Sunday, March 29, 2020

A Second Blue Shirt for Miss J--Fifth Finish 1st Quarter 2020

Finished shirt
I was planning to make a skirt next; but, that blue fabric was telling me not to put it away! I ended up cutting out a second shirt. I used the set in sleeve long sleeve pattern. I was able to cut it out with a few inches to spare. I don't know if these leftovers and the leftovers from the red shirt will end up in a baby quilt or as something else. I know that Martha would be pleased that her fabric was sewn into a useful item for a one of the granddaughters!

In the appliqués were two white horses with red manes, hooves and tails. Miss J would like horses. The price on the package red 49 cents!

Because Miss J and Miss K are just about the same size, I put a shorter ribbing on the sleeves. Otherwise, the shirts are the same size. I decided it would be better to give them the same item; but, in a different color way. I'll save the other blue shirt for another day.

The books before wrapping
Again, I was pleased that the thread stash, ribbing stash and fabric stash was able to supply all the parts to this garment!

My next challenge was how to present the shirts as gifts. Daughter, Nicole, had sent me home with a bunch of books when we visited over Christmas. She asked that I wrap a couple up and get them to the girls for Spring Vacation.

Since there will be no school until after April 28, I needed to come up with a way to package the books. I've started to be more green with wrapping. I do have some wrapping paper that was in my grandmother's stash as well as some ribbons so I don't feel wasteful at all when I use it.

Wrapped books
I placed the book inside the shirt and then used the sleeves to "close" the packaging! I hope they like their gifts. It will be a few weeks before they get them since we are still social distancing.

The books are funny and written with different fonts so the reader will have fun reading the text. I hope I get to have some of the stories read to me!

This was goal number 13 on my first quarter list. I used 1 1/4 yards of fabric which brings my total so far this year to 10 yards used from my stash. It is my fifth finish for the quarter. I have linked this finish to #2020faq1finish in Instagram.

Regarding Covid-19, worldwide there are 677,622 confirmed cases. 141,968 people have recovered from it; but, 31,750 people have died.  In the United States, there are 124,697 confirmed cases. 3,231 people have recovered from it; but, 2,227 people have died. In Oregon there are 479 confirmed cases and 13 deaths.

Other than a short walk with the dog each day, I have not left the house since Thursday, March 19. I am so thankful for e-mail, the telephone and FaceTime for keeping in touch with friends and family. Although my body misses the pool, I am thankful for having a stash of fabric, a working sewing machine and plenty of additional supplies to keep me in projects for as many weeks as needed to wait out this virus.

My husband has gone to the grocery store once a week and to the post office about three times a week. This week, there were no grocery ads. On nice days, he has ridden his bicycle. He misses the gym and his daily coffee time with his buddies. Yesterday, the dryer vent cracked and needed replacement. He was able to go to the local Home Depot store to purchase one at seven in the morning.

He said that he was checked into the store. An employee said 100 people could be in the store at one time and that currently there were two in the store. (He would be the third.) He saw no one until he went to the self checkout. An employee wiped the surfaces after him. As he exited, an employee updated the shopper tally to two.

One granddaughter has had a fever for three days. Her family has been in social isolation for two weeks so it is unknown where her illness originated. They have had groceries delivered and are staying in until three days until after the fever passes and away from people for an additional two weeks.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

A Blue Shirt for Miss J--Fourth Finish for 1st Quarter 2020

Ready to cut the 
After finishing the shirt for Miss K, I started work on a shirt for Miss J. When I was kid, one set of my grandparents had a favorite grandchild. I was not the favorite. Not being the favorite was a good experience for me because I learned what it felt like to be overlooked.

Both of my grandkids are my favorites. I make sure that if I give one granddaughter a gift, I ensure that the other granddaughter receives an equal gift. Both my daughters are my favorites. I love it when I'm with one and she will start a sentence with, "Since I'm your favorite daughter, . . . ."  It makes me smile EVERY time.

