Don’t you wanna say this in text after this episode? Here’s hoping that I remember what this means later and that I didn’t inadvertently spell something that is commonly thought of as BAD. If so – sorry, blaming innocence here.
OMG GMFG! OFW WTG!
Send me 1 and a half inch light batik strips if you are looking to downsize your strips. (comment or firstname.lastname@example.org)
So I started playing around with EQ7 this morning. I have successfully read through the entire user’s manual (at Jiffy Lube, during lunch breaks, falling asleep).
I wasn’t at the computer while reading, but I at least have heard of the terms used in the program a little bit at this point.
I thought I had a good handle on how to navigate EQ7, and considering my experience in photoshop, thought that the whole thing would be a piece of cake to navigate.
Well, it’s OK, and I don’t know if it’s just my lack of experience or what, but I have been taking longer than expected to handle the navigation of the program.
You put everything you want to do in your sketchbook before you use it. And then you have to color everything. I haven’t even figured out how to color a block and then put it into a quilt that way – all i’ve used on colors is preset color choices and then changing them to colors I want. But what if I chose to keep some blocks different colors (or the same) than what the presets?
I did a drawing with freedraw (or some name I don’t remember) and used Serendipity to make it kaleidoscope, but then I couldn’t put my new kaleidoscoped block into another block.
I suppose if I export the block I may have the control I want, but the program said that it couldn’t do what I wanted to at the time.
And I didn’t notice that the coin quilt block was there, and I was having a hard time with making my spectra quilt until I just imported each spectra as a photo.
I didn’t know how to make a coin quilt from the start because that option wasn’t a preset (although I have been told there are coin quilt blocks available, I haven’t done that yet). The way I set up my spectrum quilt to get this picture is:
Vertical Strip Quilt
1st Block 4.5 inches
2nd Block 1.5 inches
3rd Block 4.5 inches
with a 1.5 inch border
This size may make a nice table runner, my overall size is 19.5 X 34 inches which fits the space I have wonderfully. I didn’t have a sashing option by doing a vertical strip quilt style, and since this is based on a photograph this was overcome by making the sashing strips the size of my inner ‘blocks’.
I was hoping for some more help in figuring out exactly how wide each spectra would have to be, but I did the math and a little Dimensional Analysis (yes science, math and chemistry practice has come in handy here!) and played around with my quilt size to make the math easier and I have a lovely start on my spectra quilt – USING PHOTOSHOP.
Sorry folks, but I had to go back to my old standby when I kept trying to zoom in farther and farther on my picture within the completed quilt and couldn’t get the thing to do what I wanted it to do.
Having 10 years of playtime on photoshop probably made it easier to figure out how to get the program to behave better than a program I’ve had for a month and a half which I haven’t taken computer time to decipher yet.
To get the size of each bias bar accurately (which I am not doing by the way), I had to do the following photoshop steps:
Set a grid up. The grid is modified in Edit/Preferences/Guides,Grids&Slices. I set up grids every 4 subdivisions every 4 pixels. Using dots.
Zoom in on my original picture far enough.
Pick some crazy colors
Set up the paintbrush tool to 1.0 pixel in size
Each ‘dotted box’ I put a colored dot just along the side of the picture.
Each 1 dot was green, every 5 dots was red. Very tedious steps (5&6)
Then I changed to a different color (blue) and every 2 red dots put a dot to the right (every 10 pixels)
New color, every 20 pixels (two blue dots) put a dot (purple)
New color, every 50 pixels (two and a half purple dots) put a dot (yellow).
This made it easy to count the total number of pixels in each row, and gave me a fairly accurate idea of where in each row the colored lines were.
I had a total of 310 dots, so I made the length of the quilt 31 inches so that each inch would be 10 dots.
I really should go metric with the calculations from here, but no one sews a metric seam allowance. If you feel the urge, I know that 2.54 centimeters = 1 inch, so you can do some more dimensional analysis to figure it out if you so choose.
I put all these dots on a new layer in photoshop so I can move the layer around to each of the strips and ‘count’ where the lines are.
The strips are all about 1/10 or 1/5 of an inch finished, but I don’t have any bias tape makers that go that far, so I’ll have to get out my bias bars and use the thinnest one available.
