13 October 2014

Heart Rate Monitor Damage

In deep summer (Jul/Aug timeframe), I decided to pick up running again ... outside.  I had only run on the treadmill previously since a start time of 4 am necessitated indoor as opposed to outdoor activities.

It is a great stress reliever, calorie burner, and one of the few exercise activities in which dogs can easily participate (strangely, gyms seem to frown on canine companions).

Shortly thereafter, I began developing a persistent rash that quickly devolved into broken skin.  And I will not share how much pain I was in during those last couple miles of each and every single run.

Behold the joys of living in humid environs ...

This is my upper ab/lower chest where the transmitter of my heart rate monitor rests during exercise.

This did not heal for a month (the surrounding skin remained very healthy being regularly slathered in almond oil or shea butter to reduce further irritation).  This experience was my reminder that anti-chafe products are worth their weight in gold (so-to-speak).

I repurchased Body Glide (http://www.bodyglide.com/products/) "The Original" to see me through the rest of summer.

However, I'm on the lookout for a spray product for easier application.  

I ordered Skin Strong's "Slik Skin" (http://skinstrong.com/slik-anti-chafing-spray/) for testing.  I could not find any locally, so the internets to the rescue once again.

This rash issue has not re-occurred (although today's run in the drizzle was hot and moist ... ick).  However, I have been flipping my HRT 180 degrees to minimize contact.  

I now wear it upside down.

My transmitter is the Polar Wearlink.  Photographs borrowed from http://www.wristopcomputer.co.uk and http://www.heartmonitors.com.


17 September 2014

Thurlow Muslin ... Final?

These are made from a fairly thick twill, and they seem to fit well.

The waist is still a bit loose, and I still have some excess height issues in the upper front.

 Maybe they aren't the final muslin ...

12 September 2014

Thurlow Muslin 2

 Adjustments made from muslin 1.  Fit improving.

Better fit in front, and they are comfortable to walk in, but I cannot kneel down comfortably ... my legs resemble sausages ... (lightbulb moment) I suspect my upper leg is bigger than the draft - I need more leg room.

By raising the waist seam, I now need to remove about an inch in total at the top of the waistband to better conform.  And the waistband is now too high ... remove 1/4" in height at seam. 

Thurlow Muslin 1, Sewaholic Pattern

Sewaholic Thurlow Muslin 1 - wow, are these tight!!!

Made as per directions, size 10.  My waist and hips are just a touch smaller than the pattern size.

Granted, this twill has absolutely no give, but these are tight from mid-thigh up to waist band.

I resolve to:
- raise the waistband by 1" in front
- shorten the hem by one width (1.75")
- remove a 0.5" horizontal dart at front hipline
- add 0.5" to the front thigh for ease


16 July 2014

I Quit ... my job

And so ...

I had such high hopes for the oil industry and my positioning to become an Environmental, Health, and Safety expert in the field.

However, as consistently listed in many books I've read on females in the workforce, I found myself bored, de-motivated, and frustrated. 

As a result, I took a long, hard look and said, "Why am I doing this to myself?"  And I could not come up with a good reason.

I want to be challenged, excited, and motivated at work (and elsewhere).  When I can't find that, I have no reason to continue.  So I stopped.

Am I sorry, Sheryl?  Eh, to a point ... I guess.  I have a lot to offer, and I prefer to feel useful.  But I did not feel useful.  I felt battered by the ancient business practices of the oil field.  And as such, I submitted my notice, apparently shocking most of the people at work, to draw back and "re-assess."

Where do I want to focus my energies now?

To start off, I took the dogs for a run.  Good for them and good for me.

Holding still for a post run camera shot was difficult ... "Massi, look this way. No, this way!" 

At least Delta can pose.

12 May 2014

Stained Glass Panels

Stained Glass Panels ... an ongoing saga

These are the latest pieces I've been working on at retreats ...

The Bee is finished.

The dragonfly is glued down, and halfway "biased"/"leaded"

These last two are only glued in place, and need "leading" ... I suspect this project has at least a year before completion!

The ladybird/ladybug:

And the Butterfly ...

How I anticipate placing them in the quilt ...

11 May 2014

Binding a Quilt

If I ever teach a quilting class, this will be my first decree ...

"There is only one rule with quilt-making.  1st - There are no rules with quilting.  Anyone who tells you differently is probably trying to sell you a new toy/tool!"

