Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Work in Progress: Binding the Secret Project

I have been a busy bee all week. A few late nights to finish up the dense quilting and quilt once more around the appliques.

I trimmed the quilt sandwich down to size, and attached the binding to the front with the sewing machine.

Now just a bit of handstitching to finish the binding
Partially finished binding (top 2 layers in photo)

Unfinished binding and label on the back.

I promise to have a whole set of pictures when this is completed next week and no longer a secret.
Linking up to Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Work in Progress Wednesday: Finally Quilting

It has been a busy week in the sewing room. I finished the quilt back for the secret project late Friday night and my awesome Grandma came to help me sandwich it together Saturday afternoon. Then after kiddos went to bed I started quilt it together.  Monkey has been coming downstairs with me while LB naps in the morning, I get her set up watching cartoons on my laptop and playing with 'big girl' toys and I have been able to stitch for an hour or so.

I am doing dense organic lines on all the background areas. It is taking a huge amount of time, but going well. The more I work on this quilt the more it grows on my heart.
All rolled up to fit through the throat of my machine (and so you don't see too much, it is a secret project after all)

Still lots of sections need to be finished.

I am linking up with Freshly Pieced for Work in Progress Wednesday.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Happy sewing and thanks for reading

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Week 18 - 20 Fitness, Month #2 of burpees.

July is flying by this year. I have had so much going on outside of exercising, between attending the Calgary Stampede Rodeo and a stagette and working 3 to 4 days a week. I am finding it more challenging to blog and keep up on laundry, housework, sewing, etc. The good news is that despite all this craziness my stress levels are going way down (and so are my chocolate cravings).

When I started out blogging back in February and set my goals, I had a deadline of sorts to be reaching some of them. That deadline is my brother's wedding, which is just a short 2 weeks away now. Part of my goal was to lose weight and get in shape again. I can officially say that I have made big progress on both those things. 20 weeks ago I weighed 242 lbs, and today I am down to 220 lbs. 22 lbs GONE with 2 more weeks to go until wedding, and lots more time to lose more after that.

I think the biggest difference the last couple weeks, is all the moving stress finally ending (along with the stress eating that I struggle with). The 100-day burpee challenge that I started before moving to Calgary has been my daily exercise, and although it doesn't take much time every day, it does get my heart rate way up when I do it. I passed the halfway point of this challenge yesterday and it felt great to know that I am capable of doing 50 burpees and I believe by the end of the 100 days, 100 will be possible too. I think being on my feet at work isn't all bad either.

Anyway, here is what I have been doing fitness wise in July.

July 2: Walk with kiddos and dog. 32 burpees.
July 3: Walk with kiddos and dog. 33 burpees.
July 4: 34 burpees.
July 5: 35 burpees. Walk with kiddos and dog to the grocery store.
July 6: On my feet all day at work, then 36 burpees after dinner.
July 7: 37 burpees, short walk with kiddos and dog.

Week 19
July 8: 38 burpees. First day of leaving the kids with a babysitter for an couple hours so I go to work before GeoDad got home.
July 9: Only got 30 of 39 burpees done before I went to the Calgary Stampde Rodeo with GeoDad. Left the kids with a babysitter for almost 7 hours (which is definitely a record for me). I worked in the evening, making it a very long day.
July 10: 40 burpees for today, plus the 9 I missed yesterday. I did some with Monkey in the yard, which led to her crawling onto my back and making me crawl around the yard while she said 'Neigh Neigh'
July 11: 41 burpees.
July 12: 42 burpees. Sister-in-law-to-be's stagette. We did a Chair Tease Dance class, rode around in a limo and then danced our butts off at local bar. It was a great night.
July 13: Recovering from the stagette, not as young as I used to be... still did my 43 burpees after getting back to Calgary.
July 14: Worked all day, 44 burpees when I got home.

Week 20
July 15: Worked the whole afternoon and evening (much too long seems I was feeling behind on stuff at home). GeoDad convinced me to do my burpees when I got home from work. So 45 Done!
July 16: Feeling a cold coming on, pounding headache all morning, did 20 burpees before I napped at the same time as the kids. Worked in the evening. I did not finish the other 26 burpees for the day. :(
July 17: Still feeling under the weather. Spread the 26 burpees from yesterday and the 47 from today out over the whole day. But I got all 73 done and I am pleased that I made it.
July 18: 48 burpees. Pleased to report that I can do 3 sets of 16 and not be totally drenched in sweat after the first 16.
July 19: 49 burpees. Work in the evening.
July 20: Half way point of the burpee challenge. I challenged myself to do 2 sets of 25 today. With a short break in the middle of each set the time for 25 burpees was about 4 minutes. I am feeling stronger and more agile. Also, my arms are looking good.
July 21: 51 burpees. Wander around a mall while GeoDad got a haircut, pushing the kiddos in a cart.