I made a new pattern for Miss J because she too has grown a couple inches taller since I last measured her! She likes the color blue so this velour fabric seemed destined for her. It is also a piece of fabric that was my friend Martha's. Martha would be tickled to know that my granddaughters will be wearing her fabric! She loved kids.
Dog applique

Ribbing also finishes the neckline of the raglan sleeve shirt as it did with the red shirt I made for Miss K. Luckily, my bag of ribbing had a piece that was the perfect color. Wow! That bag has been magical!

After I cut out this shirt, I did a layout with the pattern pieces on the remaining fabric. I think there is enough left for a second shirt! Hm m m m. . .let's see how this shirt and the red fits the girls before I decide what to do with the remaining fabric.

The pattern calls for 1/4 inch seam allowances which I stitched on Bernie. Then, I serged all the seams. Serging finishes the seams and that second line of stitching makes the garment more durable.

When I had finished the garment, I looked through those "vintage" appliqués because this t-shirt needed something to make it "special." There was a dog! Miss J loves animals so I stitched that appliqué to the neckline. The price on this applique was 70 cents!
Finished shirt

That dog looked great on the t-shirt. Miss J also looks awesome when she wears leggings. This shirt would be a good paired with leggings.

I have had this fabric for a couple years. It took me a few hours in an afternoon to complete this shirt. I don't know why I put off stitching these small projects! I am glad to have finished this one!

This was goal number 12 on my first quarter list. I used 1 yard of fabric which brings my total so far this year to 8 3/4 yards used from my stash. It is my fourth finish for the quarter. I have linked this finish to #2020faq1finish on Instagram.

A Red Shirt for Miss K--Third Finish 1st Quarter 2020

Pieces ready to cut
Joie is having her spa treatment with Aaron. I suspended work on the leaves quilt. AlthoughI've lots of projects hanging about in my studio, I haven't finished many projects on m list this quarter. While Joie is away, I decided I would picked one that I could stitch in a day.

The fabric originally came from my friend Martha's stash.  I've had her fabric in my stash for a couple years. Martha loved soft fabrics. She probably made a robe out of this red stretch velour. I was able to cut out a long sleeved top for Miss K. Since I last took Miss K's measurements, she's grown several inches! Because Miss K is taller, I needed to draft a longer pattern. I picked the pattern paper off of the guild free table. It was designed to be used as a quilting foundation; but, it is of better use to me as pattern paper!
Vintage caterpillar applique

I pressed my first Bernina, Bernie, a 1630 into stitching. Bernie has been around since 1996. I'm considering leaving her in one side of the sewing table so that I can stitch small projects while I'm quilting a project on Joie.

When it came time to choose ribbing to finish the sleeves, hemline and neckline, I selected a bag from the closet that I've had for longer than I've had Bernie! Inside, was a piece of ribbing that exactly matched the shirt fabric. When this happens, I say that I witnessed serendipity at its best!

When I was finished, I thought that the top needed a little "something." I pulled out one of my drawers and searched for some purchased appliqués that my mom had purchased when my brother was a baby. He is 53 years old so those appliqués have been around a long time!

Finished top
There was a caterpillar that looked nice on the edge of the pocket. I hand stitched it in place. I think Miss K will appreciate the accent. The price on the appliqué was 75 cents!

When our daughters were my granddaughters' ages, I sewed a lot of their clothing. The Stretch & Sew pattern was one I purchased for my daughters. I hope Miss K will like wearing this "vintage" top. She often wears leggings which would pair well with the shirt.

This was goal number 10 on my first quarter list. I used 1 1/4 yards of fabric which brings my total this year to 7 3/4 yards used from my stash. It is my third finish for the quarter. I have linked this finish to #2020faq1finish on Instagram. Now to make a shirt for my other granddaughter!!!

