Hi! I'm Nan and I'm thrilled to be the Guest Blogger du jour!! I write a little blog called Pots and Pins where I share my love of cooking and quilting, combined with stories about my life with a caveman. I wouldn't say I was a gourmet chef, but I do know my way around the kitchen, and I'm definitely NOT a short-order cook...I don't want my family to think they can waltz in the door and request chocolate souffle with a side of grits any time they want! After 30-some years of quilting I'm still a 30-foot quilter...which means my quilts look fabulous from 30 feet away! Up close, well, let's just say that precision and perfection are two words I've never understood.
Now, unless you are extremely talented, and if you are I want to meet you, there is absolutely NO WAY you can quilt and eat at the same time, therefore, I am here to tell you that IF you quilt more, you will eat less and lose weight. Can I get an amen?!
We all know that dieting combined with exercise is how to really lose weight...and even though quilting is not an Olympic sport - yet - it is MY favorite and only form of exercise. I am NOT the most physically fit person on the planet, I can't run marathons, you'll never catch me doing yoga and I’m certain I’m allergic to my own sweat - but my fingers are as fit as Cindy Crawfords’s and I try to sew, I mean “workout” every day!
To keep me out of traction, off the shrink’s couch, and from being a member of AA, I subscribe to the following on a daily basis and you should, too!
1. Sit higher than your machine so your shoulders are not hunched...you can spot a quilter with a low chair a mile away, she's got hunched shoulders and she smells of Ben-Gay. Sit high, shoulders down and relaxed...save yourself some chiropractor bills!
2. Don't grasp your rotary cutter too tightly...apparently grasping is bad, very bad...use a gently touch to avoid quilting carpel tunnel syndrome...it's true! I read that somewhere! Besides, if you're trying to cut through 12 layers of fabric (which is my limit) then you're grasping/pushing/exerting WAAAAAY too much! Cutting less=cutting smart.
3. If you take your machine and all of your sewing paraphernalia to a quilting class, and you don't have it all on wheels, get your husband to carry it for you! Seriously, what else are they good for?!? Not even a Bernina 9000 is worth a ruptured disk! Is there such a thing as a Bernina 9000? If so, in my next life I shall own one!
4. If you have a cutting table, make sure it is high enough so you are not bending over to cut. You can purchase "lifts" to raise it up...stay with me, I'm not talking about breasts here although I know you can "lift" them, too! Raising your cutting table to a comfortable height will prevent sore necks and backs so you'll feel good enough to live to quilt another day!
5. I sew by the 20-minute rule. My own creation. I will sit at my machine and sew continuously for 20 minutes and then will force myself to get up and move around. And sometimes I only have 20 minutes a day to sew - it's amazing what you can get done in 20 minutes and the only thing you won't get is sore!
6. If you don't have a design wall, get one. Use the back of a door, throw a piece of batting over the front of a bookcase - just get up off the floor! I've done my share of designing on the floor (usually praying for inspiration!) on my knees, hunched over. It's not a pretty sight, especially when I try to get up! Woman was not meant to be on her knees...feel free to quote me on that!
So you see, quilting involves standing, sitting, lifting – don’t tell me that’s not exercise! Listen, here's the bottom line, I took up quilting so I wouldn't have to play tennis, golf, frisbee or do water aerobics. I've spent years mastering my hand-quilting technique just so I wouldn't have to jog, trot or learn the luge. I know I should exercise and in my next life I shall…in the meantime, IF you ever see me on a treadmill you’ll know I’ve learned to walk AND stipple at the same time!
I've droned on long enough...it’s been great fun to be here! Stash Manicure is my daily treat! But now, I’ve got 20 minutes and fabric screaming at me to be sewn, unsewn, then resewn...story of my sewing life! Come visit me at Pots and Pins and help me celebrate my THREE year Blog-a-versary!! I'm giving away a TURKEY APRON, matching hot pads and a few more MUST-HAVE T-Day things!! And I'll let you in on a little secret...if you win the apron and you wear it on Thanksgiving day with NOTHING underneath( maybe your undies) no one will notice if the turkey is undercooked or if the stuffing is dry!
p.s thanks to Madame Samm and all who leave me comments...I will think of baking you something!~