Sunday, April 3, 2016

Sunday Stretch for Sewists #7

While we are motoring our way back north to Kingsville, I have an overdue Sunday stretch post for you.  I usually try to schedule them for the last Sunday of the month.  Today we are going to work our hips, getting nicely into the sockets, by sitting cross-legged.  Wait! Don't go away; think happy thoughts, and stay with me to find out about this little lovely:
My H2H quilt

I've had an deep affinity for yoga since the mid-90s. I know this because I was teaching a grade 12 'Lifestyle' type class and for one of the units I brought in speakers to do presentations on all kinds of topics. Yoga was definitely one.  I was hooked.  When I first started consistently practising, around 2002, I was completely shocked at how difficult it was sitting cross-legged...what had happened to my only 42-year-old body?

Opening the hips is so key to keeping them in shape and avoiding hip replacements, something that is rampant in the western world, not so much in the eastern.  After sitting for a few hours in your sewing chair, trying either sitting on the floor beside your chair, or, if you feel you won't be able to get back up, then go to your couch and do this pose on your couch!

First stage:
Try placing one foot in front of the other, and letting your knees fall open
 Ways to make this easier in the beginning:
1. Sit on the edge of a cushion/pillow/or a small folded quilt(!). You want your sit bones (the bones right in the middle of your butt cheek) right at the edge of the quilt. This elevating of the hips takes some pressure off the knees.
2. Let your feet be further away from your groin; you don't have to tuck them in that tight to begin with.
3. As you get more comfortable, try sliding your feet toward opposite knees. Mine are by my shins here in this early stage.
4. Support your knees with more pillows or small quilts or a yoga block.

Hold here for 2-3 minutes (maybe just one initially) and breathe slowly and evenly.  Keep taking your mind into your hips sockets, and maybe your knees and even your quads and thinking, "Relax!"  There should be NO knee pain. Support those knees.  You may feel a tugging sensation or tension in the hip sockets, maybe in the knees, maybe in the ankles; as long as it is not painful, just a little uncomfortable, you are doing this pose correctly.  Remember I told you way back that our feet age first?  So this is awesome for gaining some flexibility in your feet.
Lengthen your spine.
Drop your shoulder blades down your back.
Tuck your chin ever so slightly.
Gaze softly at the floor in front of you, or close your eyes.

Coming out:
Lean back on your hands and straighten your legs one at a time.  OR With your hands, help to lift your legs to straighten them.  Gently bounce your knees, rock from the hips as you lean back on your hands.  Follow that energy and blood flow as it rushes into the areas you compressed, nourishing, and removing toxins, just as a massage therapist does with pressure.

Stage 2
Bring one foot on top of the opposite thigh for Half Lotus
In Ashtanga, we always place the right leg on the thigh first, but you can alternate once you get to this stage, so you are working evenly into each hip socket.  Hold here and breathe as for Stage 1.

Stage 3
Padmasana - Full Lotus
Bring your right leg in, placing your foot on your thigh. Bring in your left leg, resting the foot on the right thigh.  The knees will eventually be even (maybe in my next lifetime, lol; you can see that my left knee is higher than my right).

Believe me, your hips will thank you! Just think of the ages you were able to sit like this as a kid.  It is IN your body still. :-)

I am once again this year participating in Sarah's at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Hands2Help where you make a quilt for a charity.  She has three charities from which to choose, and it is not too late to sign up; I just did!  On March 4 I fell in love with Pieced Brain Denise's quilt No Bake Jolly Bar Shuffle.  It was one (another one) of those "DREAM moments: drop everything and make it".  I had a 10" squares stack of Amanda Jean's Good Neighbours from Connecting Threads (no affiliation) and knew this would be perfect.  I had no idea why/to whom this quilt was being made, but part way into it, I knew it was going to a child, and to a charity. Quilts talk to me, uh huh.  All the time.
So cheery!
It was a fairly windy day when I took the photos, and I do love this one:
The best part is that I have the other half, and then some, of the 10" squares stack!  So I plan to make Fat Quarter Shop's No Bake Jolly Bar quilt.  The pattern is free!  No affiliation.  I will donate it too.

Finally, Preeti, of Sew Preeti Quilts, has done a few posts on smart fabric shopping, as has Julie, of Pink Doxies.  Now, at my JoAnn's I have to pass the remnant bin shortly after I enter the store, and I have scored items from it before, the terrycloth for the burp pad to go with the Baby Tote being one terrific score: $4 for almost a yard, and it is wide!

When I went to buy the bright pink button for said tote, four remants thuh-rew themselves into my arms.  Here they are, along with 2 yards of Kona Ice Frappé:

I was so pleasantly surprised at the prices, at the discounts and best of all, that I got to use my $5 off $25 coupon, so I only spent $21.36 which includes tax. :-)

The far left is a gorgeous, my favourite colours, piece of rayon that is going to become a scarf. 
Beside that is Buttercream Audrey Collection, then a Jules & Coco lovely yellow dot, and at the top a gorgeous piece of USA white cotton; dare I say it feels nicer than Kona?  I dare.  Underneath it all is the Kona Ice Frappé, which I'm hoping to use as the background fabric for charity quilt #2 with the Good Neighbours "jolly bar" left over from the first charity quilt.  Four yards of fabric for $19 (the button was 1.25), love that!

Linking up with Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash which is at Handmade by Mary Emmens this week, if I can get wifi somewhere on the road.


  1. Just this morning, my hip spoke to me and told me to get out of bed, or else! I will definitely give this a try! Love your quilt. It will be snugly warm for some young child! Well done! I love bargains, too. I'm just very careful what fabric I buy at Joanns. XO

  2. Oh you little pretzel you!! Love that quilt, and I love them blowing in the wind and seeing it look like stain glass :-)

  3. hmm coming home to enjoy the snow eh. I like the top someone is going to enjoy snuggling under it.

  4. Thanks for the hip stretch reminder. I use yoga to keep my back and neck in shape but don't often stretch my hips.
    Love your finds in the remnant basket. I check ours each time I am at JoAnns but that isn't very often. (It is about an hour from our home.) Sweet quilt top!

  5. I definitely need this stretch. Thanks for sharing. I love your quilt top. And for those prices, you HAD to buy that fabric. LOL Safe drive home.

  6. Great post... Love the Yoga stretch. Wish we had JoAnn's here in the UK as it seems to be a very popular place to visit for bargains. Charity quilt looks gorgeous too. Safe journey xx

  7. Pretty quilt and it really does look like stained glass with the sun shining through. Okay, I pinned this post so I can find your yoga pose quickly. A long time ago I was so wanting a yoga class and finally found one I could go to. I hated it!!! It was a Saturday morning and it took FOREVER. But I'm not against a helpful pose or two. :D Thanks!

  8. You are my amazing pretzel bending friend :) I love these posts, they do remind me it is good to get up and move. Also most importantly, relax. Your quilt will make an excellent quilt for a child. And I feel 100% certain you sewed quite a bit of love into those fabrics as well, and they will feel it every time they touch it. When do you want to get started on the No Bake Jelly Bar Quilt? I have stuff raring and ready to go to make one as well. Maybe another sew together?

  9. Ooooo I love that windy photo too! Of course, can't NOT mention that stained glass effect!! Way too KEWL!

  10. Your quilt top is darling. Such a cheerful quilt for a child.