Archive for the ‘Hypothesis’ Category

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35.3 Starting to plan Dancing Ribbons Options

June 7, 2014

The quilt that has been finished f or a while – I recorded the end of January of 2013, is playing up in my mind for updating with a medallion setting.

I haven’t got incredibly far with options for this quilt, but I am thinking a couple of things already.

First I have a psuedo-star option which I like – don’t worry about the fabrics being a little busy, I will take care of that later if I chose this option.

dancing ribbons medallion choice1

I may need to go in and edit this block a little bit to make it more intricate. I don’t really like the off-balance I am attempting to do with the light & dark of the magenta, purple, and turquoise in the corners, but I think this may play off well with the alternating blues on the edges.

I do like this next design as well, which sorta mocks the dahlia look of the center ribbons quilt.

dancing ribbons medallion choice2

I like the circular look of the turquoise border, and there is a good color sense for the thin strips against the dark blue background, but maybe the points in the corners are not my favorite either.

The next design to share uses my good old friend applique in addition to piecing. And I haven’t found the right color balance with it either.

dancing ribbons medallion choice3

But it’s kind of cute. A cute way to frame the quilt without going too overboard. And I could always double ring the applique with a lighter or darker frame as a form of a shadow, which could give a different look.

Or I could do this pretty nice balanced block in the corner, but again struggle with how many of each of the 3 colors hit each corner.

dancing ribbons medallion choice4

Something to think about.

What I might do is to do some sort of celtic knot in the corners instead. I have a couple of books on celtic knots, and perhaps that will give me more of the look I am dreaming about for this quilt. Need to research & plan and design & think about it.

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In other somewhat related news, my first round of a round robin was sent off to the next person on our round robin today. I am happy with my portion of the block I received and I hope Daisy will be too. Of course when Daisy sees it, it will look completely different than it does now.  I am curious to see what I am getting next, but I am so far, deciding to avoid my “Round Robin Flickr group-A” because I am uncertain if I want to see my block progress or not. DON’T click the above link if you want to see your block and you are in the same group.

In other news there are two other groups as well. Group B & Group C. The idea of this round robin is fun. I hope the other two groups get more pictures up – currently there are only 3 pictures and 6 pictures. I just put my hand on the screen to be able to post the link to group A, so I don’t know for certain if there are more pictures or not, but I know a few weeks ago we had 6 or 7 and I just posted one more (without looking). Hoping to see the progress in the other two groups I am not part of, but it’s slightly early for this round as of this time.

I really liked the inverse of the block I created, it would have also been a really cool applique center of a round robin quilt. See? (sorta) – small snippet only is available for you.

small snippet of inverse of daisy round robin

Was going to post the entire inverse block here, but that would be too revealing to what I actually made. Or it could be. And of course these don’t actually line up, I wasn’t being incredibly accurate when placing them down on the sides of the block as those sections are in actuality on the opposite corners of the quilt.

It’s a darn good thing I have weekends to sew. Not getting a ton done the rest of the week. Having a happy time sewing & designing today!

Take care!

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31.9 Changing Directions

August 4, 2013

Changing Names

I don’t know if I told you, but on Tuesday, I took my machines to see if either would be able to be serviced by the local Bernina place, and they will work on my inherited Bernina.

bernina machine

I had forgotten that I wanted to call this machine Hot Lips after Major Margaret Houlihan from M.A.S.H.. Which I really like as a name and I think one or two or several of my twitter friends (aka #twilter – twitter quilter) helped me name her.

Army green and all, ya know.

But lately, I have taken to calling her Lennie, short for Lenore, probably because I feel she is being ‘lent’ for me to use.

Change because I had forgotten.  But I can call her both. Hot Lips Lenore….

Changing Machines

Any event, I know that Carlotta was giving me so much trouble when quilting the auction quilt, and although I would have rather gotten her fixed instead, the Bernina shop is where I went for service this time, next time I’ll go to the other shop.

