How to Relax Quilting Pantos?


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I'm currently quilting a panto on a king-size quilt. I keep finding myself hunched over and tightly gripping the handles, and even though I remind myself to relax, it doesn't take long to be back to the same tight position. Then I'm sore and need to take a break. How do you all keep yourself from tensing up when quilting pantos?

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just keep practicing! the more you do the less 'tense' you'll be. I do find that my right hand will be gripping that handle a bit harder than I like, so i've taught myself to quilt with my right hand on the left handle and my left hand resting on the bar. For most pantos, this works for me. When I am 2-handing it, i just remind myself to relax that right hand every so often. I haven't found myself tensing up per se ... just keep on doing them and it gets easier and easier. Just glide along doing the panto-shuffle!!

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I use a cervical collar around my neck when I quilt to greatly relieve shoulder and neck pain. It has made a world of difference for me. Be sure to get the correct fit, if you get one or it may not help as much. I would get so much pain in my shoulders and up the back of my neck that I would get a headache and have to stop quilting.

The collar makes it possible to quilt longer, especially when using pantographs or boards. It supports your head and relaxes the muscles so they don’t knot up and cause pain.

Becky

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I actually quilt my pantos one handed. I am standing to the left of the machine and I hold onto the left side handle with my right hand and I hold onto the take up roller with my left hand. This keeps me looking right down at the panto as I go, not looking over to the left with my head turned. It's much more comfortable for me to do it this way. I keep my right elbow tucked in tightly to my body so the arm is rigid (pretty much) and I can guide the machine easily. I've always done it this way and it works well. I could never get used to two-handed guiding the machine. I like standing to the side and moving along with it.

Oh and music is nice, too.

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I make "Myrna-like sounds". Anyone who has had classes with her knows what I'm talking about...kinda between a whistle and a shush and follows the movements of the pattern. LOL.

Like Shana, I stand on the left and only use one hand. Music is always helpful, but wine...not tried that.

Anita

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Watch Myrna Ficken's Beginning Longarm Quilting DVD. Everyone on this board encouraged me to just relax, etc. but I still was clutching those darned handles and driving as if I were in a Grand Prix car. Then I got Myrna's DVD. She actually demos quilting a panto. Oops, she says, missed that line. Quilt Quilt. Oops, missed that line. etc.

The next one I did, I didn't stress about missing a line by even quite a bit, as long as I hit the tops and bottoms so my rows would line up. When I took the quilt off the machine, even I couldn't tell where I had missed, and the customer thought it was wonderful. Since then, no stress other than getting the darned quilt loaded square and keeping it square - but the stitching - no problem.

I also took Myrna's advice to stand a bit to the side. And just holding the handles with my fingertips. But the thing that made me stress was that fear that the quilt would be "ruined" if I missed the line by 1/2 inch. Not so.

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  • 3 months later...

Try keeping your elbows at your sides...hands lightly holding the handles (I also only use my thumbs and index fingers on the handles), instead of moving your arms, sway your body to some enjoyable music...and you will find yourself relaxing more and your movements will be much smoother.

I haven't done a panto in awhile..but used to only do pantos & this worked for me.

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I use the right hand on the back of the machine and the left hand on the handle. The right hand kind of helps to push the machine.

I have a problem moving down smoothly. I had surgery on my left foot and for some reason I can't get that foot moved in time to move smoothly. I have to stop each time to take a step. Does someone have a hint for that?

I'm hoping the Bobbin Cam and working right in front of the machine will help since I will leading on the other foot.

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