Archive for the ‘Podcast Episode’ Category


30.7 SQ Ep – Until We Meet Again

June 30, 2013

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This has been a longer time coming than I thought, but I am hanging up the microphone.

If you want to hear some of my thoughts about the last few years, and some of the reasons as you can decipher it, feel free to go listen to the show.

Currently, I am keeping the blog, the email, the name Scientific Quilter.

But I have found some form of peace in my decision to walk away from the podcast.

I respect the people who listen enough to say good bye and not string people along with a ‘maybe she’s not actually gone’ podfading feeling.

I understand to the blog followers that don’t listen may not know what a large part of my life this has been in the last 3 and a half years, for you, I don’t see a ton of change, except for maybe the loss of the Ep in the blog titles.  Although, I may go back and reorganize the blog or I might leave everything as it is now.

I’ll blog when I have things to blog about. Quilting related. Obviously. 🙂

Take care everyone,

Goodbye to the Scientific Quilter podcast. It’s been real fun.

– Darla


30.6 SQ Ep Post March A Long 2013 and Foundation Paper Piecing general tips

May 4, 2013

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It’s finally out, the post March A long Report, plus some discussion of my projects, a tiny bit of paper piecing advice in addition to the project.

*quick warning, I play with the mic stand in this episode – not terribly loud, but occasionally distracting. whoops. not taking this out of the audio.*

During the month of March, we try to quilt for 15 minutes, building our ‘quilting muscles’.

If you listen to the podcast, the first 20 minutes or so I recap some of the achievements we accomplished in the month of March. Here are the links to the past March A Long posts where people reported their progress.

You did it!  So did I! Congrats to everyone who worked toward this wonderful hobby.

AJ Dub of Harriet Homemaker Strikes Again wins the giveaway for the March A Long as decided by

I am currently listening to the Ender’s Series on Audible by Orson Scott Card through audible. There are many books to listen to, the story is science fiction, also somewhat political (one story arc), some are older books, some are newer –  great audio drama due to multiple people reading the story!

I am working on my Quilters Healthy Choices #QHC by doing more exercise in the last 5 months than the previous number of years combined.

I recently went to a local arboretum. Beauty for ‘early spring’.

arboretum april 2013

Then I discuss about how I work on paper piecing. I really mean foundation piecing. Some tips below:

  • I glue the first piece down.
  • I cut my strips into sizes that I may try to use later, such as 5″ by width of fabric, 3.5″ inch strips by width of fabric. Especially when I am deciding the size needed for the rest of the pattern.
  • I don’t trim off the quarter inch or eighth of an inch in between seams. Unless there is a seam ending in the middle somewhere. Or unless you plan ultra bulky amount of quilting on the piece.
  • I prefold my paper before sewing. And I prefold all the way down the length of the paper.
  • After I fold the pattern, the piece that I am going to fill up next has to match up with the fabric behind or it won’t fit very well. This eliminates the need to have an “extra large” piece of fabric that all gets cut off and discarded. (see picture below)
  • Make decisions that make sense for you to help you stay organized. Do things that may help you out in the long run. Always put the dark fabric in a specific place if it doesn’t matter to the design.
  • Make one copy of one block before moving on to chain piecing or cutting all of them, you may save on fabric if you try out something first.
  • I pin down the other side of longer seams to help it stay in place, but I don’t pin the whole seam unless I fear it shifting around too much.
  • Carol Doak’s paper piecing is wonderful, use it for times when you have either intricate or small patterns when pulling out paper will be a pain in the bu*t later.  Regular paper also works okay.

how to measure for paper piecing

pin one long seam graph paper of all kinds, shapes, & sizes. You print off what you need in handy 8.5 X 11 pieces, downloads to PDF files.

Craftsy paper piece design for Hexadaisy.

The love it / hate it / love it / hate it block for the hexadaisy with stripes.

outer rings purple

I bugged about everyone I knew online to see what they liked better, but shows my decision in making the design. I picked the 5th option not shown below – combines the left half with the right half of the mosaic below – which was always intended (some people didn’t know that).

hexadaisy choice mosaic

I ultimately decided (finally) to use grey swirls instead. I love the stripes and striped pattern will work on it’s own in a different quilt. But NOW the stripes are gone for this project as they were TOO DEMANDING of my attention.

swirly grey centers

The version is going to the quilt guild auction in July. When it’s quilted.

small hexadaisy top for auction

A completely random couple of notes tacked on.

Be careful at a quilt show in case of emergency. See if your quilt guild has insurance in case expensive sewing machines become damaged.  A guild close to mine had a problem at a local show recently.

Also don’t forget to finish making blocks for other quilters if you signed up to do them.


