Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Weightless Wednesday #9

Hello everyone. I hope you're all having a great week! It's starting to look more like spring around us. We had our first real day over 60 degrees on Monday and today it's sunny again. I think mother nature might be playing a cruel joke on us since we've had rain for the last few weeks straight. Hopefully the sun and warmer weather continue to stick around!

This week I fell like I still didn't get to the gym as often as I should have. We have been very consistent in making sure we get to the gym for our weight lifting days, but haven't done as much cardio as we did when we started working out. We also haven't gone swimming in a long time because my swimming suit started to deteriorate (gross I know, but it was really old) a couple of weeks ago. I finally got to the store to buy a new one yesterday, so we should be back in the pool today. It will feel really good to get back in there. And - my new swimming suit was on super clearance, so it was only $18! Can't beat that.

While at the store I also tried on... BIKINIS! I've always wanted to wear one but never had the confidence to do so and never really had the body either. Now I'm really close to being able to wear one without turning heads for being too pudgy. My problem is none of the tops in the store fit. I've always had a larger chest, even in high school, so getting something where I'm not sticking out all over the place is going to be a challenge. If they could just make a bikini top that is very similar to a sports bra and get rid of the huge amount of padding and push up material in all of them, I'd be just fine. Any suggestions on where I should look? I'm thinking I might have more luck at Victoria's Secret? The bottoms fit just fine in regular sizes, which is what is really frustrating. Oh well, I guess such is life, right?

So, here's my break down this week:

Heaviest weight: 180
Starting weight: 175
Weight last week: 154
Weight this week: 151
Weight loss this week: 3 pounds!! - that was a HUGE shock on the scale (yeah weight lifting!!)
Total weight loss: 24 POUNDS! I'm so happy! :)

Thanks to everyone for putting up with my weight loss posts. I think I'll continue these until we leave for our trip, since it was my goal to get skinnier for that. That is coming up at the end of May and we leave on the eve of the 22nd. I'm also in a wedding a few weeks before that and have lots of quilting related things to get done on my plate. So, hopefully you'll see a lot more posts from me in the next month (or else I'm not working on my commitments enough!)! Have a great day!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sewing Sleepover

Hello everyone! This past Friday night my sister and I headed off to my mom's house for a sewing sleepover! It was a lot of fun. We made a bunch of aprons together, so here's a look back at our night. :)

My mom bought my sister and I some fabric for Christmas with the plan that we would get together eventually to make some aprons. She actually brought me more fabric for Easter to use too! Well, after putting that plan on hold for busy schedules and really bad colds, we finally got together this weekend.

My sister brought an apron that she had received for Christmas for us to use as a pattern. It featured adjustable straps which we all agreed were just the thing we needed. No more tying a knot for extra long neck strings! My mom traced and cut out the apron pattern while I ironed all of the fabrics. She has a really nice iron so I didn't mind one bit.

My mother and sister decided to make their aprons with a ruffle at the bottom. I'm not so big into really frilly things, so I decided to do mine without the ruffle. We also all made different pockets on our aprons. My sister wanted one really large pocket on hers. I just wanted one for my left hand, and my mom made one that is a little shallower but is a divided pocket on the front.

Half way through our night of sewing we were distracted by popcorn. My mom's husband makes the best popcorn. Lightly salted with real butter and air popped to perfection. Usually I can only eat 2 handfuls because I just don't like the taste of popcorn very much. That night I ate half the bowl! (oops!) It was delicious.

We got to about 10:30pm on Friday and my mother and sister were both pooped. I'm a little more used to staying up late, so I sewed until about midnight. That meant that by the time I needed to leave on Saturday I actually completed 2 aprons! That also meant that my first apron was the guinea pig for how everything was going to work and be sewed together.

We basically made a single-fold binding for the straps (3 strips the length of fabric and 2.5 inches wide sewed together straight across to give us the right length) and another single-fold binding for the track for the straps - those were cut to 15 inches long and 4.5 inches wide. I sewed both sides the guide on to the apron at the same time. Those went along the armpit of the apron, and then we fed the straps/ties through each one with the center of the tie ending up at the neck position.