Thanks for continuing to read and support me.


Friday, 19 July 2013

Work in Progress Wednesday..oops I mean Friday

This week is disappearing rather quickly. Between working, coming down with a cold and heading up to Red Deer for my sister-in-law-to-be's stagette on the weekend I am feeling way behind on life in general. I haven't folded laundry that has been clean for 2 days, I haven't worked on my hexagon project for more than 10 minutes and suddenly it is Thursday  Friday.

On top of all the other stuff going on GeoDad and I went car shopping yesterday  Wednesday which ate up a bunch of time. We figured the cost of repairs to his truck was higher than we cared to pay (and they had to be done to pass an out of province inspection), so we have new-to-us PT Cruiser which should help cut down on gas costs.

But good news on the sewing front. The top of the secret project is all together!!! 48 shapes appliquéd on and back up on the design wall so I can make the back. I absolutely love this quilt and it is making me happy everytime I pick it to sew it.

I have also started getting the back together. Here is sneak peak at the start of it.

My awesome Grandma is coming to help me sandwich the quilt layers together tomorrow, so the back needs to be done before then. Luckily is it very simple. 

Have a great weekend everyone

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Annoyances in the sewing room

I had a small crisis in my sewing room over the weekend. Not huge and life threatening, just minor and irritating. It has since been resolved, but I am still mulling over its consequences. It has also forced me to consider a better storage method some of my things, since it would be very annoying if this were to happen again.

So here is what was happening when the small crisis occurred.
I was busy sewing away on the secret project and had finally completed the background onto which I am appliquéing the 48 shapes I have cut out of fusible web and sewn onto fabric. I had previously decided that I did not want to use blanket stitch or satin stitch to hold my appliqué shapes in place so I had purchased some invisible thread. I was ready to rethread the sewing machine and get sewing my first shape onto the background, when lo and behold the invisible thread was nowhere to be found.

This is about when I started to panic, thinking, 'Of all the thread I could misplace, I had to misplace the invisible stuff... Invisible things are notoriously difficult to find, GRRR. This is annoying and is going to set me back for a bit while I go on the hunt'. So I went looking in all my normal spots where I keep thread; I checked the handsewing basket upstairs, I checked my storage cupboards, I checked the box I had been keeping the fabric for the secret project in, but I did not find it. I wondered if Monkey had managed to get her hands on it (and if she did, surely it would be hidden at the bottom of a toy box, never to be seen again). 

I continued to look, and eventually I did indeed find the invisible thread, it had been in my purse since the day I bought it. I was relieved both that it had been found and that, although it is called invisible thread, when it is on the spool it is very visible.

The other annoyance in the sewing room is at myself for not checking what I was buying more carefully a few weeks ago as I started on the secret project. The pattern calls for lightweight fusible interfacing, I bought fusible web. This are not easily interchangeable. The lightweight fusible interfacing I should have bought has glue on one side. The fusible web is a 2 -sided web of glue with a paper backing, the paper backing is giving me lots of trouble because it is not suppose to be in my seams, but I can't keep the shapes I am working with the right shape without the support of the paper. But once the first side it glued and the shape stiched onto the background, it is proving to be rather difficult to get all the paper off.

Anyway, on to happier things in the sewing room. Despite having some issues I have 21 of the 48 shapes stitched onto the background. I think at this rate I am going to need to decide on backing fabric asap. Here is sneak peak of a few of the shapes sewn onto the background (can you see the invisible thread?)
Yep that's right, the slightly shiny line on the dark brown is the invisible thread.

As for the silly little hexagons... 44 flowers completed. I hope to get them on the design wall this weekend to come up with an arrangement, so I can decide if the will be appliquéd onto a background or if I will make more hexagons for the background.

That's all for this week. Sorry for the lack of photos, I have worked 3 out of the last 5 days and we went to the Calgary Stampede. It has kept me busy busy busy. 

Linking up with Freshly Pieced for Work In Progress Wednesday.
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


Wednesday, 3 July 2013

WIP: Background on secret project

In between enjoying all the heat this weekend, and hosting a housewarming party I managed to get the background for the secret project sewn together. It is whopping 60" by 80" (not big by quilt standards, but cumbersome to handle anyway).  It is currenly about 10 inches longer than the pattern calls for so I intend to trim it down once the applique is done. 

