Sunday, August 21, 2011

Meeting the challenge...and without chocolate...

I'm finally caught up on my Bee Balm bee blocks.  Ya hoo!  I'm not sure I followed Beebee's instructions to the letter, but after making the requested pink crazy-pieced hearts for her red background, I hit a creative wall.  (This block is 6 x 12 inches.)

I still had the two light pink backgrounds that she sent for us to fill, and the larger one seemed so inviting for some original applique doodling.  Here's what I came up with (this block is 12 inches square).

I had drafted a linked hearts applique pattern years ago for a round robin quilt exchange.  That particular month I was working on someone's quilt who had asked for heart blocks in reds, oranges and pinks.  I came up with the following (Hey Jean, if you are out there somewhere, did you put your quilt together?  I'd love to see it...). 
Anyway, it was fun taking the original idea beyond linear and coming up with something for a large square block.  It was more satisfying working on a circular, non-linear block with the hearts because overlapping the links was less awkward and the effect more noticeable.  I will be doing this block again!

For the third block, I made another version of my original "flutter by" block using bright red bits.  The whole block is 6 inches square.  I love making these happy little creatures!  They are so satisfying...

This morning when I stepped on the scale, it revealed that I am now over the 60 pounds lost mark.  I've been at this new life dance since May 3, so I guess that is almost 4 months.  I'm NOW on friendly speaking terms with the scale again and not using the 4-letter words I used all LAST week when I was on another dreaded plateau.  I think my body is still trying to determine if I am really serious about the weight loss thing this time, or if it is a passing fancy, soon to be abandoned.  I can't quit weighing myself, entirely (because there is a little food demon inside me that lies to me), but it does point out my pathetic need for validation.  Why can't it be enough that I am putting the right stuff in, and in smaller amounts?

There are all kinds of adjustments that come with weight loss and life changes...I've felt completely empty for the last 2-3 weeks, emotionally.  I think that is why I was feeling the need to work with my exploding scrap bins...just mindless, repetitive work that kept me from reaching for food.  I wasn't feeling very creative.  I wasn't wanting to face the overdue bee blocks.  Now that I finished them, they feel like a little victory, and they seemed to re-spark my creativity.  Thanks, Beebee!

I also managed to work some more on my positive/negative scrap blocks.  They have gone from this... this...

I'm starting to assemble them into quartets, which makes a 9 inch (finished) block.  Then there were these...

This project is on temporary hold until I cut just a few more strips to the right length...then I can zoom toward chain-piecing the last of the 120 log cabin blocks needed for the quilt.  I should have waited to start piecing until after I had everything cut, which is why I am experiencing "Piecus Interruptus."

As my daughter just started school last week, I have managed to knock out a few more hand-appliqued baskets (a la Blackbird Designs) as I wait to pick her and her friends up in the afternoon.  (Notice Weasley's feet...he was actually waiting for me to snap the picture before he prissed across the blocks...)

Riley is going to Washtenaw International High School, the new International Baccalaureate program high school that just opened in our county.  It is very exciting for all of us, but I am learning how spoiled I became having busing through the 8th grade...I am now the afternoon "bus driver."  LOL!

My little magic box is going to get a workout this year...I can't believe that my daughter has started 9th grade!
Our internet has been acting up the last couple of days...I hope it is not a trend!  Just 36 hours without the internet seemed very difficult for all three of us.

In stitches,
Teresa  :o)


  1. Congratulations on the weight loss! Plateus are common, but irritating. Keep on doing the right thing! You are doing great! You might check to see if there's a First Place 4 Health Bible study in your area. They offer a lot of encouragement. A verse I like is Deut. 30:11, "Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach."

  2. Congrats on the weight loss. I've been trying to use quilting to stay away from food, too. Works pretty good as I've lost weight too. Keep up the good work and the beautiful stitching.

  3. Love your blocks.The linked heart is really adorable.

    Congrats on the weight loss.

  4. Theresa, you are amazing! I love the heart blocks. Congrats on the weight loss. I have been thinking of rejoining Weight Watchers online again. I was very successful with it a couple of years ago. I was diagnosed with RA about a year and half ago. I am still on predisone. Steroids make me crave sugar. I managed to gain it all but 5 pounds back.
    I enjoy reading your blog. Your organizational skills inspired me to get my sewing room in order. The heart blocks you did are so beautiful. I hope you signed one. If not, I will take care of doing that.

  5. Congratulations! You must be so proud and rightly so. Keep up the organizational skills it does my heart good.

  6. I love these 3 scrappy projects you're working on. I need to get a box like that ready for my kids' school year. Your baskets are lovely as always. I am so impressed by your determination with your weight loss - 60 pounds is a real accomplishment.

  7. Wonderful works Teresa. I think you have exceptional with the weight loss. Remember your other chemicals, hormones, etc... change with loss and that makes your body need time to re-adjust. Keeping busy is a good distraction - but give yourself some personal ME time rather than CAVE time.

  8. Kudos to you for the weight loss. I am just beginning on the journey and am very inspired by your comments. I am also inspired by all the work you are doing.

  9. Congratulations on the weight loss--well done! The heart blocks are just lovely. I especially love the 4 intertwined hearts. Glad to see I'm not the only one who works on multiple projects at a time. I only wish I could show as much accomplishment as you manage to share.

  10. I'm lovin' those interlocked hearts, really pretty!! Kudos on the weight loss, you are doing fantastic :0)


  11. I love those baskets. I can't wait to finish up my klosjes so I can get to that project.

  12. You were soooo clever with your entwined hearts....clever indeed!!
    Just look at all the stitching you will be getting done whilst you wait upon the chill-dees this year!!! I was sooo glad when my daughter was old enough to drive, especially when all the sports started!!!
    Looks like you are still getting a lot done. I wonder if your body is still kind of going through withdrawals of a sort??? I have always wondered what that plateau thingy was really all about. I lost 13 lbs. one time and then that was it....for 6 weeks I could not lose even one lb....didn't gain any but certainly didn't lose. I was soooo discouraged. Starting today I am trying the balance way...equal portions...a protein, a good carb and a bad carb. Three meals a day like this with 2 snacks that also include a little protein with say an apple with a few bits of cheddar or cream cheese or a little peanut butter. It's hard having to COOK for every meal but I've always been a from scratch cooker anyway.
    Maybe with school starting back and the kids getting busy again and more activity going on will give your ole bod a renewed inspiration to kick off those lbs.!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  13. Huge congratulations on the weight loss, that's a really big achievement especially hard to do.
    I love seeing what youy've been up to, the heart blocks are pretty neat and the baskets looks fabulous.

  14. the baskets look great and oh I have a box similar to that of basket blocks that need to be appliqued!
    congrats on the weight loss I am so proud of you.
    its a long hard journey but just think of the rewards when your done and how much better your feeling.
    Keep it up!
    your an inspiration

  15. Congrats on your weight loss. You should be very proud.
    Great heart blocks especially the linked hearts. Really neat.
    Oh, one of these days I am going to start that little basket block.


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