Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Which Free Motion Quilting "Handed" are you?

Moving the paper versus moving the pen.

Over the last few days of stippling I've noticed that although I'm Left Handed, my Right Hand seems to be "driving" the quilt. My left hand seems to be just along to smooth the quilt out. I thought I was losing it. Perhaps just imaging it. My "Quilting Shoulders" as Moniek called them earlier are worse on my right side than on my left. The upper & outer muscles on my right arm are sore, my left is not sore at all.

I decided to take a piece of paper with a pen in my hand. I held the pen in my LEFT hand as if it were a fist so I'd be less apt to make my hand do the writing. Keeping my Left stationary I then moved the paper with my right hand, and attempted to write my name. It didn't turn out too bad. A little jerky because of the pressure I was exuding on the pen, but not bad. Then I moved the pen to my RIGHT hand and moved the paper with my left hand. Remember, I'm a Lefty. This turned out HORRIBLE but it strengthened my theory. Then I tried a stipple pattern with my paper and pen in both hands. It always came out better when my right hand was driving the paper.

I tried this with my mom…and although she kept trying to "write" and not stay stationary…wanting to buck my experiment hers did come out the same as mine, it was unmistakable. Her paper that was driven with her left hand was far better than that of her right. She is Right handed.

I had my friend Diane try it. Diane isn't a quilter so I thought she'd be good to test it on. She's Right Handed. When she drove the paper with her left hand it was better than when she drove it with her right.

Could this be some weird Right Brain/Left Brain thing? I remember the joke way back from my High School Psychology classes that, "Only Left handed people are in their Right mind." I know, I know right now all the righties are revolting but that was a good mnemonic for remembering which side of the brain that the creativity was on.

Give the paper driving test a try, let me know your results because now I'm curious if this phenomenon reaches beyond my 3 test subjects. Then, try your hand at free motion quilting and see which one of your hands seems to be dominant…have a glass of wine and really take your mind off what you're trying to accomplish.

Could it be that people are fighting with their hands and that's why people get so frustrated free motion quilting?

Tuesday, July 31, 2007 - Right brain left brain NO brain?
Posted by Anonymous
That's me! Oh, hi Jen! Well, I tried your little experiment. It was hard NOT to move the hand with the pencil...I am right handed.........but by some of the dumb things I do, I have been told I should have been left handed. For instance. Pick up an old camera that you have to look through the view finder. How do you look through it? Most people, put the camera in front of their right eye, and look through the view finder. Not Michelle! I put the camera in front of both eyes, and look through my left eye. I am right handed, and if I try to throw a ball with my right hand, it does not go straight at all. If I throw with my left hand, which I am not left handed, it goes straight! Go figure!

So Jen, by trying to move the paper with my right and, I didn't do as well as when I moved it with my left hand. I don't know where that theory goes, but that's how it worked for me.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007 - Untitled Comment
Posted by CountryQuilter
Okay, you know I don't do free motion quilting, but I will try this for you and let you know the results...

Tuesday, July 31, 2007 - Untitled Comment
Posted by lori
I'm right handed and I drive with my right hand ,I feel like a odd ball LOL . Of course I'm just a newbie so who knows with more practice I may do it your way .

Wednesday, August 1, 2007 - Untitled Comment
Posted by 51050
I tried your little test and it came out neater when I drove with my left hand. I'm right handed. But I think when I actually do the stippling I drive with my right hand. I think that's because there's usually less fabric to grab onto under the machine. I will have to play around with that a little. Good point! Rhoda

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