Archive for the ‘Scientific Inspiration’ Category

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32.0 This Year’s Balloon Festival 2013

August 17, 2013

Last weekend I attended the early morning competition for the Great Midwest Balloon Festival.

I went to the mall parking lot where the competition was, and the balloons all went north of us. All of them.

But I got a few pictures of the tethered balloon that was up for about a half an hour or so.

tethered balloon rides

Well I got other pictures too, but the rest of them are pretty far away.

mosaic balloon 2013 gmballoonfest 1

1. rainbowballoonincenter, 2. rainbowbargello, 3. threecolorfulballoons, 4. southwestballoon2, 5. rainbowandgreenchevron, 6. orangeballoon, 7. onetwothreeballoons, 8. greenweaveballoonandarrows2, 9. yellowballoon, 10. wickedballoon2, 11. whitetigerballoon, 12. blueredwhiteballoon

I zoomed in on what I could, but the saturday was nice, nice day weather wise, but I wanted big up close pictures like last year.

Everyone was supposed to hit the target, and the winds had changed from when they had the preflight briefing until the actual launch time. So no one hit the target.

Part of the challenge, they said, was everyone had their own launch site, figuring out where to launch from to pass over the mall where we were all waiting.  As a result of variable launch distances & wind speeds, some balloons were closer than others.

Happy and pretty nonetheless.

The next day I decided not to do the same thing, but to head towards the west some.  The balloons had traveled west on Saturday and I sorta followed some of them out of town.

So Sunday, I went to a nature preserve that on Saturday would have been right in the path of the balloons.

balloonseenfromprairiecenter2

….If you look REALLY closely between the two trees you see the faint hint of  a hot air balloon WAY off in the distance….

But of course now I was farther away from the balloon action, they were heading north not west (as much). As much as I liked my prairie hike, I wanted another chance to walk & see the balloons not at the festival, so I went toward civilization, and the balloons, and headed towards another nature center.

balloonsoutonthetownfourpictures

1. rainbowballoonnaturecenter2, 2. blackwithrainbowdrops3, 3. rainbowballoonnaturecenter5, 4. balloonroadeclipse

I kinda got into the hot air balloon adventuring idea and that sustained me for a while. One of the above photos was taken from the Wally-World parking lot. Impromptu.

But the nature center was where I was high enough to see the balloons over the tops of the trees, but now I was a little too far east.

At this point, I decided to take some pictures, and walk the trails to see if I could get closer. I couldn’t, but it was a very fun & adventurous weekend. Patchwork of a different kind!

#GMballoonfest

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31.8 I come back to this quilt periodically

August 1, 2013

After a year of off and on only stitching the border around my Periodic Spiral quilt, I finally joined the ends the other day.

A couple of years ago, I started off on a journey of tiny hexagons, sewn around batik scraps collected by some of my guild members.

I was inspired by an online “maybe it’s abandoned program” which no one from the program contacted me weather it was okay or not okay to talk about their website in a blog/podcast.

I mean the Periodic Sprial quilt from the diagram on the “Periodic Spiral website“.

I have podcasted about it, blogged about it when deciding my trims, and then mentioned it again when showing some of the embroidery I did for it.

I printed out the PDF from the website onto some Printed Treasures paper.

periodic spiral website on fabric

And then I cut out the group names that I had previously embroidered.

rough layout of periodic quilt trim start

The previous photo was taken about a year ago.

Last weekend, I arranged the periodic table group name labels close to the groups in question.

trim complete periodic spiral embroidery layout

I am planning to outline each of these with trim of some sort (hasn’t been decided yet which trim). And then I am going to embroider a line from the name to the group area.

I remember making one mistake design element two years ago when setting up these hexies into blocks. I never separated non metals & metalloids, the traditional ‘staircase line’ that follows most versions of the periodic table.

So I will have to embroider it in place.

And have I shown you about the shiny fabric???

I had really prepared for this quilt last year, as the letters I made were cut out with fusible on black batik already.  And then the shiny fabric was cut to make a perfect ‘border’ around the black fabric letters.

periodic spiral with letters layout

So this year, I decided to transfer the previously cut and made letters onto the previously cut shiny fabric, after adding fusible webbing to the back of the shiny fabric strip for stability.

