Week in Review 2020 – 07/10

I feel I should begin with a disclaimer. The thoughts and opinions in this post are strictly my own. Yours may differ. That’s OK. We can agree to agree to disagree.

What Turbulence looked like on July 2nd.

When Fitbit was the next must have techno/fitness gadget it was like a siren’s call. I was so, so tempted to get one. I resisted, because I know myself. If I achieved 10,000 steps one day, could I do 10,000 steps every day for a week or month? How about a 100,000 a week or 20,000, 30,000 or even 50,000 in day? Would needing to get the steps in rule my day, so much so that other priorities would be left behind? This is why David Sedaris’s essay on his purchase of a Fitbit cracked me up. Seems we are kindred spirits. One notable difference is Sedaris gave into temptation. As he says, “This year, I got a Fitbit. You walk 10,000 steps and it sends you an email saying, ‘That’s great! A lot of people don’t walk that far. Do you think you can walk 5,000 more steps?’ And so I say, ‘I bet I can!’ A week ago, I walked 60,000 steps. That’s 25.5 miles. I’m completely obsessed. It’s like a sickness; I’ve been Fitbit-ten. It will be the summer of the Fitbit because it can’t go on.”

Where Turbulence stands at end of my studio time on July 9th.

I’m still tempted to get a Fitbit. I haven’t yet. Why push myself to walk 10,000 steps when I am just as obsessive about seeing how much I can piece in a single day? I may not have a sewing machine that counts the number of stitches I sew. I can measure my progress by the number of tiny pieces I cut, sew, and trim during my creation of Turbulence. Each diamond block contains 65 individual pieces. These are paper pieced into 4 units of 5 pieces each and 5 units of 9 pieces. The units are then seamed together to the form the block. Finally, the block is seamed to the current working row of the piece. To put it in Fitbit perspective, most days I manage approximately 90 pieces. Yesterday just might have been a record setter at 130.

The two diamond blocks from Turbulence I pieced on July 9th.

I am linking up with Nina Marie’s Off the Wall Fridays.

By Gwyned Trefethen

I am an artist who uses fabric, thread and miscellany to create designs gifted to me by my imagination.


  1. Well, I ignored the Fitbit Frenzy, but I did succumb to the siren song of the Apple Watch during the earliest days of the pandemic’s restructuring of our lives. I read an interesting article someplace on effective strategies for using these devices that is working well for me. Instead of basing my daily “Move” goal on how many steps I take in my MOST active days, I set that goal just slightly above the number of steps taken/calories burned on my LEAST active days. That way I’m getting a nudge to get up and go for a walk on a couch potato day where I’ve gotten lost in a novel for four hours straight, but I’m not sliding into a never-ending and ultimately frustrating escalation of the goal to the point that exercise takes over my life. When my Apple Watch helpfully suggests that I increase my goal since I’ve been meeting it X days in a row, I just decline the suggestion. I am also using and enjoying a motivational app that works on my iPhone as well as on my Apple Watch called Streaks. I think they have it for Android devices as well. What’s great about Streaks is that you can use it to set goals for just about anything in your life, not just for fitness goals. There are yes/no goals, like YES I flossed my teeth today (that you manually mark off once you do it) or NO, I didn’t smoke a cigarette or break my diet today (that you manually mark incomplete if you did the thing that you were trying not to do). What I really like are the timed goals, and that’s what I’m using with my quilting. I have found that, especially in these uncertain times, I tend to get into a funk where just getting into the studio and turning on the machine is a huge obstacle. So I set a very small and attainable daily goal of 30 minutes quilting every day in my Streaks app. I just tap the button to start the timer, hit pause if I’m interrupted by a phone call or something, and the app automatically marks the goal completed at the end of 30 minutes. I have found this extremely helpful because, if I haven’t started my quilting timer yet by late afternoon, the app will remind me on my phone and on my watch, something like “Complete 30 minutes quilting today to beat your longest streak (a streak being the number of days in a row that you’ve completed that goal).” Even when I really don’t feel like I have the energy or inclination to quilt on a particular day, the modest goal of just 30 minutes is doable. I can do it even if I don’t feel like it, for just 30 minutes, right? But what happens instead is that, by the time the 30 minute timer has run out, I’ve gotten into a groove with what I’m creating and I’m not paying attention to the time anymore. I feel a lot better than I did when I started, and I find that even though my goal is just 30 minutes, I’m averaging about 2 hours or so in the studio since I started using the Streaks app to kick start my sewjo.

    1. Rebecca, it sounds like you have found the perfect balance of techno gadgets and motivational apps to achieve what you want to achieve. Hadn’t heard of Streaks before. I do enjoy learning about what is out there. Thank you.

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