Saturday, August 30, 2014

Barbara's Roseville Album - Finished!

I am thrilled to share that I am finally finished with Barbara's Roseville Album!  Here are a few photographs...

I think it turned out really fantastic - I am thrilled!  I have a few small details to touch up before it returns home - it has been a HUGE undertaking but I'm thrilled with the results.

 I used gray and white Invisifil thread by Wonderfil for the entire quilt...I went through five water soluble markers.  Marking the quilt top took me an entire day - around 10 hours - and another day to day and a half to bury threads, remove markings.  I'm running on coffee and diet coke at the moment so it's time to take a rest!!!  Wheew!  But I was thrilled with this so I had to share.  :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Emerald Tapestry is Headed to MQX!

  The list was posted late last night - Emerald Tapestry is going to MQX Midwest in Springfiled, Illinois!  Woohoo!  I am thrilled!  I do not want to share the entire quilt until after judging...but here are a few snippets...

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Roseville Album Progress and a Little Exciting News!

I just wanted to pop in and share a progress picture of Barbara's Roseville Album quilt.  I've actually advanced the quilt and made a dent into the next border below this but it doesn't look very impressive anymore so I thought I'd share this one!!  :)  I still have to turn and do the side borders but most of the stitch in the ditch is finished so - I won't say that it will go quickly, but it will go quick-er.  :)

I'm hoping to have a "finished" post ready for next week!!  Cross your fingers for me that all goes smoothly - boy oh boy I've had just a million things make this quilt take longer than it should have!!  Including another motor brush change.  Wheew!

My exciting news to that the next project that just arrived to my little in home studio a few days ago is top secret!  I will not be able to share any photographs - but what I can share is that it is planned to be included in a book written by my friend Lara from Buzzin Bumble!  I don't want to give away too much but I can tell you that it is going to be amazing - you better go visit her blog (and follow her too!) so you can keep up with all of her quilty happenings.

School starts next week and hopefully I'll be able to find some time to update on my diet/health kick progress!  I'm still hanging in there - though I've slacked off a little and gained a couple of "pizza pounds" back.  But I'm a work in progress right?

Happy Quilting!

- Valerie :)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Linda Brunner's Quilt Wins Again!

I'm so excited to report that I received another email from my client Linda Brunner today - she won AGAIN with the quilt I long arm quilted for her that she affectionately calls "Big Red"!  This time around she took home first place!  Woohoo Linda!!!  That is exciting news for you AND for me!  I'm thrilled to be a small part of her win...below is a photo of Linda with her ribbon and some shots of her multi-award winning quilt.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Billie's Sew Spooky Quilt - Finished! :)

A few pictures of Billie's Sew Spooky quilt all finished up...

Eeep!  I really love how it turned out!

Loading up Barbara's Roseville Album to finish up.  I had to take a break from it as it was SO big and SO intensely quilted!  Lots and lots and lots and lots of stitch in the ditch - AH!  I'm feeling excited and motivated to get back to work on it though - remarking a few areas and then I'll share some more pictures.  It is just about finished -just a few borders left to do.

Such a nice cool day today - it's feeling like fall!  That means coffee and quilting...  :)

Happy Quilting!

- Valerie

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Play on the Frame...

I pulled out this UFO to work on last night and of course with two wrong turns I made myself a pile of work.  :)  I have some ripping to do in the center portion and outer border...areas where the stitching got wonky...but I'm still liking this.  I am thinking...fabric paint when it's finished?

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Billie's Quilt in Progress...

Guess what's on my frame right now?  Another Sew Spooky quilt!

Here's a few peeks at the progress...

Billie wanted similar quilting to Vickie's Sew Spooky quilt - I'm loosely imitating the style while adding in some unique touches.  I hope to finish tonight or tomorrow, and in my spare moments I'm gearing up for another quilt show.  I am entering something small in MQX midwest in one of the non-juried categories, and another that I'm going to have to wait until the 25th to see if it is accepted.  This will be my first attempt at a juried show.  I'm feeling pretty good and confident, but you never know!!  Wish me luck and send me good vibes!  :)

I hope you are enjoying the lovely weather (at least it is lovely where we are)...getting ready for fall!  Yay!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Linda's Ribbon Winner! :)

Linda B reported to me a few days ago that the big red beauty I quilted for her several months ago was awarded a ribbon at her county fair!

