Friday, July 25, 2014

A few things...

Let's see how many times I can write "few" in this blog.

It's been such a hectic few months and I haven't written a blog since May. I guess a few months isn't too bad. If you are curious about what I've been sewing or doing on my vacation from work, follow me on Instagram @bettinadanger! Leave a few comments!

In the past few months, I've made a few pairs of shorts, a few dresses and a few quilts. I just haven't had a few minutes to post everything! I also became Vice President of Events for the Austin Modern Quilt Guild so my days have been busy planning a few events. Hey! YOU should become a member of this awesome group and meet a few amazing quilters!

I feel blessed that my life is rich and full of moments that keep me busy.

The next week (one of my last few weeks of vacation), I'm going to try and write a few blogs about some projects I finished. I have to be honest though...my 1974 Monte Carlo will arrive in TEXAS on Tuesday so I can't promise anything other than that I'll be cruisin' the streets.
 Go out and get some fabric at the Austin Shop Hop
Not sure I like the word "few" anymore. I won't do that again. Thanks for humoring me. 
As a lover of numbers, I'll be using those again.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Baby Quinn's Quilt

A few months ago my mom requested a quilt for a baby boy. The quilt is done, the baby is born, and I am finally getting around to posting a few photos! I'll share the best photo first...
Welcome to this beautiful world, Quinn William! His mom, Heather, says he is lovin' his quilt!
The special part about this quilt, besides who it was for, is that my mom and I planned it out together. I would snap photos of fabrics that caught my eye at the quilt shops, text them to my mom and we would discuss our ideas. Video chatting is super helpful because it allows her to give me feedback and it's easy for her to see the fabric on my design wall.  I have to stop and appreciate that technology allows us to share these experiences. Of course, you can't touch the fabric when you video chat. It's like watching the food channel; the dish looks so delicious but you can't taste it! When mom received the quilt in the mail, I think her exact words were, "Oh, it's so beautiful and soft in person!"
The backside is a cozy minky fabric. Although you have to pin the quilt sandwich twice as much (at least from my experience that helps keep the fabric from shifting), I think it is a perfect choice for a sweet little baby!
I quilted soft wavy lines on my home machine and chose fabric with green and white stripes for the binding.

Can't wait for the next baby quilt! Who's having a baby?!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Power of Ten Quilt

I am convinced that right now is the BEST time to be a math educator!

I don't know if you have noticed, but the subject of teaching mathematics is certainly in the spotlight as our state and national standards have changed. This makes me incredibly happy because it is the perfect opportunity for everyone to learn more about quality math instruction. Teaching math is different than what we might remember from our experiences learning it. Teaching math is also different from being "good" at the subject. And, if you think you are "bad" at it...I have life changing news for you: There is no such thing as a "math gene" and don't let anyone tell you otherwise.

My power of ten quilt is a display of my continued learning about the base-ten system of numeration. It showcases the fascinating powers of ten and is a visual representation that helps build conceptual understanding.  In my perfect world, every elementary student would have the opportunity to create their own base-ten "quilt" to understand the relationship between a digit and its position in a number before using a place value chart or base-ten blocks. Often times students don't really understand what those models represent. When students create the base-ten model for themselves, they are also creating their own understanding of what is actually happening with the power of ten in regards to whole numbers and decimal numbers.
Another reason I love this model is because you can actually see the magnitude of the numbers. The square-strip-square-strip pattern will infinitely repeat. Wow.
A college math professor enlightened me when she spoke of changing the world with the powers of ten. She believed strongly that if she could influence 10 teachers to teach math differently, those 10 teachers would each influence 10 teachers and the circle of influence would become exponential. I'm one of those educators that she changed. It all begins with one so never underestimate the powers of ten you have inside you. 
I free-motion quilted each block of one hundred. Quilting 1,000 hundred blocks in this way was certainly a test of patience! 

Whether you are a parent, grandparent, sibling, administrator, or teacher you probably will come across a situation in your life where you will have the opportunity to teach a child mathematics. In fact, your influence could encourage or discourage the love of math to that young mind.

If you are interested in learning more about the topic of teaching mathematics, check out this online course by Jo Boaler from Stanford University called How to Learn Math: For Teachers and Parents. The instructor is also hosting a free webinar on May 6th.

Let's all do our part to go beyond "place naming" and travel deeper into the beauty of actually understanding of the value of numbers-both in our lives and in our math instruction!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

WIP: Spring Break Edition!

I'm trying to use every precious minute of spring break to check some things off my to-do list!

So far,  my "Power of Ten" quilt is quilted!

Tonight, I will begin to sew the binding while watching Wheel of Fortune and Netflix with Henry. Then, I can cross this off my AMQG WOW list!

Remember this "Grass Garden Maze" I created with the awesome grass fabric that Angela and Gina from Bunny's Designs sent me? I'm going to resume progress on this and create some pillows for my couch. Let the "spring puking" commence! ; -)

These were my purchases from the Austin Shop Hop. I made a dress from the top left and I'm going to use some of the others for my spring pillows. (Notice I needed to buy more grass? I'm addicted!)

Lastly, I finished the Laurel dress yesterday! I choose to keep in simple and make it sleeveless. I love it! 

Thanks for reading! I hope everyone is having a wonderful week! :)