 The following is one method of binding quilts.  There are many.  

Figure out how large a square you need for binding your quilt.  In inches, measure the length in total for binding, multiply by the width of your binding strip.  Take the square root of the product and add 2".  This is your square.

Cut out square and slice it diagonally.  Sew the straight edges of the triangle together producing a parallelogram.

Draw strips across your parallelogram from bias edge to bias edge, and sew the bias edges together, offsetting them by one strip.

Cut your bias binding along the drawn lines, creating one long continuous strip of fabric.

Iron your bias binding in half, and roll up.

Sew down your bias binding at the edge of your quilt, give yourself 10" or so of unsewn tail.

At your first (and all additional) corner, stop sewing a seam width from the edge, and stitch diagonally to the corner.

Fold binding at 45 degree angle away from the quilt ...

And then fold down along the quilt.  You've made your first corner, which will wrap around to the other side.

Leave yourself 10" or so of unsewn tail at the end, just like the beginning.  Match the two side together at 90 degrees.  Pin. 

Sew down.

Check to see that you sewed the angle properly together by testing the binding fold.

Cut the excess binding and finish sewing down. Iron.

Wrap binding around to front and pin, then iron down again. 

At the corners, you will run into bulk on the back of one side. 

Make sure the bulk you create on the front is on the opposite side.  In this picture the bulk is to the right in the back, so I will fold the bulk at the front to the left.

 Pin down.

Thread a needle, knot the thread, and stick the needle out the top of the corner.


Begin sewing the two edges to each other at the corner ... so it does not come apart later.

Machine stitch down the binding from the front of the quilt.  Bury the threads.

 Bound front.

From the back.  If the stitching on the back bothers you, do not bind a quilt via this method.

All done!

Quilt: McKenna Ryan's Willow Beauty pattern

I first saw this quilt in 2010 when my mother whipped it together.  The pattern is beautifully simplistic, and really takes advantage of McKenna Ryan's lovely fabric washes.

And the fabric was available to make a quilt just like the one you see on the picture.  However, I was not so thrilled with the color combo available.  It just wasn't me.

The joy of putting together a quilt begins with the pattern, and moves to the fabric selection.  If I buy a kit, regardless of how attractive, someone else has had half my joy. 

So I collect the pattern and ponder. 

Flash forward to 2011, my mother is heading to a fabric shop that has quite a bit of Ryan's fabrics, and invites me along.  Please, what sewer can resist a fabric fondling fieldtrip?

While there, I got to see several other colorways of Ryan's design and fell for several yards of fabric.  They all came home with me.  (Now!) I know what fabrics I can use for that Willow pattern.

I chose two basic color families to start ... a blue-green and a red-violet (berrys).  Being that the willow pattern needs four different color families, I decided to take a glance across the color wheel, and match each of my chosen fabric families with its opposite for maximum contrast.  This gave me a peach/orange/rust family to oppose my blue-greens, and the yellow-green family to oppose my red-violets.

The last requirement that I gave myself was that everything (else) needed to come from stash.  Luckily, my quilt stash is just big enough (thanks to the influx of Ryan fabrics) that I was able to pull out yards and yards of fabric, finally reducing my choices to the needed 16 fabrics ... you can choose 20 if you would rather, but I thought that caused too much busy-ness.

I was ready to sing the praises of the gal I hired to quilt this for me, until I noticed this "thread nightmare" while I was binding the quilt.  What is all of that, a mistake?

And this is what it looks like on the other side.  Oh goody, she cut a 1/2" gash in my quilt, did not tell me about it, poured an entire bottle of fray check on it (see the dark splotches?),  and then quilted a tangled mass of thread onto it.  Like I wasn't going to notice?

Well, obviously not until I started binding it!  This means I will likely never have another quilt quilted by another.  She proved I cannot trust other quilters, and that makes me sad.  :(

This below is a fairly accurate color representation of my quilt.  I did change the directionality of several blocks to give it motion.  It was too jumbled otherwise for my tastes.

And the mister holding up the quilt for a full size photo.  Thanks hun!

It has a thin bamboo blend batting, and will be my new summer quilt.

I took several photos while binding it completely by machine.  A process that went much faster than I anticipated.  It is something I have dreaded for years ... YEARS I tell you.  And it was practically painless. 

Good, I have several more to bind ...