Stems from HOPE

Hidden Figures. As a lover of numbers, math, words and stories, my intrigue grows exponentially. Looking just at the second word


I see numbers first, then realize the word also means beings, persons; after a while I think, oh yeah, sometimes women are dehumanized just into shape--so figure could also be that. I do love that it took me a while to think of that one. It might be like fighting windmills, but I see great power that stems from innocence and hope.       See what I did, I said STEM.

Science Technology Engineering Math

Love that it's a verb and a noun. Stem, branch--growth, living plants... Today, as I sit watching the my morning show, the light of the day illuminating behind the trees and my neighbors house; I sip my cup of coffee and plan my day. img_9998 Thinking of the math classes I've taken in my life. I can't say I loved all my classes, one math class short of a math minor, but oh how I love numbers! Seriously, part of my baseball fascination is twisted in the numbers, math and metrics.   Tonight, along with others working in my field, I'm attending an early screening of Hidden Figures. Why? Because the opportunity presented itself and I want to stand and be counted with those who honor these Hidden Figures in history. STEM not STEAM Yes, I left Art out on purpose. Engineering and Math are so connected to Art, that ART is hidden inside. Are you saying, it's not fair? That is true, it's not fair. Life is not fair. Life is life. I think that we should work to make life good and more equitable, because

With great privilege comes great responsibility.

I won't ask Spiderman to forgive me for replacing Power with Privilege, because in asking for that forgiveness, I'm saying I don't have Permission to create this saying. Permission is a funny topic, be polite, stay in line, keep your voice down--these all have a place, I don't advocate anarchy or chaos. I do advocate learning, growing, going beyond. Yes, and now I've gone beyond my morning time to write, sew or otherwise create. img_0005 Be You and Be Awesome--and look for the awesome in the everyday, right under your nose. img_1243-2
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Spark of Science, Allure of Art

The_Dress_(viral_phenomenon) 26 February 2015.  That Day, That Dress. A spark that ignited communication beyond the virtual work, into our day to day existence. The irony of duality—the prose I planned to be an essay, spilled out like silk cocoon, as my fingers danced on the keyboard.  For most of my life, I’ve stood in awe of those whose have lived through eras of drastic technological change.  My dad’s mom worked as a seamstress, her childhood had no Saturday morning cartoons on TV—there was no TV.  I wondered what our fast paced world must seem like, when digital communication took the place of paper and pen.  A distant past in which, we knew those friends on our block, our news arrived on folded paper, and the lights at night were the stars and planets. We humans landed on the moon, before I was old enough to appreciate our small step.  I take a leap myself, combining and creating my life as a soup or stew as I stir my words, science, art and thought.  By day I tug on the seams of science in operational engineering.  By night I look up at the same moon, attracted to her pull.  Art and science together are a power of gravity and grace. I am just engineer, with a needle of steel and a heart of art, a human being that is all.  

That Day, That Dress

Ode to 26 February 2015

  Spark of Science, Allure of Art Frayed edges, snags and lies. Day Five-Seven of Two-Oh-One-Five Opposing views, left and right Blue-n-Black or Gold and White Like insects swarming in the night Converse and Curse across the Waves   Piercing my fibers, I form a knot Our viral Web spun, will it stop? Attired in questions, we cannot! Trust we must, that which we see Or set our sights on mystery? Science isn’t Black or White In packets, waves, shines both the light   Tugging a thread, I soon regret Are Science and Art, such worlds apart? Building blocks, unraveling thoughts Beauty, Knowledge coexist Woven fibers; Warp-n-Weft Pulling Biases we must resist Ripping our borders, edges, seams Concealed a veil, a wish, a dream   Tricked by truth, fooled by thought All turn and look, What is, Is not Spark of Science, Allure of Art With great disdain, I must confess Unraveled us all,

That Day,

That Dress.