As for the impact Covid 19 is having on our community, we are following the social distancing protocols. As of yesterday morning, in Oregon 2,912 people have been tested. 2,333 people tested negative. 137 people tested positive. 437 people are waiting for the results. Four people have died.

Many of the local quilt shops as well as other stores are closed to shoppers; but, businesses are offering shipping or curbside pick up. Churches are closed and those facilities that have the technology are offering internet services.

Missing a front tooth
Grocery stores still have limited supplies of some products available. My husband says it is strange to see totally empty shelves! My chiropractor closed her practice for at least the next two weeks. Our dentist closed his practice as well. Across the state, other practitioners have done the same. Only emergency surgeries are done at the hospitals as staff are gearing up for an influx of virus infected patients. Staff are also working to procure more hospital beds, ventilators and supplies like gowns, masks and gloves. It is estimated that a minimum of 1,000 additional beds are needed.

Spring vacation is next week. While I miss spending time together, I'm fortunate to stay in touch with FaceTime and texting! Miss J lost a front tooth. She had her mom send me a photo. I asked her if food fell out through the hole and she said, "Good question, I'll have to try some foods and get back to you!"

My daughter, Amanda, has been "filling in the gaps" with her kids. She leads school time about four hours each morning. The granddaughters are fortunate that their mama is so well prepared to help them continue learning. (She is a special education teacher.) There are so many parents who do not have access to resources and/or they do not have the skills to teach.

Miss K perusing the Christian Dior gown book
Last Friday, Amanda said that the district e-mailed the teachers that they will be working beginning March 30. My son-in-law, who works for the county, has also been told that work will resume March 30. Neither of them know what work will look like. Likely, they will telecommute. How will they balance work and school for the kids? There are lots of questions and few answers; but, I have no doubt that they will figure it out.

As for Spring vacation, I saw on the news last night that there were many people at the coast. There were so many people that no way could they be following the six foot social distancing. While I was sad to see that people were not following "the stay in and away from people as much as you can" directive from the governor, I was not shocked at the story. People think that they won't catch the virus. These could be the people who end up in the health care system being triaged as to whether there are enough resources to keep them alive.

In London, Nicole said that the death toll is beginning to steadily rise and that a number of her work groups have had a loved one contract the virus and have died. It is humbling. A friend sent me a bit of advice regarding the virus. It was,
"Your grandparents were called to fight in world wars. You are being called to wash your hands and sit on the couch. Don't %@#* it up!!!"

I'm washing my hands. Instead of sitting on the couch, I'll be creating in the studio.

Stay safe out there!

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Leaves--post 5

Three serpentines--not "it"
When it was time to quilt the brown sashings, My plan was to keep the stitching simple. I had planned to use my walking foot, brown 40 weight Floriani polyester thread in the needle and 50 weight Aurifil thread in the bobbin. I planned to stitch a serpentine stitch pivoting at the corners. I stitched a sample.

While I liked the way the serpentine stitch looked next to the outer edges, I wasn't sold on the center serpentine stitch. So I stitched another sample with a straight stitch in the center. I liked the way the center straight stitch looked better. I stitched three sashings. Then, I realized that when I turned the quilt sandwich to change direction at the corners, I had changed the orientation of the foot. That twisted foot meant I needed to take the machine into the repair shop. UGH!!!

I called ahead to Quilting Delights and talked with Aaron. Aaron is an awesome machine repairman. He takes the time to listen to what is happening with the machine. He takes the time to trouble shoot the issue and then he solves it! When I pick up the machine, he gives me a detailed report of what he did. I always learn something new about my machine in the process!

Aaron said to bring my machine first thing in the morning which I did. Arron said he hadn't seen a foot so skewed before. (Hey, if you are going to do something, you might as well make it memorable. . .right?)
Two serpentines with a straight stitch center

He took the covers off the machine which gave me a chance to see parts of the machine that I haven't seen. He adjusted the bar that holds the foot so it again was in the correct orientation. I learned I have a tool with which I can unscrew one of the bolts and be able to access the front of my machine to be able to remove any thread that tangles around the take up bar! I was on my way and home in about an hour and half after I had left! I love that the shop routinely supplies that kind of customer service!

