A Great Weekend for The Metal Moose

I mentioned in my first post that I really wanted to celebrate how amazing FIRST Robotics is. This weekend I took a break from my work to go to our first event of the season. We started our Saturday with a motor burning out during practice matches. Still, we quickly recovered and started our weekend with some good scores.


Near the end of day one we were ranked 2nd. At the end of day 2 we were ranked 6th before playoff alliance selection. In the end, we finished in 5th and won the Creativity Award for our design.


Our next event is in 2 weeks and then the home event at Westtown April 1-3.

I can’t wait to do more work on my quilt and dive into the history of this wonderful sport.


A Jo-Ann’s Journey

Friday night I went to one of my favorite places: Jo-Ann Fabrics

If you’ve never entered one of these stores it’s a candy store for the serious arts and crafts. I say serious because this is no Michael’s or A.C.Moore. This is the grown up version of craft stores where everyone’s super-talented aunt or neighbor disappears to every so often and emerges with what seems to be another quilt already half-done.

So how does fabric shopping work? Well, this is the quilting section. There are many other sections in Jo-Ann’s, but different types of fabrics work for different purposes. There are upholstery, apparel, stretch, flannel, and leather to name a few. Most quilting fabric is thin cotton dyed or printed with a color or pattern. There are generally three options for buying quilting fabrics.

  1. Fabric Quarters (Which Were on Sale!) – These are quarter yards of fabric sold individually. This is good for getting a lot of different small quantities. While there are less overall options versus buying from the bolt, they make the process a lot easier.


2. Bolt – As I mentioned before, this way can have more options but is more complicated. The bolts are the fabrics wrapped around cardboard. You can get larger quantities of these and they are sold by the yards. ( I like the one below for the back, what do you think?) You get these hand-cut by the staff, which can take a while if there’s a line. You have to be careful when buying these because you may not know the width, which can change, and because the price can add up pretty quick.


3. Remnants – I don’t have a picture of this but I love remnants. These are “created” when a bolt runs out with around a yard or less or if a fabric doesn’t sell. These are in small bins and are sold at the unit price.

I bought a…moderate amount of fabric along with some extra threads and supplies and set up my station on G2. That was Friday.

Let’s Talk About Robots

I love robots. Ever since I did Lego robotics back in 4th grade I’ve loved everything about them. Sadly, I’m not all that great at building or programming. Believe me, I’ve tried. Still, I love robots and I’ve been involved with FIRST Robotics since 9th grade. I’ve been on the business, communications, and outreach team and served as a team leader for the past two years. This year FIRST is celebrating its 25th game season and I wanted to do something to honor that through my senior project.

The idea for this project came from my coach, Steve Compton. I had a few requirements,

  1. I had to stay in the area (as I am in the middle of a black belt test)
  2. It had to be relatively cheap
  3. It had to be related to robotics
  4. I had to be able to do it without too much skill training

In the end, we decided to create a quilt honoring the 25 years of FIRST, especially this year’s game: FIRST STRONGHOLD


I will be living at home and commuting for the first week of the project, then doing the rest at home through spring break.  More updates to come as I set up my work space.