Posts Tagged ‘Science’

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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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21.6 SQ Episode 034 – Christmas in 2011 Podcasts I Listen To

December 25, 2011

Podcast Feed

Posting & recording this on Christmas Day.  Things have been … interesting in the last week to say the least.  Sorta rambly, let’s just go with it.

Podcasts I listen to that are not quilting related. Including links below, but I personally do not use links of sites to listen to. Best bet, highlight & paste into your favorite podcast catcher the following titles.

General Radio converted into Podcasts

Semi Professional General

Science Based

Educational & Fun

How to Podcast Podcasts

Crafty Podcasts (non quilting)

Books & Lit

Are there more to add that are FANTASTIC podcasts? What do you listen to & why?

See you tomorrow for Boxing Day Sew In BDSI #BDSI

See you on Twitter. Just put in hashtag BDSI. Use TweetChat to help you sort it out. I will.

Additional Music

A Podcast Christmas Theme (edited by me) by Tom Shad

Carol of the Bells by Doug Astrop

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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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11.2 Fixed it! And more …

January 29, 2011

Whoo hoo.  All I needed was one person to agree that the letters on my “make it sew” cover would be hard to see, to convince me that I should go ahead and make the change to my current project.

Thank you Jane!

And then I … do-de-do-doo-du … fixed the problem without getting too stressed.

Here’s how. (in progress picture to follow)

As I was considering Jane’s idea of making the white letters bigger and putting them behind, I quick whipped up a photoshop touch up of the design.

Placing the larger (paper) letters in back of the smaller letters, I could see I would have problems with the W and E lining up all the way. 

So I decided to take my backwards printout, make a copy, and draw an eighth of an inch around in block form. 

Instead of cutting or anything dramatic, I just cut and fused the white right over the letters I made initially.  The original letters were already fused down, and they weren’t coming up.

I also didn’t consider (too long) remaking the star background piece, considering what I was putting over top was exactly the same size, maybe a little bit larger, even.

And then I remade the black letters, it took me some time, but not a TON.

And the result is so much nicer.

But I swear the comment from Linda proved she was in the room next to me while I was working on this project. 

She must have been phase shifted, or transported in and out when I was in the other room getting some tea.

But wait … there’s more …

On a roll now, I was able to sew down the black letters with black thread, sew on the insignia (also black thread), all the time listening to podcasts. 

I was a little annoyed with all the starts and stops that go along with sewing down applique with the machine, but it was still incredibly faster than hand applique, my usually preferred method.

But wait … there’s more …

How could I stop now?  Uninterrupted sewing time, batting, sides already completed, lining fabric easy choice to cut.

Cut, basted, quilted (straight line) all three sides.  Done, done, done.

And then I had to see if it would fit right, so i pinned it “how it would look when finished”, not “right sides together to continue on with the project”.

You may also be able to see the 5 pins sticking out the back of the top.  Theses are where I could feel the hand groove for the machine where I carry it.

Then I got a little excited because I forgot to take a few pictures.  Well I got one here (which isn’t exactly the fabric size I actually used):

Well, it is the same technique.  What you do, is

  1. you know where you have to make the opening,
  2. You draw the opening on the back of some fusible stabilizer.  The stabilizer is on the back of a gold fabric that will end up being the trim.  Make sure your trim piece has a little bit more fabric on the sides than this pic.
  3. And you pin the right side of the trim fabric with the right side of the object getting the slit
  4. You sew around the drawn opening on the outside one eighth to one quarter inch.
  5. You (carefully) take your scissors to the slit, cutting apart the fabric and the quilted part, making sure you kinda notch the fabric in the seam allowance.
  6. Don’t cut through the sewing line you just made.
  7. Start pulling the trim (gold) fabric through the slit you just made.
  8. You have to do some creative folding on the corners to have the fabric lay flat.
  9. Fold all your trim fabric down into the slit.  The line you sewed around the edge makes the edge where the trim meets the background.
  10. Top stitch just outside of the sewing line, making sure that the fabric on the inside is being caught by the topstitching.
  11. Go see Flossie Bottom’s Tutorialwhich makes more sense in pictures.

Which looks like this when finished and over the sewing machine.

And here’s the front:  TADA!

Sewing machine cover complete.  Can’t wait to blow the minds of all the ladies in the guild.  Or whoever gets me to sew next to them. 

February retreat!