I reset the machine and started serpentining the sashing. I stitched about twelve inches and the machine had a hiccup. It slowed, the lights flickered, the machine made a noise like it was booting up, the needle moved left and it began stitching a straight stitch.

I couldn't get the machine to serpentine stitch. I tried turning the machine off and back on. I had the same results. I found I could stitch other decorative stitches; but not that one so last Friday, Joie went in for her annual spa treatment.

Aaron was surprised to see me back with her as we had been in the previous day. He was even more surprised at how she was stitching. He chuckled at my notes. I had written what she was doing because I didn't know if I would be able to talk with him when I brought her in to the shop.

He will resolve the issue and I'll have her back as soon as he can manage. I'll be taking yet another break from this project. In the meantime, my first Bernina, "Bernie," is ready to stitch some t-shirts for the granddaughters. I won't run out of projects any time soon!

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Strange and Crazy Times

The scene 15 minutes after snow fell one morning
Has the threat of contracting the Covid-19 virus affected your life? We started the week with the time change, followed by closures because of Covid-19, followed by snow blanketing the yard, followed by Friday the 13th!

Yesterday, there were 36 known cases of people with the virus in Oregon. One person has died. In Washington, 607 people have the virus and 40 people have died.

Last Sunday, I was one of two trainers teaching a lifeguard instructor class. We started with 10 participants. We held day one of three training days. The other two days of classes were scheduled to be held next weekend. Within three days after the first class, the pool where we were teaching closed for two weeks and most area schools announced a two week closure beginning tomorrow. Additionally, a number of other pools, community centers and recreational districts closed too.  Some organizations closed for a month. Others closed for two weeks and then planned to re-evaluate. Care facilities closed their doors to visitors. Public libraries closed.

A number of businesses also closed. Some businesses increased their online presence. Other businesses tweaked their business plan and offered curbside take out for restaurants and curbside pick up for other shops; other businesses shared how they are sanitizing common areas. Grocery stores have empty shelves. Hand sanitizer, toilet paper, milk, formula, bread and meat are in short supply. There are long lines at the check out stands. Last night, a private source notified us that the supply chain may be disrupted starting Monday. If we need medications, food, and/or supplies, we should buy those supplies today.

Evening sunset colored sky
Our CCQ guild canceled the March general meeting and also canceled April quilt show. The show is rescheduled for Fall. It will be November 12-14, 2020. Please make the notation in your calendar. Many other shows were canceled until next year.  Our Mt. Hood guild canceled their stash bazaar.  Our book club canceled our monthly meeting. Most of us in the quilting community are in the higher risk category because of our age. We are being wise and staying home.

The governor of Oregon banned gatherings of 250 people or more and imposed a six foot space between people in work places and schools. Colleges moved to only online courses. Dorms closed. I am surprised that the airport, train station and mass transit facilities have remained open.

Two of my April classes canceled. One because the organization wouldn't be open to take registrations and the second canceled because the organization planned to remain closed for an additional two weeks which would be during the time the class was scheduled. That class was full.

I did complete a lifeguard review class of 7 participants and finished swimming lessons for 20 participants. I taught 15 participants in Healthcare CPR and have more classes scheduled before the end of the month. I'm teaching hospital employees. While they need to have current CPR certification to work, holding class is always on a day to day basis. That lifeguard instructor class has a rescheduled date option and a rescheduled site option. As trainers, we wouldn't want anyone to come to class that felt their safety was at risk. As for the participants returning, they will have different teaching skill topics so we can be six feet away from each other and remain safe. In the end, it will all work out!
Amanda, on the right, winner of the Hazel Bressie Spirit Award 2020
Sister, Nicole on the left, on our Hawaiian adventure 2018

The last three mornings, it has snowed. It was beautiful to see the huge flakes fall; but, it is not typical March weather to have snow this late in the year. We've also had some beautiful sunsets. I wish I could capture the amazing colors of the sky. (I do plan to continue trying!)

