Primary Mystery

Now that the holidays are over, it’s time to get back to projects again. One quilt I recently had on my machine to quilt I like to call Primary Mystery. This is a version of our guild’s mystery quilt that was done in the most striking primary colors

Primary Mystery

There are so many things about this quilt that I love – from the vibrant colors of the pieced blocks.

…To the Adagio pattern stitched in bright yellow thread. There is just so much to like about this pretty lady.

You may recognize this pattern as I have had similar quilts on my long arm in 2018. My version of The Mystery Quilt for 2018 was in Christmas colors.

I was also very happy to see a bright orange backing fabric laced with bright yellow quilting – How fun!

And for those that are interested, the E2E pattern came from Urban Elementz.

2018 Reproduction Garments

Not only was there a lot of quilting going on in 2018 – there were quite a few 2018 reproduction garments as well. As many of you know, I love to create and sewing is a perfect outlet for creative energies. Also, I prefer to create something useful, so sewing for Renaissance Festivals is a perfect choice.

Below are some of the garments from 2018 – unfortunately, I am unable to wear all but one of these and that one is with some major adjustments.

Did I say unfortunately? HELL NO! this is a good thing. In a bit, I will be posting about some major changes in my life. Until then – what non-quilting projects have you worked on in 2018?

If you are interested in seeing more garments, check out Queen Selesti’s page as well as these links:

Queen Selesti

Scarborough Renaissance Festival
Texas Renaissance Festival

Our Keto Journey – part 2

As I mentioned in the first installment of our Keto journey, I wanted to revisit what we are up to and expand on some of the different elements that have evolved over the course of the last few months.  As with any journey, there will always be adjustments along the way.

Drinks

Water, Water, Water – yep that is a mantra that we should be chanting all through life.  Doing the Keto diet (more of a lifestyle for us now), is no exception.  There just has to be more to life tho. 

Coffee – We are all coffee drinkers, and thankfully we gravitate to black coffee.  For others this can be a challenge.  The best alternative I have found to milk is heavy cream and this will help you to keep up your fat intake as well.

You will hear a lot about bulletproof coffee – I hate it.  To sum up, bulletproof coffee contains coffee, butter and oil.  There are many varieties and some pre-packaged versions as well.  The one piece of advice I hear a lot about is to blend your coffee well, this makes it more palatable.

Soda – No, just no.

me

Artificial sweeteners – So far, there is only one sweetener that I have found that stays true to no sugar and healthy.  That is Stevia.  I recommend only using the liquid version in drinks.  The keto journey doesn’t have to be without some sweetness..  Another great sugar free drink is Sobe Water.  I am in love with the Yumberry Pomegranate.  The downside is that this is pretty pricey.

Sweet Tea – living in the south, it is darn near impossible to throw a rock and not hit a glass of sweet tea.  Happily, I can report that this is something we drink quite a bit of.  I simply brew tea on the stove, add it to a container filled with ice and splash the liquid Stevia on at the end.  This is saving me from sweet cravings and helps keep me hydrated when I get sick of water.

Stevia Sweetner

Fat Bombs

I touched on the importance of these little cuties in my last post.  Do not let their importance escape you!  Not only do they do a great job of keeping you regular – they are also a perfect sweet treat.  Our family has one or two every night after dinner.

I posted the original recipe on my last post.  For reference, here it is again:

I also said that I had made some alterations.  Here is what you may want to know

  1. You can use other forms of nut butter, just be sure to watch the carbs.  I add up all the carbs in the batch and divide by the quantity of bombs made.
  2. For nut butter, I like to use a ½ to ½ mixture of organic peanut butter and Tahini sesame seed butter. Tahini has 4g of carbs per 2 tbs, or 16g of carbs for the entire recipe.
  3. You can use other forms of fat too!  I use Ghee instead of coconut oil and not only do my bombs retain their shape and don’t melt prematurely, they are delicious!  You can also use butter if you like. Just don’t make the mistake of using a liquid form of coconut oil. Your bombs will never set – even in the freezer.

When it comes to Fat Bombs, I don’t get too creative.  The fact is, our diet has become much less varied, we eat to live – not live to eat.  Keeping things simple really works for us.

Bomb Ingredients
Finished Bombs

You can find a gazillion recipes for fat bombs if you search.  Just be careful that you keep tabs of your total carbs or before you know it, you are gaining instead!

Wrapping it up

The most important thing I wanted to relay is that this is our own personal journey. We spent no money on programs, plans or prepared foods. If we can change our lives like this, so can anyone who wants to. It’s your life – it’s your journey!

Grandma’s Vintage Quilts

Once again, I have been honored to complete vintage quilt tops for a client. Grandma’s Vintage Quilts comprise of (3) tops. These tops are true to the vintage tradition and are created from a variety of different fabrics including seersucker and other types rescued from clothing.

Grandma’s name is Estelle an she was born before the turn of the century. Having lived until the early 1980’s these tops have been waiting for some time to be completed and enjoyed by the family.

The first is a cute 9 patch with sashing in lavender.

Purple Vintage 9-Patch Grandmas Vintage Quilts
Purple Vintage 9-Patch

The next of Grandma’s Vintage Quilts is a Blue 9-Patch on point.