I have never used Hot Lips really other than once to thread her and get the thread through the (backwards mounted) bobbin area.

I was nervous to bring the machine in, I have heard horror stories from a few quilters with podcasts about their more modern machines and problems, but I did.

The lady who took my order was very nice, and we got to talking and such. She had went up to the Sisters quilt show (same weekend as our quilt show) and it was neet to hear from a quilter in person about attending that quilt show.

I have a 2-3 week turn around time on the machine, and they may even find something wrong with her.  Let’s hope not. But this means when she is done, she’ll be the fixed machine, and so she’ll be my running machine.

So there is new places to learn where the presser foot drops, new zig zag locations, knobs & buttons to learn & get used to using. Changing from Carlotta to Hot Lips Lenore will be something strange to get used to.

Lucky me I have the manual somewhere, and there is always You Tube.

Here’s someone’s demonstration video on a 540 Favorit (Lennie’s brand) done by someone else. Lots of humming noise, but you can see what she can do.

Changing Sewing Tactics

In the mean time I have started to come up with a list of things to do that do not involve a sewing machine.

Some of the things I thought of:

  • cut up the small ‘catch all scrap baskets’
  • go through the PIGS (projects in grocery sacks ziplock baggies) and see what I have stashed where
  • designing a quilt idea I’ve had for 2+ years
  • cutting out more paper pieces for a PIG that I haven’t cut fabrics for
  • hand quilt the very first large quilt I ever made (the ugly quilt as its referred to around here)
  • applique the hot air balloon quilt i’ve been working on (not shown yet)
  • work on the trim options for the periodic spiral quilt
  • measure for the 4 year old spectrum quilt idea
  • create black bias for a stained glass quilt kit I bought at the garage sale
  • learn EQ7 better, try to design something new using the book I bought a year ago

And more … folding & cutting & hand work & designing

Changing trims (?)

I have an idea for the trim for the periodic quilt that I rather like. Problem is that the trim consists of three separate strands that are twisted together.

The picture I have for this on the quilt is rather BAD, I was trying to take an in focus picture for facebook and nothing was working.

blurry pic of trim border

These three strands are twisted together and as I see the quilt, I was simply going to couch the trim directly onto the front of each of the black pieces, outlining them from the rest with a little bit of metal.

But the 3 strands keep separating. I asked FB peeps what to do to fix it, and I got the mostly overwhelming response ‘fray check’, which I had dabbed a little bit of Roxanne’s glue (stronger than fray check I think) on the ends and nothing was staying put, so I can try fray check, but am worried that it won’t be strong enough. I have only used fray check twice I think.

Here I finally got an ‘in-focus’ picture today of the separation involved with this trim.

trim separating pieces

My instincts told me to try clear fingernail polish rather than fray check. Anyone else had experience forcing three strands to stay together like this?

What has worked for you keeping strands together? Glue? Fray Check? Fingernail polish? other?

Daisy said she usually hides them in a seam, but as this is couched on top applique style, there are no seams to hide this under. Maybe I need to rethink the trim to something else??

I like the idea of having metals around with the beads since there are so many metals that are elements for the periodic spiral.

I also liked this other trim that mimics the style of the border around the spiral itself.

lanthanides border option

I do like this option, but two things.

  • One I like the back side of the trim almost as much as I like the front, but it sorta looks unfinished. The back side is the sides that you can see the threads running back and forth in a zig zag pattern.
  • Two, to make the trim show all 4 sides correctly (not showing the back at all) would take 4 different separate mitered cuts and glues down on all four corners of each patch.  And that is 4 times the work, and I think 4 times the amount of potential ‘errors’ / flaws for this quilt.  And I would have to fray check all 8 edges for each group name.

Ideas on the guilded ric-rac trim to help minimize these issues? Or maybe I can live with the ‘unfinished look of the piece.

I do have some more, different, metal style beads, but to use them I would need to get a few more.

Which would be even another way to go on the trims than my original decision.

Anyway, just thought I’d share my change of pace this week.

