Friday, December 11, 2009

8 to 5 and Quilting

Once upon a time, back in the glory days...

I was in the band in junior high and high school. My favorite part was marching: we marched at football games, in parades, and at show competitions. Every August we'd pack up for a week at band camp to get ready for the upcoming season.

First thing every year was learning (or re-learning) and perfecting the concept of "8 to 5." Football fields are marked off in 5-yard increments and marching music is usually written in 4-4 time, four beats per measure of music. When you put the two together, you can march eight steps in two measures of music and move five yards down the field. "8 to 5." Each step reached 22.5". Exactly. You started with the arch of your foot on the yard line and ended five yards later exactly with your arch on the line. Precision, baby, the best bands had it.

The first morning of band camp was always spent on the field without any instruments just marching back and forth across the field in the hot blazing sun practicing the step in straight lines. Yard after yard we would chant "half-way" on the forth step of each 5-yard increment and "hit it" on the eighth step. By the end of camp we could "hit it," the yard line, every time, without question, blindfolded if we had to. I could probably still mark off about five yards to this day.

So why am I fondly remembering marching band all the sudden? I've been quilting my mom's quilt.

I'm quilting this quilt with a pattern of overlapping circles. The easiest way to do that is to not quilt the circle, but to quilt arcs on each side of the seam line so they look like circles after you make the arcs in all directions. As I'm going along I am aiming for the intersection so I cross it perfectly and then arc on to the other side. I've been finding myself thinking "halfway" at the high point of the arc and "hit it" at each seam intersection. I can get a lot of quilting done when I get into a groove with this chant going on in my head instead of worrying about how much more there is to quilt. I'm not trying to finish it before Christmas, but it's nice to feel good about my progress and to reminisce about fun high school times.





4 comments:

VE said...

Band, eh? I want to hear about band camp...

AM Kingsfield said...

pretty!

just me said...

band camp? really? I always knew you were a geek at heart :)

greeny said...

ah, yes! Field marching. I never got the chance to really do the drills but I would have been ready.

That is a gorgeous quilt!