Friday, January 23, 2015

Do You Have an Sewing Nest?

Many quilters have a wonderful U shape desk set-up which allows them to cut, sew and iron by just turning in a twirly chair.  It puts all your tools right where you use them making it convenient and generally gives you more time to actually sew. I've dubbed it the "sewing nest." 

On the other hand, I've always had a separate ironing board and I've purposely chosen to put it a bit farther away than where I sew.  And, now, I feel somewhat encouraged (vindicated?).  Have you been reading the headlines about "sitting disease?"  Yikes.  A new report from Annals of Internal Medicine reports average people spend more than half of their waking time sitting.   And, the more sedentary you are the more likely you will die earlier than someone who is moving. You know you have way too much fabric so you need to be around for a long, long time! You can read a bit about the study in this post on Harvard Health Blog.

With the elimination of our "sewing nest" we could be prime examples of making sure we exercise just a little bit every 30 minutes or so. Here's a typical sewing process for me.  I will prep the next step for my project (and sometimes more than one project) standing at the ironing board.  I then walk across the studio, sit down and sew all the seams plus my leader/ender.  I stand up, walk back across the room and do my ironing and prep the next units for sewing, go back across the room and sew. It goes on all day (or however long I have for my sewing.)  In addition, my studio is upstairs and lunch is downstairs, I always get some walking and movement into my studio time.  

From this research all sorts of trends have started including the stand up desk. Well, it might be a trend now but evidently Thomas Jefferson, our 3rd president, used a stand up desk.  Some folks have attached a desk to a treadmill to walk and work at the same time. (Yikes, I'd probably sprain an ankle doing that or at the very least have way more typos than I do now.) I'm evaluating my non-sewing time to see how I can be more active.  

The take-away from this post is to look at your sewing time and see if you can add some more motion to it.  I pride myself on not being much of a tv watcher but instead of watching, I'm generally poking on the computer or reading a book either on a tablet, iPhone or a real book.  So maybe I'm not doing as well as I think I am.  Check out this article from the Washington Post about the health hazards of sitting. As much as I complain about getting up at 7 am 4 times a week to hit the Y, I am sure it is very good for me!  Now, I just need to cut back my night-owl tendencies. 

Here's my latest finish after sitting for too many hours! I wish I had knit a nice long cuff done in knit, pearl rather than an inch or so and then the stockinette stitch for so much of the sock.  These will probably be slouch socks. But, I love the colors and they are DONE! 

I also received a squishy in the mail today.  Irma sent her blocks to me for my turn with FCQ Equilters.  She had Nov/Dec blocks which I mailed to her yesterday.  I'm Jan/Feb so she is really on top of things since January isn't even over yet.  Thanks Irma.  

Both of these blocks are going with UFOs I uncovered when I was working on the first 15 Minute Spiff Up post.  The little candy corn blocks will go with the Halloween blocks to be made up into a wall hanging.  The Happy Blocks will be joining my other happy blocks to make some more quilts for the NICU at a local hospital.  

That's it for today.  I want to get a quilt on and off Ruthie so I can then do one of my quilts which will take a couple of days.  Let me know how you are putting some more motion in your quilting time. 

Happy Quilting Folks.  


  1. I saw that article, but I didn't read it. I've always purposefully put my ironing board far away from my sewing to encourage movement. And I cut while standing. I once had an isurance agent who had the assistant (you know the person who actually does all the work) who stood at her desk. She had diabetes and was telling me that since changing to standing, her blood sugar plummented. She also said her boss wasn't thrilled by the idea, and her husband had to make all the "lifts" for her computer, etc. so that she could still function in her job. I think her boss should have welcomed it.

  2. Good post. The sitting has always concerned me, so I never practiced the efficiency of the ironing board beside the sewing machine. In this house, my other option is ironing in the laundry room, for goodness sakes. That room is on the other side of the house! I've stopped telling people that I don't watch TV. The time I spend at the computer probably equals what might have been TV time. And now that books are so accessible on the reader... oh my. It must be a conspiracy to keep me sitting down! :-)

  3. My sewing room is so small that I am forced to stand every time I need to press something. That's a good thing! I do a lot of sitting in the evenings which is when I knit. I've recently developed night-owl tendencies that I need to break.

  4. I have a thermal cover on my cutting table that also allows me to use it for pressing. Like you, I sew a bit, press a bit, cut a bit and then repeat. So I'm up and around the studio a lot during the time I'm sewing.

  5. I've been hearing about people sitting too much too, and purposely put my ironing board in another room so I have to walk in there. Or at least I did. Lately I moved it beside my sewing machine and lowered it so I can use it while I sit. But mainly I needed it beside my sewing table to keep the quilts from hanging down and pulling on the needle. Maybe I'll get my new sewing table built this weekend and solve all my problems.


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