Monday, April 29, 2013

Fighting the Quilting Spread


Fat fabric quarters not fat quilters


I think there's really only one type of fat quarters we're really thankful for as quilters and that's the fabric kind. Let's face it, quilting is not exactly an aerobic activity. Follow as I ramble a bit or just skip to the next picture:

 I have always struggled with my weight and found that since it seemed I had already put on my "maternal stores of fat" long before I had babies, I didn't gain but a few few pounds with each pregnancy and then I gained weight afterwards during the newborn snuggle fest. After my second baby was 2, I lost a bunch of weight and got down to my initial pre-pregnancy weight. And then baby 3 came along. Same scenario, but I didn't gain as much this time. Then my hubby was diagnosed with cancer when the baby was 9 months old.

I turned to food to manage the stress. I knew I was sabotaging my body, but I felt like I might kill somebody at the time if I had to watch what I ate. Gained all the weight back and then some. And then I found free motion quilting. It helped with my sanity, my stress levels, and you just can't eat chips or chocolate ice cream very well while you're quilting. The weight gain slowed. The cancer was beaten into submission/remission/back to hell from whence it came and we began to recover.

I've lost 20 pounds from my highest weight so far. I take the kids with me to our local Y three days a week and literally work my butt off. (If you have young kids and a local Y it is really worth checking into. The free childcare while I work out is so worth the price!) The trainer is a friend and she appreciates my quilting, but isn't thrilled with the sitting down that comes along with it.

I remember reading that art quilter Lyric Kinard used her sewing machine on a kitchen counter when her kids were little. (She became one of my quilting heroes when I read in her book, Art + Quilt , that quilting satisfied her need and passion to create order and beauty while living a chaotic life as the mother of young children. ) I'm not coordinated enough to sew standing up, especially to free motion quilt even though standing burns more calories than sitting. But it got me to thinking....

I used to keep my small computer in between my sewing machines. It was horribly distracting and I wasted so much time on it when I should have been stitching. Not to mention even more sitting time. So I put away the netbook and began using the computer in the kitchen. Then inspiration struck!

Amy's Free Motion Quilting Adventures

I raised the computer table to counter height and now I can choose to stand at the computer, sit on the very uncomfortable stool, or just walk away from the computer and get on with my quilting and the rest of life.

Turns out standing uses around 50 more calories an hour compared to sitting and is much better for the posture and circulation. Not to mention encouraging me to not vegetate for hours in front of the mind-sucking thing! Even the business world is starting to use standing desks as some research says it boosts productivity, creativity, and is definitely a boon to health. This is the same table that I had under the computer, but I adjusted it higher. (Bought at Wally World for $49 maybe?) It's not quite high enough for comfortable typing while standing, but that's part of the point, I don't want to be too comfortable!

I have read about some quilters putting their ironing stations at a less than efficient location to encourage them to not sit too long. Have you done something like this to help slow the growth of your non-fabric fat quarters?

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