Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day & My Last Quilting Lesson

Derby in Pencil

... DID YOU KNOW ...

2012 is a leap year, with 366 days instead of the usual 365 days.  Why?

It was the ancient Egyptians who first figured out that
 the solar year and the man-made calendar year didn't always match up.

That's because it actually takes the Earth a little longer
 than a year to travel around the Sun —
 365 days, 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 46 seconds, to be exact.

Therefore, as the hours accumulated over the centuries, 
an extra day was occasionally added to the calendar, 
and over time the practice became more or less official.

The Romans first designated February 29 as leap day, 
but a more precise formula (still in use today) was
 adopted in the 16th century when the Gregorian calendar 
fine-tuned the calculations to include a leap day in 
years only divisible by four - 2012, 2016, 2020, 2024, etc.

Another stipulation ruled that no year divisible by 100
 would have a leap year, except if it was divisible by 400.
 Thus, 1900 was not a leap year ... but 2000 was! Go figure.

Thankfully, all this intricate plotting will continue 
to keep us in tune with the seasons over the next several thousand years.

 In this class we pinned a back fabric and batting
together with the top ... then stitched in the ditch
around the inside of the outside border.
 Stitch in the Ditch to hold all three pieces together. 
This was a challenge holding all this material while
trying to sew a straight line!
 This is a civil war quilt that was shown to the class as an example.
 Sandy the head instructor explains the next steps
 in piecing our project together.
 JoAnn deciding what to do next on her masterpiece.
 Working through the next steps with one of the instructors.
There is basically one instructor for every two students.
 Pinning in just the right spot to hold three layers in place.
Last night we leaned to make the binding which we sewed
to the edges.   The instructors showed us a trick on how to
fold the fabric at the corners to get it just right. 
I didn't take any photo's since class time was running out.
The final step ... fold the edge binding and hand sew it to the back
 then it's time to sew 'free-style' and quilt the top.
Julep wants me to make her a westie quilt so she can snuggle up and be warm
 on rainy days like today.  I just may consider her request ... at some point!
My next quilting class [Quilting 201] starts next Tuesday.
 We'll learn to make a tad more complicated block
as well as a larger piece.


  1. OMC... I'm in heavan... All these quilts. You know with the name MaxTheQuiltCat I gotta be a little partial to quilts. I'm on my way to your house. I want to sit on all of them. Love the sketch of you at the beginning of the post too... So much to look at... Love it all

    Happy Leap Day.

    pawhugs, Max

  2. Great job on your quilt! You should be proud.