Here's our end result - and fully reversible:

These were a lot of fun to make, and super easy once we knew what we were doing! My second apron went together in just a couple hours - most of that time being for ironing. I don't have that one pictured, but it's out of more chocolate fabric. :) These were the first clothing items (can I call them clothing items???) that I've really ever made. I'm not going to count the awful pair of pajamas that I made in grade school... Yikes! So, I guess I've been nervous about clothes ever since that time and I'm very happy that these turned out so well! I think it's because my sewing skills have greatly improved between being 12 and 26. Makes sense to me! :)

So, what did you guys do this weekend? Get any sewing done? Is it nice outside where you live? We've had rain last week Sunday through Tuesday, sun on Wednesday, rain and/or snow Thursday and Friday, sun again on Saturday and now rain predicted today through Wednesday this week. Flood warnings abound in my area and my mom's sump pump was working over time while we sewed this weekend. Anyway, happy crafting!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Weightless Thursday? (#8)

Well... Apparently Wednesday came and went without me realizing I had missed publishing a Weightless Wednesday post! I'll be completely honest with you this week, we definitely struggled with eating right and getting to the gym. Just when I think we're on a roll we get complacent and think "I can afford to miss a night" or "this cheeseburger won't do that much damage..." Well, we survived the week, but just barely.

This week, I am hoping to do better. I'll still have days when I won't be able to get to the gym due to plans we made a while ago. And, unfortunately it has been raining here for the past couple weeks basically every day, so running outside has been put on hold. We have flood warnings all around us just like many other parts of the country. Thankfully we are on the 3rd floor of our apartment building, so it will take a while for us to be washed out of our place! :)

Even with our bad week, I did manage to lose a pound. I think that's phenomenal considering all the junk I ate! And, my husband lost somewhere between 4-5! He couldn't believe it when he got on the scale. So - maybe our bodies needed a re-set from all of the healthy eating and work outs? That's what I'm going to tell myself anyway, because I sure don't understand how we both didn't gain 5 pounds.

I've got 3 weeks until my friend's wedding on May 11th, so I need to keep going strong. Then we are going on vacation 2 weeks after that and I want to be in even better shape by that time. So - here's to another week on the "get fit" wagon!

Heaviest weight: 180
Starting weight: 175
Weight last week: 155
Weight this week: 154
Weight loss this week: 1 pound
Total weight loss: 21 pounds :)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Guitar Quilt

Hello everyone. I've been very busy this weekend working on a special project. You may not know this about me, but I sing (and sometimes play keyboard) in our church praise band. We practice every Sunday and play for the student vespers services on Wednesday nights. I'm lucky enough to do this with my husband (who plays guitar) and several other students at UW Madison. We are the oldest members of the band, being 27 and graduated. So, we probably won't be in the band again next year since it is primarily students who should have the opportunity to serve in the band.

Anyway... Our band leader and his wife donate their time and talents to directing us musically and spiritually. As a show of appreciation for their time and talents I've been working on a wall hanging for them. For their 40th wedding anniversary, our band leader's wife gave him his dream guitar - a Gretsch Country Gentleman. So, I decided to make a fabric replica. Here's a picture of me goofing off with the pattern once it was all drawn up.

I spent all day Saturday getting the major pieces sewn down. Here's what it looked like when I went to bed.

Since then, I've been able to include some of the hand stitching and embroidery elements. I also squared up the edges of the top so it's ready for borders. The longest part was doing all of the frets on the neck, but it looks so much more complete. So, here's what it looks like now.

Sorry for the horrible lighting and awful picture quality, but the sun went to bed hours ago!!!

To finish the guitar I just need to add some detail to the neck and embroider in the strings. Otherwise, it's pretty much done. To finish the quilt, I need to add a border. I'm also going to add some wording to the front. My husband and I are deciding if we will use a line from a bible passage or a hymn or some other saying. It may be a combo of all 3. :) I guess we'll find out soon.

On the back, I am going to have a label with the signatures of all of this year's band members. I'll embroider each one of those and I just need to get a few more autographs to get started with that.

What I'm not sure about is how to quilt it. This is the first applique quilt I've ever done, so I would love any suggestions people might have. I've thought about stippling in the background or echoing the outline of the guitar, but am not sure. I also don't know what I would do on the inside of the guitar or how much I'll need to do on that area considering it's just a wall hanging. So, what do you guys think?

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Weightless Wednesday #7

Woohoo! I finally hit the 20 pound weight loss mark! I was so excited to get on the scale and for it to read 155! Especially since *full disclosure here* I didn't throw out the rest of my chocolate bunny. Actually, I had a bad night where I sat down on the couch and proceeded to mindlessly eat the whole thing. Oops...

That being said, we are learning to live a little with our diet. Yes, we keep things under control with portion sizes and caloric intake, but sometimes you just need a chocolate chip cookie, or pancakes, or nachos. We've tried not to binge on them every day, but usually once a week we get to have something we think is a little naughty. Obviously I over did it with the chocolate bunny this week, but I'm still very happy with my progress.