  For beautiful art that is also beautiful science, see the New Moon Rises exhibit at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. The Dress BBC article on The Dress
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Fibonacci Fun, it’s just math!

  fibonacci3.010   Just a little fun with numbers!  No lie, this is not a "fib", the Fibonacci sequence of numbers and the artistic spiral they create, it's just math. fibonacci4.001Repeat after me "It's just math."   Math is your friend, Math is your pal.  If you have bad feelings toward Math, stop - realize that you are on a first name basis, it's not Mathematics.  It's Just Math!      
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Triple Threat and the Reservation Equation

I am well versed in the delicate art of delegation.  I delegate to my humble crockpot, to the pizza parlIMG_2011 2or, to the timer on the coffeemaker, the delay on the dishwasher and washing machine, our wash&wear wrinkle-free dress shirts, my many checklists, a few at the ready "go-bags", the recording device on my phone, my gps, my fabulous nail tech, my streamlined makeup system, my Kindle, my iPhone in general... these are some of my many teammates that create more time and energy for me to create more fun. I don't need to do it all myself, I can be the boss and be sure it gets done. Yelp found this really awesome restaurant and I used that tool to make a dinner reservation on a Monday for Wednesday. So now starts the mathematical equation... If 3 people plan to eat at 7pm, and person 1 confirms the reservation at 6:05 pm via SMS, drives 10 minutes, picks up 1 more person, drives 40minutes north, while person number 3 drives 40 minutes south, so that they all meet at the restaurant for the reservation at 7pm, what is the chance that this really interesting restaurant closed it's doors less than 2 weeks ago? Originally we were heading to the Highland Inn.  But life throws twist and turns at us, as Misty and I pulled into the empty parking lot and saw the third member of our adventure... Cheryl, in a microscopic red rental car, parked all alone, way out in the middle of the large empty lot.  I laughed and said "you couldn't find a better parking spot?" IMG_2011 2 Serendipity was on our side. We drove just around the corner, to the Twist and Turn Tavern.  Spent a lovely evening sitting outside at a fancy picnic table with drinks served in mason jars that was not originally in the plan. Lesson 1 - Tell technology who is the boss - technology can be a good teammate, but sometimes it requires a little supervision! Lesson 2 - Look beyond... What was the real plan? to share a meal, share some laughter and relax?  In this unexpected way, we accomplished our real plan. 11695778_10153149079497663_4884333634751189714_nLesson 3 - We really do look a bit like Buttercup, Blossom and Bubbles.   thanks for having FUN with me!a-to-z_logo_6.png  
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Eight – a very loopy number

Yep, I am still amused by numbers!   Today is day eight of month eight  - I've always liked double numbers like 11, 33 - but never really thought about the number 8 until now... Nope it's not a prime number, but 8 is a Fibonacci number Did you know that you need 8, we all do... take a deep breath and look on the periodic table at atomic element 8, Oxygen. so in the beginning, well my beginning... I was born in October (the 8th month in the early Roman calendar.) In '78 a local Maryland kid (who turned 18 that August 24) was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles with second round pick that the O's got from Boston, where the Red Sox player who wore #8 had an August 22 birthday.  Wearing the number 8, Cal Ripken and Carl Yastrzemski each had 3,000 hits and 400 home runs... Yesterday I saw Yaz's grandson, Mike Yastrzemski play for Orioles franchise (Bowie Baysox) and in offense hit his eighth double of the year, and on defense played in position 8 (centerfield).  Would you believe his birthday is also in August - on 23 right between Cal and Carl's birthdays... interesting huh? I'm more a pitching fan - so looking to see if there are any 8 in those stats?  Wouldn't that be perfect? The term "perfect game" came about in 1908. No runs, no hits... Then October 8th, 1956, after having pitched the only perfect game in a World Series, Don Larsen (also an August baby) gets a bear hug from Yogi Berra whose #8 jersey was retired by the Yankees. On July 18, 1999, Don Larsen threw the ceremonial first pitch to Yogi Berra, then the Yankees pitcher David Cone threw a perfect game.  Pretty perfect huh? My favorite pitcher - Tom Glavine, was elected to the hall of fame on the 8th day of 2014. I think 8 is my mom's favorite number ... trace the shape of the figure 8, and it has no start, no end, like infinity...  
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Ten Eleven Twelve! Number, order and humor!

Happy eleventh of October in 2012.

I love numbers, order and humor - and some things we get honestly.

Yesterday my Dad celebrated the 71st anniversary of his birth. Always good to acknowledge the numbers in order to maintain your sense of humor.  