Our refrigerator is stocked. We could probably survive six or more weeks without a store run if necessary.  I have plenty of fabric and thread to keep me busy and some novels that are waiting for me to read. I am not bored nor do I feel cabin fever if I can't get out. (Home has always been a great place to hang!) We are doing our part to stay safe, healthy and to breathe though the next transition! Life is crazy right now.

If taking these extra precautions save thousands of people being infected with the virus and save as many people dying from it, the craziness was worth it.

To end on a positive note, our daughter, Amanda, was named the Hazel Bressie Spirit recipient for 2020. She shared this news last night! This honor is awarded to the female Masters Swimmer who has exemplified the most enthusiasm and spirit to her team and other masters swimmers over the past year. She has been a masters swimmer for the past 12 years. She began her swimming career when she was three months old and has been swimming ever since! She was on the high school swim team and has taught swim lessons.

Amanda is the force behind her club still having a place to swim! The recreation center planned to either charge four times the fee or close the time slot so the group would have to find another pool. She is one determined woman when she has a goal to meet. She worked with the recreation center and negotiated an annual step increase that the team members can manage. She started an annual swim fitness clinic that he team puts on for free for the recreation center. She updated the recruitment process/tools for her team. She is the first person a new swimmer meets and she is the one that helps them find "their spot!" Her coach nominated her for the award. I am proud of her and happy to see her efforts recognized!

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Frolic--post 3

Red half square triangles
The last time that I posted any progress on Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt, "Frolic," was the middle of December. Soon after I posted, my husband and I visited our youngest daughter in London, England for a couple weeks. When I returned home, I spent time finishing a small wall hanging and quilting our youngest daughter's quilt.

I did go to a couple sewing sessions with my small groups and I worked on Frolic clues. I have finished all of clue four which was to stitch blue and white half square triangles. I've finished clue number five which was making red and white half square triangles. This clue was released December 27, 2019.

I've started clue number six which Bonnie released on New Year's Eve. I get to stitch the green fabric that has been in my stash for many years! Seeing fabrics that have been stashed for years under the needle makes me smile!

One set of geese
This clue is going to take some time because it is sewing wings on a lot of geese. It is a little tricky ensuring that I have a quarter inch left at the point. I have done some ripping with the few that I have made. I get to stitch a lot of sets of four matching geese. Currently, I have six sets complete.

I so enjoy hanging with the Mystery Mavens once
a month. At least four in the group have their Frolics quilted and a couple have their bindings stitched! There are probably another couple tops finished or centers complete. I'm behind; but, I'm not alone! I am enjoying the process which is one of Bonnie's goals.

Those mavens who are finished, have started another of Bonnie's patterns. It is fun to see what they are stitching; but, it is more fun to laugh and to giggle together!

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Leaves--post 4

Beginning of the pebble quilting
Sixty hours later, I finished the background leaf quilting in the leaf blocks. I finished the background quilting February 12. The following day, I started quilting pebbles in the flower portion of the blocks. I used a brown silk thread in the needle and a brown Aurifil thread in the bobbin.

I have found that I can quilt a maximum of two hours a day and not all that time at one setting! My brain remembers the days of quilting long into the wee hours of the morning; but, my body cannot manage to quilt that long. My back, arms, wrists and neck complain after fifteen minutes! The younger me would chastise my performance. The more mature me pats me on the back for making progress.
Border quilting I didn't choose

It took me about 40 hours to finish quilting the pebbles. Next, I quilted the red sashing. In my head, I planned to quilt large circles using a quilting template. I found I couldn't push the template so I quilted straight lines using a template. I stitched two blocks with the lines. These were okay; but, the completed lines didn't "speak" to me.
Border quilting I chose instead

I let the work sit overnight. The next morning, those lines still weren't speaking to me. For one reason, the lines were difficult to do. Secondly, I liked the texture the circles created. Circles reminded me of raindrops in the fall.

