Sunday, May 1, 2016

Sunday Stretch For Sewists #8

Happy May Day! I was reading a great article on Bernie Clark's website,, where he again stresses, as he does in his book, the importance of the language yoga teachers use.  Rather than say, "Feel the stretch along your hamstrings," we should be saying, "Feel the stress along your hamstrings."  I often say "tension" in my yoga classes.  Stretch, to me, implies using the muscles to help pull or tug, in whatever area is targeted; whereas tension, or stress, implies that you are feeling a sure and steady discomfort in the area, a gentler way of doing a pose.  This is Yin.  You never want to "stretch out" a joint or tendon or ligament; but applying some steady tension has lots of benefits, which I will not get into here or this will be a tome of a post.

Today I had thought of showing you a way to work on backbending, something that, as adults, we don't tend to do.  But then I heard from a sweet reader, Kathy, who asked if I could show something to help relieve stress and ache from the shoulders, particularly between the shoulder blades, from hours spent longarming.  So here we go.  I was out for a lovely lunch and movie with Dayna yesterday, and we'd planned to do a yoga poses photo shoot, but we forgot, so please bear with my iPhone photos using the timer feature.  Egad, I know.

Eagle Arms
Eagle arms is a Yin pose that you can do in various seated positions, whether in your sewing chair, or sitting on the floor, which will work your hip joints.  :-)

Take your right elbow and place it inside your left elbow. 
Cross-legged, opens the hip joints  ;-)

Now bending up your forearms, wrap the right forearm around the left,

seeing if your right thumb can grab your left pinkie

or maybe, you can put your palms together, hands in prayer. 

Don't let the wrists collapse.  Try to bring your hands to the centre line of your body, but allow your shoulders to relax; we don't want to increase the tension there.  Take several slow yogic breaths here, staying for about a minute, or going to a deeper edge by proceeding to the next step.

You can increase the tugging sensations if you like by slowly raising your elbows straight up into the air, keeping the shoulders down away from your ears.  You can lean forward, keeping your elbows high, to make this even more juicy. :-)
Notice a different seat? Virasana, or Hero pose, sitting on your heels

Breathe there for about a minute, noticing the sensations between your shoulder blades, maybe on the top or sides of the shoulders, and along the arms.

Wherever you're feeling it, you are doing it.  Slowly lower the arms, unwind, opening your arms really wide, lifting your heart towards the ceiling in a bit of a backbend.  Then do the other side.

Sunday Stash
I got some Legacy polyester batting on sale from back in mid-March.  This is what we were given to quilt the wheelchair charity quilts for the guild last year, and I LOVED the stuff.  I added to the order to take advantage of free shipping at $35.  Here is the fabric:
2 yards each of Kona, Silver and Nightfall
Anja told me I would love Silver more than Ash, and she is right!  Why is Silver more money, almost $1/yard more, than Nightfall?  Anyone?

A few prints in the sale section floated into my cart.  All were less than $5/yard.  Here's the stack, a yard of each:

Art Gallery for less than $5/yard? Yes please!
I'd ordered a yard.  Um they threw in the end of the bolt...20" more of free fabric!!! Happy dance!

Naturella Collection from Art Gallery, "Carnations" and "Chattune Floral Medallion" by Fabric Editions
At the top is Benartex "Feathers and Fancy Floralie" and underneath it another Art Gallery, "Bespoken"
No hard and fast plans for these yet, although some ideas are flitting around, and lots of petting of course.

I also was a winner on the Henry Glass blog back in March of a hand-cut silhouette portrait of "your special child" from designer Sharyn Sowell.  No-brainer as to who is my special child:
Helping Grandpa fix a favourite dish: Lake Erie perch
I sent her this photo, as she requested a side view clearly showing the child's head and shoulders.  This was taken at Christmas.
Here's what I received last week:
Think Nana and Grandpa will enjoy it for a little while here before sending it to Brady.
Thanks so much Sharyn!

Linking up with Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash.

Remember if you are thinking of adding to your stash, Craftsy's sale ends tonight.  Kits (which don't have to be used for the pattern, right?) and supplies, like fabric (check yesterday's post for some examples) and thread and tools----tools!!  OMG that Steamfast mini iron that I've said on several occasions how much I love? On sale, yep!  So light, won't hurt your shoulders at all, yet packs a fabulous heat and a powerful steam.  Aurifil?  On sale! Bye while I maybe 'just go take a peek'...

I'm back! That was fast I know, but geez louise, it's $9.40/spool (1000m) you guys! Canadian!

Sandra:  (insert MacGyver's real name)!!  OMG, Craftsy has Aurifil thread on sale for $9! I paid $9 in Florida this winter for one.  $9US!
MacGyver:  Oh really?  Well, get it; if you need it, you need it.
Sandra:  Well, technically I don't actually need it right now....
Think we all know where this will go...


  1. Oh how I love Eagle arms. In some poses the stress has a quality to it that is harder for me to breathe into, but Eagle arms just works for my body. I know we are all so different in what works and how things feel. Thanks for a bit of insight into wording for yoga, too, that is definitely food for thought for me. Oh geez, that Aurifil is such a good deal... that's going to be hard to resist!

  2. LOL - That pose puts me in mind of a cobra being charmed out of a basket. Amazingly, I was able to do it!!

  3. Always looking for good bargains on thread. Great yoga poses too.

  4. Fabulous fabric finds! That is a good buy on Aurifil thread, I hadn't noticed that one.

  5. What a DEAR you are! I am so out-of-shape, stiff and not limber at all....all this just in the last few years...but even in starting the pose I could feel the stress in the exact spot I was telling you about. So stretching will come back into my daily regimen. Thank you so much.

  6. Great fabric finds! I have gotten the end of the bolt sticker once from and it was very exciting.

  7. I do keep thinking I should try yoga but my Tum would get in the road .. A chicken and egg situation . All great bargains, woo hoo

  8. Small joys! I've never been excited by end of the bolt lol non-quilter that I am so it impreses me you can find a thrill in that LOL! :p

  9. That end of bolt bonus is wonderful! I would have done a happy dance for that too.
    The silhouette is so precious. What a fun thing to win!