Something tells me that the Periodic Spiral quilt will be put on the back burner again until I can make a decision (or two) here.

I suppose I should experiment and see what works, but don’t be surprised if next week I have a different quilting topic to share.

And I bet I will, I plan to go see something live next weekend that will re-inspire a quilt idea I’ve worked on this summer.  Also with the list of things to do if not machine sewing, may throw me off on another completely different tangent.

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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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9.7 Inflorescence Types and other Leaf Drawings

December 21, 2010

While looking up flower types, I noticed a section of the Kansas Grasses and Wildflower site that may be of use to quilters when considering drafting their own flower pictures.

Leaves and flowers all look different, and if you’re willing to ‘go rouge’ and just Frankenstein together a flower with different flower parts, rather than copy a picture of a flower directly, you may want to learn about things like inflorescence.

Flower drawing by Dean Haddock, found on the Kansas Wildflowers and Grasses website.

On the wildflower and grasses site, there are a series of flower and leaf part drawings that do an excellent job of explaining what types of ‘stemming and flower bunches’ (my words) occur without an explanation, just pictures and names. 

This not only gives you the names for the types of flower variations, but may give you some ideas of how to draft your flowers in EQ7 or something similar. 

Think of all the gorgeous applique or embroidery that could take place from this!?

Here are some leaf types.

Flower drawing by Dean Haddock, found on the Kansas Wildflowers and Grasses website.

My sunflower patio quilt has what looks like an ovate leaf shape, with singular inflorescence, for example.

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9.5 Sunflowers vs. Daisies

December 16, 2010

Back in September, I took photographic proof as to why I get so confused when describing my sunflower/daisy patio quilt.

Here are what I believe are small sunflowers:

Notice the dark centers.

Now here are what I believe are daisies:

Notice the lighter centers.

Here are some other pictures of the two types of flowers.

And here is my quilt picture (again):

The darker centers seem to be showing more sunflowers, but the number of petals seem to be saying more daisy.

You see my dilemma now, don’t you.

I am not a botanist, however, so let’s do a little bit of research here.

Actually, when looking at the Kansas guide to Wildflowers and grasses, the flowers I was calling daisy appear to be closer to a Jerusalem Artichoke than anything. 

Photo from the Kansas grasses and wildflower site.

But it is also in the sunflower family, and there really are no daisies in the list of yellow native flowers of Kansas listed. 

A few other sunflower varieties from the website are equally good candidates for the flowers on my quilt, but now I don’t get to call it daisy anything. 

Perhaps sunflower artichoke patio?

I hope this little bit of sunny reminder is a welcome break to the dreariness outside. 

And if you’re not experiencing dreariness, hurray!

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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

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7.8 Podcast Episode – Get out of Jail Free

August 23, 2010

Podcast Feed

Warning: Police Siren heard in this episode.  Pay attention if you listen when you’re driving.  If the siren doesn’t go away quickly, it’s an actual police siren.  Be aware!

Rules Rules Rules

Words organized and originally colored by Wordle

How are you at following quilting rules?  Do you like the rules or follow them?  Does the quilt police constantly put you in jail?

Some Examples of Quilting Rules

  • Pressing Rules
  • Cutting Rules
  • Seam allowance Rules
  • Prewashing your fabric Rules

What defines a quilt?

There could be varying answers in all the rules you gather from everyone.  It’s a matter of personal style.  Quilting rules are your own set of rules that you have to organize, follow, understand and try to help you express your personal style through your quilting.

Places for tips/guidelines/rules. 

Beginning quilting resources:

Online Resources for Quilting

  • Sharon Shamber (not Sharon Shamburg- oops!) Network videos
  • Google! 
  • YouTube!
  • Blogs

Integrating personal style to create quilts that everyone likes.

Use design principles and techniques to create the quilt that you want to create.

Juried quilt shows have criteria for letting your quilt in.  Would you expect them to let everyone in?

Sometimes ‘poor technique’ is valuable when it is quilting done by children learning how to quilt with doll quilts, for example.