30.3 Sneak Attack Marching in the March-A-Long

March 23, 2013

This is not a typical episode and I just wanted to share my walking progress with you and encourage you for quilting during the March-A-Long in audio form.

Don’t forget to report your progress on the March A long Report post!


29.7 March A Long 2013

February 26, 2013

March A Long 2013

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For those new to the blog/podcast last year, I hosted a “March A Long” partially inspired by my marching ants sound I found on

I decided to “March A Long” inspiring everyone to take a challenge during the month of March to sew for 15 minutes a day.

It was personally motivating to me last year, and I think it will be the great jump start to some sort of podcast return too.


(Picture from Tami from last year)

Here’s how it works. We’re going to do honor system, and try to all do 15 minutes of sewing, quilting, creating each day, during the month of March and then I’ll have a reporting day and a specific blog post, that I would like you to leave your comments about how much you sewed over the previous week (HERE’S THE REPORT SERGEANT!).

If you want, you can break it down day by day (ie Monday, I sewed on this embroidery, Tuesday, I ripped out paper pieces, Wednesday I designed a new border) or just tell me at the end of the week how much sewing you did, and which days you skipped.

Just by reporting in to the drill sergeant every week, I will put you in a small drawing for a prize.

I know we’re all busy with millions of other things, but sometimes need an excuse to do something for ourselves that make us feel good. This can provide you with that excuse.

15 minutes

15 Minutes is all I’m asking, nothing too hard to at least TRY to fit in each day.

I know I will skip days in March too, but I will try my darndest to make it happen for me this year.

So with only a couple of days before the month of March, we’ll give you a headstart on the last 2 days and call them freebies, and you can report from Sunday to Saturday of the upcoming weeks.  Sunday starts the week, Saturday ends the week, and I will make the reporting posts on Saturday, and make a podcast calling out all the wonderful things you guys are doing on Sunday of the previous week.


If you pick up on this as we’re going along (start in the middle of the month) still feel free to join up. No pressure. No one is holding your feet to the fire, no one is actually making you do the 20 pushups that the sergeant wants you to do in the start (middle?) of every podcast.

But please think about participating!


28.6 SQ Ep 049 – What to take on Retreat

November 21, 2012

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As I was posing the question about what to take on retreat, I was hit by a question out of the blue about retreats on my Facebook wall.

I was happy to see that many different answers to the question, what do you advise a retreat newbie provided three answers to my questions.

First, bring things for personal comfort, such as food, fuzzy socks etc.

Second, bring things for supplies for projects – don’t forget your sewing machine if you’re a machine sewist. (most of us are!)

Third, reflect on the types of projects you’re taking – always precut, take more than you think, decide what’s useful for you to finish

In the longest section I discuss what it was like to be at my current retreat.

The biggest quilt was the samurai sudoku quilt top center finish.

Next was helping the near 10 year old with designing and sewing this block.


After the samurai was taken care of, I worked on these two blocks and made parts for more blocks.

And you can see the difference in the blocks and their construction.

And here’s the chilly pre-thanksgiving view from my porch this morning, testing out a camera option.  Luckily it will get nice and toasty today.


That’s all for now.  Look for BFSI quick post.

Additional music

Walking with your bare feet on by Erin Dickens


28.0 SQ Ep 048 – TaDa – Mystery Revealed

October 21, 2012

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Ya know how hard it is keeping a secret from yourself?  Sometimes it’s relatively easy. You do things and you don’t always know why.

Sometimes its a tiny bit hard. Once you see something, you can’t unsee it.

Well as I mentioned in my previous episode, I went to a mystery quilt workshop during the weekend.

I broke into my thoughts about halfway through the quilt top center to share with you some of the things I was thinking about when making this quilt.

For some reason, I am not wanting to write about this as much as I want to just talk about it.

So we started here with all the precutting & presewing.

And then at the workshop had several steps to do (pics 1 after another after another)

1. gemini sky step 4, 2. gemini sky step 5, 3. gemini sky step 6, 4. gemini sky step 7

For a while I was fooling myself into thinking that I really didn’t “know” the pattern.

I saw step 8. Then I had to make a decision about the coloring based on my light fabrics being different.

Once I settled on the grouping, I had things spread out everywhere in this tiny room!

But I pinned part of the ‘color choice’ design to my design wall.

So here’s the center (taken inside).

But as you can see a galloping horse in the middle of the lighted forest would see this way.

Which I admit, is pretty nice.

Then the way I have the ta-da triangles to make the first blocks, you can see one section of it here.

Pin it down to sew.

Some of my “fat quarters” of fabrics sewn on the ta-da triangles.

Hopes this helps explain a little better. Watch the finished size, does not mean finished size of unfinished HST! Who knew?!!

What do you think about doing mystery quilts??


