Monday, 24 August 2015

Thank You

Wow, what a reaction I got to my last post ! I did hesitate about sharing my weight loss story, felt a bit self conscious but I received more comments than usual,  much bigger viewer stats and if I have given hope to just one person out there then I am so glad I did the post.

But now, back to quilty stuff - since I last wrote I have been to the Festival of Quilts with my pal Janet - we have been loads of times over the years and usually fly and stay awhile. We hadn't planned on going this year at all but then became aware that there were some seats left on a coach trip going from our neck of the woods so we decided to try it.
The organisation of the trip was faultless, it was excellent value for money; we were first on the coach, there were quite a few pick ups before we really felt we were motoring.............after a nice lunch stop in Penrith we were really on the way, just very slowly. Suffice to say we got to our hotel 10 hours after climbing aboard the coach.

We thoroughly enjoyed the excellent show - quilts of all sorts to gaze upon and be amazed at, traders of all sorts to gaze upon and be amazed at, oh and to buy stuff from............

We also enjoyed lectures by Kaffe Fasset and Gloria Loughman.

Our return journey was straightforward, took a little less time, and the driver was an absolute star, dropping the two of us within yards of our homes.

Would be do it this way again? Jury is out for the moment.

Since getting back my nose has been to the grindstone and I have a few finishes under my belt.
First up was my Bee a Brit Stingy Row for Di. She asked for a garden theme, with creamy background and bright colours. Helpfully, there was a wee bag of scraps that travelled with the rows which was helpful when choosing our fabrics. I used Di's tiny checkerboards in my two "thistle" blocks.

My next job was to complete a larger quilt that was planned as an anniversary gift for my young sister in law and her husband. Ten years ago I made this for them as their wedding quilt.

And a couple of years later, made their firstborn's baby quilt from the scraps...........

The really nice thing is that I know these quilts have been used and hopefully, loved. After 10 years though, I thought I would make them another and this new one couldn't be more different. I mentioned a little about it here. I have now completed the quilt, bound it, washed it and had it tumble dried. I haven't really used so much solid in a quilt before and quilting really has nowhere to hide does it? However, I was really pleased with the crinkleness after drying and look forward to handing it over tomorrow.

As classes approach I have been busy on samples - I can show this small quilt finish which will be a workshop project later in the year.

I managed a wee gift for a friend who has a new iPad and amazingly it fits and she likes it.

I wanted quite a simple pouch with a full flap and combined techniques from both of these bloggers - 

Yesterday saw my 2nd workshop of the new season - my Porthole Tote, This one came about from the project set last year for the Stitch Gathering by the ever inventive Jo. She sent everyone a simple calico bag to be altered, embellished in whichever way we fancied, and we also were given a swap partner. I decided to convert the SG logo into a porthole
 and then the workshop light bulb went off in my head and I filed the idea away until yesterday. Here is what my clever ladies came up with - check out their brilliant quilting.

and even some finishes on the day................

Well done ladies, you all did a great job.

And finally, phew, I received the next Bee a Brit Stingy row in the post on Saturday - these will all eventually go back to Nicky, two more rows to go. So I have Sept / Oct to come up with something......

Sadly, no time for My Small World, but I live in hope.
That's all folks!!

Monday, 3 August 2015

What a Difference a Year Makes

I rarely do blog posts about things not related to quilting or sewing so please forgive me today and indulge me as I bask in a little selfish glory.

One year ago today I began a journey, one I have set out on many times in my lifetime but this time I kept on going. I started counting probably know that in this modern day there is an app for that sort of thing, my son put me on to it.

So I downloaded My Fitness Pal onto my phone. I wasn't keen to do the boring calculation bit but the app is so helpful and even has a barcode reader to zap many, many products.
A few weeks in and a friend put me onto the Hairy Dieters books and their style of cooking really suited me, I bought all three of their books.
I started walking, just neighbourhood stuff but helped by another app, Accupedo, which syncs with My Fitness Pal.
As the weather deteriorated so did my walking zeal.

But the pounds began to drop off, I set little mini targets, I reached them, I set more, I survived Christmas without gaining an ounce.

When I had lost a whole stone (14lbs) I had dropped a clothes size.

For Christmas, my family bought me a fancy Garmin fitness band that I have worn every day since - it recently recorded that I had walked 1.5 million (yes, million!!) steps, since Christmas Day including my poor weather weeks at the beginning of the year.

When my daughter and family moved in for 5 months, she joined in and dropped over 20 lbs helpfully releasing some of her old clothes to me as I continued to move down the sizes.

Husband has now joined in (encouraged by a little advice from the doc) and he too is losing well.

I have learned a good bit about food and come to the conclusion that pastry is possibly the biggest evil, we don't eat so much pasta as we did, I now weigh up (excuse the pun) whether some "naughty" food is worth the cals.

As I approached the one year point my progress had slowed, so to achieve my goal in time I had a wee extra push this last couple of weeks and I am very happy to reveal that I have lost 51.5 pounds which is just over 3 1/2 stones, or 23.3 kilos (my goal was 50) I have dropped 3 dress sizes.

As well as learning about food I have been surprised by the psychological reactions/behaviour (?) I have experienced when shopping for clothes, not really believing that my new size will in fact fit. I slowly realised that I could shop pretty much anywhere I want.

So to conclude, I decided to write this personal post for two reasons. Firstly, to blow my own trumpet and secondly, I realised that I might just inspire one person out there who might have given up trying. I almost had, I had convinced myself that at 62 it would be almost impossible to lose weight.
It's not, and you can!!
The journey will continue but this time, there is no going back.


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