Hope I don’t get tired of looking at it.  Only took 10 hours of work today and before today: 

I had the embroidery part done, the insignia cut out, the background done (with all the particular stripes of fabrics fussy cut) and everything that I had to redo today.

You can find my other posts on this topic here, here, here, and 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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7.4 Home Sewing Front – Spectra Quilt

July 18, 2010

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Zoom in on my original picture far enough. 
  3. Pick some crazy colors 
  4. Set up the paintbrush tool to 1.0 pixel in size
  5. Each ‘dotted box’ I put a colored dot just along the side of the picture.
  6. Each 1 dot was green, every 5 dots was red.  Very tedious steps (5&6)
  7. Then I changed to a different color (blue) and every 2 red dots put a dot to the right (every 10 pixels)
  8. New color, every 20 pixels (two blue dots) put a dot (purple)
  9. New color, every 50 pixels (two and a half purple dots) put a dot (yellow).
  10. 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. 
  11. 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. 
  12. 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.
  13. 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. 
  14. 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. 
  15. 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.

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7.1 Podcast Episode 014 – Self Reflection Stereotypes

June 30, 2010

Podcast Feed

This podcast is the first of a series on identity and self reflection. 

If you have any thoughts on changing identity, how your career affects your quilting style, your self confidence level, your personality (meyer’s briggs or other) type, or other self exploratory processes, please comment below or send an e-mail or sign up for big tent and give your answers there.

This series starts with the topic of stereotypes

  • Science/nerdy/geeky stereotype
  • Quilter stereotype
  • A possible call to action
  • What is a stereotype, why do we stereotype
  • How the brain thinks with stereotypes comparing it to grouping

Scientific, nerdy, geeky stereotypes

Several pop culture characters and real life people embody the nerdy stereotype

Remember this famous character from TGIF television and all the guys to follow

What about this high school prep, skater, jock, nerd? Someone to look up to?  Someone to name your kids after?

What about a music mogul?

How about some other real life scientists that are changing the stereotype?

Scientist / food guru AB

Or a couple of “blow it up” / test it out busters of myths

If there are things in common with these people, could you call their commonalities a stereotype? 

Is there something that holds them together, and over time, have they changed the face of the nerdy world?

A shift in our acceptance caused a few geek sites

A shift in the science viewing stereotypes, showing some of the traits below

A Taxedo Word Cloud

Stereotypes for quilters

Let’s combine stereotypical superheroes and quilters in a funny mental image

Nanananana, Quilt Guild!

Can you imagine quilters fighting crime?  What makes the image so funny? (Can you draw one? I can’t draw)

Tagedo Word Cloud on Quilting

Perhaps quilting needs a popularization to become a popular culture rather than just a stereotype?

But the question would be, should we be popularizing the ideal image of a quilter, or the ‘antistereotype’? 

One method that may try to both embrace the traditional and the new would be the Modern Quilt Guild

 

Call to Action

Get out there and spread the word about quilting.  What message are you sending?

What is stereotyping?

If you list the traits that are characteristic about a group of people you create a stereotype.  Stereotype is a mental idea that organizes data about a group.

Stereotypes can be formed implicitly or automatically.

Uses of stereotypes

  • allows us to process information effectively
  • organizes many things into groups to describe multiple things quickly
  • information that fits stereotypes will be remembered quickly
  • information that goes against the stereotype may be dismissed or discarded
  • people can only process and use so much information at once – groups are needed for the brain to assimilate and process ideas – and remember them
  • people can communicate large amounts of information at once, although the received image may not be exactly the same as the intended one

Common uses of stereotypes in the quilting world

If you detach the human side of stereotyping and think more of categorizing items and objects, we see stereotypes in quilting.

Think of blog categories and tags.  When we are documenting blog posts or pictures, we group them.  This is to help us to remember them later. 

Delicious is set up so that tags are organized, and many people may put the same tags, and organize websites in the same way.

Does average equal stereotype?  Do you have a picture of a quilter in your head because of the quilting in america data?

Do we characterize quilters because of the raw numbers?  Do quilters fit the stereotype, or does the stereotype fit the quilter?

Did you have a stereotypical image of a quilter before knowing the average quilter?

American Patchwork and Allpeoplequilt.com have a video about “I am a quilter” so you can see all the differences in quilters.

Thanks to all my commenters and correspondents! 

Check out the Quiltcast Supergroup on Big Tent and join in on the discussion!