Monday, July 26, 2010

Quilter's Butt and an Improv Challenge

Alas, those of us who sit in front of sewing machines (and computers) for long periods of time are prone to that only whispered about in coffee shops syndrome known as the dreaded Quilter's Butt. There are similar maladies for other artist and crafter types who spend long hours doing anything but exercising and avoiding and making seriously legitimate excuses for not hopping on the treadmill, jumping on a bike or hitting the pool.

My friend Katie and I met on the internet and we initially connected trying to motivate each other to exercise. We know that exercise and healthy living will allow us to be more productive quilters and in the end isn't that what it's all about? We want to quilt longer and harder, so we need to be in shape.

When Katie was visiting Kansas last month she suggested I join this government site that tracks your exercise. It's a virtual transcontinental trip across the United States. She suggested that we become partners to motivate each other. I was all over that. I need all the help I can get!

Are you like that? You want to, you know you should, but you can't seem to get your quilter butt out of that chair? We thought it would be great if we could form a team and get a whole bunch of quilters to join with us. So, Team 'Quilter Butts' was formed and the 'Improv(E) Your Butt Challenge' was born.

HERE'S HOW IT WORKS. To join in, you need to head to the site and sign up as a participant. It's all confidential too! You'll be able to set an individual exercise goal. When you sign up you'll get an ID number. To join Team Quilter Butts and the challenge, email me your id number and whatever you want me to put in the sidebar of my blog. (your first name, an alias and a link if you'd like.) Katie and I will add you to the team. My email is jgeringirre (at) yahoo (dot) com.

You can decide what activity you want to qualify as your exercise. The options on the site are biking, running, and run/walk, but Katie is counting her water aerobics and I'm counting my swimming. You can figure out how to convert your activity into miles. You can enter your exercise daily or whenever you have a minute or two. You'll be able to track your own miles as well as the team's. It's all on the honor system so you're on your own. Do you think that together we can make it all the way across America? We do!!

So, how does quilting fit into this challenge? Both Katie and I love to improvise, so this is an IMPROV challenge too. For every mile you log, you get one piece of fabric. My weekly goal is 15 miles. So, if I achieve my goal, at the end of the week, I get 15 pieces of fabric that I can sew together in some improvisational way. You can use scraps, or you can cut new fabric. You can add a piece one mile at a time or you can collect them on your design wall and then sew them together at the end. If you want to make a potholder from your first 15 pieces, go for it. It's up to you. Improvise!! We're going to try to keep the challenge going for at least 6 months...let's see... 4 weeks a month, 15 miles each week x 6 months...that's 360 pieces of fabric. Imagine what I or you could make from that!

I'm pretty sure I'm making a quilt. I haven't decided what colors or if I want to use scraps or cut new fabric, but I have time to decide. I'm only 5 miles into my trip across the US. I have a LONG way to go.

Let's report our weekly fitness and improv progress on Fridays. Fitness Friday has a nice ring to it, don't you think? Feel free to post photos of your quilty goodness in the Project Improv flickr group. We'll be cruising the group to look for in progress and finished work to highlight on our blogs. Be sure to let us know this is your 'Quilter's Butt' Challenge piece!

We're working on some fun motivation for all of us along the way. If you'd like to contribute to the cause, feel free to contact Katie or I.

Here's the code so you can add the button to your blog.

So, wanna IMPROV(e) your Butt?





35 comments:

becca said...

great idea!! just signed up

Emma said...

I signed up and emailed you my number. I'm adding up all of my working out from this month (well, all of my biking and walking as I've been lazy and not ran at all...shame on me!) and I'm impressed by the numbers I have. I only had a few long bike rides, but I'm still almost up to almost 60 miles so far! I'm tracking it in km, because I'm living abroad for the next three years, but it's really cool!

Martys Fiber Musings said...

I'm in....love this challenge. Can't seem to get the flickr button to cooperate with me, but I'll keep trying to get it to my sidebar.

byneedleandthread said...

I've signed up too! Go team!

Rebecca Johnson said...

mmm i know i know, I really should do something! i LOVE your pic of the quilt hanging over the exercise machine.. Clever!! xx

Mary said...

OK, I'm in. It really is more fun when you work as a team, and I know it helps me stay motivated. I'll email my information. Thanks for the idea.

Petit Design Co. said...

this is so funny! My DH walked into my quilt guild meeting one day to pick me up. Later that night he told me I was the "hottest one there" (his words.) Mind you there are only about 3 members under the age of 35ish (one being 18ish) Everyone else is pretty much a grandma. My DH commented on how they all seemed to have the same body shape (pear, with a really huge butt!) I couldn't stop laughing. I made a joke about that's what happens to a quilter's body. I was promptly forbidden to ever have a quilter's body (at least until I'm like 70!)

