Posts Tagged ‘self reflection’


20.8 SQ Episode 033 – Back in Time

November 20, 2011

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Do you want to go back in time?

Have things changed for you since you started quilting?

Have you changed some of your preferences in quilting since you started?
When leaving a project for a period of time, and coming back to it, how do you know what to leave alone, and what needs to be fixed?

Have you ever been stubborn & defended the original vision or original technique that was learned, even when you see something bigger & better or even easier?

My first & only machine – Molly.  What if I went back in time and never got her?

Or if I never got my iPod?  How would my life be different without these simple things?

You ever had a positive experience when waiting a long time between starting & ending a project?

Creatively, have you ever ripped out & started over or given up something from a long time ago?

What about the new experiences you’ve had that may color your quilts better today than before?

Have your quilts grown and changed along with you?

Quilting can provide a good framework for low & high risk of involvement, something to go back & time, to be connected with the past, ladies with different opportunities than I have.

We can connect with good times, bad times and all times of people of the past using quilting – something that has been around for several decades.

Going back in time to learn about the past.

It’s been 2 years since I started the podcast & blog.

No giveaway – still working on the last one from a month and a half ago.  Whoops!

Backing fabric is done (pieced), 505 spray is located, batting has been found that is the right size.


from Mevio’s Music Alley



13.0 Better execution

February 28, 2011

Listening back to yesterday’s podcast today, made me think of two things:

1) Top Chef

2) The machine quilting I had just done on the hand pieced table runner

In Top Chef, many times, very talented cheftestants have the ability to make amazing dishes, the ingredients are fantastic, the equipment is present to make an amazing and spectacular dish, the knowledge to pull all the different parts into one incredible, mouthwatering, insightful plate of food is just there under the surface, but …

the dish falls flat, is uninspired … just doesn’t impress anyone.

The whole idea of the dish is there, and a great dish is just waiting, but the judges say “It just fell flat on the execution” (actually not a word for word phrase from Top Chef, but the general idea)


As far as the machine quilting:

Here was my practice piece.  The yellow was the lines that I gotten such great compliments on the day before, and the blue (box was to represent the diamond on the table runner) is what I intended to do with the blue thread on the piece in terms of quilting design.

I had decided to use four simple loops for each of the 27 diamonds in the table runner.  And I toyed with putting a second design inside that, but in the end, made a clear decision on the four loops.

I marked where I anticipated all the loop crosses to occur on the quilt, I did not give myself a clear pathway to follow, but a ‘rough idea’.

I mean, it worked so well the day before on the feathers, why couldn’t it work well on the loops?

This little quilt had 27 blocks, and you would also think that by the end of the 27th block, I would be better at quilting the loops than the end of the first block.

I know you can’t see it well, but my free motion would be better left to a strict ‘follow the pattern’ here as evidenced by this quilting shown on the light color of my quilt.

Hmm … well … it’s maybe not all that evident with this particular picture, but not only is the tension slightly screwed up (showing some of the stitches from the bobbin slightly poking through), but the pattern … ends up not being all that consistent, and the last block is about as wobbly as the first block.

I wonder if I felt ‘overconfident’ as I did when I completed my feathers the day before and thought that I was “too good” for an actual guide?

I feel bad that you really cannot see well in pictures what an imperfection of a mess that the loops really are.

When I have such a clear vision for this quilt with the quilting design.

… and if this is on the table, will I see it day in and day out and will it bother me?


will I see the ‘charm’ in all the design, and overlook the problems?

Part of me wants to rip out all the quilting on the 27 triangles, and do it over … with a stencil … and perhaps do this over by hand

Since I pieced the piecing design by hand.

But maybe I’ll wait and see.

The idea for the quilt is there, and has the potential to be a great quilt, but the execution is poor.

Will the best thing for this quilt to learn more about perfection, and how to achieve your goals, not only to your perceived ability, but beyond it – by ripping out the stitches and starting over?

Or will the best thing for this quilt to learn humility, the value of not being perfect, and how to spot charm in a poorly executed design – by leaving the stitches in?



… How does this relate to the podcast?

Well the ideas are there, very solid ideas, somewhat organized (well sorta), but after listening to myself, I could have presented the same ideas in a much more engaging way.

And this was the chance that I decided to take when I hadn’t exactly spent the same amount of time on that podcast as I had the others before this one.

If this delivery of my podcast had come out of my mouth this way 3 weeks ago, I would have stopped, rerecorded the entire thing, and had way more energy and enthusiasm for my quilty retreat ideas.

