Sunday, May 19, 2013

Robotics and Scrappy Sunday

After being so focused on quilting during our long winter I am finding it hard to find a balance between sewing time and all of the other activities going on. End of school year events, graduations, yard work... May is a busy time of year!

Yesterday our son's Robotics Team competed at the State Tournament. Robotics is fairly new in Minnesota but is rapidly growing with over 180 teams state wide. As our son says "It's a sporting event for nerds!". Our team was very excited just to make it to State (first time) and ended up being the 3rd ranked team out of 30 in the qualifying rounds, winning their quarterfinal alliance match and competing for the state title!
Photo from - Robotics Venue at U of M Campus
This years challenge was to build a robot from a starter kit that shoots frisbee discs into the slots that you can see at the top of the competition area. There is also a climbing pyramid that the robots attempt to climb for extra points at the end of the match. It involves strategy too as you can play defense to block the other teams robots from getting clean shots.

Teams compete with 2 other schools in Alliances which are random draws during the qualifying rounds and the 4 highest ranked teams get to pick other teams to join them for the finals. 3 robots from 3 schools vs. 3 robots from 3 schools compete against each other (and the clock) to score the most points. Another element of strategy - do you pick a high scoring robot or one that plays good defense? I can't tell you how many times I laughed hearing some of the team names (The Fighting Calculators was my favorite!).

A bit of background on our son... he is 1)very smart 2)very introverted and 3)prefers to do his activities on his own. When he was in golf my Mom and I went to one of his events and he was not at all happy with us! I was used to following all of our daughter's activities and wanted to do the same for him, so it has been a learning experience to adapt to his wishes.

Because of this we didn't travel to the meet. We were able to watch the alliance matches online and saw his team receive their 2nd place trophy and medals while communicating via text with our son. Last night they returned to the school with an escort of our local fire brigade and we met them in the parking lot. I actually got a big hug from him (very rare!) and loved seeing him so animated and beaming with his medal draped around his neck. We stayed up late hearing him tell us as all about their trip and their day.

I just love it when kids are able to enjoy success, especially when it is unexpected which seems to make it even better! And, while I would have liked to experience the event firsthand, it was pretty special hearing about HIS experience through HIS point of view last night. He was happy and that's all that mattered.

I did get to some scrappy sewing this week. After finishing my RSC13 blocks I was still in a piecing mood so I pulled out one of my UFOs to work on. This is Weed Whacker from I'm making these blocks in sets of 4 using 6 2" strips in different combinations, I had 16 blocks made and added 20 to my bin.  I need to decide how big I want this top to be, the blocks are 9" finished.  They are fun to make and qualify for easy mindless sewing.
Yesterday while I was burning nervous energy over the robotics competition I cut 5" charms and coins for a HGTV Quilting Forum swap I'm participating in. Yellows, blues and brights are the themes.
I'm linking up to Scrap-Basket Sunday@Kim's Big Quilting Adventure.


  1. Really like the weed wacker top. So bright and cheerfull! I have a lot of 2 1/2" strips that I might see if I can enlarge the block just a little to use those. Am going to pin your picture to remind me! Tell your son congrads for a job well done!!

  2. How wonderful for your son Deb!!! It is so good to hear that they are finally finding ways to allow the kids who are not jocks to compete in something fun and creative! Sounds like it was a lot of fun too :*) Your Weed Wacker blocks are really bright and fun! I have never seen a quilt made from that pattern up close. I really like yours!

  3. Thanks for posting. I had forgotten about this pattern. I am READY for some scrap busting, but first I need to finish a bigger portion of my UFOs.

  4. Intersting post -I had never heard of Robotics before - I'm sure we don't have it here - so great it went so well for your son's team. Your weed wacker is looking great - such a good block for using scraps, too!

  5. What a fun looking pattern! Nice way to use up a lot of scraps too. Congrats to your son--it's awfully considerate of you to stay home and watch online.

  6. So far behind -- that's what renovations and vacations will do for you. I'm so pleased to hear about your son's achievement and love your colourful blocks.


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