Tag Archives: quilt

#SOLSC20: Day 19

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I have this dream . . .

“Time is on my side, yes it is
Time is on my side, yes it is . . .”  – Rolling Stones

The lyrics of this song bounced through my brain. Where or why it appeared is a mystery.  Perhaps a bit of anxiety . . . seven weeks. I’m making progress, but is it enough? Am I on target to meet my deadline?

It doesn’t look like much but two panels are sewn so I have navigated all the planning stages and moved into assembly. Probably 1/16th of the way. Making progress. Slowly. Assembly is not so much about sewing as it is about the ironing. Ironing before sewing. Ironing after sewing. Ironing out the previous fold marks.

This will be the last picture until the top is put together. These are just two of the four center squares framed once. JUST the first 10 pieces fitted together. About 37 more to go.

Screenshot 2020-03-19 at 12.25.55 AMMathematically speaking, does that mean four more days?

Nice trivia, but what’s the point?

Well, assembly of a quilt is complicated . . . if you have never made one before. When the learning is new and the learner is a novice, we often talk about the gradual release of responsibility. Some modeling or inquiry to check knowledge, eventually leading to practice and independence.

I used to, in another century, before my son, sew a lot. I made a lot of my clothes and many, many craft items as gifts as well. I mistakenly thought that sewing would be like riding a bike . . . a skill that I would quickly regain. But that was a different type of fabric, a different machine, and a time when I sewed regularly.

Which comes first:  competence or confidence?

Today I was confident that I could whip through quarter inch seams, pressing fabric, and assembling squares. But I was not competent.  Not. Even. Close.

I had many questions. I needed to mark a 1/4 inch line on the sewing machine so that I was not sewing 3/8 inch seams or 1/8 inch seams. I needed a coach to double check my measurements and give me feedback.  I needed to talk through my understanding of the written directions. I could look at the directions and the pictures but what did it mean? I have one page of directions for assembly. That page is more than adequate for a quilter; not so for a novice!


I asked a lot of questions. When in doubt, I ironed before stitching. I  ironed after stitching. I trimmed threads . . . and thread . . . and threads.  I slowed down to double check. And, of course, when trouble happened and the upper thread snapped in the first inch of the best sewn 16 inch strip, the air turned blue with the thoughts bouncing around in my brain. It was time to get a drink and get up and move in order to remove myself from the situation.

I had to give myself grace to make mistakes on a scrap of fabric.

I had to give myself space when it didn’t work as I expected.

I had to get some feedback.

I had to talk about my understanding of what I was going to do so my drafting matched my planning.

I had to give myself more time when I “anxioused” about the result.

Why does this matter?

Isn’t this the same respect that ALL of our students deserve every day?

What happens when “the dream” hits a pothole?

How do you get back on track?

How do you model your learning for your students?

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this daily forum in March. Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOLSC20: Day 18

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If you have been following my Slice of Life stories, you may have seen that I am embarking on a new learning adventure this month.  The real work began today, after I stopped at a shop quick to pick up one more pattern to fit in with the others.

If I had read the directions . . .

I would have known it began with a panel of four pictures

and that a second “frame” was in the print

and not an additional pattern. 


First mistake and I have NOT yet begun!

Getting started . . .


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The first three fabrics

  1. Straighten the edge.
  2. Check the required shape and size on the pattern.
  3. Double check measurements. (Measure twice; cut once)
  4. Organize cut pieces AND remnants.
  5. Repeat steps 1-4 for fabric two.
  6. Repeat steps 1-4 for fabric three.
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#5. Cut 8 strips


3 fabrics cut

7. Admire the work done.

8. Acknowledge the work of planning and prepping.

9. Organize for tomorrow.

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On deck . . .

What does this remind you of?

Collecting the resources.

Reading the directions.

Prepping the resources.



At the mid point . . . three more sets of varying width of strips to be cut.

What steps did you see in the process?





As I begin to learn about the processes involved in quilting, I can assure you that the process is similar to that in writing. So far, it feels like a ton of advance preparation!

Why does this matter?

New learning is tough. Some learners are cautious and slowly enter the shallows. Some learners jump right into the deep end. Some float easily. Some thrash frantically. There isn’t just ONE way.  There are many paths to learning!

What new learning are you in the midst of?

What processes seem familiar? 

What unknowns cause anxiety and discomfort? 

How does your experience impact you?

(The reveal of this upcoming project was in this slice. (Link)

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this daily forum in March. Check out the writers and readers here.

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#SOLSC20: Day 2

“This one matches perfectly.”

A bit of an eye roll behind the clerk’s back.

“It doesn’t sound like they would go together, but with the black you can easily add these greens and golds as well as these blues.”

“Can you show me an example?”

“This one provides a bit of a challenge.”

Not really a beginner’s starting point.

“What do Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, The Turkey Trot, dinosaurs, and glow in the dark have in common?”

Hint #1:  They are connected through an “art” form.

Hint #2:  Math was involved – specifically geometry – as I only purchased four kinds instead of the six requested. 

Hint #3: It is now the gift project for my grandson’s fifth birthday and it is NEW to me.

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I am taking a risk. I have two months to complete this task. Two months that will fly by as I attempt a new art form. Two months to follow directions, cut, assemble, and organize this project. Risky, seeking constant feedback, learning something new . . . Ready for a challenge.

Did you guess it?

It’s a quilt. Never made one. I have designed several quilts and wall hangings, that relatives have constructed. I don’t remember sewing anything in the last 30 years. We’ll see when the expert coaching of others requires hand over hand demonstration or modeling.

Anxious? Yes. Worried? Yes. Excited? Yes.

Ready for a new challenge!

How do you handle challenges? 

What “NEW” learning have you tackled recently? 

How did it go? 

When did you know if you were successful?

Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for this daily forum in March. Check out the writers and readers here.

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