This is the second ribbon winner I've quilted for Linda - she's on a roll!!!  ;)

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Weekly Weight Loss Update

I hope some of you won't mind if I keep myself accountable here and share a weekly weight loss update.  I'd like to do this for myself - but also I found a number of you who are hanging out with me here have been pretty interested.  For those of you who want to see quilts and nothing else, I won't be offended if I catch up with you next post!  :)  I have some really good quilt eye candy in store for you!

I have REALLY been struggling the past few weeks but I want to share that I have not thrown in the towel.  This past week alone I had two binge days - but I immediately went back to healthy eating the very next day.  According to my tracking on My Fitness Pal, I have even worked out more this past week than I have since I began trying to lose.

Before I go on about my woes and frustrations...let me show you the progress.  I am SO embarrassed to show these photographs, but I know how inspirational seeing these things has been for me.  I need to remind myself why I chose to do this, other than simply being healthy.  I had no idea I had gotten so heavy - and I mean that.  Dumb as it might sound, I was just really in denial.

First Photo was taken the last week of May, the second was taking this morning.
I have lost a total of 32 pounds - out of 86 total pounds that I need to lose to be in a healthy BMI range for my age and height.  For that - I AM THRILLED!  :)  I am 11 pounds away from the half way point and once I get there I figure...if I can get half way, I can get ALL the way!

The good things -

   - I have lowered my blood pressure from a near pre-hypertension range to well into the normal/healthy range.
  - I have eliminated the back ache and sciatic nerve pain that I've been really suffering with over the past several years.
   - My skin is clearer.
   - I have dropped almost two sizes in clothing and 5 inches from my waist - everything looks better on!  I have ENERGY to play with my kids and not only do I play with them outside almost every single day, I love to play with them!  I don't EVER want to give that up, it has been the most wonderful part of losing weight so far.
   - My kids are asking me now all the time if things are healthy for them - they want to do better to and do the right thing and it makes me feel wonderful to know that they are really watching my every move.

   - When I started working out I could barely do two push ups.  I still do "girl" push ups on my knees, but now I can do three reps of 10.

   - I have discovered I actually LIKE to be active.  I mean - I think I could even see myself playing sports and not detesting every smelly sweaty moment of it.  LOL!  I am actually good at some of it!!!

The rough things -

   - I still have food cravings.  Like serious, look up Disney World food and drool until I have to have cheesecake kind of cravings.  I have tried upping my calories, lowering my calories, eating faux foods (read - diet ice cream, soy burgers), I've tried cutting out all processed foods, eating processed foods but limiting next attempt is going to be allowing myself one cheat day a week to see if that helps any.  Gah!  Who knew that eating was so complicated?  It really is an addiction.

   - I am still learning how to separate food from emotions/stress/family/love.  I never thought I had a flawed relationship with food (because I love it ALL so much!) but I really do.  I don't think I'll ever be someone who only sees food as fuel...I'm too passionate about it to see it that way.  But I am learning to associate the way I feel with what I in...if I eat four slices of pizza and half a cake I'm going to feel sick.  LOL

There are far more good things than rough things so I am really happy to be doing this.  I hope and pray it's for the last time as I've struggled with food/weight my entire life.  For now - I'm feeling great and even though I have had some really weak and low days, over all I'm really proud of how far I've come.  In the past I'd have given up by now.  I almost did several times.  But I kept thinking about the way I felt and the health issues that were starting to creep up and I don't want to experience those again.

Wish me luck!  I will check in next week again for those interested...

Happy Quilting!

- Valerie :)

Friday, August 1, 2014

Gamma by Patrica E. Ritter and Valerie Smith

I am SO psyched about Gamma!!!  Isn't this pantograph awesome!!?!!  So modern and cool!  It's now available over on the Urban Elementz website!!