SciQuilt – Episode Zero

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September 8, 2019 by Dr. G

It seems as if my latest quilt should have been the very first one I created for my collection of science quilts. But it wasn’t until I attended a podcasting conference (see my posts on Podcast Movement 2019) that I didn’t think about creating what podcasters call an “Episode Zero”, the very first episode of a podcast series before it officially kicks off that describes what the podcast is about, a chance to meet the moderators, etc.

Here is my Episode Zero, or Quilt Zero – titled Science Storytelling with Quilts.

The quilt is with three fabric panels. The first panel represents various fields of science. Although all of my quilts to date connect with Earth science, I may explore creating quilts relating to other STEM fields in the future. The second panel is a shelf and stack of books to represent storytelling.

The third panel is a pattern called White House Steps. The colors represent the blue and white colors that are the official colors in the White House logo. The crackled pattern on the fabric represents the pathway to speak to and connect with our leaders in the White House and Congress, both at the federal and state level – that pathway is not a smooth or easy one to navigate. The pattern for White House Steps came from “110 Quilted Potholders” by Linda Causee and Rita Weiss (Leisure Arts, 2013).

The backing fabric is a collection of clock faces that represent time. It is time for scientists to find additional and effective ways to share science. It is time for more science stories to be told, and for more audiences to listen. It is time to learn and be informed, so that we can take action to address some of the great and pressing challenges we face on Planet Earth – challenges that can be solved by science and society.

All quilt materials were purchased at JoAnn. The first fabric is Novelty Cotton Fabric-School Supplies in Space, and the second fabric is Novelty Cotton Fabric-Classic Novels. The third panel is made of two Keepsake Calico Cotton Fabrics -Dark Blue Watercolor Crackle and White Watercolor Crackle. The blue border around the three panels is a FQ Fabric Quarter named Gltr On Blue FQ #16035719. The quilt batting used is Fairfield Toasty Cotton (100% natural cotton, lightweight). The binding is Wrights Double Fold Bias Tape Quilt Binding #706-050. The quilt is 35 inches wide by 13.5 inches tall. This is the 41st quilt I have completed and the 7th science-themed quilt.

This is my story of science stories through quilting – an opportunity to share science narratives in an accessible format. My hope is that with simple designs and thoughtful fabric selection, quilts can provide a new medium to engage new and existing audiences in science learning and sharing. And I hope we do this in time…

 

 

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Today I attended a conference event like no other I've attended in all of my meeting experiences.... the Ocean Sciences Storytellers program! #OSM20 connected with 10 public libraries in San Diego and arranged for ocean scientists to participate in a storytime event for kids! We each received an ocean-themed book to bring to the library, to read, and then to donate to the library's collection. Wendy from @sdpubliclibrary Central Library led an amazing storytime, with three of us from Ocean Sciences (Riley, Heather, and myself) reading books and talking about our lives as oceanographers. We sung songs, danced to Baby Shark, and more, with over 20 kids and their adults that drove them there (the kids were less than 6 years old)! Soooooo much fun in such a great space! #storytime #drseuss #thelorax #library #storytime #storytellers
Tuesday at #OSM20 ended with back-to-back-to-back events for me! I presented my poster on using quilts for scientific storytelling (Stitching Hope for the Louisiana Coast). There was so much interaction with attendees, hearing their own quilt stories - and so many people asked to film me descirbing my quilts, and I was even interviewed for a podcast! Then it was off to the NASA Earth Science Division Town Hall to hear the latest-and-greatest from NASA. And the day wrapped with with a student/alumni reception with the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine & Atmospheric Science (@umiamirsmas), where I earned my PhD in marine geology & geophysics.
The Exhibit Hall at any meeting, including #OSM20, is always an interesting experience, filled with scientific instruments and visual displays you may want but have no room/no need for (or cannot afford), booths of universities promoting their graduate programs, the NASA hyperwall you wish you could just sit in front of and be mezmerized by all day, and book publishers with so many amazing books you wish you had time to read.... except there is one I am going to shameless promote on behalf of my brother-in-law. Richard J. King wrote Ahab's Rolling Sea: A Natural History of Moby Dick. In this book, Rich details what was known about whales and natural history back in Herman Melville's time, and what events from Melville's own life experiences influenced the writing of his classic book.Be sure to pick up a copy at The University of Chicago Press booth! (*photos of the @uchicagopress booth taken with permission)
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