I referenced the Tip Sheet for Metallic & Sheer fabrics for a rough idea on how to handle this. Although I currently don’t have it sewn down yet, I think this will be a nice idea.

Really there so far, doesn’t seem to be much to it. A fusible webbing heat set onto the back of the fabric, one of those two sided ones that you have to peel off later.  And then I have my applique pressing sheet to make sure it happens okay. I don’t use the pressing sheet often, but good for me for having it & using it.

Now it is going on my wall, or rather on the front door to my sewing room, and I know I’ve been tempted by the lure of shiny fabrics in my past, but I’m not making the same mistake with this one. I made a pillow out of similar fabrics while in high school, yes it was shiny and cool feeling, but you woke up with face sparklies and for a few days didn’t know why.

The shiny fabric above leers on the edge of “gaudy” or “tacky” but as a silver background, it pops out nice with the forground colors AND evokes all the METALS that can be found as natural elements.

And so what’s probably next for this quilt is to get back out my box of trims (there are more than this) and decide what’s going around all the group names.

box of trims

I still like the black braid outlined in white that I thought about using for the whole center outline, but I have to figure out where to use it that it will go, but not attract too much attention away from the hexagon ‘star’ middle of the quilt.

For now I am contemplating that braid around the key, and maybe a black with silver beads around the group names, and maybe the same black around the words “Periodic Spiral”

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31.7 Little Star – from UFO to FO to Applique to Beaded

July 29, 2013

I can’t believe all the blog posts that have been coming out from me lately and none of them have really had to do much with what I’ve been sewing.

Which yes, I have been doing actually. A good thing for a break, and a good thing to be back in the middle of these UFO unfinished object things.

Of course, I haven’t really touched my machine in a few weeks, so I’m trying to be creative, think outside of the ‘using a machine’ for quilting steps.

This post, I will discuss my ‘fun’ in finding out that a finished object wasn’t exactly finished.

Some of you may have seen the pictures on twitter or something already.

Little Star went through some ‘stellar evolution’ over the course of the last month.

My little star was a bonus quilt, an orphaned block I purchased.  I bordered, quilted, and then created a single applique star in the middle.

It sat this way as a finished object (FO) for 6 months or so, and I kept looking at the quilt, thinking, huh, I don’t like the center quilting (heading toward the center star) very much, although very happy with the rest of the quilting.

I asked myself if I wanted to put it in the show, and I wasn’t sure.

Until about 3 days before the quilt show.

mini star quilt

Then I had an idea of “a fast fix” since I really didn’t feel like spending time gluing down applique pieces and then hand appliqueing them. I decided to “go look for heat-set / iron-on stars”.

So I drove to town, listened to a few quilting podcasts (starting to catch up much closer to on time now, helps that it’s summer and episodes are a little sparse with peeps), and located all the stars that I could at Hancock fabrics. I looked all through the jewelery section, and all through the buttons, and the iron on stars, and I purchased several types of things to try.

And then went to Michael s, and they had some silver sequins, in addition some iron-on metal-type stars.  And then I was in the bead section, and found some fantastic looking yellow stripey beads.  This got my brain thinking beads, to know to check my bead box when I got home, as I purchased a TON of types of beads and trims for the Periodic Sprial quilt (linked post only shows about 1/10th of my choices).

Coming home a few days (a day?) before the quilt show, I started arranging and making choices about the gold iron-ons, blue iron-ons and the silver tiny iron-ons. And set to work with the iron, a pressing fabric.

The yellow iron on stars stayed very well. The blue ones kept falling off no matter how heavily I pressed and pressed.

I was confused because the blue and yellow pieces were essentially the same brand, but apparently, the gold stars had a better glue than the blue stars.

But for that night they stayed on the quilt.

And these little metal iron-on stars had a few things that made them different (notable).

I was in such a hurry I didn’t get any progress pictures at all, but here’s how they worked.

The entire sheet of stars had a fusible webbing type backing on the bottom of the star, and the whole thing had a clear plastic sheet on the top of the star.

The idea was to cut out the star from the entire sheet of stars, and then peel off the webbing from the back, leaving the clear plastic top.  Which seemed odd. And then you had a scrap fabric covering over the clear plastic sheet, on top of the little metal star, on top of a webbing which now only appeared directly below the star and star alone.