My Dad's mom was one of my first role models for aging, humor and creativity.  She had a sense of humanity that I appreciated as a child.  I always felt like she saw me as a whole person even though the number of my years was less.  I love this photo of Abuela Marta with my dad, when he was very young, very blonde, with just a little Dennis the Menace look about him!

A recent email from a friend included: "I love that you see and respect his amazing personhood even though he's just five." Wow, without even knowing my Abuela, she paid me the greatest compliment, in letting me know I am carrying on her trait of connecting with people young and old with a respect of their wholeness.  

One of my favorite Abuela Marta memories is account of how she lost her good sewing scissors only to find them later in her refrigerator... 

Happy Birthday Dad!

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Long May She Wave – Reveal Day 6

You know the last 2 words from the USA National Anthem?  It's "Play Ball!" for this baseball fan.  Seriously, I'm a big baseball fan, love the sights and sounds of the game.  I'm also very patriotic, so I mean no disrespect with my Play Ball joke. In my region (I'm ashamed to say its the Nation's Capital and Baltimore, ); we have a horrible disrespect of the National Anthem.  Some Baltimore Oriole fans yell out "O" during part of it at baseball games and some Washington Capital fans yell out "Red" during those parts of the Anthem.  If the Flag and the Anthem represent our Country, what does it mean when people yell words while we are standing respectfully holding our hats in our hands and with our hands over our hearts.  I want to ask each person that yells, if they realize that they are disrespecting my nation when they do that.  Even if it's not your nation, when a national anthem is sung it's still a time to be respectful.  That's my humble patriotic opinion... So when I was playing with ideas, I caught this symbol and gave it a wave.
  • Wrong side of denim used as background - great color
  • Appliqued fused bias wavy strips free cut using a Multi Step Zig Zag stitch - I love the shape created where the strips in the center meet forming a nice curvy v in lower right corner.
  • Free Motion Machine quilted - leaving the center bar unquilted
  • Hand stitched 13 cream buttons and 37 "X's" using 50wt sewing thread (4 strands red, 4 strands blue)... 13+37=50, get it?
  • Free Motion Zig Zag edging
Lessons Learned - when the machine starts complaining and making noise - CHANGE THE NEEDLE - before it breaks - you still will need to change it if you wait, but then you need to find the piece of broken needle and hope that the machine didn't suffer.
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Lost Track of Time – Reveal day 4

One of the joys and dangers of the sewing studio is that you get sucked into the vortex.  From watching SciFi I know that once the fabric of space and time is torn, it's hard not to lose track of time.

I love the image of a clock - round, numbers, metal hands, movement, so many great symbols.

  • Background handdyed and gold lines and dots painted on left upper corner*
  • Stamped background with 3 different spools !!! using the leftover pain from the Day 3 stencil (in fact it was a "I have too much paint left over, what can I paint on?", and now I have extra spool prints that I added to my box of altered fabric)

  • Clock hands are "MicroSuede" from Joann's, cut and appliqued on (if UltraSuede is ultra good, Microsuede is micro good, it's ok, really - it just doesn't handle raw edge, but it's a Micro price compared to the Ultra price.  I can buy a 8"x10" piece of UltraSuede or a Yard of 45wide Micro Suede for the same price, but since the amount I use is small, may be worth the investment.  Cause as they say, time is money!

  • Cut out numbers from freezer paper and pressed onto background - tight quilting made each number an island of quilted puffiness!!!
  • Free Motion Machine quilted background and inside numbers very tightly - I really enjoy quilting the heck out of a quilt - this time quilted in a horizontally elongated meander!!!
  • Hand painted the numbers with gold fabric paint!!!
  • Free Motion ZigZagged edge - kinda heavier stitching than on Day 1 Peace, Love and Joy.  This time did a back and forth 5 times motion, covering about 3-4inches at a time  - I like the navy blue stitching with the black ink

  * - These steps were done prior to 12x12x12 challenge
!!! - First time I ever did this type of thing

I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.
- Golda Meir

Lost wealth may be replaced by industry, lost knowledge by study, lost health by temperance or medicine, but lost time is gone forever.
- Samuel Smiles

Time may change me, But I can't trace time
- David Bowie

I lost some time once. It's always in the last place you look for it.
- Neil Gaiman

I picked some fresh herbs from the garden for dinner tonight. Now I have thyme on my hands.
- Misty Cole
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Numbers Count

Happy Triple 11's today! 

