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. A 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 Jacquie and I met on the internet and we connected first 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 I was visiting Jacquie in Kansas last month I suggested she join this government site that tracks your exercise. It’s a virtual transcontinental trip across the United States. I suggested that we become partners to motivate each other. She was all over that. we need all the help we can get!
Are you like that? You want to, you know you should, but you can’t seem to get your quilter butt out 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.) Jacquie and I (firstname.lastname@example.org) will add you to the team.
You can decide what activity you want to qualify as your exercise. The options on the site are biking, running, and run/walk, but I’m counting my water aerobics and Jacquie’s counting her 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 Jacquie 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!!
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 12 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 Jacquie or I.
Here’s the code for the button if you’d like to add it to your blog.
So what do you think? You wanna improv(e) your butt?