Press down on the scrap fabric, hold for X amount of seconds, then remove the plastic from the top (when cool).

And by golly, these things worked. Worked well. I did lose one in a ‘folding accident’, but one only.

So I had all these stars ready to go. Day of the show I had a label I was pinning down to the back (no time to hand sew it in) and the blue stars kept falling off.

And I was going to try to get to the set up for the show, I knew I would be needed. But, I had like 45 minutes before I wanted to be there, and so I ‘emergency appliqued’ my blue stars down.  I went for all the inside points of the star. Not easy to poke through. Not my best applique effort, but enough to keep any falling off.

You know how hard it is to applique thick pieces of fabric not meant to be sewn through, while they are not staying on the quilt, while you’re on a strict deadline? Not easy at all!

But it all got done. In time for the show. I was only a “little late” for setup.

DSC03900

So the quilt is NOW finished???

Umm….

No…. Not exactly ….

Saturday after the show (1 week later), I kept coming back to the yellow beads and some grey/blue disc beads I had bought before, and several strings of some irregular grey/blue smaller beads.

So I decided, post-quilt-show, to bling up the little star quilt again. More.

The very corners of my quilting have circles, so naturally the flat yellow beads fit directly into those prequilted circles.

And the half circles of the blocks lent themselves to the blue/grey disks.

And then I lined the very outer ring of the half circles with the small irregular beads, and couched them down.

little star with beads

Here is a closeup of it with the embellishments.

closeup of little star applique and beads

I kind of like that I didn’t stop when I thought I would.

Someone called this a ‘flag’ due to the symmetry and the colors and such. so now I think of it as the Little Star Scientific Quilter flag quilt.

I did do more quilting and gluing and stuff, but since I have been so good at posting lots of ‘smaller’ posts lately, I will wrap this up and show you my other progress in future posts.

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28.8 A warm finish for a cold day

December 7, 2012

exothermic quilt only binding leftI actually finished a quilt.

THE QUILT.

The quilt of my obsessions for the past year and a half!

A double sided quilt. One with highly pieced and planned side, and one with a devil may care attitude and piecing.

I took the week off which gave me the courage to finish the last borders on the quilt back (one of which is completely hacked off on the finished product, but hey, I knew it would happen, and then finally rent the long arm again.

I have been starting to populate flickr with pictures of my Exothermic Wonders Quilt, a double sided warm color quilt that has a fall / halloweeny feeling, without actually getting cheesy about it.

Regular blog readers and listeners may have heard about this quilt before, and after this, I will move on to other things.

A quilt for me!!

The Back of this quilt (free form)

exothermic back finished

Some close ups of my pantograph called samurai.

quilting close up on back

And I also have quilting on the front of the quilt!

quilting close up front of quilt samurai

And this is early AM putting the binding on the quilt!

attaching binding to quilt

And I did it myself too. My 2nd quilt I’ve ever had on the long arm (ripped the zippers from the one I had 3/4 the way done.

I rented the long arm from Quilted Memories, and Lyn remembered who I was as soon as I walked in the door! What a great thing, and something I poorly needed!

And because of all the detail in the posts I had taken this spring (see part 1 & part 2), I had hardly any downtime trying to figure out how to work the machine the 2nd time. Even after 7 or so months away!

And because I was being silly, I thought this shot was pretty nifty!

looking through the deck

Today is a grey cold day, first cold day we’ve had in over a week. This winter is turning out to be another hot / dry winter like it was last year.

Bonus is that I’ve already got my christmas shopping done as well! Off to play for the rest of the day!

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25.4 Deciding The Next Step for My Periodic Table Quilt

May 5, 2012

Since this is on the “finish a long list” I am trying to accelerate my thinking about this quilt that frankly needs to sit in time out for a while.

My Periodic Table – Periodic Spiral quilt to be more exact.

This is going to be the future quilt’s location. Now all the white is needleturned (glued first) and now I have to decide if I like it. I am not a fan of needle turn as I never seem to get the best line of stitching as I can when I glue over freezer paper.

However, putting the quilt up here made me think a few things.

