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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Today is the Day- It's All About Me Blog Hop!

Today is the final day of the latest quilting adventure, the "It's All About Me!" Blog Hop.  Madame Samm and Marlene put their gorgeous heads together for this extravaganza of quilting goodness and the results have been fabulous!  Amy Bradley, a wonderful designer, designed the pattern for the pawticipants to use and away we went! We were to utilize the pattern to recreate ourselves in fabric!  Today is my turn and I hope that you enjoy what I made.

BEFORE- 322 lbs
 


Two years ago, on 22 March 2011, I underwent a gastric bypass in order to lose weight.  I had ballooned up to 365 lbs, and was actually down to 322 lbs on the date of the surgery.  Today I weigh 206, and have about 35 lbs to go.  I decided to commemorate what this surgery has meant in my quilts- I made two wall hangings- a BEFORE and After, as you will.  The first photo shows the BEFORE me- long hair and lots of weight! The hair is actually constructed from leftover scraps from a pineapple themed wall hanging that I made for a dear friend- I could not bear to throw away the pieced yellow strips so they became hair in this latest incarnation.  I used a bright pink fat quarter for my sunglasses, and some dachshund fabric for my top.  The quilting was inspired by a wonderful quilter, Angela Walters, whose book- Free Motion Quilting With Angela Walters- Choose and Use Quilting Designs for Modern Quilts, I recently borrowed from the local library in order to improve my skills

As my friends in BLogville know, I also suffer from PTSD and depression, and this particular quilt also shows how I feel when in the grip of an episode- I just want to fade away and not be noticed until the panic passes.  I was also very sensitive to how I looked, and self conscious since I was so fat- I wanted to blend into the background due to the embarrassment of being fat (and I was fat due to my own behavior- not genetics).  It became an almost never ending cycle of behavior and I was fortunate enough to finally say "Enough" and start doing something about it- I had hoped to lose the weight without resorting to surgery, since I equated that with failing.  Unfortunately that was not the case for me, so I did undergo the procedure at University Hospital in Cleveland. Thankfully, I did not have any other health issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes  or high cholesterol.

 The next five pictures show the AFTER- the new me!  I again used a dachshund fabric for the top, in order to pay homage to my dachshund babies, Chip, Tasha and Snoopy, my owners and the real reason I blog.  I used the same fabric from the above quilt for the background, and used the same pattern for the quilting- the Basic Swirl found on page 21 of Angels Walters' book.  The hair, which is short now, is also from the leftover yellow pineapple striping, and the same pink for the sunglasses (pink is my favorite color).  However, I used a 2003 Mary Englebreit print for the borders and to embellish the new me, complete with crown! The borders all proclaim- "It's Good to be Queen" I also used two layers of polyester batting to give the second quilt a little more umph, and both quilts were bound in a gold lame binding I bought at Joann's at least six years ago and still had. Both quilts were backed with shiny cotton solids that I had used twenty years ago on quilts for my family- the shine made them very difficult to quilt, even with the slider and quilting gloves the fabric fought me!   
















Please check out the artistic endeavors of my fellow pawticipants today- they are fabulous ladies and they are true artists!


Thursday, February 28
Cherry Blossoms
Hill Valley Quilter
Dachsies With Moxie  
I Like To QuiltBlog   
Quilt Smiles
More Stars In Comanche
 Tea Time Creations
Shedding the Wolf
 Life, Quilts, and a Cat Too
 Judy at That Other Blog  
Madame Samm

72 comments:

Scrapatches said...

Wonderful you! Thanks for sharing your story, too ... :) Pat

Judy B said...

Love the before and after quilts! You have really come a long way, congratulations. Thank you for sharing.

harrispen said...

Oh Agnes these are beautiful. It takes courage to tell your story. Are you sure that fabric you used on the border wasn't intended for Miss Sasha! LOL!

You sure have been busy with your quilting projects.

Love,

Cindy

Martina said...

Very cute!

Britt-Inger said...

Your new picture of you is awesome. Thanks for sharing

Judy Cooper Textile Images said...

I think the fabric you is fabulous! Sometimes it's necessary to take things into our own hands and do something about it. Thanks for sharing your story.

Thearica Burroughs said...

Bravo to you on your weight loss!

Love your quilties!

Sharon said...

Wow what a truly "all about me" experience in this quilt. I know what it is like to be in a life altering situation and you have put your story truly in your all about me guilts..From the first one of fading into the background to the new Queen of you. This is wonderful and you look amazing. I felt like I could actually see your story in your old self to your new self. Great job and it is nice to meet you..Have a great experience today reading all of these comments that will be left from all of your quilty family....

JoyceLM said...

Great job - thanks for sharing your mini-quilts.

