STEM education and scholarship fundraiser

I’m sure by now you’ve all heard about Ahmed Mohamed, the Irving, TX 9th-grader who took a home-made clock to school and was arrested for a bomb, then charged with making a hoax bomb — even though he only ever called it a clock.

ahmed-mohamed-featured-1024x689

Ahmed has received a huge outpouring of support on social media — just check out #IStandWithAhmed on Twitter — and invitations from the President, NASA, and too many other places and people to count.

But there are still far too many other children in the USA who face systemic inequalities and prejudices that get in the way of them making home-made clocks or learning about biology, or becoming engineers. Helping Ahmed is the first step: helping correct some of the educational barriers is another step.

So I’m running a fundraiser to raise money for STEM education. Here’s how it works:
-You buy something from my ETSY store, KnitSpinQuilt
-I mail it to you
-I donate the entire purchase price to charity

KSQSept15

That’s it! You get stitch markers or a project bag or earrings or handspun yarn, and I donate the full amount you paid toward scholarships for low-income children to go to the Center for Talented Youth (CTY) summer program run by Johns Hopkins University.

So far, I’ve raised $133.00 – I’m hoping to hit $250.  I’ll put an image in the sidebar, and together hopefully we can help send a kid to CTY to learn that there are lots of other geeky, talented, academically-minded kids just like them, regardless of their family’s income.

A little bit louder?

I’ve really been enjoying the Scrappy Trip-Along quilt, especially seeing all the other pictures in the flickr group — it’s great to see the different color and fabric choices!

I’ve been planning on making my quilt 8×8, to be a (really large) queen size with plenty of drape, with a narrow solid border around the edges, and a plain binding. But I laid out the blocks I have right now, all 48 of them, and now I’m on the fence. I think 8×8 might be too large!

 

I’m considering three things and I would love opinions: please weigh in!
— 6×8 with a 6″ border = roughly 81″ x 104″ Concern: I worry that 81″ x 104″ is lopsided.
— 8×8 and a 4″ border = a neat 100″ x 100″ Concern: I worry that this is too big!
— 7×7 with a 6″ border = 92″ x 92″ Concern: I have an irrational dislike of odd numbers.

 

I laid the blocks I already have finished and trimmed out on my kitchen floor (after moving the kitchen table out of the way). This is what I had to do to get a picture of the whole thing:
me-ladder-cropped

That’s an 8 foot ladder. But from the top of it, I got this picture:
6x8-before1

And after moving some squares around a little bit, I got this one:
6x8-after1

I tested the layout in black and white, and I think it’s almost right:
6x8-after bw

This quilt is going to be a gift, and I want it to be something the recipients can really use, not something that’s just not quite right. So I have to make up my mind: 6×8? 7×7? Or 8×8? Let me know what you think — please!

I have the fabric all cut for the other blocks, so the time or work involved in making the next blocks is absolutely not a concern: I want this to be as good a gift as it can be, not something I think about later and wonder “what if?”

Baby K’s Quilt (& WIP Wednesday)

First off, I find it hilarious that Audrey, of Hot Pink Quilts called this quilt Baby K’s Quilt, because the baby I’m making for it? His last name starts with a K! It fits perfectly!

Part of the challenge for me on this one was to work entirely from stash: I’ve got a lot of fabric, and I really need to use it! And as much as shopping for more fabric is fun, I really can’t justify it right now, with the volume of stuff I already have.

Luckily, I was able to cut nearly all of the little squares of it from scrap!
Panel Layout

The only ones that didn’t come from scrap are the little black and white Daiwabo elephants, the blue pigs and the 1001 Peeps fussy-cut people and horses. Everything else was leftover from previous projects — and I’ve been cutting scraps into 2.5″ squares for a little while now, which was a big help.

The borders were a quandary. I have a lot of black and a lot of white, but neither of those says “baby” to me — particularly not white, since, oops, stains! I had a yard of Kona Kelly green that had no particular intended use, and two half-yard cuts of the green stripe from Hello Pilgrim, which (when I stood back and looked at my stash for a moment) started hollering “baby quilt!” at me. I think the two of them together should work nicely!

Borders&Backing

There was one oops: I cut three strips of the Hello Pilgrim stripe before I remembered that I wanted the stripes to go lengthwise, not width-wise. Ooops. Now I have a few strips of 3.5″ wide green stripes. I’m sure I’ll find a use for it eventually.

That reminded me that I’m not certain how I’m going to make sure that the stripes in the pinwheels line up properly with the stripes in the borders (problem with a directional patterned fabric!) but I suppose I have time to fiddle with that. And if it’s not perfect, it’s not perfect.

I’m going to use a half-yard cut of an adorable Japanese train-line print for the back. Zoom in on the picture above and see what the various stops are called: I love it. I think it’s the perfect print for a NYC baby.

I was worried that I would find piecing the little squares together too tedious, but it turns out I really enjoy it! Neither of the two blocks I’ve finished so far are perfect, but they’re still really cute, if I do say so myself.

Block1

Block2

I’m really looking forward to getting to work on this more! It’s been loads of fun so far. I’m going to free-motion quilt the little blocks with Elizabeth Hartmann’s Orange Peel pattern, but I haven’t decided what to do about the borders just yet.

As for other projects, I’ve completed my second June and July blocks for the HST Block of the Month Quilt Along, and one August block. I pieced them all on the Singer 66, and one of them came out a little too small, but I can live with that.

The Mabel messenger bag hasn’t really shifted much: I need to fuse the pieces with interfacing, now that it’s arrived in the mail, and start putting it all together. Simple Math has gotten a few more blocks trimmed, but that’s really quite tedious, so they’re not all done yet.

Knitting-wise, I finished one pair of socks, and started another. I’ve still got a pair hanging out on the needles waiting for the cuffs to be finished, which might turn into a TV project, and my enormous baby-blanket-log-cabin project, for which I have to do only two more sections, but of course they’re the largest ones.

Spinning-wise, I’m spinning up a merino/yak blend by Spunky Eclectic in a green-and-brown colorway called Walden’s woods, and I was making really good progress on it during the Olympics — now that I have fewer excuses to sit down in front of the TV, it’s going more slowly.