I’ll approximate on the color values used for each color and perhaps vary the brightness at this point
This makes me happy that at least I am thinking about this project – AND I am using math – AND I am using dimensional analysis - something for which both chemistry and physics heavily prepared me.
But today, a sewing day, I worked more on my black and white quilt. Black and white borders complete, sewed onto the quilt (measured heavily because of how I had to strip the setting trapeziods) and started on my ‘handdrawn celtic border corners’. 12 total. 1 down, 11 to go.
This, in no way, is a negative review of EQ7. I haven’t discovered the possibilities yet on this.
But it is a reflection that I need to use the things I can do with EQ7 and the things I can do with photoshop and put the talents together while I learn and play with the possibilities (and limitations) of both programs.
I know people would like a podcast/review on EQ7, and I have to wait to know what is going on before doing so, but when I get to it, I’ll see if I can cook up something.
It felt very nice to not only be creative today in the computer programs, but also very comfortable to be doing the math that I’ve been avoiding unnecessarily. Incredible how odd that feels to say, but so very true.
Occurences with complex vocabulary in technical disciplines
What is it about all this scientific and mathematical vocabulary, notation, jargon, acronyms? Is it there to make us smarter and understand more or is it there just to confuse us? The following are some scientific examples of extreme vocabulary (look at your own risk)
In math you have all the integral signs and the large sigma and the n-notation everywhere.
In physics, essentially you learn the greek alphabet, math, equations everywhere!
Chemistry is no better, with all the organic chemistry notation. For example one diastereomer is trans-3-methylcyclopentanol (I have no idea what that is used for, but it looks complicated, right?) The other enantiomer is cis-3-methlycyclopentanol in case you’re wondering.
Biology for me was hard due to endless lists of vocabulary. Just opening one page in my book gives me: squamous cells, cuboidal cells, simple epithelium, stratified epi…… (okay I’ll stop here!)
With terms like this, its easy to stop in your tracks and run the other way. Sure. Go ahead. See ya next podcast and post if you follow suit. But for a vocabulary adventure, keep reading.
Eschew Obfuscation in the English Language and what to do about vocabulary intimidation
But you don’t encounter intimidating vocabulary only in the science classroom. Or in any classroom. There are things all around us that cause us to feel intimidated just by saying them out loud.
The English language being one of the great intimidators. The existence of the word irregardless. Spelling bee words. A new (to me) phrase brought to my attention by one of my commenters: Eschew Obfuscation
After doing a little bit of research, I found out that “eschew obfuscation” means “avoid confusion“.
Sometimes intimidating vocabulary can be used (like I did with the science words) to intimidate you. Or as Timelady says: “sometimes (people) genuinely do not realise that it is unreasonable to expect others to understand such words – perhaps they are (using) technical jargon, abbreviations, acronyms”.
Do I feel that a lot of people in my life do this on a regular basis? – NO.
Do I feel that quilters have such a crazy complicated vocabulary such that they cannot express their meaning to me in a way I can’t understand? – Also NO.
If someone does intimidate you verbally, Timelady says to counter with something to the effect of: “oh I don’t know what that word means. Could you tell me? Thanks for increasing my language skills”.
To avoid confusion when writing, an Eschew Obfuscation website suggests to
assume the reader is naive
use the active voice
organize thoughts sequentially and logically
(a few of these I have to work on myself.)
Possible confusing vocabulary in our hobbies
With hobbies of any kind, science fiction, fishing, quilting … etc. there is usually a learning curve to understanding the hobby.
Learning product and equipment names can seem confusing to use. Materials used in creating a project have their own names, brands, and acronyms.
Other times it is a specific technique that is being demonstrated, and a skill that has to be learned.
Sometimes abstract concepts are best described with a certain word or phrase like “color value”, gradation, contrast. Some of these techniques are simple in idea, but also complicated such that it takes a lifetime to master.
Space saving when communicating is facilitating our use of acronyms and symbols. Text messaging, tweeting, and constant communication is shortening our words and ideas to “WIPS” “UFO’s” “HSY” (haven’t started yet – heard by me first on Annie Smith’s Quilting Stash).