It's become habit for us to go to the gym now. It actually feels weird and wrong if we don't. One of these days I'll need to have the front desk guy take a new picture of me because I dont like seeing the old me every time I scan my ID card. :) Silly, I know, but I've earned a new picture.

So, on to new goals and new places this week. I've got about 20ish more pounds I'd like to lose, but I can't remember the last time I was under 150. So, that's the next goal. I think my husband wants to lose another 40. We'll see how muscular he gets first. :) He's looking very dapper already!

Heaviest weight: 180
Starting weight: 175
Weight last week: 156
Weight this week: 155
Weight loss this week: 1 pound
Total weight loss: 20 pounds!!! 

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Charity Quilts - Hands2Help Challenge

Hello everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend and were able to get some sewing in. :) I finished more than I thought I would, and all of it during the Final Four basketball games.

My mother and I signed up to participate in the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge put on by Sarah of Confessions of a Fabric Addict (there's time to join in if you want to make a charity quilt too!!). So, this weekend I put together some blocks to make two quilts for Quilts Beyond Borders (the orphanage charity). I'm trying to keep the quilts fun and happy, so I am making two fish quilts. My mom is going to help me fuse on some eyes and mouths so they'll look a little cuter.

The quilts have specific dimensions we are supposed to stay within, so I'll be having 3 fish across and 5 rows of fish, so 15 fish in each quilt. I'll have white sashing in between them to make the quilt to the right dimensions. My plan is to then quilt it with a bubble pattern in variegated rainbow thread. I just hope it looks as good in real life as it looks in my head. :)

My mom has already completed 3 quilt tops, 2 for the Happy Chemo charity and one for the Quilts Beyond Borders charity. I'm picking those up next weekend so I can quilt them for her. She's going to give me batting for my quilts then and do the binding for us at the end as a trade off. A pretty sweet deal!

She's so motivated I wouldn't be surprised if my mom finishes a couple more tops in the next coming weeks. We have until the beginning of June to mail off the finished quilts.

So, if you're able to help, I hope you'll consider joining in with the charity quilt challenge. It's bound to be a lot of fun! Happy quilting!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Quilt Along Blocks

Hello everyone! I've managed to get some sewing done over the past few days, so I thought I'd show it off. :)

My mom and I have been following along with the Quilty Barn Along over at Bee in My Bonnet. She's done a better job of keeping up to date, but I finally managed to get caught up. I had 2 blocks to make which meant I was a month behind! The next block comes out next week Wednesday so I'll try to stay on top of it.

Here's the second block, the farm fresh flower. My points aren't perfect in this one so don't look too closely!

Here's the third block, the postage stamp. This one was really fast to put together because I had some 1.5 inch pieces left over from making the Super Mario quilt.

So far I like how these are coming together. The host has also added a border around each of her blocks, but I'm not sure I'm ready for doing that yet. I need to decide what color I want that to be since I made my backgrounds different colors. I could frame each one out in black or white I suppose. Maybe I'll wait and see what the layout looks like before I make a decision. She should be releasing that in the next couple of posts.

Lastly, would you like to see what the Easter Chicken brought me for Easter? (Yes, I said the Easter Chicken. That's what my mom calls herself when she gives us Easter baskets. ;) She's so cute!)

The Easter Chicken really out-did herself this year. She made me 4 oven mitts and an Easter table runner, and gave me chocolate themed fabric for an apron we are making together next weekend, a huge container of gluten free, blueberry-banana muffins, a package to make gluten free brownies, and a huge bucket of fresh fruit. Not to mention she also gave me a bunch of fabric that I can use to start making the charity quilt I've signed up for. Talk about a busy woman this Easter!

So, did the Easter Chicken bring you anything special this Easter?

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Weightless Wednesday #6

Hello everyone. It's been another week of work outs and eating vegetables - kinda...

This week had our first family holiday with Easter which presented some obstacles. There was ham, cheesy potatoes and chocolate bunnies everywhere. I was not very strong with the temptations either. I'm pretty sure I had at least 5 Cadbury eggs this week, and I just bit the ears off of a chocolate bunny that I have at home last night. So, I need to work on my will power.

All that considered, I managed to not gain any weight this week, but I also didn't lose any. So, this week I hope to get back on track, and the first thing I'll need to do is throw out the rest of that chocolate bunny. That is going to be so hard! Wish me luck!

Heaviest weight: 180 pounds
Starting weight: 175 pounds
Weight last week: 156 pounds
Weight this week: 156 pounds
Weight loss this week: 0 pounds
Total weight loss: 19 pounds

Next week's goal is to finally hit that 20 pound mark!! :)
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