I got my printer hooked up and was finally able to run some sheets of hexagon templates (using this template from Texas Freckles) for the silly little hexagon project. I basted the remaining blue hexagons (23 total) and 24 of the peachy-orange ones. The total number of completed flowers is 32, with total of 330 hexagons basted. I also have 13 flowers ready to sew (centers and petals chosen, those are stacks of hexagons below). 

I want to be cool so I am linking up with Freshly Pieced for Work in Progress Wednesday. 

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Happy Sewing and thanks for checking in.

Monday, 1 July 2013

Week 16 & 17 & June Weigh in.

Life has been crazy the last little while getting settled into the new house and new routines. I haven't found a gym yet, instead I am enjoying being able to get out in the yard with the kids. Calgary is so big that I feel like it is a 'project' to go out, and having to book several days ahead to get kids into babysitting at gym for 1 hour doesn't work great right now with LB napping early in the morning and again shortly after noon. Monkey's napping isn't helping out either, she either has a 3 hour afternoon nap, or no nap at all, and I haven't figured out which it will be on a day to day basis. I am trying to make time for exercise while the kids nap, however, there are lots of other things that need my cleaning, laundry, etc. I have had a goal to get out for a walk with the kids and dog everyday, but we had a week of crazy rain and this last week Monkey has been throwing fits if I make her wear pants. It makes leaving the house much more difficult. To add to the chaos I found some part time work at sewing/quilting store. It will be a few evenings a week and the odd weekend shift. So far I think it will be nice to get out of the house and talk with adults for a while. I am enjoying being the 100 day burpee challenge and I am finding it is doing a good job of getting me moving and getting my heart rate up.

Anyway, the house is all unpacked, the flood is over, I have started my job, maybe now we get in a routine of walking or biking everyday?

Here is what I have been doing with the last couple weeks.

June 16: We got a truck full of stuff to the new house. Carried it all in with the help of friends and family. Moving is exhausting. We own way too much stuff.
June 17: You will note I did not do any burpees yesterday. 33 for today. Plus all the work of unpacking everything we moved in. Unpacked our scale this morning, and just out of curiosity I stepped on it. 226 lbs not sure what the difference between our scale at the one at my Mom's is. But I am pleased. This brings my weight loss to 16 lbs. 
June 18: 18 burpees. Nothing else. Exhausted from moving.
June 19: Less exhausted, 19 burpees. No outside adventures, Calgary is having a massive rain storm.
June 20: Rainstorm continues. 20 burpees.
June 21: 100 000 people evacuated in Calgary due to flooding. Pretty happy I am not one of them. 21 burpees. Life is somewhat normal other than wateruse is being voluntarily restricted. 21 Burpees.
June 22: Bridal shower for my sister is law. Long drive out of town to get there because almost all the bridges are closed. Didn't do my burpees.
June 23: Return to Calgary, roads open again, water levels going down. 22 burpees from yesterday plus 23 from today. Ugh. 45 total sucks. I am not skipping a day again, its too hard to do the make up burpees.

June 24: 24 burpees at nap time.
June 25: 25 burpees at nap time.
June 26: 26 burpees at nap time. Walk with kiddos and dog. First day at my new job.
June 27: Tired from being on my feet at work. Avoided the burpees all day.
June 28: 55 burpees, 27 from yesterday and 28 from today. Did them in sets of 10 and cleaned bathrooms in between. It made 55 burpees seem less horrible and made for a nice break between each of the bathrooms.
June 29: 29 burpees. Feeling like a 30-day burpee challenge would have been a better choice, oh well. 100 days it is. I will keep going.
June 30: 30 burpees completed in 2 sets of 15.

July 1: Happy Canada Day! 31 burpees. We got the bike trailer set up this weekend and I went for my first ride towing Monkey. We didn't go far or fast, but I am super excited to get out biking more. We will need a helmet for LB, but it might be difficult to find one since he is only 10 months old.

And now for the numbers,
Weight: 225 lbs, down 5 lbs since May 30, down 17 lbs total
Chest: 35 inches (down 1 inch since May 1, down 2 inch total)
Waist: 38 inches (down 1 inches from May 1, down 4 inches total)
Hips: 50 inches (no change from May 1, down 1 inch total)

Pesky hips are slow to lose weight and inches. 
I went shopping for work clothes, and for the first time in 2 years I have some clothes that aren't yoga pants and t-shirts. This shirt was my favourite of the bunch. I feel like I have a waist again!! 

Glad you are all still reading after all these weeks. I would love to hear what you are doing for your health this summer.