I like to think I'm not the average quilter because I really love to be active (triathlons, running, biking, swimming, and zumba are my other passions!)

Claire said...

I'm in....i just signed up, I'll e-mai you my ID in a few minutes.

This will be intersting...

I LOVE to Jazzercise, but sometimes I'm not motivated to go, so hopefully this will kick start me to get off my 'quilter's' butt and start moving.

I also need to start walking our two dogs (who also need to lose weight about 5 lbs each).

Lets get Started!

Mitzi said...

Just this weekend I spoke with someone who is a quilter and she wanted more exercise so she moved her ironing board to the second floor of her house. So now she has to go up and down the stairs every time she has to iron something. Definitely a good way to get exercise but how in the world will she get any sewing done? A lot of time running the stairs involved with that!

Shea said...

Short of starting the KCMQG together, this is the best idea! I'm in!

AllieKatMom said...

Hmmm interesting! I may have to start. I do want to start working out more but have not motivation at this time.

Does shopping count as an activity cuz I can do that all day long!!!

traceyjay said...

I am in!

I just re-started Weight Watchers, in conjunction with "The Beck Diet Solution" to lose my last 10 baby pounds! (16 months out, and I'm finally out of denial that it's just going to 'disapper')

Sign me up! :) And thanks for the motivation!

Rebekah said...

great idea! I just joined and sent my info to Katie.

Nanette Merrill and daughters said...

It is good for all of us. I've been trying to do what you do, get up and walk around at least in the middle of projects.

Emma said...

If you need a good way to figure out how far you walked or run or biked or whatever-ed, google maps lets you drag your route around so you can specifically put it on the way you took. It's how I'm figuring out how far I've been going (mostly; there's a bit of guess-work involved in mine too, though).

Brenis said...

Ya know, this is a great idea! LOL your post title cracked me up - but i love what you're onto here! I have the start of quilter's butt, and do exercise, just not as religiously as i should - so this will be great motivation! Thanks Jacquie!

QuiltSwissy said...

I am all over that! I will sign up immediatly!

glen in Louisiana: quilts and dogs

QuiltSwissy said...

Just signed up, but it must be overloaded with Quilty Butts signing up, it is sort of stuck on the second level.

I will email you my number as well.

I walk the dogs every night, and do boxing where we do mucho mucho body building work that I can't keep up with. I could be momma to everyone in that room! LOL. So I hop on the treadmill while they are doing 200 pushups and all that jump roping!
glen in Louisiana, quiltSwissy

Debra said...

I signed up & walked my first mile on my lunch break today!

brigette said...

what a great idea!!!

Krista said...

I'm in! Great idea :)

Jane said...

Great idea!
I'll send you my ID.
Thanks!
Jane

CJ said...

I want, I NEED to join in! I am on vacation until early next week but then I will be joining you!

MightyMom said...

Coolness!! count me in!

A.S.K.-P. said...

Definitely considering joining but have a question. I do aerobics for my workouts. Where is the tool I use to change that into miles?

Kristen said...

Thanks for adding me this will be fun!

Autumn said...

I love it. I'm totally in.

Lindsay said...

Is it too late to join? I have been exercising but I think what I need is a reward... however since I dont have scraps I will be buying new fabrics as my reward. Still for an improve quilt however. I think I will have to readjust how much I earn per mile since I might go broke otherwise lol.

Singings said...

I'd like to join in if it's not too late. The link to the gov website doesn't work. I'll try again tomorrow.

Joy said...

Great idea but this lady just likes her home and chair too much I promise I will roll my shoulders move my body side to side and raise and lower my legs

Sharon ML Schutt said...

I've been walking since the kido went back to school. This Improv(e) Your Butt Challenge sounds like great incentive! Is it too late to join?

audreypawdrey said...

Is it too late to join? I can't believe I missed this when you first posted about it!

Faith Hope Cherrytea ~ said...

'count' me in :) thx !

Tina Peterson said...

I added your post w/ all it's links and included a link back here so people can get in contact with you. I am hosting a Health Challenge Event from 1/15/11 to 2/28/11 on my GivingNSharing blog. There are going to be reviews and hopefully some giveaways.

Thanks! Tina "The Book Lady"
http://givingnsharing.blogspot.com/2010/12/health-challenge-event-starts-11511.html
contact(dot)thebooklady(at)gmail.com

Sdlgillikin said...

I love the quilt in the picture, do you have a pattern for it? (I'm a novice quilter :) )