Jeanie said...

Thank you for sharing your inspirational story. Thick or thin...you are beautiful! Thanks for sharing your journey!

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

Very nice piece....

Patty D from NC said...

nice projects - thanks for sharing

Madame Samm said...

Hi Agnes you are most certainly a queen of you, how slender you look too lol

Katie http://myminipetpig.com/ said...

This is so wonderful. What an impressive accomplishment and what fine work on those quilts to commemorate how far you have come. So inspirational!

Oink oink,
Katie and Coccolino the mini pig

Linda J said...

What a wonderful chronicle of the last two years of the struggles and the triumphs you have gone through to get to the point are today. It could have been easy and you were able to capture that in a cloth journal, so to speak. Well done on both counts!

MooseStash Quilting said...

First off let me start by saying Congratulations!! No easy feat to loose weight, trust me I know! And second... what a wonderful way to spill out your feelings in fabric. You are truly an inspiration!

Michele said...

Hurray for you...for what you have accomplished and for your adorable projects.

Nellie Duclos said...

What a perfect combination, Amy Bradley and Mary Engelbreit! Love it! Congratulations on your recent difficult journey and keep up the good work. Thanks for sharing, from California.

Tammy said...

Your projects are both amazeing. And your story is full of encouragement for others that may be in similiar situations to what you were. May they be encouraged to seek the strength for this same journey.

Vickie said...

Good for you !

Cher said...

fantastic quilts and kudos for going through all that it took to lose so much weight. thank you so much for sharing..

Dee said...

Your go girl - awesome job on the weight loss - very difficult to change our way of life:) Kuddos!

Kathy @ Kwilty Pleasures said...

Cute story and project!

Lou said...

Great job and congrats on your new you! Sending you a BIG hug!

harrispen said...

Oh crap! Of course I meant Miss TASHA!!!! Don't know how that happened and please do apologize profusely to my sweet girl.

Love,

Aunt Cindy

Linda said...

Oh, Agnes, what a wonderful way to commemorate this big step in your life! Good for you!!! Your before and afters are just wonderful!

Carol Swift said...

Your story is inspiring to all of us who struggle with their weight. Making your story into blocks about YOU is a great idea and they look amazing!

Jean Burke said...

Thanks for sharing your difficult journey - you should be very proud of yourself! And you did a great job conveying your story in your quilts. Awesome! Best of luck on your continuing journey - you are stronger than you think. Peace....

apple blossom said...

love it love all the bloggers have been sew creative with this hop enjoyed it very much

Gwen said...

Congratulations on the new you, both in person and in fabric! What a great idea to make "before and after" ladies. You are truly a queen!

Vicki H said...

You certainly deserve your crown. Congrats. Thanks for sharing your story.

Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

Your quilts are both grrrrreat!!!

patchouli moon studio said...

The Queen of Quilted...I like that. Nice job.

krislovesfabric said...

Congrats on your success, your Me's both look fabulous :)

Suze said...

You have two wonderful quilts. Being new to the blog hop, I had no idea of your story. Thank you for sharing your wonderful journey. PTSD and depression are awful, I know first hand about each. I just want to be alone and that's one of the worst things we can do. I rejoice with you concerning your wonderful depictions of yourself as well as your wonderful journey in weight loss and your effort to be better.

Marjorie Nath said...

Love them... Wish I had a before & after quilt, I had GP in Feb 2004 and I hope that you find all the joys that I have. Life just keeps getting better.

thelady at hotmail.com

The Slow Quilter said...

You are the gueen, great work and love the story. Thank you for sharing.

Caroline said...

Thank you for sharing your story. You are an incredible woman. And your before and afters were fabulous. You certainly are a quilting queen!!!

Needled Mom said...

Nice idea and congratulations on the weight loss.

Patty said...

You and your quilts are great.

Quiltsmiles said...

Good for you! Thanks for sharing the bits about yourself and your version(s) of the It's about Me! Both the before and after!

thanks too for stopping by my blog and leaving such a kind remark, it's appreciated.

Keep you chin up and a smile on your face! You are beautiful!

Jane

Susie Q said...

Hi Agnes, I love your quilts and a great way to celebrate your victory. Congratulations on your amazing weight loss, it doesn't matter how you got there, you did it. Thanks for sharing. Susie x

Pierro said...

Rosemary B here: fantastic story of bravery and courage.
We all carry a lot with us, very few alive at our ripe age are sailing along unscathed.
I am proud of you, Agnes.
Your story touched my heart. Just know that. You are not alone.
My parents endured 5 long years of WW2 in Holland as young adults. There is much they will not tell. PTSD comes in all forms and facets.
Now your new you is beautiful. You are a queen. I adore all of the added royal features! Well done!

thank you so much for sharing your project and your bold journey!