  1. I want the words “The Periodic Spiral” to hover above the quilt.
  2. I think I want an explanation of the groups down below done in embroidery.
  3. I want something to block the needleturn edges from the background. Some kind of trim, embroidery or something.

While I was at Hancock fabrics the other day I was looking for some multicolored ric rac or similar.

But I found some interesting black or white or black and white trims.  I bought some black ric rac that in 2 days I have already misplaced somewhere.

But this intriguing black and white braid, which I like love, but is a little thick, and really doesn’t navigate around the curves all that well.

But I worry with this trim that it either takes away too much or detracts too much from the original design. It completely flows around the design.

And then yesterday while at Micheal’s I was looking at beads.

So I thought of these metal based beads.

And then the opal ones.

And I saw some carbon looking beads too thinking of how maybe I could get some different types of things to represent the different types of elements on the table, non metal beads, metal beads, something to represent gas forms, liquids.

Possibilities.

Head spinning, but only purchased the small square metal looking beads, but didn’t get enough to go around the entire design. Even if I add the opal ones together.

And then there’s another white based cording that I was considering outlining a darker area that I would do the embroidery on.

I bought some silver pearl cotton 5 floss and see the potential for twilling (our area’s hot hot hot embroidery design with knots) the types of elements.

But I am trying to preview this on the entire design because I opted out of getting the black only cording for the missing black ric rac.

And then there’s the lettering.

Also while at Hancock’s I found some sparkly fabric. With optical illusions set against black. And you know I like optical illusions in quilts!

so I cut out one letter in this shiny sparkly fabric.

And yes too much.

Problem with the letter is that I would also need a trim or something around the outside of the letter to separate the highly patterned letter from the highly patterned background.

So I’m wondering if I starch the snot out of this slippery shiny sparkly fabric if there is anyway in the world I could make bias strips and outline a darker color of letter.  Like make a black or dark blue letter with thin, shiny, sparkly bias tape edges.

Or I could always bias around the edge of my periodic table with the sparkly fabric bias tape. Now there’s a thought.

But honestly sounds like a lot of work. Wonder if I’m up to it.

AND I still have to print out on fabric my “key” for the spiral to make it all make sense.

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16.2 Periodic Table of Sewing by Scientific Seamstress

June 9, 2011

I totally failed to mention this wonderful periodic table of sewing in my periodic table episode a couple of days ago.

Carla of the the Scientific Seamstress fame (must be something weird about people with the names rhyming with ‘arla’?) has put together the periodic table of sewing elements.

Keeping the symbols of the elements the same, Carla has found some cute replacements for elements!

I particularly like Ne (neon) for Needle, and Sr (strontium) for Seam Ripper, and Mg (magnesium) for Magnetic Closure.

Check out her science/sewing lab on this post where there’s a link to a larger printable version of the image!

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16.0 Now THAT’s a planet!

June 7, 2011

I occasionally get Craftster updates and this time I saw this wonderful patchwork planet.  From the Froglin Faffing blog.

Reminds me of me, where the planning goes one way, and then at the end uses pure luck to complete it.  Nice graph, nice organization, I love squishies with a purpose.

What’s best?  Most fabrics are from her stash!

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15.8 SQ Episode 026 – Periodic Table Spiral Quilt

June 5, 2011

Podcast Feed

Ever since I saw the image from Periodic Spiral, I’ve been in love with making this periodic table quilt.

Here’s a PDF of the image of the Periodic Spiral, and here is the link to the Periodic Spiral website.

I can see this exact image as an art quilt posted on a white or black background.  Lots of scrappy choices.

Or each arm could have different colors representing the similarities of each type of elements.

At the beginning of the podcast, I discussed the change of the atomic radius (size of the atom) as shown as trends in the periodic table.  Here’s a visual to what I was trying to discuss.

If you want to see a dot diagram of atomic radius as discussed in the beginning of the podcast, click here.

Further clicks on this link will show more interesting periodic table views of atomic properties.

At the end of the program, I referenced Inkscape, a vector program that can draw lines and curves beautifully.

Here is the image I copied, and the image I created.  Close enough to worry?

Quilting design lila from Sweet Dreams Quilt Studio

Oh:  Follow me on facebook Scientific Quilter, or Twitter @scientificquilt

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14.3 Hoping with the Stars

March 27, 2011

Even though my sleeping problems are still as crappy as they were a week ago, this weekend turned from ‘grumpy monkey’ to ‘hopeful’.

