Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Priority Me

I'm not sure why this post has been so hard to write. I find the longer the absence from the blog the harder is to get my blog-voice back. Anyway, I've thought about checking in here and letting you know about what I've been doing. No, there has not been any sewing except for a Santa Sack on Xmas Eve.

This is what I've been working on:

2012 was always going to be the year of "Me". Finding ways to make myself more of a priority - getting my hair cut more than every 6 months, getting my legs waxed more frequently, taking care of my skin, getting pedicures and most importantly (and the most difficult) losing the baby weight.

So for the last 20 weeks I've been on Michelle Bridge's team doing the 12WBT (12 Week Body Transformation). Clearly my body is a long term project - 12 weeks just ain't enough!! :-) I had considered joining Weight Watchers earlier in the year but didn't want to attend meetings, the online program seemed expensive without any support and there wasn't anywhere convenient for the one-on-one consultation. So for most of 2012, whilst it was on my mind I didn't do anything about getting healthier.

After seeing 12WBT was Liked a few times by friends on Facebook I finally checked out their website and signed up within 24hrs.  For $200 you get a Nutrition Plan, Exercise Plan, Shopping List, Recipe Index, Motivational & Workout Videos, Forums and more. Everyone signs up and starts each round at the same time and finishes at the same time.  I have been so blessed because I found a Facebook group of women (and a couple of men) within my area which has been a huge place of inspiration and support. Without the FB group I would've been less motivated, the 12WBT forums were not cutting it for me.  Every week people organise bootcamps, runs & walks, gym sessions, yoga, etc. This weekend I've organised a group of us to go to Rollerfit (I was a roller skating whizz as a girl).

Feb 2012

So I'm on Wk 8 of Round 4, it has been much more difficult to achieve weight loss over Xmas but at least I have managed to lose a few kilos before Xmas and keep it in check.  I have 4 weeks left of this Round and I'm 6kg (13 pounds) away from the goal I set myself.  Overall my goal is to lose another 16kg (35 pounds) so I plan to sign up again for Round 1 2013 (starting as soon as the current round finishes).

I'm not getting any kudos for talking about 12WBT here, yes I am a raving fan! :-) The nutrition plan is really sensible - you eat carbs, protein, fruit and vegetables, pulses and legumes, nuts etc.  This was the most important thing to me - to eat well.  I don't believe carb-free or shake diets are of benefit long term. The 12WBT plan is how I always tried to eat but didn't have the guidelines for proper portions. My whole family eats what I eat, I don't have the time to cook separate meals for everyone.  My husband was so impressed with my results from Round 3 that he signed up for Round 4 with me (he only needs to lose about 10-15kg).

Dec 2012

The most amazing thing that has come from all this is that I am now a "Runner" (slow jogger). About half way through Round 3 I downloaded the free version of C25k app (Couch to 5km) and have consistently been doing the program three times a week. I can now run for 30mins non-stop (about 3kms / 1.86 miles). My goal is to get to 5km / 3.1 miles (I did a 5km run two weeks ago but had to walk for a few minutes in the middle).  My first fun run is coming up in a month - The Color Run which I'm looking forward to and about 60 people from my 12WBT Facebook group are going to be doing it too.  I joined a local gym but I'm finding it hard to make the gym a part of the routine too, I want to put some focus on strength training since increasing muscle (not body building) will increase metabolism.

So there you have it.  I do want to fit sewing back into my life too. There are too many WIPs laying around and I still don't have any nice sofa cushions!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Diamond Ring Quilt for DUDQS3

Here is my finished quilt for The Down Under Doll Quilt Swap 3 which was made for Lorraine.  Lorraine was pretty easy going, she likes colour but her favourites are orange and green.  Initially I had a hard time coming up with a colour palette using both of those colours. The beauty of swaps are that they force you to use colours that you wouldn't normally use and sometimes the process has you feeling really uncomfortable but I was so relieved when I came up with a combo that would please my partner and that I was happy with too.

The design inspiration came from this quilt by Green Bee Designs that was photographed at Quilt Market earlier this year.  The design had stuck in my head and I wanted to challenge myself and work out the pattern.  The diamond wedges are paper pieced and then the wedges are put together as a drunkards path.  The inner circle was really hard to sew since it was so small and it didn't come out very well.  I ended up adding a circle applique over the top using this tutorial from Amy which finished it off really nicely.  Lorena kindly invited me over for coffee and a quick lesson in hand applique - knowing how to do it properly makes all the difference.

When it came to the quilting I always knew I was going to base it on this design by LR Stitched which has been a favourite ever since I saw it.  I have never quilted so densely before and it gives the design another dimension.


Quilt Stats:
Finished quilt measures: 19" x 19"
Special techniques used:  foundation paper piecing, hand applique, quilting concentric circles
Quilted by: Me

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

At last!

At last! #DUDQS3 by A Labour of Love
At last! #DUDQS3, a photo by A Labour of Love on Flickr.

My doll/mini quilt for The Down Under Doll Quilt Swap 3 is finally coming together. Not without a lot of angst!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Field Study by Anna Maria Horner

I have been a good girl all year and have not bought much fabric.  I have even destashed twice!!  I waited patiently for the reveal of Anna Maria Horner's latest range at Fall Quilt Market and it didn't disappoint.  I have been waiting patiently for Field Study to hit the stores and then I splurged and bought a full FQ set from Pink Castle Fabrics in a 20% off sale.  The doorbell rang early this morning, it doesn't happen often and it was the Postie with some happy mail!

The only disappointing thing is that I am so busy for the next couple of days that I am not going to be able to rip open that plastic and have a proper fondle.  I need to savour that moment for when I have a clear head and some time to sit and drool.  And then it will probably go into a bag with the Good Folks that I'm hoarding until I have the current WIPs out of the way.  I'm thinking a bed quilt if I can be brave enough to tackle a project that large.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Fun boy trousers

Dodgy iPhone photo
Mr 5 has taken a bit of interest in sewing lately.  In the last school holidays he helped me make this Babushka Superhero, and then a couple of weeks ago he announced that he wanted to make pants (trousers for my UK readers).  Trawling through my stash I didn't really have any boy fabric large enough so I headed to the local Spotty and bought some wide wale corduroy for both boys ($9.99m).  I also picked up the robot poplin since it was a great match for the pale grey cord.

Click for a larger view

Making clothes for my children has been on my to-do-list so it was great to get the nudge to finally give it a go. Also, I happened across this tutorial about a week earlier so I was fairly confident.  It wasn't until I was actually cutting the cord for the first pair of pants that I had a bad thought - I forgot to prewash!  It's the one thing I love about quilting, one less step to worry about but I knew that there would be some shrinkage.  Unfortunately, I didn't take into account the cord would shrink quite a bit so the applique knee patches have gone all wrinkly, not to mention that the 2" hem had to be let down completely (I ended up turning it up 3/8" and zig zagging the hem in place).  At least they fit in length and they're fine for a 5yr old to kick around in.  

Lesson learnt, I made sure I prewashed my cord for the second pair for Mr 4.  These ones came out pretty well.  I don't have an interlocker so I had to make do with zig zagged seams.  I'll have a go at French seams one of these days as the unprofessional seams bother me a bit (but not enough to want to buy an overlocker).

BTW Mr 5 supervised the cutting process and then went on a hike with his Dad and came back to finished pants.  That's OK, I'm still nervous letting him sew on the machine since he keeps dragging the fabric instead of just steadying it.