But it would have taken about 6 more hours … as did the prior podcast I recorded before this one.

It bugs me that I did spend a bit of time editing (but not in full to get the full effect of my voice and my lack of inflections), but I didn’t feel I spent any more time than any other podcaster on the editing.

It bugs me that it takes me what feels like 3-4 times as long as everyone else, and when things come out of their mouths,

they don’t put people to sleep!

Just when I decide I know what I’m doing … whoosh … and actually … I don’t.

But just as Top Chef contestants do ….

We’re moving on anyway.  I mean, a girl’s still gotta eat, right?

Please don’t send me packing my knifes for this last dish!  I can prepare better than this.

… you can still eat it? right?


7.2 What are your broken dreams?

July 5, 2010

Do you have broken dreams?

Have you ever faced a time when you knew you didn’t want to keep doing what you were doing, but at the same time didn’t know what you wanted to do instead?

Or did some other circumstances force you from doing what you really wanted to do?  In your career?  In your goals?

Did you want to learn something and were not able to do so (such as knitting, or a quilting process) no matter how hard you tried?

Did something you did as a career interfere with your quilting and crafting goals?

Or did you have such an amazing career or experience that it completely inspired your quilting goals?

Did you ever bomb a class that you wanted to take and do well on?

Did you overcome your broken dreams?  If so how?

Do you have broken dreams?  Would you like to share something that would be put on the podcast?

Comment below, or comment at the Big Tent or send an e-mail to scientificquilter (at) gmail (dot) com


7.1 Podcast Episode 014 – Self Reflection Stereotypes

June 30, 2010

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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 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!


7.0 Starting with an explanation

June 20, 2010

Why couldn’t there be 36 hours in a day, or why do we have to sleep a third of our life away?  There seems to never be enough time to get a new podcast up and get it done right.

A joy and a curse this weekend.

Joy – back to back scheduled sewing days with two different sets of people

Curse – less time to podcast & edit

I have an explanation of my absence recorded early yesterday (saturday) morning, and I just went through and took out some incoherent parts of it this morning, but I have to start getting on my way to my second sewing group here pretty soon.

It has been turning out that weekends are my only refuge from getting podcast work done – during the week I am exhausted and/or distracted.  I’ve been directing some of my weekday energy to the Big Tent group, but mostly feeling like going right to bed after I get home.  I know there are more hours in each day left over, but they never seem like enough to sit down and do anything.

There have been more than one attempt to start something, several recording sessions, and usually feelings of wanting to scrap everything and start over.  This usually happens when I have had a long day at work.

Next weekend I am hopeful to have a visit from my dad, and details are not worked out on that either (exactly what days & times he’s coming and staying), so the block of time next weekend I can devote to this  …  is farther away than I want.  I haven’t seen him for almost a year, so it’s time to devote some time to him.

I can try to edit more during the week, and perhaps I won’t feel so defeated and tired when I get home this coming week.  I wrote a half of a blog post, complete with pictures, word art, thoughts and bullet points, but as of the rerecording this morning – none of the written blog post for the podcast will match any of what I talk about, so an entirely new corresponding blog post must be written.  In addition to going back through my notes and e-mails and comments and at least thanking them on the air for taking the time to communicate with me … which is the least I could do if I haven’t the time or consideration to reply to their comments through e-mail.

We also ordered a new desk that is arriving midweek to replace the folding table that one of our computers has set on for the past 6 years.  I am usually the one who puts together furniture in the house, so that may take some time too.

Can you tell I feel stressed?  Can you tell I feel sorry for not posting?  Can you tell I’ve been thinking about you, and you, and you?  I hope so.

I promise I haven’t even touched EQ7 yet except for the half hour – hour I started looking at it, and the time trying to read the manual while I am at work on my lunch break (what fun, you’re saying… great lunch break activity).  I think I need my head reexamined because I doubt anyone else is doing this.

Happy father’s day everyone!


6.4 Sore throat

May 31, 2010

After a couple of weekend days outside cleaning out my shed and cleaning up my yard, yesterday afternoon I found I had a sore throat. This has continued into today, which was the day I was planning to record most of my podcast for you guys.

I barely feel like talking at home, and, really don’t feel like I want to chance speaking into a microphone for 30 minutes – I don’t want to make this worse.

I rarely get sick, and here it is – holiday weekend – and I will need the time resting up. Maybe I overdid it the first two days of the weekend?

On top of that, I left my camera at work over the weekend, and so I can’t even share with you the pictures of the tote bag that I made. Bummer!

Will try to finish this soon.