As an attendee, I expect to see a good quality quilt when I attend a show.  What makes a good quilt may have to do with design, color, shape, movement, or even story.  Not always what you expect.

Following and being consistent with a style within one quilt will help make a quilt successful.  If your quilt style follows the style of a traditional pieced block quilt, the quilt should be the best traditional pieced block quilt that you can make. 

If you put an applique quilt in a pieced block only show, don’t expect to be disappointed if the quilt doesn’t make it into the pieced show.  Perhaps it is the best applique quilt ever made!  Don’t get discouraged.

Cultural areas define what the quilting rules are.  In Southeast Asia there are different types of quilts than there are here in the states.  This reflects our different styles and what may be considered okay here may be a rule against quilting there, or vice versa.

Sometimes by attending a show, you can expand your own ‘quilting rules’ based on successful quilts that you see in the right context, you can see how to correctly apply things you have not been able to do.  This will allow you to have more techniques that you have never imagined.

Image from flickr by  u-murrayhusted

Sometimes to learn a rule you have to organize it or work on it.  Sometimes if you know why someone makes a rule to create a technique correctly, you can understand how and why to apply it to your own quilt.

 Quiltzillas and Quilt Police show up when they don’t explain why you’re doing something ‘wrong’, or doing a technique they can aesthetically see differently than you.  They might not realize their tone is annoying to you, but can come from genuine concern for helping you create a good-looking quilt.

Be careful when sharing blocks in swaps or making group quilts.  By doing the same as everyone else, you ensure less frustration for everyone involved later.  Communicating your group expectations is key to keeping feelings in check and not coming across as a quiltzilla.  And if things don’t go right, you can always use completed blocks for other things!

Looking out for your quilting requires constant vigilance!

Image from flickr by garryknight

Self Determination keeps us antsy when we feel like we have no control with quilting rules.  If other people always tell you what to do, you don’t feel like doing it anymore.  Just ask a teenager who has to clean their room.

Quilting rules are guidelines to help you produce the best version of your quilt that you can make.

In science there are rules and operating procedures.  By asking why the procedures are in place, you begin to think like a scientist and be creative and curious.

Safety is a must, so make sure safety rules are always followed for your sake and for the sake of others!

Don’t forget, in math, there are several different ways to get to the same answer as long as you follow the algorithms correctly.  Don’t discredit your answer if you arrive there at a different way than you expected. 

Think similarly in quilting and you may be feeling like you can get out of jail free!

Additional Information

Additional Music and Sounds

Molly (herself)

From freesound.org

From Mevio’s Music Alley

(Left off the outro music).  E-mail me at scientificquilter (at) gmail (dot) com

Come by the blog (here you are!)

Stop by the Big Tent at Quiltcast Supergroup to be a part of our community!

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4.1 SQ Podcast 9 – Keep Experimenting Everyone!

February 5, 2010

Podcast Feed

Cookie-Cutter Experiments vs Design your own

Already designed items are appealing due to overcoming obstacles in time, money, experience, fear, energy, motivation, or static friction.  Some examples of pre-designed experiments are:

  • cross stitch & embroidery patterns
  • knitting & crochet patterns
  • quilting kits
  • BOM’s
  • free motion stencils

The other choice is to design it yourself.  There is much fun in coming up with

  • quilt block patterns (see Tuxedo Designs blog)
  • quilt pattern placement or size (on point, baby sized, with sashing …)
  • hand drafting quilting patterns (see Leah Day Free motion quilting designs blog)
  • color choices
  • fabric types
  • thread choices
  • color values
  • rick rack choices
  • applique patterns

(see my Machine experiment number 1 post for more details of my personal design experiment inspired by Leah Day’s blog)

(also see Tuxedo Park Designs’ personal blog where he takes common blocks and experiments with color and placement and scale – good insight into the experimental design process)

As much fun as it is designing your own stuff, it is also fun to decide what materials and tools to use for your project.  For me, sometimes that takes the form of scientific experimentation. (or just experimenting – or just playing)

