Sunday, July 22, 2012

Absolutely Nothing To Do With Quilting.

I've been running.

Not the kind of crazy busy "running" that we all do in our hectic lives, I'm talking about the kind of running that involves special shoes and sweat. I know, I know, for those of you that know me well, it's hard to believe that I drag my behind out of bed early in the morning to EXERCISE. My behind or more accurately the size of my behind is precisely what spurred me into action.

I realize that I'm not exactly a candidate for the Biggest Loser, but in my mind size is relative. I fondly remember being a size 6 and way before that a size 4. My wedding dress was a size 2. In the bottom drawer of my dresser are a stack of size 8 pants that I would like to be wearing. Hanging in my closet are my size 10's and if the truth be told, they were getting snug. Something had to be done.
Cutting out wine during the week, taking the candy off my desk and controlling my carbs helped. To make a real difference I knew that I would have to move more. My husband offered to run with me, amazing because he is athletic and I'm a rank beginner in the running world - and I mostly run downhill. We've also been down this path before. Read my entry from September 2009.
Naturally my renewed interest in the sport required new equipment. Shoes were not a problem. My husband had me invest in great running shoes in 2009 and they are still like new. After my experience with yoga pants, shopping for running shorts was an absolute requirement in my book! THAT is what this post is really about.
We have already covered the actual size of my behind, so could someone please explain to me why I wear a size LARGE in "active wear"? Really? A size LARGE? Is that some sick stick thin designers idea of a joke? Is that Nike/Reebok/Addis idea of encouraging you to exercise more? According to the internet the average American woman wears a size 14. Average is two sizes larger than I am right now and I wear a large? Are they assuming those woman will NEVER want athletic wear?
I think that we have all experienced "the more you pay the smaller your size" when dress shopping. Now that I've dropped a few pounds I'm a size 8 over $200 and I'm pretty sure I could be a 6 if I had reason and the means to shop Nordstrom's Special Occasion department. Perhaps that principle applies here? I'm not overjoyed at spending a bundle on something that I plan to only sweat in on a regular basis, but "cheap" shorts in Athletic wear are in the $24 range, they come in basic black like a model T and if you are lucky you get a pocket just large enough to hold your car key.
I prefer the tight body hugging shorts to the baggy gym shorts style. I have good reason for my preference, one that my husband doesn't understand, but those of you whom have thighs that rub together won't question. I'm looking at capri length or at the very least bike shorts because my thighs are not yet ready for a public appearance.  Which begs the question of why LARGE active wear is available in mini short length?  

Running everyday requires a whole wardrobe of LARGE shorts and that "LARGE" tag irritates me every time I shop for them.  To solve the problem I ordered a pair of shorts off the internet. Good price, free shipping. When they arrived the tags were in Spanish. I don't feel any better knowing that my butt is "Grande".

Thursday, July 19, 2012

It Is Wednesday In My World

Here it is folks, the photo of my design wall.

You are looking at what could be the beginning of a great idea. I love working with triangles and I love working with stripes. These triangles were cut with the Creative Grids 60 degree equilateral triangle that we use for the Easy Striped Table Runner. You own one of those don't you?

I cut these triangles out a few months ago with the idea that with just one striped fabric and a bit of background you could design your own twists and turns and create your own unique quilt.  Fantastic idea! Then I started to think and then over think the instructions. I'm still playing with them.  The simple fact is, it's almost TO EASY to explain!

Grab some striped fabric and cut it into identical 8 1/2 inch strips. Grab your Creative Grids 60 degree triangle and slice those strips into triangles. (Don't you just LOVE Creative Grids?)  Play around with the arrangement until you are happy with it. Fill in the open areas with background fabric. Stitch the thing together. Done!

Oh yea, "quilt as desired", bind and Enjoy!


Easy to do, yes. Easy to write instructions for, NO. The problem is that I have no control of the striped fabric that you will purchase. Therefore I have no idea how many identical 8 1/2 inch strips you will be able to cut. Four seems reasonable, but I could cut 5 from the fabric I used. Other stripes that I have tried will only cut 3, but then you could get one or two more from the leftover that didn't match.  Those would have to be used in areas that were unique to themselves and not intermixed with the others or they won't work. Then there is the issue of how much fabric to buy. Obviously it depends on how many strips you can cut. What if you cut the strips smaller, say 6"? Could you get more strips? How big would your quilt be then? The size depends totally on how you lay it out!  If I say 10 triangles across and your design looks better with 8 - use 8!

This could end up being the Nike quilt pattern that I am always threatening to publish. Photo on the front cover, inside the instructions will simply say:

"Just Do It"!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

BERNINA University

It looks like I missed another Design Wall Wednesday!

This weeks excuse is that I was attending BERNINA University in Washington DC instead of sewing.  BU is the annual gathering of BERNINA Dealers from, ...well from everywhere!  It is intended as the U.S. convention, but my favorite Canadians are always there.  I also sat next to a New Zealand dealer in one class and chatted with several Europeans in other classes.  Naturally there are Swiss instructors and Techs in attendance so it is really an international event.

BU is where we learn about new products.  The newest machines are introduced (even though they won't ship for a few months) and we have the opportunity to "schmooze" with other dealers between classes.  Schmoozing is the best part in my opinion, but I can honestly say that you are also going to LOVE the new 7 series and all of it's state-of-the-art features when they arrive later this fall.

This year along with Brandon I took two employees, Jane and Honey.  This was their first time traveling with Brandon and I and I think they enjoyed the experience.  Even the parts that they didn't intend to experience. Like running 3 blocks in the pouring rain to get back to the hotel and eating with your knees higher than the table in a "zen" style restaurant.  They also laughed until their cheeks hurt and walked more miles than intended.  This is Honey being a good sport with Brandon in front of the White House.  What she didn't know is that we also intended to take in the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial and the Mall before returning to the hotel!
Traveling with employees means that they too have cameras with them.  Jane posted this oh-so-flattering shot of me taking a funny photo of Brandon on her Facebook page.  Gee thanks Jane! 

It wasn't all fun and games.  There were plenty of classes to attend, important tech knowledge to absorb and new products to learn.  That's why I took Jane and Honey.  To expose them to the wonderful BERNINA product line.  To allow them to experience, hands-on the stellar features of the Swiss engineering behind the brand and to afford them the opportunity to meet the BERNINA team.  They were surrounded by the 5th generation owner of the company, the education department, the Swiss design team and top notch dealers from around the world.  It also allowed me to sign-up for some really inspiring classes.

Hey, someone had to attend...

BTW I didn't win a bottle of wine.  I guess that means I have to "study" harder!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

I'm heading for BERNINA University in Washington D.C. very early tomorrow morning.  Brandon our Tech and Honey and Jane from the sales staff are going along for several days of classes, top notch education and training as well as the chance to rub elbows with the best BERNINA dealers in the country. 

We will also be there for the unveiling the newest additions to the BERNINA line and the seven hundred series.  If you want to be the first to see them - virtually, follow us on Facebook!  I will be posting about the goodies we find, the new techniques we learn and whatever else we find.  I might need your help deciding what to buy too!   Click here to find our Facebook page.!/pages/The-Quilt-Company/142564535755634