I honestly shouldn’t be around anyone else when I am in grumpy monkey status – thus the week hiatus.

It appears that hope is coming in the form of having a choice, when a week ago, I wasn’t even aware of this choice being available.

But now we have a plan in place, so even if the hope from this weekend doesn’t turn out to be good, a backup plan is in place, which makes me settled, and less grumpy.

That being said, if things happen one way, then this blog/podcast might go even more quiet for a period of time while the dust settles.  If it goes the other way, I should be able to find the time for you all similar to how I am finding time now.

Clear as mud?  Good.

….

Enough personal life.

Meanwhile, I’ve been on the search for the perfect fabrics for my next quilt, which was referenced in a past post.

The ‘pink quilt’ uses atypical fabrics, which again intrigues me.  Which may be a good departure for me.

And I am learning more and more about EQ7 once I finally settled down into it.

Here is the original block for my pink quilt, castor and pollux, without all the lines needed to paper piece it.

And here is a fabric set that I’ve been debating and debating over, with all the available choices for each fabric.

Considerations

  • The color hue of the lightest set (on the far left) is the most desired in the middle fabric, but the top fabric has silver sparkles! The one in back has lighter lights (which is desired), but also darker darks (not desired).
  • My favorite two choices for the ‘medium periwinkle’ color are the bottom two, one of which is a fabric that I’ve already used before in my mini black baltimore quilt.  The dark one is electrifying, but almost too dark, and the fabric on top is what I purchased for this quilt, but still wasn’t grabbing me as ‘me me me first!’ as I walked out the quilt shop.
  • My favorite color choice for the ‘medium pink’ is the one on the bottom that has all the little tiny flowers on it.  My only concern is that the lightest lights of this fabric will be too tight and too noticable.

And the dark pink is just lovely!

I am leaning heavily toward THESE colors, although I suspect I could be happy with the other variations too.

So I played around with EQ7 and my images of my fabric seen here as fabric scans and I put all into EQ.

My scale doesn’t exactly match up due to how I ‘scanned the pictures’.  How did I do this?

  1. I took pictures of the fabric,
  2. opened the picture in photo shop,
  3. got the right color/saturation etc
  4. highlighted around the fabric in question,
  5. Copy
  6. New
  7. Paste
  8. Merge Down
  9. Save as (fabric name)
  10. Open the project in EQ7
  11. Libraries
  12. Fabric Library
  13. Import
  14. From Image Files
  15. select image
  16. Open
  17. Add to sketchbook
  18. Work on block
  19. Add color to block
  20. Find the picture in EQ7
  21. Color the block
  22. Save to sketchbook
  23. File
  24. export Image (to show all you)
  25. Work on quilt
  26. Set block
  27. Chose block
  28. Click the tiny triangle on the bottom to get the other color
  29. Set the block in the quilt.
  30. All of them
  31. Set colors for borders.
  32. All of them (missed very outside border here)
  33. Save quilt to sketchbook
  34. File
  35. Export image (to show all of you)

The lightest fabric still is a little dark to my taste.  It may turn out okay though.

Now I’ll have to work on the block and see.

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14.0 Quilting ‘Actual Stars’

March 17, 2011

A couple of days ago on my personal facebook page, I posted a design I had happened to see on an antique geometric website.

The name of the block intrigued me, Castor and Pollux.

Two ‘actual stars’ known by western society as the two brightest stars in the constellation of Gemini, which have some Greek Mythological roots.

I then decided to tackle EQ7 again, downloading the Castor and Pollux picture from the website above:

and superimposing this picture onto a 10 by 10 grid.

Tackling EasyDraw again, I came up with a very pink variation of the block, and gave myself something that I could paper piece (in theory).


My final version of this block actually has more lines than this (from what I can see here, it’s not putting all the lines in to show the paper piecing version.

Here is my printout of the block, black and white (no color ink)

And since each block is four of the same ‘sub blocks’, here is a sub block printout with notation.

 

And I thought of a quilt pattern for this block.

So 4 subblocks in a block, and 16 blocks in a quilt.  This is definitely a Long Term Project!

If I decide to do it.

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