27.5 SQ Ep 047 – Tardis Travels And Quilting Tips

October 6, 2012

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Journey back in time with me over the last two months to hear what I’ve been working on, and get a few tips of things I’ve discovered along the way.

To learn any of the tips, I’ll have them only in my podcast episode. There will be a little drum beat before each one. Quiet but hopefully helpful in organizing when something new is coming your way.

First Stop

Hand embroidery project BOM (version 4 out of 4). Previous posts for other versions of embroidery blocks for the guild.

As you may be able to see the edges are serged. You may also notice it isn’t finished.

Why didn’t I work on it this afternoon? Why? Why? Due Tuesday and this takes me a long time to do. Plus the knot in the blue thread.  Ack!

Second Stop

Mystery Quilt for Gemini Sky

All the tons of pieces I had to cut out and sew together!

There’s 72 + 72 + 72 HST’s here. There’s 13 + 13 + 13 strips of four fabrics here.  There’s 36 squares here of each fabric (in baggies), and two long borders of focus fabric.

This presewing is done!

The workshop is later in October during a Saturday afternoon where we get to see what this looks like.

Here’s a possible arrangement of HST’s showing the fabrics (please excuse the poorness of the darkest blue fabric below)

So they work together I think. Phew!

And here’s the TA – DA Triangles I referenced in the episode.

I cut the interfacing into manageable strips so I could cut the fabric better and sew it cleaner and easier.  The strips are three squares wide by 4 across.

Third Stop

Don’t Panic – Reference Episode – Life the Universe and Everything

And here you can see the Kicker border, in addition to the invisible (can’t you see it?) aurifil monofilament thread – LOVE IT!

And see, I really did quilt the letters all the way through. Two steps in one!

Fourth Stop

Black Baltimore Beauty!

And here’s a close up of the quilting!

Last Stop

Card Trick

The alternate blocks of the square in the square is great for setting with the card trick.

Here’s a close up of the convex / concaveness of the two blocks together – meant to see the quilting designs, but does not show up well.

Some of the items referenced in the episode.

Lint brush, light with parabola cover, aurifil monofilament thread, and frixion pen.

Music and sounds

QuintoOFLam.aif by ramjac

lazery thing variants.wav by Timbre (modified for the tardis sound)

Original Japanese Version of Sukiyaki by Kyu Sakamoto


26.9 SQ Ep 046 – G, I Made a Lanyard

August 9, 2012

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I had a small accident at work where my blue beaded lanyard went skidaddle. All over the floor.

Not a real accident, I am fine, even if my beaded lanyard sorta died.

This used to be a necklace.

The sacrifice of my beaded lanyard prompted me to make my own lanyard for work.

But I ignored the whole thing for a while.

And now I finally needed to bring the idea to the forefront.

How to structure the idea? Will one piece of fabric do? Will I actually figure out how to use my sewing machine again? Will Roger ever get out of the trunk that Jessica put him into?

A bit over-dramatic way to say, yes, I’ve had an idea to make a lanyard out of a physical constant for a while.

But which one to chose?

I consulted a list I found online to help remind me of my nerdy past.

Fundamental Physical Constants

And then asked my quilty friends to see if they liked anything on my list.

Okay the list was more simple than that.

And then a quick poll, and then I found I liked one more than the others even with the poll.

And then “A Lanyard” was born!

Can you guess which constant that I picked?

And then, here’s a picture of the fabrics close up. I wear red a lot so I thought it would compliment several of my outfits.

And no I don’t have many in process pictures. You fold in half. Lengthwise.

Then open up the seam & fold in 1/4ths.

So you get this skinny skinny strip (start with 4 times the width of strip that you want.

And then you sew the ends down really good around the lanyard piece that you have to work with.

Excuse the blur. And the fake wood paneling.

Here’s the lanyard in total.

And now I have a secret # associated with this lanyard. Maybe I’ll make the 2nd highest requested scientific constant and then rotate?

You may want to make one for a new teacher for the year, or make one for yourself.


26.6 SQ Ep 045 – Making Lemon Tea

July 15, 2012

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Within the last month, I have had 2 unique experiences with my Guild.

The First is the Jelly Roll Race Day of which I did not participate, but watched several quilters make an easy quilt in an afternoon!

I go into some details about this in the podcast itself, but a few things I learned follow.

Lessons from the Jelly Roll Race Quilt

  1. Check your Jelly Roll Size
  2. Accordion fold fabric ready to sew
  3. Don’t waste your time rearranging the Jelly Roll before-hand
  4. Extra long Jelly Roll strips cut from fabric will make a different effect
  5. Adding small pieces that do not match the finished width will result in a wider quilt
  6. Accent fabric can be fun change to the Jelly Roll race look.
  7. If there is a particular seam you don’t like, you can rip it apart & flip it around to create a different effect
  8. Don’t forget to cut off the beginning strip – about 18 inches.
  9. The magic of the pattern is that you don’t know what it will look like, & some people are OK with that.
  10. A person could theoretically calculate different sizes of jelly roll quilts, but I am not going to do it myself.

