Posts Tagged ‘spectra’

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11.8 Help me get into Geek Craft Blog

February 6, 2011

I made cookies for breakfast yesterday (fun) before having to go to work (on a saturday – not so much fun!), but in doing so, I think I crashed myself with all that sugar.

I have been a little sleepy as a result.  Yawn.  No sewing, nothing but cleaning out my inbox.  Yuck.

… Anyway, is there any possible way I could ask for your help?  ….

A week ago I submitted my “Make it Sew” project to Geek Crafts (about page here) to be considered to be uploaded on their blog.

I received no reply, and no mention of this on their site … yet.  I am hoping there is just a long waiting list of projects.

I don’t know why I have wanted this to show up on their site, but somehow I do!  Perhaps it’s not cool enough?

I mean, how much more geeky can it get … you have star trek – a science fiction program, AND you have science, in a cute pun of scientific spectra – “dilithium spectra” (well 2 lithium spectra anyway).

I have already submitted once on my own, but if anyone else would like to help, here is the submit a geeky craft link to their site.

And just put in the following text for the website: “https://scientificquilter.wordpress.com/2011/01/29/11-2-fixed-it-and-more/” and say how geeky and cool it is.

If you decide to help, thank you.

If not, I’ll just go along with my geeky self here.  Thanks!

– Darla

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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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10.15 Design Wall-Err Sewing Machine

January 24, 2011

Who needs a design wall when you have a ‘design sewing machine’?

It’s easier to picture how this project will work when draped on the sewing machine.

This is some of what I’m envisioning.  I still need to border the lithium spectrum, cut out the background and Make It Sew letters (not sure what color for the letters yet)

Maybe this fabric?  Not sure, large pattern could be lost in the small letters.

 

And still have to transfer the letters to fusible – I’m not hand stitching those letters I don’t think.  I could always “not applique” and just machine quilt, but I think I’d rather have a section of color (something other than just black) there.

I also had planned on the lithium going front and back, but now I am wondering if I could dilithium both in front.  Probably best to be in the back as originally planned.

For the inside, I am thinking some of the leftover burgundy fabric I have.

 You can’t see it, but the black on the top of the machine is several long strips of black-on-black fabric.  Don’t know why, but that it is.  Have more of this black on black that could be used as a background if it doesn’t get used on this project.

If you want to see the design ‘wall’ (for those purists out there), here it is.

Can’t wait to get back and work on this, but for now, bedtime, then work, then going out tomorrow afternoon, then the cycle continues again, but replace going out with playing Civilization.

May be a few days.

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10.14 Podcast Episode 21 – Make it Sew

January 23, 2011

Podcast Feed

Not much new to report here. Check out yesterday’s post about my Make it Sew project.

Included in the podcast this time:

  • The Android, The Captain & The Meek Engineer
  • how science fiction characters are like quilters
  • a description of the Make it Sew project
  • a request for quilters to take parts of several ideas and meld them into something new
  • the home sewing front (you’ve had a front row seat to this on the blog)
  • personal stuff about work, myself, and how I’ve been getting out of a funk

Additional music

freesound.org

mevio’s music alley

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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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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!

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2.1 Podcast 4 Preview – Spectra Quilt Idea

December 2, 2009

I know my little prism isn’t the same thing as a diffraction grating, but this is what I got right now.  I’ve always loved looking at prisms and diffraction gratings.  In astronomy we talk about figuring out what components make up a lighted object by looking at the light and separating it out.  We can look up at the sun and determine which gases it has by looking at the ‘spectra’ by looking through SPECIALLY DESIGNED devices – DON”T look up at the sun directly!!! – but the same is true for other gases. I remember holding one of the diffraction gratings up to the window of the science lab and looking out at the street lights and seeing the yellow sodium lights look differently than the “purply” mercury lights and seeing the difference in the spectra. 

More to come on this.  Right now this is just a science-inspired quilt idea that I saw in a scarf somewhere.  Give me a little time to get my thoughts together and I should have a podcast ready that highlights the idea of spectra in quilts.