(A small number of) Ideas for quilt-related experiments in this fashion:

  • brand of quilting gloves
  • type of needle (sharps vs milners vs betweens ..)
  • thimbles (like in Quilter’s Home mag)
  • Machine quilting surfaces
  • types of material to quilt with (cotton, flannel, knits ….)
  • thread brands

Experimental Design

Going through an example, we can discuss the finer points of setting up good quilty experiments

Get your question figured out and focused

  • Lets say I want to know about thread – specifically thread durability while machine quilting

Come up with a hypothesis something I want to know

  • I think that different brands of thread affect quilt durability during machine quilted applications (this should probably be more specific still)

Figure out how do you measure if your hypothesis is true (finding out your manipulated variables)

  • Amount of time, stress, and washing affect quilt durability.
  • Any one of these three measurements can be used as their own separate experiment – remember to focus

How do you show that changes in your variables will result in changes to your quilts?

  • Mini Experiment 1:  Hang weights on a quilt that is machine quilted for 30 days.  Take observations daily of the quilt and compare results from day 1 to day 30 – extend this longer if necessary
  • Mini Experiment 2:  Hanging a quilt with a sleeve using different amounts of weight (different stresses on the quilts).  Take observations of how much weight is on the quilt when the quilt thread breaks or stretches. 
  • Mini Experiment 3:  Washing a quilt for 30 washes (decide if you want to use detergent or if you want to machine dry your quilt or you want to wash with rocks in your washing machine to help enhance the wear on it).  Take observations of your quilt after each wash (or 5) and compare results from no washes to 30 washes – extend to more washes if necessary

Notice that in:

  • Experiment 1 we are changing the number of days.  Days or time is our manipulated variable in this experiment.
  • Experiment 2 we are changing the stress on the quilt. (using weights)
  • Experiment 3 we are changing the amount of washing time.

All these experiments may tell you about the ‘durability’ of the thread types. 

You may find after this point that you want to only focus on one part of the experiment or you may want to be more specific still on your hypothesis. 

  • Maybe you only want to test the amount of wear on the quilt due to washing, and then decide to use different types of washing settings (hot water/cold water), detergents, dryer settings, amount of stress and other clothes in the washer at the same time …

Playing with Variables

DON’T make ALL the changes to your quilt simultaneously if you want to find out the real cause of your manipulated variable.

  • If you change the stress, washing, and days, you could have results, but what were the results actually from??

Keep everything else the same.   You don’t want to change anything that may throw off your results

  • Use the same fabrics/batting machine/ stitch length for each type of thread you’re testing …

This is the controlling variable idea of your experiment.  You can have a “control” with which to measure everything against. 

  • Your control in each of the experiments we have set up is the completed quilt on the first day with no weights or washes.  Find a way to make good observations of your control (take pictures, notes, feel for puckers) before you start. 

Always start with a ZERO result.  Sometimes you can make 2 duplicate copies and leave one alone and test the other to help with comparisons. 

  • Like they do on the washing detergent commercials, only have one quilt with zero washes and the other quilt with 20 washes or 30 washes

Set up a rubric so you can tell “what is better”.  This can be done mentally or you can give it a point value

  • Best score for the washing quilt experiment is that after repeated washes there are no frays, puckers, raveled edges.  Or you can do a pull test on the two fabrics and just pull them apart and see if they will pull apart easily.

Be prepared to make changes.  Successful experiments can, and should, be changed and restarted with different techniques once you have some experience under your belt.

  • Increase your amount of time, figure out a clever way to add stress without using weights. 
  • Then go back to the start and retake your data

Tips

Go small scale to figure out if you’re even in the ball park.  Mythbusters does this well.

Be prepared for a hypothesis to be disproven.   Try to get your data in an objective way without putting your “wishes into it”. 

For example maybe my friend sells these really awesome quilting gloves, and I wanted to prove they were better than other brands of gloves.  And it turns out that the friend’s brand stinks. 

