Saturday, June 29, 2013

Quilt Project [so far]

I recently began a long-term project of constructing a queen-sized quilt.  When I described the steps involved (the greatly condensed version of the steps involved) to my daughter, she replied, "So, then, quilting is basically the most tedious form of sewing, ever?"  (This from someone who spins her own yarn, pre-hand-knitting???)
Well  .  .  . yeah, actually.  It is also very gratifying.  Also, unlike clothes sewn for ungrateful offspring, quilts are never out-grown  --  they always fit.

What follows is a small example of the tedium involved in quilt-piecing, and making.

Note:  I left out pictures of cutting each piece of fabric, and of pressing
 seams.  Talk about tedium???  Sheesh!!

First,  select basic fabrics.   I love batiks, and these three looked nice together.  The multi-color dominates the design.

Cut core fabrics into 5 inch squares.  480 of them.

Squares are sewn together in a 4-block,   (sorry  --  failed to take picture of this step), then sub-cut diagonally, switch halves (purple-coral, and purple-teal) and sew together to form pinwheel.

Sub-cut pinwheel 1.5 inches off center, rotate alternate blocks in outer rows, re-stitch to make this block:

Stitch together 4 blocks to make dominant square.

30, or so, of these squares sewn together make the quilt top which then resembles an argyle plaid.

It is coming along.  I have preformed up to step 3 with all of the fabric. I can't quite yet see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I can see the tunnel, rather than merely believing that it exists.

More photos IAW developments.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Swimwear Designers, and MBA, and Men

I recently viewed this incomparable video of Jessica Rey, MBA-turned-swimwear designer, who, in researching male perception of swimwear designs, decided that something needed to change.

Now, she designs her own line of swimwear.

This 9-minute video introducing her line is amazing.  Her research is solid.  Her conclusions are unusual.

Please watch the whole 9 minutes. You won't be sorry.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Full Disclosure

Thought that might get your attention.

Actually, I'm only offering disclosure on one subject:  my weight, and tribulations, thereof.
I realize, that this is primarily intended as a sewing/quilting/needlecrafts blog.  However, when I began it, I did say that from time to time, I might discourse on non-sewing related subjects.  This is one of those times.

I have not blogged about a sewing project in nearly a year.  Some of you may have noticed. Some of you may have wondered the reason.  The reason is simple:  I haven't sewn anything in nearly a year.  The reason for that is somewhat more complex.

I have, over the years (decades, really) put on more than a few extra pounds.  And, while, I'm not at all crazy about the way the extra pounds make me look, this disclosure is not about a grand makeover regarding improving my looks.  [although if that happens  --  yippee!]  I do not  -- repeat, NOT  --  believe that fat = ugly.  How can anyone, when there are so many beautiful fat women in the world??  Delta Burke, the late Elizabeth Taylor, Melissa McCarthy all come quickly to mind.  I do not believe that fat is morally reprehensible.  I don't think fat is morally anything. I am not convinced that fat is automatically unhealthy.  I know fat women whose health I envy; and, of course, skinny women whose health is just sad.  In my case, however, there are health issues.
I am, and for over 25 years have been, hypertensive.  I am currently on 2 medications to control my blood pressure.  Granted, when I had my first TIA, I weighed 160 lbs.  At 5ft, 7in., my weight was not considered an issue (I asked).  Maybe, but the 100 pounds I have added since then haven't helped anything.  More issues have crept up over the years.  Joints ache (especially knees and hips).  Stairs are my enemy. Then, last week, the word I have feared for years was uttered: "diabetes".  When all the test results were in, the news was not as horrible as it might have been, nor nearly as horrible as originally feared.  Of course, the first report I saw listed my serum glucose level to be 890, prompting my SIL (Dr. Katie's hubby) to wonder why I wasn't in the ICU.  Turns out, the number on the consult I had been given to take to the lab was a typo. Still, the correct report of 190, is nothing to ignore.  After the results of a fasting GTT were in, the diagnosis was official:   I am pre-diabetic.   What does that mean??? In layman's terms, it means that God has granted me a wake-up call, that, given my education and training,  I don't even deserve; but am not stupid enough to ignore.  If I act now: eat healthily, exercise  every day and for the rest of my life, lose the excess weight, I can still reverse this.  I can be healthy.  I can run up and down the stairs.  I can play all day with my grandchildren (instead of in 10-minute blasts).  I can enjoy my life  --  hopefully, a longer one.

Today, I had a consultation with a Registered Dietitian.  This consult was the 1st step of a 12-week lesson/exercise/psych eval program that is designed to reverse Type 2 Diabetes, or prevent its onset for people like me.  The first homework assignment was to "come clean" regarding my history in fat, and my goals.  At the RD's suggestion (threw down the gauntlet, is what she did!), those of us with blogs were encouraged to go public, with words, stats and pictures.  Pictures????  Is she kidding????  No, she wasn't.

So, here they are.

UGH!   Are they as hard to look at, as they were to take?????  I should tell you:  the swimsuit I am wearing  is one I made

 over 20 years, and nearly 70 pounds ago. (yes -made! And,  I am proud to say:   the family tradition continues )  wow.  Lycra really stretches, huh?

Now for the stats:
height:  5ft.  6in.  {did I shrink?  I mad them measure me twice.  damn.}
weight: 260
BMI: 41
BP:  145/87  [controlled w/ meds]
Total Chol:   192
Serum Glucose: 190
stamina:  pffffffffft!

My goals include, but are not limited to:
Reduce or eliminate anti-hypertensive meds
Eliminate diabetes risk
Increase stamina
Increase flexibility  (that's just for better sex, but I'm not going into that here, or my kids will barf)
Sleep better/ more regularly
Have the ability to walk up flight of stairs without getting winded.
Live long enough to play with my grandchildren's children.

This promises to be a long journey.  I shall post updates as they appear.
I hope to be sewing something stunning for myself, soon.
Fingers crossed!!!