Archive for the ‘Data’ Category

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22.0 First 15 Minute Challenge Jan 10, 2012

January 10, 2012

I have thought a lot about joining up the 15 minute challenge since a podcast about it a year ago.

I have also not been disciplined enough to always do something on a certain day, or really rigorous in my quilting experiments that I have set up and then long forgotten to get ahead on quilting projects.

But, I am considering having a Marching Along in March where the challenge is similar to Kelley’s May Mayhem and all you have to do is sew for 15 minutes a day in march.

If I want to set up something like that, I have to start somewhere, and what better way than posting a 15 minute challenge results from the last week, and then linking it to Life in Pieces Blog – at least once anyway.

And to spice up the information, it usually goes out with a graphic, so I am trying that too.

This whole week has been taken up by progress on my Exothermic quilt blocks.

Some other rules about the 15 minute challenge that I have set up for myself:

No where do I actually say I definitively have worked for 15 minutes, AND this list for me can include things that make sewing easier that are either necessary prep items or something more than just twittering & blogging.  Also when not journaled correctly, I reserve the right to fudge a little bits on the dates this all happened.

I have the right to change the rules at any time.

More details?

Tuesday, I was finishing up the alternate blocks (dark blocks in exothermic design) by figuring out the corners that I would need to cut off & sew down. I sewed one complete block with corners that day. or was this monday??

Wednesday, I repeated the process of flipping & cutting down the pieces that go on the corners on the remaining 11 blocks to complete.

Thursday, I got a little farther in sewing the corners that I prepped on Wednesday, sewed 8 of 11 on.

Friday, I finished up sewing all the corners on the blocks.

Saturday was figuring out how to best piece the side block, I had to cut out the templates, tape together the paper pieced portion (oh why didn’t I use washable glue?), sew strip sets for the graduated look of the block, cut down the strips for paper piecing the block.

Sunday, I had less time to sew than I had planned, I got all the pieces together and had my puckers on the side block, but I did measure, and it is staying w/in the 45 degress of an isoceles right triangle.

Monday, back at work, I started cutting the paper piece templates for the rest of my 13 side blocks I need to make. Cutting these at lunch did eventually lead to 15 minutes of work, no sewing, but sewing prep and that counts.

That’s my first 15 minute challenge post.

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21.2 Practicing quilting with paper

December 4, 2011

Sometimes you just have to make your own mistakes and make your own experiments before you believe a result that someone else has already warned you about.

I have been neglecting the FMQ on my giveaway quilt, probably since I haven’t FMQ’d since June. (That’s Free Motion Quilting, for the uninformed)

That and I really just want to piece my (other) quilts in my own room, around my own things, which leads me to procrastinate on this current project.

This quilt was supposed to be a quick quilt to get me to practice the FMQ, and that is starting to serve it’s purpose this early morning.

My experiment & hypothesis: I can FMQ through a freezer paper quilting template and still like the quilting results on the quilt when the freezer paper is removed.

First I took a paper copy of my design (Just ran the freezer paper copy through my printer) and pinned it down to the top of a practice quilt sandwich.

I quilted through that.  First, I locked up & realized how much lint is gathering under my metal plate, so spent a half hour ‘delinting’ my machine.

After all is lint free, I try again with the regular paper. I suppose this was my ‘control’ of my experiment.  To see if freezer paper would be easier than the regular paper.

Regular paper quilts through mostly fine, although at this point, I haven’t removed the regular paper yet, so this data is only halfway done.

Then decided I needed more time getting the rhythm for the design down, so I cut a smaller sandwich for the middle design & quilted it down.

So I took freezer paper and put it on my practice quilt sandwich and FMQ’d away.

I have only removed the paper from one of the flowers and leaves at this point, and although this technique I think would work, I am having reservations at how much this is pulling up the stitches.

One solution: faster foot pedal, slower hands.

This produces smaller stitches that would make it easier to tear away the paper and would prevent large loops coming undone

Another solution: tighten the tension on the top (?)

I am not sure but maybe a tighter tension would produce tighter stitches on the top.

Another solution: get the freezer paper wet with water to help remove the paper.

enough said.

Another solution: get a light weight quilting paper specially designed to dissolve away.

This would help with keeping the stitches close to the actual fabric underneath, perhaps also providing more tension all on it’s own. I don’t own any of this.

Another solution: trace the design from paper to the fabric using dressmaker’s carbon.

This way I don’t have to deal with the paper itself. Of course I don’t OWN any dressmaker’s carbon.

Another solution: trace the design onto tissue paper.

Same as the carbon, and I may actually have some. somewhere. Somewhere.Tissue paper’s thin.  May come with its own set of problems too though.

Another option: leave it – it’s working out ok enough.