As long as you don’t tell your friend that they stink – try to keep the emotion away from the testing.  Put your emotion into something more useful.  Like designing that award-winning quilt!

Some fun websites related to web 2.0

Searching Marion’s blog I found her useful sites and I would like to also borrow one of her useful sites off of this post:

Why didn’t I mention this in the podcast?  This is another Great site!

Make Blog led me to Indestructables DIY site for step by step tutorials

More fun

Just look at my wonderful acorn PRIZE from Mirkwood Designs for doing a podcast-inspired project!  So soft and look at the detail and quality of the card as well!

Her podcast number 4 details the soft block carving.  Here look at my stamp project

 

Here is my signature block with some (useless) walmart tools and the (useful) exacto knife.  Cost: $1 for eraser, $4 for walmart tools (not necessary), and $5 (I think) exacto knife – has lots of blade types

I drew with pencil onto paper, then rubbed the pencil eraser onto the soft block eraser

Carving the image is not hard at all, but you have to be VERY careful – sharps – and VERY patient.  Did this while watching ‘radio TV’.

The completed stamp and bits.

Additional Resources about the topic:

Thanks to my commenters:

Check out the posts from LabMom on

Space inspired quilt idea sites from Peggi

I am seeing a little bit of traffic from specific sites that put me on their blogroll.  Specifically the Triangle Modern Quilt Guild   Thanks!

Thanks guys and Keep experimenting!

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2.4 Computer resource I want as a quilter

December 12, 2009

Ravelry Photograph from their website

Being not a “yarnie” I don’t feel comfortable going to Ravelry really. But I did look at their (old) tour and I was impressed with how you could organize your patterns and wips, in addition add the social media aspect of everything.  Any Ravelry veterans feel free to add in details here.

I was wanting an online database that would take care of managing all our WIPS.  I have a list of steps that you have in a quilt project that I would like to post pictures and comments for each available step.

Here is the following categories I came up with:

  1. Haven’t started yet – still planning in my head
  2. Bought the pattern
  3. Gathered materials for
  4. Created any needed templates or foundations for creating
  5. Blocks cut
  6. Blocks sewn together
  7. Borders completed
  8. Basted
  9. Quilted
  10. Binding completed
  11. Label made
  12. Sleeve made

Wouldn’t that be keen?  Oh, and I want it to be free like other websites.  I’m not incredibly database literate, but its gotta be the main structure behind things like facebook etc.  I tried using power point as a database because I like how you can add pictures.  Power point is limiting – the sorting part isn’t there.  Another nice feature would be the size of cut pieces you need to create completed locks for your patterns, the amount of fabric needed for your quilt – an all in one quilting resource.

 To manage it all, it is probably a nightmare, but I have heard other quilters cry out for this, and this is my turn.  Anyone want to get a start on this?

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2.2 SQ Podcast Episode 4 – Quilting the Spectrum

December 6, 2009

Podcast Feed

Many days in science class I stared at the emission spectra posters on the wall.  Which may explain why I am drawn to the black, white and rainbow colored pattern I bought from a local quilt artist, Linda Everhart at Quilting Among Friends and the quilt on the wall at the local quilt show this past summer.

It was no surprise that when I saw the Science Craftster Swap from March that I immediately stopped to look at the spectra scarf made by echo_brook to give to pocketwatch.  Sending a message to Echo_brook, she plans to knit a blanket of the same design. Here is pocketwatch’s scarf found on page 10 (not 15) on her cool art couch.

And here is pocketwatch showing off the purple portion of the knitted scarf.  Why is the design that way with “random” purple and black (and other colors)?  It’s not random, it’s an emission spectra of Argon.  Perfect for the length of a scarf!

The emission spectra is something explored in physics and astronomy.