Accordian Folding

One of these was rearranged, but it’s so close to the same quilt here.

How to cope when the jelly roll is too small. Add a layer cake or so!

These strips are longer & wider than traditional strips!

This quilt is quite wide due to the extra accent fabrics in the quilt.

I looked up some sites this AM to see if anyone else had calculated the jelly roll quilt math, and I found a few sites. I have not double checked any of these so cannot verify to the methods’ accuracies.

The second thing I did with my Guild is I participated in the Guild “show off your Works in Progress day” instead of a speaker.

I surely brought the most projects of all of the people who attended!

And I learned a few things from this day as well (highlights told in the episode, but also shared on facebook)

Lessons from Guild Works in Progress Day

  1. Everyone has old quilts that they’ve not touched for a while
  2. always always put your buttons & embellishments on AFTER your quilt is quilted, your longarmer will thank you
  3. There is a right & wrong batting for trapunto (puffy polyester)
  4. I still am really (unnecessarily) nervous in front of a group of really great & supporting people even when I can now rattle off a podcast (finally) without showing my nerves too much.
  5. Don’t trust it when my camera says it’s full battery, actually go & charge up the camera anyway
  6. Bright orange quilts are super bright & some people may not be able to sleep with a quilt that bright
  7. I love that it takes all kinds of people & quilters & quilt styles about finishing projects and that is what makes this hobby incredibly amazing!!!!
  8. Not everyone makes tiny wallhanging sized quilts, most people make them for their bed.

And my new project for the guild sewing day, Jelly Roll Strip Dresden blocks.

Jelly Roll strips I cut about 7.5 inches long, then sewed the narrow side.  Then cut using the Missouri Star Quilt Company wedge ruler.

And then tried playing with them.


26.0 SQ Ep 044 (42) – Life the Universe and Everything

June 10, 2012

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Wow, I had a post the other day called Happy Towel Day, and in that post I showed a lot of pictures to what I’m talking about with this episode.

Maybe I shoulda waited to post those?


Douglas Adams seems to be showing us his version of satire of the world today (in the 80’s lets not split hairs here), a la Heather Odover at CraftLit regarding how she’s viewing Gulliver’s Travels on her podcast.**

Adam’s best known works is the trilogy in 5 books of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. I LOVE the audiobook version of Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy narrated by Stephen Fry found on audible! The rest of the books are narrated by Martin Freeman (Arthur Dent in the movie).

And the books are in order:

This series has caused its own fan base / cult following, and can be abbreviated as H2G2.

The recent H2G2 movie that was made had some good points and was slightly different from the books (as always).

So Hitchhiker’s Guide.

… Err… Ummm…

I made a background.

And the beginnings of a quilt.

But you’ve SEEN all this in my previous post about Towel Days!

What you haven’t seen is how this all works.

The Twist N Stitch Ruler makes twister blocks.

The Twist N Stitch ruler, if you can’t find it at your LQS can be found at Amazon.

And it comes with this little paper guide that shows how to make your “pre cut” quilt of squares and borders.

Each fabric transition is the center of a twister block.  June Taylor calls these pinwheels, but somehow I just can’t bring myself to say that.

There is a large section in the podcast where I discuss this technique of using the Twist N Stitch ruler.

And compare it to the Shape Cut ruler, also from June Taylor. Here’s a larger one than I have. This really large one would be really nice!

Also mentioned in the episode

Look at the variations of Jack’s Chain quilt at my new friend, Annika’s blog: She’s got German and English versions of her posts.

And lots of interesting designs too.

CaithnessCraftCollective a big ol Hello!

** No disrespect intended regarding Douglas Adam’s personal views on religion … just looked at wikipedia article & his views may not match up with your current views & beliefs.  Only mentioning because it’s in the beginning of the article.  Obviously I don’t really know the answer to “life the universe & everything.**

Music & Audio

space_stop.mp3 by fonogeno (the ironic music)

audio clip from audio book Hitchhiker’s Guide

audio clip from YouTube Video So Long and Thanks for All the Fish.

(a rerun)

Fly away to Summer Sun by Albert Forsell





Scroll down down down to see the answer to Life, the Universe & everything. (If you didn’t see it in the previous post).









It’s pretty cool.






Not the answer is pretty cool, but the image. Of the quilt.











Which almost makes me not want to finish this quilt.













Quilt as seen on my design wall in front of a window with light streaming behind it (before backing and quilting). Isn’t that neet!?