I think this may work overall, if I decided to leave the freezer paper & tear it out by hand, I think this could be “good enough” and know that over time, I’ll get better. And hopefully the recipient would understand.

I realized that I never have come to this place before in my stages of quilting.

Which solution / option do you usually chose?  Reasons why?

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17.4 The Vortex of a New Project

July 19, 2011

Suddenly, I have one swap to do – Pinwheels, podcast done, house good, things going well (generally).  So it feels like virtual freedom.

The lack of quilt show deadline looming over my head actually has found me in a state of “well, now what do I do?”.

Which is almost comical, when I list out the UFO’s that I have to work on, several of which incredibly excite me.

I had promised Nonnie, from Nonnie’s Quilting Dreams that I would get her some blocks for her massive charity quilt project.

So I took her up on it and finally set down to sew together several blocks, now they’re just waiting to be mailed (tomorrow).  These are pictures of other Four Patches, hers are already in the envelope before I got out the camera.

And, because of her talking about the Disappearing Four Patch Blocks, I just HAD to try them, I just HAD to.

Even though I only made the requested Four patch for Nonnie as requested, I couldn’t help but make some disappearing four patch blocks on my own. Here is a murdered four patch.

I almost took Nonnie’s suggestion of cutting the blocks at 4 inches from the edge, but

  1. I didn’t square up the 4 patches to 12 inches first
  2. All blocks were consistently 12.5 finished before cutting
  3. I liked the look of cutting each line 4.5 inches from the outer edge
  4. Even after sewing them together I liked the look of 4.5 inches, the middles are small, but not TOO small.
  5. The more distance between you and the cut, the skinnier the strips (FYI).

I made 9 different blocks, and decided instead of changing out two colors, I thought I would investigate a bright scrappy quilt, by first lining up all my pieces.

And then went full on scrappy pieces on my design wall (3 pieces aren’t pictured here)

And now 3 blocks are sewn together. New life Frankensteined from nine separate blocks, stitched together lovingly, and fairly quickly.

Overall, so far, good experimental technique, and it’s fun, and I am learning to play a little bit!

Here is Nonnie’s directions to the charity quilt request, (just 4 patches) and here is Nonnie’s directions on how to do disappearing four patch blocks.  Or D4P?

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12.2 Velocity Results … Finally!

February 12, 2011

Thanks for all 5 of you that participated in

I learned a few things about myself when hosting this type of event, which I will share on the next podcast.

Here’s my bullet list of what I learned:

  • get a great giveaway item
  • show the item for the giveaway first to help with participation
  • don’t make a giveaway so complicated!
  • don’t make a giveaway a really long time frame
  • giveaways that seem complicated just get put off until later … and later …
  • give a hard and fast deadline to when the results will be given – no excuses
  • set a timer to help you get past the fact that figuring out the results may seem hard (even though it’s not)
  • once you get past the initial inertia of figuring out results, it is NEVER as hard as you think
  • you forgot how much joy you have in creating the giveaway to begin with if you never work on it!
  • dimensional analysis will get you through times when you haven’t done the math right

… You want actual results?

How fast do we sew?  Really?

Here’s a copy of the pdf of the google document that I created.

velocityexperiment-2

Here’s the picture (for those who don’t have pdf readers handy):

This is not meant to be a display on who can sew fastest when, so I blurred the names here, except mine.

The highlighted column ends up being the speed in yards / minute as I have calculated.  I hope I got all the kinks worked out on the yards / minute calculation.

(note: there are 3 feet in a yard, 12 inches in a foot, and 60 seconds in a minute, and forgetting one or all of these facts can cause you to go crazy for about a half hour)

Actual conclusions (to the data, not to how I mishandled the giveaway and experimental results).

  • Two quilters sewed faster when sewing full length strips rather than sewing blocks.
  • One quilter sewed faster when chain piecing blocks than sewing full length strips
  • MY speed was the slowest of them all when it came to sewing blocks.  And right now I can’t remember if I actually sewed two pieces of 2 and a half width blocks instead of one piece.  If I sewed a length of 5 inches instead of 2.5 then my speed would be much closer to the speed of sewing everything else.
  • Sometimes cats, ironing, threadies under the fabric get in the way and slow us down.
  • The width of the strips DOES matter on speed.  The narrow 1.5 inch strips are slower on all quilters who attempted them, and the fastest speed is on 8.5 inch blocks.
  • Some people get in a rush when trying to time themselves and cause themselves more trouble than they would otherwise.
  • The average speed of all the results is 1.36 yards / minute.  We can sew just about 1 and 1 third yards of fabric in a minute’s time.  And do it accurately.
  • Some people don’t like timing themselves, but everyone who did, I am truly grateful
  • I have a timer on my iPod Nano that I didn’t know I had

Feel free to continue to participate and now that I have the database set up better, I can hopefully reply much faster (get it – faster?) with the velocity.