A tool that breaks up light is a prism, and a tool that has many “microprisms” on a thin sheet is a diffraction grating.  Prisms and diffraction gratings break up light by bending the light that travels at different speeds.  You may see “rainbow glasses” at your favorite science museum or science gift shop – that’s probably a diffraction grating that you’re buying.  Below is a picture of the diffraction grating.

A CD also can serve as a ‘makeshift’ diffraction grating.

For a summer I did research on the hydrogen spectra at Kansas State Physics Education Research Group.  It was the first time I saw a video camera with a diffraction grating taped to the side of it.  We set up our hydrogen gas tube, turned off the lights and took some pictures.  Of spectra.

What is spectra?  Spectra is a visible amount of energy due to moving electrons in an atom.  We put energy into the hydrogen atom by adding electricity, and then the electron moves away from home for a while.  Then the electron gets bored and comes back, but it doesn’t get to keep that fancy energy.  So it emits energy, some of which, is in the form of light – visible light.  And if we have the right tools to break up the light, we can get a specific pattern of colors, which we call a spectra.  Each element has a unique emission spectra due to the number of electrons and where they are located in the atom … and a bunch of other reasons.

If you want to see a periodic table that shows each specific element’s emission spectra in gif form, click here to go to the Penn State Erie site (click on each element to get to the spectra picture).   A periodic table with the symbols and element names is necessary to get the correct element here (unless you were forced to memorize the first 4 rows like I was – even several years after teaching I could remember most of them).  Feel free to search for “emission spectra” or “emission spectrum” in google for more info.

This one is Argon.  I downloaded it from the website to use for my quilt design.

Scientists will use a device called a spectroscope (dark box with a long thin slit and a “ruler” inside to measure the distance of the colors) to determine the elements that make up various gases.  For a tutorial on how to make a CD spectroscope, and a spectroscope with a cereal box and a diffraction grating, click here.

In the meantime …

Placing the diffraction grating in front of my camera lens produces interesting effects.

Using a diffraction grating on my ceiling light fixture shows bulbs of color, which demonstrates that the light source is where the rainbow is coming from.

And this following picture was of a set of 6 LEDs in a row which I liked.

Braving the December evenings I stepped outside to take a picture of the street light with the diffraction grating in front.

Turning to the side slightly about 20 – 30 degrees, you can see the spectra through the diffraction grating.  Notice the lonely cyan light, in addition to the bright green and yellow lights.

The diffraction grating had only about 1000 lines / mm.  More lines would give a higher resolution, but are also (slightly) more expensive.  Also the diffraction grating was a little dirty and I tried to clean it as best as I could.  Sodium has a distinct “double yellow” line(s) that would be easier to see with a more precise diffraction grating.  I am still betting this street lamp is sodium rather than mercury due to the brightness of the yellow here.

How can this relate to quilting?

What about a special scientific quilting design that is pleasing to the eye but also has a “hidden scientific code” inside?

I call this “coin quilt” design “Noble Metallic Spectra” (Chlorine isn’t noble gas, nor metallic, but I like the name anyway).  The symbol names in red at the bottom could be stitched as embroidery or quilting on the quilt itself.

As mentioned in the podcast you could do this as a coin quilt and consolidate the blacks (and maybe some of the colored bars) together, or you could do bias bars as the colored strips appliqued on top.

Letting my imagination run away from me, I produced a ring quilt using the polar coordinate filter on Photoshop.

This one I call “Medals of Elements” because its Copper, Silver, and Gold and traditionally medals are given as copper, silver, and gold (and they were my favorite crayon colors growing up).

Maybe I should draw up a “pattern” for these and become a scientific pattern designer?  Well first I have to create the quilts to know if they will actually work.

Additional resources

Bleach dyes websites from Deb

Websites to check out of other quilting podcasts mentioned in the show

Thanks also to my commenters

  • Janetsnina, IamSusie, Deb, Kelley, Ruthann, Lauretta6, Janet

Feel free to let me know about your scientific adventures in quilting or other crafts!

Keep experimenting!

EDIT:  I created an item with an embroidered spectra – a Sewing Machine Cover.  Find the link here!