I tried the circle template again. (The template is a Westalee product.) This time, I was able to move the template. Why I couldn't move it the day before, I don't know. Perhaps, in my weakened state, I didn't have the strength to move the fabric. (I was day six of a nine day cleansing fast which is the third day of three days of ingesting juice and water.)

Circle template with adapter on foot
I compared the two types of quilting and decided the circles were the better option in terms of providing texture and in terms of me being able to stitch them. I ripped the straight lines and continued with the circle template.

My template will allow me to stitch larger circles than you see stitched in the sashing. I have an adapter to put on my quilting foot which shortens the circle diameter. I used it; but, I was surprised that while quilting, the adapter wiggles off of the foot. I had to pause and push the attachment back on the foot one to two times in stitching a single circle!

Thirty-six hours later, I finished the circle quilting.  I've invested about 148 hours in the quilting. I'm chuckling because I thought it would take me about 80-100 hours to finish the quilt back in October! Oh well, I'm making progress and making progress is what is most important to me!

Our quilt show is scheduled for April 9-11 with the quilts turned in on April 7.  The next quilting I'll be doing are zig zag lines in that brown border. Surely I can finish that over the next week. Then, I'll be down to the binding, sleeve and label. I sure like how this quilt looks on our bed. Do you suppose our youngest daughter will notice if her quilt ends up on our bed?

Wednesday, March 4, 2020

February Recap

Blooming daffodils
In February, I watched the daffodils bud and bloom. I love their bright yellow flowers!

Miss J and Miss K were over because they had an early release day from school. We spent a little time preparing a hearty snack with grab and go leftovers for later when their tummies get hungry! Those girls make food preparation so fun! They also have DEFINITE opinions about what vegetables should be included on a vegetable tray. I learned that black olives are important as a "garnish." I was told olives are tasty too!

Miss K and I also had a sew day. She is making progress on her Mermaid wallhanging. I sewed two black swimsuits for teaching lessons. I posted about redrawing my personal pattern. I am glad to have new suits!

I also finished the background quilting of the leaves quilt. I've been hard at work on that project because I entered it into the guild quilt show which is at the beginning of April. Yes, I have time to finish; but, I still have a ways to go!!! Perhaps, I can get it to the binding, sleeve and label stage by the end of this month! I met two of my four stitching goals for the month.

My reach numbers in February were that I taught 33 people Healthcare CPR. I subbed teaching swim  lessons on a Saturday. In three hours, I taught 44 people in lessons! One class was a parent/child class which contained 20 people. It was a fun day. My regular M/W class ends today so I'll record those numbers at the end of the month. In February, I trained a total of  77 people.
Preparing a veggie snack

A fun activity that I did was to attend a class on how to make a number of small gifts from scraps and fat quarters. The teacher, Su, taught this workshop at Saturday Workshops. She made the workshop available at her home to all the teachers who taught at Saturday Workshops. She said it was her thank you to us for teaching! It was a fun class.

We didn't stitch. Su gave us each a folder which contained directions for at least eight projects. She talked about the various projects and passed around samples of each step. It was a terrific experience. I do want to make some of these items!

She shared her spacious sewing area with all of us. Class, though, was held in the BrewBarn. Su and her husband, Brian, built this building because Brian wanted to brew beer. He also wanted an area where he could share his brew with guests. It is a great space. We were all offered refreshments! What a nice gesture. Quilters are some of the nicest people!

The BrewBarn is the location where a group of modern quilters meet. If it wasn't an hour to drive one way, I'd join the group. It was a fun experience and I'm glad that I took time away from working on the leaves quilt to go!