Giveaway

For the giveaway, I assigned each trial that people timed a separate # and then used the random number generator to determine the winner of the giveaway.

And the winner is:

Janet!

Sending you an e-mail Janet, hope to get in contact with you soon!

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9.4 Don’t forget to participate!

December 13, 2010

Don’t forget to participate in The Great Velocity Experiment! 

You have to time yourself and know how far you are sewing. 

If you want details on how to do the experiment, go to the Experiment Podcast page. 

If you want to share your experimental results, go to the Quilting Speed Experiment page.

If you would like to copy and paste the smaller image onto your blog, download it here:

 

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9.2 SQ Episode 019 – The Velocity of Quilting – Part 2

December 5, 2010

Podcast Feed

The velocity of quilting is how we think of quilting using velocity terms and concepts. The concepts are defined in Part 1 of this episode.

  

Direction

The direction you travel mentally and physically correspond to your quilting goals. Finding out what you want to accomplish.

Ask yourself the questions and you’ll find your quilting velocity direction:

  1. What type of project do I want to do?
  2. How much work am I willing to do towards the project? 
  3. Do I know how to start the project or are there learning steps to handle before I get to that point?
  4. How much do I still have to purchase in supplies to finish the project?
  5. Am I creating the project for someone else?
  6. What is the project intended for? Is it for a wallhanging, a treasured bed quilt, a new baby, a tired kiddo, a memory of someone long gone?

Or you could actually think about the physical directions to obtain your quilting supplies:

  1. What direction to the nearest quilt shop?
  2. How many quilt shops can I steer away from on my long trip to somewhere else?
  3. What part of the store do you like the most, the back where all the quilt samples are, the front where all the fat quarters are located?

Another direction consideration is in free motion quilting:

  1. When free motion quilting what direction do you keep your quilt?
  2. Can you move the quilt vs move the machine? 
  3. What direction do you push your quilt to stuff it into the harp/throat areas?
  4. What advantage is a quilt rack/stand that moves the machine compared to moving the quilt?
  5. What direction are your legs in, are you sitting or standing?
  6. What direction do your shoulders go if you scrunch them up all the time quilting?

Other times to consider direction of quilting (not mentioned in the podcast):

  1. What direction do you cut the fabric (lengthwise or crosswise grain)?
  2. What direction are you moving your rotary cutter when you cut the grain?
  3. What direction are your applique pieces that are stuck on the wrong side of your fabric?
  4. What direction do you press the seams?

 

Instantaneous Velocity vs Average Velocity

Image from flickr,  By Allie_Caulfield

Instantaneous Velocity

  • Instantaneous velocity and the hare
  • Stopping projects midstream to work on something else (or take a nap)
  • Working on quick projects that take minimal effort, learning time, materials
  • Being satisfied for making a project quickly
  • An instantaneous velocity of zero is still a velocity.
  • Define the amount of time you want to define as “an instant”
  • Are you okay with leaving in mistakes?
  • Set up your equipment, tools, surroundings, sewing space to help maximize sewing time and minimize downtime
  • Product based quilting – more projects = more things put on etsy = more chance to feed yourself

 

Image from flickr, by iregretjumping

Average Velocity

  • In reality, for many projects, you may be facing time frames of years or months
  • Slow and steady wins the race, just ask the tortoise
  • Slowing down gives you more time to reflect, make changes, define the best techniques for your quilt
  • The time it takes to gather the fabric, materials, learn the techniques, cut, sew, quilt & bind the quilt all adds in to the total quilting time for one project
  • Pick up a new technique and try it.  Adds to your total quilting time and lowers your velocity, but can help you in the long run.

 

Frame of Reference

Referencing others

Wait a minute, everyone is finishing projects faster than me….

  • Wow!  This is cool!  I should try to do more projects, sewing, etc.

or

  • Oh no!  I don’t know how to work that fast!  How can I ever keep up?

Pick your attitude to help suit you best.  Keep in mind all the life distractions that you don’t want to / aren’t able to miss. 

Give yourself permission to be slower/faster than others depending on your unique situation and pressures.

You also may actually have a higher velocity of projects than other people.  If so, encourage or help others to finish up!

You can also reference yourself.

  • Some people as they learn new techniques, can speed up over time because they aren’t referencing the source material as much.
  • Some people find it more valuable to slow down as they gain more knowledge to be able to produce quilts with better quality. 
  • Doing it right by spending a little more time on it may be more satisfying and save the headache of unsewing (negative project velocity)

 

Image from flickr, by garryknight 

Thanks for the comments.  We need to think of how much we want to sew, how quickly we need to sew, and what that will do to the final project. 

