I am armed…

… and here are the weapons I’m going to use in the battle to sort out my wrists!

  • Weapon 1: Mouse

I was using a bog-standard symmetrically shaped mouse at both home and work. My physio suggested getting an ergonomic one that would tilt my hand to the right and as I never need much convincing to go on a gadget hunt, I decided to take his advice!

At bit of research suggested that a vertical mouse would be the ultimate in ergonomics, but after trying something similar at work, I found it really hard to use precisely because you use your whole arm to move the mouse, rather than just the wrist. Whilst this is probably a good thing for sorting out my wrist, it just wasn’t practical for getting work done, so I went for a more standard mouse that is shaped to tilt my hand slightly. So far it seems ok, and I haven’t had any pain at work this week, which is good 🙂

  • Weapon 2: Rotary cutter

I cut left-handed and although my left wrist isn’t too bad right now, I went on the hunt to see if there was such a thing as an ergonomic rotary cutter, and it turns out there is! The Ergo 2000 is an ergonomic cutter from Martelli and I managed to find a shop in the UK that sold them. Well, they only sold the left-handed ones, but that was fine for me.

It looks kinda odd, but it fits perfectly in the palm of my hand and keeps my wrist straight so I’m looking forward to trying it out. The only worry is that I can’t find anywhere in the UK that sells the blades. The packaging says that other blades can be used if they have a circular centre hole but I haven’t found anything like that either. I guess if the worst comes the the worst, I can get the blades shipped from the US.

  • Weapon 3: The Gypsy Gripper

I had this delivered to work and had some interesting reactions from my colleagues when I opened it up, because it kind of looks like an oversized toy telephone receiver when turned on its side! If you haven’t come across the Gypsy Gripper, it’s a handle which can be temporarily attached to rulers, mainly so that your hand is away from the rotary cutter in case you slip whilst cutting.

I got it so that I won’t need to hold my ruler with my hand flat on the ruler and my wrist at a 90 degree angle. Instead, my wrist will be nice and straight. Both my physio and a commenter on my previous post suggested getting something like this so fingers crossed it’ll help.

Having bought all this stuff, I still plan on staying away from rotary cutting for another week or two. But it’s made me a lot happier knowing that I have tools that should help once I start up again. Until then, it’s embroidery for me, or possibly hexagons. There seems to be a lot of hexagon craftyness going on right now, and I’m starting to feel the need to jump on the bandwagon 😉

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Um, I appear to have been shopping…

There are two big quilt shows in my area during the year and the spring one is on right now. I took a day off work to go with my friends Anna and Sarah, as a pre-wisdom-tooth-extraction-treat (they’re coming out tomorrow, eek!).

We had plans to have an easy day looking at lovely quilts and buying some nice fabric, but we arrived to a complete scrum. I have never seen quite so many little old ladies politely elbowing each other in a bid to get at the sale bins. Crazy!

In the end I spent way too much money, but as I told hubby, I only bought what I’d planned to get:

  • Pink fabrics for my crazy Baby Jane
  • Blue and green fabrics for a baby quilt
  • Smaller cutting mat so I can fit both my machine and my mat on the table at the same time
  • 2.5″ square ruler
  • Ring thimble

Then I remembered about the cute baby book panel I got. Oh and the the mini jelly roll (but it was only £8.50 and is full of lovely greens and purples). Then there’s the bells to put in fabric covered foam blocks that I’m going to make at some point. Plus the pack of binding clips and a back issue of a magazine with a great pattern in it…

But other than that, I totally stuck to my list 🙂

I did manage to wangle a freebie carry case for my sewing machine though and I also found out I’m entitled to a free 1 hour lesson on my machine. It should have been mentioned when I bought the machine but it wasn’t. So that’ll be useful.

It wasn’t all shopping though! We spent some time looking at the quilts and there were some truly gorgeous ones, including an incredible one inspired by this.

All in all, it was a good day, and I have lots of fabric to drool over once I’ve had my teeth out! Oh and I’ve given Anna and Sarah permission to slap me if I even mention buying fabric in the next few months…

A step closer to insanity

I recently posted about how I was thinking of making a Dear Jane quilt. Well, I’ve just bought the book and the ruler set…! I only meant to buy the book, so I could look at the blocks and see if they’re do-able. But I’m getting really into the idea of making a Baby Jane and this seems to be the only shop in the UK that sells the rulers (and I’ve done A LOT of searching) so I thought I should get them whilst I can!

In case anyone else is looking for the Dear Jane rulers in the UK, then try Creative Grids. They don’t seem to rank very well in google’s search, but they have lots of great stuff and the P&P is reasonable. I think they’re my new favourite shop for notions!

Doh!

Can’t stop, I’m off to write out “KT is an eejit!” 100 times then practice my FMQ! Turns out my new FMQ foot is ok after all – I thought I needed to move the foot position, but what I really needed to do was move the needle.

My machine has left and centre needle positions, and after reading the manual, I found out that when it’s on the left setting, the position can be fine tuned, so I can move it such that the needle doesn’t hit the foot. Awesome! I’m so impressed with my machine – for a pretty basic model, it sure has a lot of useful features 🙂

New goodies, part 1

So the first of 3, yes 3, packages arrived today. The goodies were a permanent ink pen in pink for making a label for the Roses for Rosa quilt, some variegated thread for quilting said quilt, fabric for my rainbow cushion and the
pièce de résistance, a free-motion quilting foot!!!

I was so excited to get this parcel. The thread is the perfect colour for the quilt, the fabric is lovely and as for the FMQ foot… well it doesn’t fit 😦 I’m gutted. I was raring to go and had a mini quilt sandwich ready and waiting. It’s not a brother foot, so I did double-check with the store and they said it would fit, but it doesn’t – it sits too far to the right, so the needle hits the foot. I’m wondering if I can put a washer on the screw or something so that it sits further to the left, but I’m not sure.

So in the absence of a picture of very, very bad FMQ, here is my rainbow fabric instead! I have 6 mini charm packs of 30 * 2 1/2″ squares so that should give me lots of choice for a design…

Rainbow fabric

Gadgets!

So I decided to order some gadgets and they’ve just arrived! I now have the basics needed for rotary cutting: a 6″ x 24″ Omnigrip ruler, an 18″ x 24″ OmniMat and a 45mm deluxe olfa rotary cutter. The cutter has a safety button plus the blade is only extended when you grip the handle. I figure this is probably a good idea because other rotary cutters require you to manually retract the blade each time you put it down and I’m sure I’d forget to do this!

I also bought a 12.5″  square Omnigrip ruler as baby quilt 3 needs 12″ blocks, a white pencil for marking quilting patterns and a template from Marti Michell for cutting dog ears off triangles as apparently that makes them easier to align and sew together.

I haven’t used any of them yet, but I’m looking forward to the weekend when I can try cutting the boarders and binding for baby quilt 2.

Oh and there are two different types of Omnigrid rulers, Omnigrid and Omnigrip. It took me a while to work out the difference (other than £2!)  but I finally realised that Omnigrip have a special backing which is meant to prevent the ruler grip the fabric and stop it sliding when you’re cutting.

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