Referring to loved ones as DH, DD, MIL, …. is necessary sometimes to protect privacy.
The reason I haven’t pursued crochet and knitting is the pattern and symbol notations used in patterns as space savers. I see the pattern notation, don’t take time to analyze it, and put the project down, never to start on it. I COULD figure it out if I had the desire to learn, but for now I’ll just do quilting with its visual blocks.
iPhones (with access to dictionary.com) and Kindles have places to look up vocabulary too, so you don’t have to carry around a large dictionary everywhere you go.
Listen to Podcasts, listening to complicated words spoken several times gets you familiar to the words and ideas. This makes it easier when you actually do the technique or use the product.
Watch Videos - Same as podcasts – gives you exposure, ideas, lets you see and hear together what is meant by various techniques and words
Write the word down several times – in context
Make up your own story or your own sentence
Ask someone who brings it up to explain, then give them an example sentence or situation and see if you understand (my personal favorite a lot of times)
Learn the rootwords, prefixes and suffixes. That organic chemistry compound earlier can be explained in its parts. For non-chemistry examples: hetero- means different, chrom- means color, epi- means above -graph means write …
Use word clouds to gain familiarity. Create your own on Wordle or Tagul.
Google search – or your favorite web search engine.
Post on a forum about what other people know. People are generally helpful enough to answer your questions.
Use mnemonics to help your brain link common terms and objects to more complicated ones
Do teacher-type techniques for extreme vocabulary learning (like for tests when you HAVE to know words)
Make it fun. Create word crosses, word searches, and puzzles at discovery puzzlemaker site
Matching quiz. Write or copy the list of words and the list of definitions and paste each into two separate columns in a word processing or spreadsheet program. Then alphabetize all the words alphabetically, and alphabetize all the definitions reverse alphabetically. Do a matching game.
Create flashcards. Used this to demonstrate the idea of stoichiometry in equations. Physically moving something around helped with movement and learning. As quilters, we move around the parts of our quilt blocks – that is similar to how to learn balancing equations.
Create a blog about a new word or idea. Chances are that teaching someone else something will help you learn it better yourself. Blogs are good for this.
I hope you enjoy a little crossword that I created using words from Quilt University’s own Quilt Glossary. You can find the PDF below.
A wonderfully simple, but visually pleasing mathematical topic is called the Fibonacci sequence.
What is the Fibonacci sequence?
Before you go running off to Wikipedia to find out (it’s somewhat scary – I’m warning you), let me explain Fibonacci here first.
The Fibonacci sequence is a series that can continue on forever (something to occupy your kids of school age for a period of time that can add multiple digits – challenge them to find the first 20 or 30 Fibonacci numbers and they’ll stay occupied for a while to give you sewing time).
You start with the number 1 and the other number 1.
Then you add the two numbers together: 1 + 1 = 2
Then you add the last two numbers together: 1 + 2 = 3
Then you add the last two numbers together: 2 + 3 = 5
… 3 + 5 = 8
… 5 + 8 = 13
… and so on … the numbers 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13 …. are the first numbers in the Fibonacci sequence
Square One was an educational television program in the late 80′s that helped kids learn math. There were several other shows that held my interest at this time such as: Mr Wizard, Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego, Braingames (on HBO), Encyclopedia (also on HBO), which focused on science, geography, brain puzzles, and vocabulary respectively.
On Square One, at the end of every episode there was a segment called ‘Mathnet’. On Dragnet Mathnet, they were detectives that used math to solve crimes, and on one episode (series of episodes) there was a parrot that kept saying “1, 1, 2, 3, 5, eureka”. It was the Fibonacci parrot. Listen to the episode to hear my rendition of the parrot and some songs that I sing wonderfully that I embarrass myself for the sake of math.
Fibonacci quilt from Christina at Christina Creating
The colors, the contrast, the borders and the binding are just incredibly wonderful in this quilt! Its informational, educational, visually appealing, square, AND well received by the recipients! She talks about the process in her favorite quilt post. No wonder it’s one of her favorite quilts!