  • Will we burn up our machine by literally going pedal to the metal? 
  • Will we drag our feet to complete a project we don’t want to complete? 
  • Will we put less value on our projects for ourselves than on the projects for others and put the effort into finishing things for others over finishing our own stuff?
  • Will we regret sewing too fast and trying to get a project done in time?
  • Will we sew fast enough to complete a project for a fellow swapper?

I had a blast at my very first quilting retreat lately.  I have been tearing it up getting a lot of quilting projects nearer to completion!

Are you a slow poke quilter too? Sign up and show off your slow quilting velocity!

  

Velocity Giveaway

Giveaway Details for the Great Velocity Experiment

We’re going to close on January 6th, 2011 to be considered eligible for the velocity experiment giveaway. 

If you find this site after that date, please feel free to participate by going to my Quilting Velocity Experiment page anyway!

At the current time, it will be easy to be eligible as we have very few entries!

Additional Music

From freesound.org

        By SirmXe 
            Twisted Feeling – Keys 140 BPM.mp3

From Mevio’s Music Alley

A Golden Day by Axel Schneider

Inner Focus by Absent Machine

Sands of Egypt by John Gillat

The Marionette by Two Star Symphony

Novellette in D Major by Mario Ajero

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8.9 SQ Episode 18 – The Great Velocity Experiment – Part 1

October 31, 2010

Podcast Feed

Do you feel the need for speed?

Physics of Velocity

What is velocity?  Why not call this podcast – “Quilting Speed”?

Velocity is noted as speed and direction

What is speed?  Speed is the distance you travel and the amount of time it takes you to do so.

Velocity in physics is measured as both instantaneous and average.

Instantaneous velocity is the speed and direction you are at any given moment

Imagine you are driving  – or will be. Getting in your car, turning the key, you notice the car starts at rest.   

A velocity of zero.

You accelerate to a certain speed.  At any given instant between zero and your final speed your spedometer would read something different. An instantaneous velocity.

If you want to look at your average velocity during that same time period, consider the entire time period you were moving.  Then take your beginning speed, and your ending speed (going in the same direction) and take the average of the two. 

In our car, we are moving compared to the ground.

Compared to the ground.  A frame of reference.  The most common frame of reference is the ground.

If we were driving in a 4 lane highway, how fast do we appear to be driving compared to another car going faster?

Let’s say the other car is going faster, in the same direction we are. 

We’ll fall behind the other car, right?  We’re going to be late to the party. Hey, wait for us!

Doesn’t it appear that we are going backwards to the other car? 

We know we’re not going backwards, we can see we’re making progress forward compared to the ground, but making less progress compared to the faster car. 

But if you could see what your friend’s kid could see, looking back, seeing our slower car from the faster car’s perspective, our car would look like it is leaving us.  And the kids can make faces at us.

We can also have a negative velocity if we are considered to be ‘going backwards’ from where we intend to go. 

We can have a negative velocity compared to other vehicles.

So the study of velocity in physics starts you thinking about your speed, your direction, type of velocity measurement and your frame of reference, and these major terms can be applied to quilting.

  

Experimental Results

I’ve set up a separate page on my blog for the Great Velocity Experiment

I’ve created my own small scale experiment that measures the average velocity of a set number of strips.  And you can play along!  It’s easy.

You’ll really only need a number of strips or blocks that need sewing, a method to sew them, a timer, how many blocks or strips you have, and the length of 1 block or strip.

It is also nice to know what machine you use, what width of blocks you’re sewing (I found it makes quite a bit of difference), and you have to try to be accurate too!

Further details in the link above and in the show.  I am also including it on the side bar, and if I can figure out how to post a widget for you guys with blogs, I’ll let you know.

You DON”T HAVE TO DO any of the math, except to tell me the specifics I ask for, which the most math is measuring your block and counting the number of blocks, and I’ll do all the rest of the math for you!  What a deal!

And if you’re overseas and use meters instead of inches/yards (silly US system we have set up here), let me know that too.

I’ll do a giveaway to a lucky random person who participates! (Details to follow)

Wrap up

A few notes to wrap up part 1 of this podcast

THANK YOU for reaching out to me!!!  Thank you thank you thank you!

If you want some books I recently ‘read’ (listened to) about the brain and decisions (logical side and emotional side):

 Gridlock Gridlock?  Try this technique at Sew Mama Sew suggested by Sally

Want to try a cross stitch pattern from a picture?  Try My Photo Stitch suggested by Deb

 Optical Illusion Quilt by Jane at Just Plain Jane Quilts

 

Additional Music

From Mevio

  • Eric Kauschen – Speed of Light
  • Josh Woodword – Once Tomorrow – Instrumental
  • Gravity – Geoff Smith

From Freesound

       By genghis attenborough 
            Tornado jet.wav 
        By audible-edge 
            Driving in Streamwood IL with the windows down (05-04-2009).mp3 
        By Corsica_S 
            cleared_for_takeoff.wav