Wednesday, November 30, 2016

The Improved Me! A Lifestyle Journey

Today, November 30, 2016
As 2016, closes out I want to share a person journey that transpired in my life this past year. This journey transformed me as whole person to include my mind and my body.  I really hope it will inspire you a little as well. Introducing the new, improved and healthy, Tina Dillard, Owner and Designer at Quilting Affection.  I'm a new person and have a new lifestyle, that is a healthy and brought forth a self-confident one. This self-confidence was something I wasn’t even aware that I had before.

I have been YO-YO dieting my whole adult life. But let me give you a little background on myself so you understand what I am talking about. In High school I was a distance runner with a medium height and skinny frame.  After high school I started gaining weight due to the lifestyle I was living in college, eating my grandmother’s rich food and getting no exercise. The weight came on easy and very quickly.  I only spent a year in college but gained a lot of weight. I lost most of that weight shortly before getting married to my high school sweetheart the following year.

Me and My Hubby (High School Sweetheart)
After getting married the weight came on again with our eating styles. About that time, I enlisted in the Air Force and was told to lose weight before basic training and I did get my weight down.  However, during basic training and technical school I had to watch my weight, due to I was on the borderline of the maximum weight for my age by Air Force Regulations. 

Several months after getting to my duty station in Great Falls, Montana where my husband, Robert was already stationed we decided to start a family. I got pregnant and more weight came on with the pregnancy. I left the Air Force shortly after my one year mark and shortly before my oldest son was born. Sadly the extra weight from my pregnancy didn’t come off.  Three years later I had my youngest son.  Again the extra weight didn’t come off.  We didn’t have healthy lifestyle at all, eating fast food more often than what was good for us.  

Germany 2001
In 2001 we got stationed in Germany, I think the weight came faster there.  With the stress of being so far away from close family, in addition to enjoying the delicious, rich food and wine of Europe.  I was noticing mood swings in myself and also I was getting headaches. I found that if I ate something high in protein I felt better.  I knew at that time I need to change my lifestyle, but how? About that time a couple of my friends started the Atkins Diet. I tried it and it was working, but I got bored with it and the restrictions so I didn’t stay with it.  I did go back to the diet several times, each time ending with the boredom of the food.  In 2005 we moved back to the United States and I didn’t really diet anymore. 

A few years later I had a serious eye opener when I saw a picture of myself with my youngest son at a NASCAR Race. I was huge and I knew something had to change.  I tried several diets, I can’t even remember the names of all of them. They didn’t work and I knew that my family was not happy with my weight which brought on mood swings.  I was snoring at night, and easily got tired and out of breath during the day. At my heaviest, my weight was around 260lbs.

After Nutrisystem, 2012
In the fall of 2009, my family went through an earth shaking challenge when my oldest son went into Kidney Failure.  I told the lord and my husband as my son was recovering in the hospital, I needed to lose this weight before my heath turned bad as well.  I knew the weight I was carrying was not healthy.  So in December of that year, I signed up for Nutrisystem, started in January and lost around 60lbs, I was feeling better and looking good.  However, I stopped by the end of that year due to I was getting tired of the same old food all the time.  I watched my weight slowly climb over the next couple years.  I still tried to diet with exercise and portion control to lose weight, but had little success. 

October 2015
Which this brings me to October 2015, I was already watching what I was eating but I knew I needed to do something more to lose the rest of my weight. I was determined this time to get the weight off. Then I came across a Facebook post from a high school friend saying her husband had lost 40 lbs.  It was like the lord was speaking to me.  So I contacted Sonja and she told me about another high school class mate, now a retired RN that was running a life style changing program called Tina’s 18 Day Challenge. It uses Isagenix products (all natural products) with a combination of regular food to lost weight and gain lean muscle.  

April 2015
So I did my research and with long talks with my husband I decided to take my life into my own hands and signed up. Tina’s 18 Day Challenge group was designed for individuals looking to lose weight, decrease inflammation, increase energy the healthy way.  What I like about this program is it is designed for people with busy schedules, diabetics, food allergies, and so many other health problems and you do not have to exercise to lose weight on the program.

So in January 2016, I began my first 18 challenge at 210 lbs wearing size 18 jeans.  I went in with a mindset of I want to do this and I will do this. With Tina’s 18 Day Challenge and Isagenix, I have learned how eat the foods I want, under portion controls and with a high protein, low Carb, Gluten Free way of life.  My sugar levels now stay in balance allowing me to keep active all day long so I no longer have the mood swings. Tina’s 18 day challenge cuts out the GMO’s, MSG’s, focusing on eating natural foods. I no longer want fast or fried foods, and sweets, just the smell of these foods makes my stomach ache. I really want to eat clean foods. Since starting this lifestyle I have noticed that I no longer have Sinus and severe headaches. I’m running again, learning the love of hiking and feeling great. Now I’m currently down to 154 lbs. and in a size 6 jeans. That is 56 toxic lbs gone from my life. I have never had the results before with any other program I have tried. I feel great!!!!  I should also say that I gained a great support group and coaching with the program, which helps a lot.