Wednesday was reveal day for the 2011 challenge quilts.  Challenge was to make a quilt inspired by page 73 of a nonquilting, nonart magazine.  I checked about 73 different magazines before selecting my page 73.

Peaceful Passage
Yes, I've come full circle back around to circles!

I had fun with numbers, such as the olive branch is made up of 7 leaves, 3 of which have stems.  There are 3 blue flower-cogs (flogs, cowers?), 3 sides of quilt have facing that takes the silk right to the edge.  There are 3 double flogs, and 7 single black/grey flog shapes, 3 silver circles.  Love the juxtaposition of wool felt and silk - the only cotton is a single green line on the left edge. In Cognition (my Power Suit entry) I didn't want to admit the shape could be a flower so I denied it's graphic daisy-osity;  with Peaceful Passage, I embrace it's inner flower and gave them a little spin.

Here's my inspiration page...

I wanted to put number 73 in the quilt, but slightly hidden... do you see it now?

Saint Leigh and her son spread their wings and carried me as we embarked on a quest from to silver water  to the land of rocks to rescue my silver stallion from it's incarceration.  Yes, you guessed it my car was towed from Silver Spring to Rockville...  Leigh's sister is a great friend, Nickie (or five-cent as some of us hockey players know her), so I know one day through Nickie, our paths would have crossed, but if not for the tow I wouldn't have been inspired to add the peaceful dove and olive branch, so I guess I should say that I must say I was lucky... And I do feel lucky, overall it was a positive experience. 

I wanted to honor their kindness in my art, with both the image of the peace dove and on the backing a delicious chocolate colored fabric.   Leigh Lambert is an experiment artist as well, now I crave to experience her art and I predict that I'll be trying these brownies in my not so distant future...

The hand dyed silk was a gift from my sister, so you need sisters for Peaceful Passage.  My sister also asked what is the Chinese character means - I think it's "peace", based on the Internet - but I don't read Chinese, so it could be "soup"...

Sorry for the humorous diversion - back to math...
So I thought I would count up the parts of the quilt not including the shadow silhouette, tada! There are 33 (oh yes I counted 3 times to be sure) 

33 is 11+11+11

what an auspicious number!

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Cognition Unveiled!!!


Finally, my Power Suit Challenge quilt unveiled! 

the fine print below my quilt reads...
Inspired by mental power = cognition...  My Nerd-self focused on power, movement, force, and then a “power series” in mathematics.  Athlete-self added Power = strength = denim.  Fashionista-self = dark suits.  Cogs with French knots feature felt made from machine needlefelting 4 layers of suiting.  Tied together with the silk “Power Tie” binding and at the bottom “denim”; Cause a great pair of jeans is my power suit.  Wishing you fun from A to Z!
Amy Morusiewicz Mitchellville, Maryland

I was limited to 75 words - that was a challenge.  I feel very connected to this piece - the background is PFD that was handdyed at Southern Comforter's winter retreat.  The cogs are a result of hours on the needlefelting machine creating felt from 4 layers of the wool suiting samples.  My goal was a piece that would have visual appeal from 30 feet away, drawing you in and giving you little surprises such as the french knots in the flower/cogs and the lightning bolt embroidery.

Here's a glimpse into how my brain works...

Power Nerd
I remembered power series in my mathematics methods for physicists class (my last math class after 4 calculus classes.)  The only book from college I still have - a great memento of another time in my life - and a lovely book in teal and silver!  So the background contains selected equations and terms that were part of my life studying Physics in college.  Machines and movement, thoughts and ideas abound.

Power Athlete
Hockey? Dark grey and black circles, larger ones are closer to me, smaller as they go away - hockey pucks? During hockey practice, many pucks fly my way as a goalie with the Washington Wolves women's hockey team. 

Power Style
Denim and black - that's the powersuit of my generation.  The blue cogs are made with the plastic cover of the wool suiting samples.  The kit contained a silk tie in a beigey grey (somehow my kit knew I could use a plain tie - others artists got stripes or print ties)

Movement, strength, depth, serious and humorous...    Cognition

Oh, I need to tell you about the opening reception for the Power Suit Challenge, and that's a story for another day...
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