Sunday, 3 July 2011

Waiting for the serve

We're not huge sports fans in our family. But we do enjoy the tennis, especially Wimbledon. We were enjoying the men's finals today. Watching the games I notice this moment of tension waiting for the serve. The crowds get quiet and the player gets in position rocking slightly back and forth, poised to go in any direction to return the serve. Now I realize that quilting is not a sport! But sometimes we forget that it is a physical activity. We can certainly learn from the pros to get the most out of our own performance.

I like to use this 'waiting for the serve' to illustrate a good technique for machine quilting on a frame. When we are standing at the frame concentrating on our quilting it is easy to get tense. Our bodies stiffen up and our feet seem to get rooted to the floor. All the tension can make us stiff and our movements jerky. Then instead of moving with the pattern we lean until we just can't reach any more. We can correct this fault by adopting a 'waiting for the serve' position. Gently rocking back and forth on the balls of your feet loosens you up. The tension just disappears. When that happens your line of stitching becomes noticeably smoother. This rocking movement also makes it easier to move with the pattern up and down the length of your quilt. Next time you're at the quilt frame give the 'waiting for the serve' position a try. It's a winner.

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