November 2016
Now, I’m working to get the last 4 lbs or so off to reach my goal of 150 lbs. I’m so close.  But once I reach that weight, I know I can keep this lifestyle I have learned and maintain it for the rest of my life. Right now, I'm planning a long distance hiking trip with my husband and youngest son on the Appalachian Trail in the Shenandoah National Park Section next year. 

I’m also looking forward to paying it forward by coaching other who want and are willing to change and get healthy.  

With my lifestyle, new mindset, and self-confidence.  I plan to work even harder on my quilt pattern design company.  I am already planning some new and big changes in 2017 for Quilting Affection. So Stay tuned to my blog over the next couple months.

I hope this blog has inspired you a little and demonstrated to you that if you have a good mindset anything can be done, and that mindset can grow in time.

Please feel free share if you have someone that needs a little inspiration.  If you would like more information please contact me at  

Have a wonderful day,


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Island Batik "Winter Wonderland"

When trying to come up with a idea for the this months Island Batik "Winter Wonderland" project and was having a hard time.  Then late one night, I thought about my old Christmas stocking in a box out in the shed with the other decorations.  mice had started eating on the toe a couple years ago, I needed a new one, but was attached to that stocking.  My mom had made it for me when I was kid.  So there was some sentimental value with that stocking hole and all..

I decided to I was going to make me a new stocking this year and needed a pattern to make it from.  I took my old stocking and traced a rough outline pattern of it on a piece of paper.  When drawing out the pattern I decided I want to add a toe and heel patch to it also.  

With the pattern made, I went to my Island Batik box and dug out some strips of reds, greens and gold.  I trimmed the strips that where cut crooked into 2 1/4" strips.   Sewed the them together into long strips, And then cut them again into 2" strips and then sewed them together in to make a patchwork affect to my stocking.  

I then drew the outline of my stocking pattern on my rows of fabric with a piece of chalk, also drawing in where the toe and heel would be placed.  The toe and heal were made with pieces of red and green and blanket stitch in place.

I stitched in the ditch with my sewing machine. Which gave it a quilted look and puffiness. I decided to use my embroidery machine attachment on my Bernina and Embroidered my name on a piece of red fabric that matched the back of my stocking.

After sewing them all together.  I turned them right sides out and pressed lightly around the outer edges.  
Finally, added my little name decoration and my bell from my old stocking to my new stocking. 

Now, I have a new stocking that will get hung each year.  I still have my old one, I know the mice chewed on it a little but I still want to keep for sentimental reasons.

Thank you for stopping!  I hope you all have a great and thankful Thanksgiving.  


Thursday, November 10, 2016

EQ7 Designing Panel Quilts - Horizontal Layout

Last month, I showed you how to design a quilt for premade panels in a custom quilt layout. If you need a refresher here is the link to the tutorial. This month we are going to continue with Panel Quilts but we are going to design in a Horizontal Layout this time, and will be working in Layer 2.

Lets get started!

Step 1. Create a new project. Click Quilt > New Quilt > Horizontal.

Step 2. Create a layout sizing grid.  We are going to turn the layout into a grid for sizing.  This help in the placement of the blocks. To do this we will have to make changes within Quilt Worktable options.  Click Quilt > Quilt Worktable Options.

Step 2a. Under Layout Options > All Styles, change "Maximum number of blocks horizontally and vertically" to 100.  What this does is let you have as many as 100 blocks in one direction, horizontally or vertically.

Step 2b. With the Quilt Worktable Options still open, Click on Tool Options > Snap Settings > Grid Settings, click to check the Snap block position to grid.

Step 3. Click the Layout tab. Set up your quilt by changing the number blocks to 52 x 62 or use the size you wish. This will be the size for the center of your quilt.  You will also need to change the blocks width and height to 1".

Step 4. Now we need to create a plain block.  Select the Set Block tool. Right Click inside the palette and choose Add Plain Block.

Step 5. Click on Layer 2 tab at the bottom.  Select the Set Block Tool. Drag the Plain Block we just created from the palette onto the quilt. 

Step 6. To size the placement block now on you layout. Click the Adjust tool and then click the block we just placed.  I sized mine to be 23" x 42" for placement of the panel on the quilt top.

Step 7. Now add more blocks using the same step as before to make any design you wish. For my project, I added more blocks with borders around the panel.

Step 8. Then you can fill in the rest of the empty spaces with more blocks to finish the quilt layout.

Step 9. You can add your color or fabric to finish your quilt layout.  Don't for get your borders.

Using the Grid Horizontal layout and a plain block you can design so much more than panel quilts such as t-shirt quilts or a memory quilt.

Want to learn more check out the Electric Quilt Company Book "EQ with Me: Quilt Design".  It has a whole section on designing Panel, T-Shirt, & Photo Quilts. 

Make sure your check out other Bloggers (listed below) Celebrating EQ7 Anniversary with themed EQ7 Blog posts.  Also visit Electric Quilt to enter to win a Free Copy of EQ7 and Timeless Treasures Fabric. #EQ25