long Arm. Neither of which a lot of folks have.
Several of my friends have suggest buying a new machine like their's. LOL and their's are always on the blink.. in the shop etc. My vintage machines always work.
I love Candy Glendening's QAYG by Column method of quilting. At least those of us who have normal home machines can still quilt large quilts. I have learned that leaving a full 1/2 seam allowance between columns when attaching the next is best. AND I now make the entire back in one piece, which works really well. too.
My vintage machines always work.
You said it, Tuckyquilter! I service my 1948 Singer myself (whenever I happen to think about doing it).
The old singers are the best. Mine range from a 1910 Singer Redeye Treadle, 2 early 50's 401A's, 301A, 1952 Singer Featherweight, 1967 Singer Touch & Sew.
I also have a 1974 Sears Kenmore, 1938 White Rotary and a really bad, does not sew nice 415 Janome. The Janome is the worst machine I've ever sewn on. Bar none.
My son & family gave me a Brother Serger for Christmas a couple of years back and I love having that for stretch sewing.
I totally agree about the vintage machines. That's all I care to sew on. The--y are dependable and sew through just about everything. I got and tried a "plastic" machine and did not like it--poor thing has only been used a coupe of times for decorative stitches.