Monday, October 26, 2009

Quilting... A Workout?

The bigger the quilt gets, the more the workout! I never knew that making a quilt was such hard physical work, until I actually made one. But, once the quilt is finished, its worth the work.

Saturday, I worked on preparing "Early Autumn" for quilting. The quilt is queen size, so it needed a big empty floor space to be worked on. In the living room I have to move furniture out of the way and I knew if I didn't finish by lunch time, I'd seriously be in the way of other family members coming and going, watching tv, etc.

So I decided to use the floor in hubby's and my bedroom, upstairs. There is just enough room at the foot of the bed, if I moved a few small things on the side of the room out of the way. But, the ironing board was set up in the sewing room downstairs. I used a covered tv tray to sit the iron on in order to be able use as much of the ironing board surface as possible. My hubby and I are planning a bigger ironing surface, but don't have it done yet. :o)

Ironing a big quilt top and the quilt backing is a hard job using a standard ironing board, but it can be done:

I can't tell you how many times I ran up or down stairs while working on this quilt Saturday! If I was upstairs, the scissors were downstairs. If I was downstairs, the scissors were upstairs. LOL. Once I got the backing fabric ironed to my satisfaction, I ran upstairs with it before it got wrinkled again and proceeded to spread it out. This means walking around, and around it. Bending over, bending over, crawling around, crawling around and each of these things over and over until it was right. Then you start taping the edges down. Then the walking, bending and crawling repeat themselves many more times until this is done to my satisfaction.

The taped down quilt backing:

The special quilt batting I wanted to use, Hobbs Heirloom, was stored in a storage space in the attic. I opened the door and couldn't quite reach it without crawling around in there. I finally used our "grabber" tool to drag it out. Then, the batting had to be spread out and trimmed to fit the backing. ..... more walking around, bending, stooping, and crawling .... in between going up and down stairs.

At this point, it was time to start ironing the quilt top. After I got it ironed to my satisfaction, I ran upstairs with it to keep it from wrinkling and ALL of the walking, bending, stooping, crawling, going up and down stairs repeated again. The quilt top has to be spread out from the center and kept very smooth.

THEN I started crawling around on the floor pinning the quilt with curved safety pins made for this purpose. I did this off and on the rest of the day, right up until bedtime, when I FINALLY finished it. By this time I was barely able to move from exhaustion. One more final trip around the quilt, walking, bending, stooping and crawling to remove all the tape from the edges and then VERY carefully folding the quilt sandwich so that nothing would get wrinkled.

I was so tired by the end of the day, I was about to die!!! There was no way I could begin machine quilting as I had planned.

So if you are trying to lose some weight like I am, quilt making is just what you need to get a good workout. The muscles in my derriere, can attest to that this morning. I am sore!


Mary said...

Hi Debbie
I have never pinned a quilt by taping it on the floor. I have always used a table and clips and pinned the middle then the sides. Actually your way seems like it is a better workout and I bet does a better job at getting it right the first time. So when you pin it , you must start pinning from a side not the middle? Right? I am just trying to figure the process for the next time I pin a large quilt.

Susan said...

This workout sounds better than a treadmill! LOL I have the same problem you do in our two-story house: what I need is always on the other level!

Florrie said...

Sounds like a great workout....perhaps I should put away my 'Strictly Come Dancing' exercise dvd and concentrate on quilt making.

Pen Pen said...

what a workout... I'll bet your little derriere is all toned this morning! I could have never made a whole day of doing that kind of work... it is going to be so pretty!

Rhonda in OK said...

oh my! I am smiling at your story - those big quilts are a trick, aren't they?

Karen said...

Now that's a workout!