Pierro said...

Rosemary B here: OH PS: LOVE the FMQ. You are an inspiration. I hope to be that good one day!

Kathy H said...

Thanks for sharing your story, a great inspiration. Your quilty ladies are both great. ANd your free motion looks wonderful too.

Sowing Stitches said...

Don't look back keep looking forward...I love the new you! Great job! As my gramps used to say, 'you will be nothing but breath and britches' in no time flat!

BizyStitches said...

congrats on your weight loss and on doing two projects. Enjoyed your fun blog.

gpc said...

You deserve that crown! Love your 'me' -- hugs!

karen flick said...

Awesome job! I have watched Angela, she is great!! I have a sign in my sewing area...This is Not a Democracy, It is MY Kingdom....only a serious quilter would understand that! Rock ON!!

StitchinByTheLake said...

A wonderful story of triumph over adversity - and a wonderful quilted piece to show case that victory! blessings, marlene

MoeWest said...

Congratulations on your successful weight loss! It's a life style change that I am trying to accomplish too. I love the ME fabrics that you used. Your FMQ looks wonderful!

Cliodana said...

wow the quilthing is stunning. thank's for sharing

Farm Quilter said...

Great before and after quilts to go along with your fabulous story! Congratulations on your huge weight loss and for continuing to do what you have to do to lose the weight! You are so close to reaching your goal, I am very impressed with the way you have stuck with your plan - ^5 you are amazing!!!

Madi and Mom said...

Ms. Agnes we send you a big hug and congrats for such an amazing accomplishment!! Keep up the good work
Hugs Madi and Mom

Madi and Mom said...

PS the quilts are beautiful
Madi and MOm

Just Quilt It said...

Thank you for sharing your story. So many of us struggle with weight issues and other problems. It is good to know that we are not alone. Your "ladies" are beautiful--both of them.

OhioLori said...

Congratulations on such a successful (& hard) journey!!! You did it!!! & you should feel sooooo Proud!!!

Love your 2 "Me" ladies....Awesome job on both!!! :)

Di said...

You are entitled to be so proud - of your two gorgeous quilts, and of yourself for conquering your weight issue. You ARE the Queen!

Scrapbook-ChickADoodle said...

Very creative! Congrats on the weight loss. Thanks for sharing.

Pen Pen said...

Congrats! on your accomplishments! Love your little quilts. :))

Brenda said...

I was honored to read your post and know you are not alone. I have struggled for years and have finally lost over a hundred pounds, still have 50 to go. I loved your projects, they are fabulous! Thank you for sharing and I applaud you with a standing ovation!!!!

Createology said...

Thank you for sharing your story and for personalizing your Ms. Biased. Congratulations on your strength in losing the weight. Creative Hearts are Happy Hearts...

Cindy said...

Love your project, you did a wonderful job! Love the crown!

carla said...

Hi!!! Yaa!!! You have come a long way!!! Thanks for sharing your story!!! It takes a lot of strength and courage to make to where you have!!! Congrats!!! I love your ladies!!! Love the crown!!! There are all wonderful!!!

Jodi - usairdoll said...

How creative to do a 'before" and "after" mini. I'm so happy for you and Congratulations on losing so much weight. I have struggled with weight all my life and I can relate to you on those feelings of wanting to just fade into the background. How wonderful for you that you've almost reached your goal!! Keep up the great job! Thank you for sharing your story and both minis with us, super job!

usairdoll(at)gmail(dot)com

Emily C said...

Love your ladies. They are very unique.

Elizabeth said...

What a fabulous way to honor your journey! LOVE the Mary Englebreit touches--she's one of my favorites too. :-) Very proud of you! Thank you for sharing your moving story.

becky said...

Love how you chronicled your journey should be proud of yourself Thanks for sharing your story Becky

Frances said...

What an inspiring story. You do deserve the "Quilting Queen" label and for your determination to make positive life changes. Great visual before and after pics.

Gmama Jane said...

It took courage to share your story...my only suggestion to make this look like the REAL YOU??? DRAW a BIG SMILE on her BLANK face. You are not hiding in the shadows anymore, you are not a fading flower on the wall, you are Fabulous....so let the world know... Agnes is IN the building...SMILE!!!
Blessings
Gmama Jane

Bente-I like to QuiltBlog said...

Thanks for sharing, lovely quilts and good luck to you!

Charlotte Thompson said...

Agnes, loved your before and afters. Congratulations on your weight loss. That is certainly something to be proud of. I am currently using green coffee, rasberry ketone, and everything else I can get my hands on. Can bearly walk so exercise is not an option right now. Anyway you did a great job.