My first meal after six days of a cleansing fast
Bob and I completed our annual cleansing fast. Each year, I do a fast to give my liver and digestive system a little rest. I don't feel well when I eat foods that contain dairy and soy. Although, I can eat butter with no ill effects. If I am involved in preparing the meals, there is no dairy or soy. It is the social eating and the occasional meal out that get me. Also, one of my favorite foods is pizza. I'll eat it occasionally knowing it will cause me discomfort because I miss it that much!

At any rate, the cleansing helps me get a fresh start. It is a nine day process. Day one, you eat chicken, rice and vegetables. Day two, you eat rice and vegetables. Day three, you eat vegetables. Day four though day six, you drink juice and water. Day seven, you eat vegetables. Day eight you eat rice and vegetables. Day nine, you eat chicken, rice and vegetables. If I get too hungry on the juice/water days, I'll eat a banana.

I do lose a few pounds during the fast. Generally, I gain most of the weight once I eat solid foods. The cleanse isn't for weight loss. It is about giving my liver a rest and to be more mindful of what I'm eating. It also helps me drink water throughout the day. I do try to continue in that mode as I do feel better when I eat the foods that agree with me!

All in all, I had a successful month.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Swimsuits--Second Finish for the 1st Quarter 2020

The project
As I've written before, when I teach lessons; the uniform is a black swimsuit. I try to keep a spare suit on hand because the pool chemicals breakdown lycra suits within a few weeks. The polyester fabric I tried also broke down in about the same time frame. I like the way lycra suits feel so I will keep making lycra suits!

I could purchase a suit. However, I like full bottom coverage and I like full cleave coverage which I can achieve when sewing my suits! Cost is also a factor. A suit can cost between $50 and $180. I can make one in about three hours and less than $30 in materials. A benefit is that I used a fabric that I like!

I've been sewing my suits for almost 40 years. Last year, I was gifted two moving boxes of lycra fabric so I will have workout and "Sunday" suits for the rest of my life! About 20 years ago, I updated my "personal" swimsuit patterns. I have a number of swimsuit patterns from Kwik Sew and Stretch and Sew; but, two patterns in particular are my mainstays.

During the last 20 years, my weight has fluctuated. I've gained and I've lost weight. In 2009, I weighed 20 pounds more than I do now. I will gain five to ten pounds and then I'll lose most of it. Weight has always been a battle. I am challenged the most when my body hurts too much to exercise which happens more often these days. I also have never been one to follow the mantra "eat to live." I've always been one to "live to eat!" The combination of lack of exercise and the "live to eat" mantra contribute to weight gain. My goal for at least the last three years is to lose an additional 15-20 pounds. I continue to work on it! Back to the swimsuits, I've used the same personal pattern to make each one.

Two teaching swimsuits ready for duty
Before Christmas, my husband asked me for my measurements. I think he was surprised that I couldn't just rattle them off when he asked. The truth was that I haven't sewn more than swimsuits for myself in about 20 years. Sewing clothing lost its  allure for me when it was so much cheaper and faster to purchase what I needed. The fit wasn't as good and the detail wasn't as good; but, the clothes were good enough. Additionally, purchasing clothing meant that I had more time to quilt! I've purchased the same size clothing for years.

I took my measurements. I was so surprised with the numbers. In spite of weighing more than 20 pounds less than I did ten years ago, my measurements had increased substantially since I had drawn my personal pattern! How does this happen? I remember my mom lamenting this fact too! Before I cut out my next two suits, I drew off a pattern that fit my more "mature" measurements.

Last month, I stitched the two suits. I wore one of them for lessons and it felt great. I'm glad I upgraded my pattern! I will have to purchase more black fabric for future suits; but, not anytime soon. I'll do some shopping and watch for a sale.

I line my suits so I used four yards of fabric to complete this project. It is goal number 19 on my first quarter list. I have now used six and a half yards of fabric from my stash this year. I have linked this finish to #2020faq1finish on Instagram.