Vintage on point blue 9-patch - Grandmas Vintage Quilts
On Point Blue 9-Patch

The last of the 3 quilts is this lovely. I was enchanted by the random use of off-white fabrics. I wish I could ask Estelle why she chose to create these asymmetrical secondary patterns, but alas, she has passed so this is her secret to keep.

Vintage random Irish chain - Grandmas Vintage Quilts
Random Irish Chain

Edge to Edge Quilting

The last thing we wanted to do was detract from the beautiful hand-pieced tops. Estelle’s handiwork needed to take center stage. To this end, we chose neutral thread colors and the Seamless pattern.

Edge to Edge Patterns
Seamless

As time has gone by, I have been honored to complete many vintage tops for customers. Sometimes I think I get more satisfaction out of seeing their joy when they know they can preserve a bit of their heritage through my efforts. This also serves as a reminder that all the effort I am putting into quilts and projects I complete, may one day be appreciated in similar fashion.

Do you create quilts in the hopes that one day they will turn into heirlooms also?

Check out these other vintage projects:

Changes – Keto 2018

I really wasn’t sure what to title this post, mostly because it is so different from other posts I have made. Please bear with me and while I will talk about some clothing issues, they are not the type you are used to. So here goes… our family has been loosing weight like crazy! (no this isn’t one of those stupid infomercials so don’t expect popups, flashing ads or other stupid stuff – this is just another blog post with a bit of a twist). I am talking about a resolution that didn’t wait until New Years – Keto 2018.

Big Changes!

In August of 2018 our family (Terry, Alexa and I) decided to ban together and try to become healthier. To be more specific, we decided to try KETO.

Now before anyone gets upset about the health implications, the first thing we did was consult our family doctor. Many of you may not know this but Terry had a triple bypass about 6 years ago, so we were concerned. Interestingly enough, our doctor was all in and said that she thought it would be a great thing for us to do together.

How did we do it?

As many of you know, I have tried so hard to loose weight and because of a variety of factors – gender, age, stress.. whatever, it was always hard for me.

When our son and daughter in law mentioned the Keto Diet, it was interesting but we were also skeptical. This is when we decided to consult Terry’s physician. She was so for it that the decision was made.

In order to be successful, we knew that big changes were in order. On August 1, 2018, these were some of the changes we made:

  1. Eat all meals at the table – no more grazing
  2. Switched to salad plates (this has become fun as I collect different styles of these in sets of 4)
  3. We figured out our macros (how much fat, protein, and carbs we could have each day)
  4. I create specific dinner meals with macros recorded on each *see image below
  5. We keep our carbs below 20 (actually most days below 10)
  6. Alexa and I do the intermittent fasting which means we eat dinner and then not again until 11 AM. Yep, no real breakfast. At 11 AM I eat 2 hard boiled eggs.
  7. I make extra meals and put them in containers for lunches etc.
Meal prep with macro labels – found these storage containers at Sam’s Club

Below is a few images of what our meals look like as well as a link to the program that we follow. This program is something I compiled from various sources. It is what works for us. Note the list of good foods with their values – this is how we eat when not having the prepared meals.

The Results?

Here is the exciting part – Drum roll please?????

  • Alexa – 75 lbs and going strong
  • Terry – 60 lbs and at goal
  • Robyn – 50 lbs and moving slow but steadily 

In total, if we were a quartet, we would now be a trio! Total loss of 185 lbs!

There is more to it than this. As many of you may know, Terry had a triple bypass about 6 years ago and was put on the normal regime of medications. Since losing the weight, the meds have been cut back by 2/3!!!

First Negative

What are the negatives? (besides for no bread or goodies and such?) Well for one – CONSTIPATION!!! Luckily there is an easy and fun way to combat this. By adding one or two Fat Bombs each evening, the problem is gone. Also, they are a well-deserved treat that doesn’t kill the diet. The recipe I use is below:

*TIP – do not use liquid coconut oil or your boms will NEVER set.
Make your boms in these fun shapes and keep them in the refrigerator.

Other Negatives

Another negative, well sort of – is that I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR!!! In fact, I am in the process of making new fair-wear. None of my gowns fit. I actually have some good deals on sizes 18-20 gowns if anyone is interested. On a positive note, Queen Selesti will be wearing leather pants and her battle gear much more often this season!

Yet another negative is cramps. Both Alexa and I suffer from leg cramps off and on. This can be alleviated in a variety of ways, the easiest is to drink more water. Bananas are a big no no, so leave that off the table.

Overall

Overall, we are raving about this experience and while Terry has no more to lose, he is still refraining from eating like the old “him”. Yep, no pie, donuts or other sweets on a regular basis. These are the exception now, none of us want to head back down old roads.

Our energy levels are higher than ever and for you ladies out there that understand these things – the first time I walked into a Cato Fashions store and turned RIGHT… I was the happiest girl in the world.

I will also be posting a follow-up to this post with some more specific details on meal choices that we have discovered, ways to add some sweet into our daily lives and variations (specific products) we use for our BOMS and meals.

Feel free to contact me if you have questions about our journey – each is different, but change is good!

Robyn Gotch
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