Because I missed it the first time, here is a direct quote from Christina Creating about the inspiration for the quilt that she made:
“I got the idea from the article “Pythagorean Tree” by Diana Venters in AQS’s American Quilter: Ultimate Projects (vol XIX, no 5, 2003).” I have not been quilting all that long, so do not have access to that article (without going to the library I would guess they may have it). If you’re into mathematical quilting, look up Diana Venters.
Inspired by christina’s quilt, I played around in Photoshop a little bit and got a rough draft of a few quilts (or quilt block). I turned on the grid to help with lining up in Photoshop (go to view / show / grid)
Then I added several of these blocks together and changed some of the colors
What an easy baby quilt idea this could be? You could sew strips together of the different colors and just cut and sew them fairly easily.
Here is the edges of the Fibonacci that shows the grid created by this quilt. Maybe this would be good fabric pattern? (or not?)
If instead of doing strips, you could do squares of each type. This is (my) monochromatic version of the painting on the Square One / Mathnet parrot episode.
You could also use the Fibonacci sequence to find visually pleasing border widths. If you are stuck on several borders and knowing what widths to use for these, try Fibonacci numbers.
For example, have a 1 inch border next to a 2 inch border next to a 3 inch border. Or try a 2 inch border next a 5 inch border or a 1 inch border near an 8 inch border.
I found a few other mathematical quilting sites along the road
Not all Fibonacci is straight lines and architecture. Naturally you find Fibonacci in sunflowers. I am NOT going to count them, but supposedly there are Fibonacci numbers of 34 and 55 on the following sunflower.
When you stop and look at things that you don’t normally pay attention to, you can find some unusual ideas, depending on how deep you actually look. After mentioning Fibonacci and doing some Wikipedia research, and seeing tons of sunflower pictures, I stopped in my tracks when cleaning one of my dishes (by hand) and saw the same type of pattern – a Fibonacci pattern on my dish! Amazing! Did they purposefully make 13 little “dents” in each spiral?
A natural spiral found in sea shells is shown here with this Wikipedia drawing.
And if you divide the Fibonacci numbers in this way you get the Golden Ratio, which is also visually pleasing:
5/3 = 1.5
8/5 = 1.66
13/8 = 1.6
… on and on … until you get 1.61
The golden Ratio gives you a visually appealing relationship of 1 on the short side and 1.61 on the long side – many greek architecture follows this golden ratio rule of design.
A very comprehensive study of the fibonacci sequence with many pictures and ideas
As I’ve seen in many students (adults & me included), there seems to be a point when learning a new technique seems scary, whether its science, math, or quilting even.
Fear of learning new techniques is risk of doing something that could have negative consequences upon failure, whether that is unsatisfactory results, public humiliation, or loss of time and/or money. Perfectionism is praised by quilt judges and peers, and so getting points to match up can become a priority for quilters and the possibility for not reaching that perfectionism may cause quilters to stop trying new things due to their lack of confidence – or rather their fear. How do quilters motivate themselves to move past the fear and see the rewards of learning to be greater than the risk of failure?
Follow me on my audio journey (i.e. speech) on how to combat the fear by listening to my podcast. An outline of my speech is as follows below, so you know where I’m headed on the podcast. I hope this is helpful to more than just me.
Setting deadlines may help motivate discipline and practice
Practice makes perfect
Use muscle memory, weather physical or mental, to help get you through techniques
Other ideas for stumbling blocks
Have the desire to learn the new task before trying
Psych yourself up for new projects
Create tutorials for others to help you ‘really learn’ what you’re doing – blog about it!
Give yourself time to digest new material
Something Else to Think About
Higher level of needs and thinking is where the categories of creativity and problem solving lay. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs suggests that to obtain these needs other needs of food, shelter, etc need to be met first.
Ruthanne asks “Why aren’t we creative?” (see Mirkwood Designs specifically episode 1 ) and we should strive to reach those higher levels of needs as much as possible in our lives. Looking at the level just below creativity and problem solving is esteem and confidence and respect – the main part of my podcast today.
Maslows Needs from Wikipedia
As I always say: Be creative and think about what you’re doing. Get to work on those higher levels of thinking and get out there!