The obsessive need to count things

Everybody has their stress tick.  This is mine.  And, it’s probably one of the biggest draws for me to quilting.  There is a lot of counting in quilting. 

Cut 100 pieces, sew them into groups of 4 is 25 pieces, sew them into groups of 5 is 5 pieces.  Sew them into a quilt and you have one piece and another UFO. 

Twenty hexies to the strip and I need 284 hexies so I need enough fabric to get 14 strips, 2 inches wide, plus part of another strip if I don’t have a scrap, that’s 30 inches of fabric.  Stack the strips 6 layers deep and cut; 6, 12, 18, 24…


Yesterday was a stressful day.  Work, getting ready for school, anticipating back to school shopping (YUCK!), the old clothes fashion show to see what fits and what has to be replaced and gently sharing that she's not going to be able to breathe in something that tight.  And, rearranging her schedule to take her out of basketball because of here knee. 

And, I started counting in my brain.  Five squares to make a strip, 14 blocks, each needing 2 strips, that's 140 squares.  Three squares to make a strip, 14 blocks with two sides, 84 squares...nevermind that these were already pieced.  I needed to know how many squares there were.

By bedtime, I was practically doing multiplication tables in my head and had basted about 13 hexies (each with 6 points, that’s 78 points to baste). 

As long as I can add, subtract, divide and multiply, I'll be okay.

Math as a distraction.  Who'da thunk it based on my high school geometry teacher's comments in 10th grade?

Be well.  Don’t judge.  If you don’t have a stress tick, ask your family what it is.  I bet they can tell you.



lw said...

Having a teenage girl in the house is enough to give a person several new stress ticks.

The problem with shopping is that you're fighting advertizers and magazines who want her to think it's a good idea to dress like a street-walker. Teenage girls who are unfamiliar with that concept have been trained to think it looks fashion-forward instead of immodest. So teaching someone who's been desensitized to how much is too much skin/tight clothes/etc to dress attractively but demurely-- if you want to learn integrals to add to the geometry, drop me an email.

Rebecca Grace said...

Oh my. Well, if it's any consolation, I remember BEING a teenaged girl and it's probably WAY more stressful for her than it is for you! :-)

Have a great weekend, and keep counting. Wine helps, too.

Kath said...

That is very interesting Lane, as I am number blind, it is a kind of dyslexia. I avoid any math and counting, so quilts with a big cutting list are impossible for me. That's probably why I like making quilts with a repeating all over shape, like hexagons.
I'm not sure what my stress tick is, probably talking too much!

Elizabeth said...

Geometry isn't math. It is something some dead guy made up to ruin a person's GPA.

I like to count things too. I didn't realize it was a stress tick. I thought it just came from having worked as a ride operator at an amusement park and needing to count the number of people you were letting in so you didn't get more people than seats up on the ride platform.

It is three weeks to school. I missed registration for my LadyBug. It was yesterday. I have all my e-mails from the kids' schools go straight to a folder labeled "school" so that nothing gets lost or missed. Well, obviously, I missed this e-mail. It was sent last week while we were on vacation. Does that count as a good excuse? I suppose we'll have another opportunity to shell out $25 for a school t-shirt and we can go up to the school during their business hours and get the registration done. But I'm still kind of stressed about missing an important deadline and the thought of more deadlines and school work to come.

Hope you've got more things to count and are feeling more relaxed.

xo -E

qltmom9 said...

My favorite people always count. My bestfriends, Darl and my boss at the teahouse. I think they are GENIUS in that they can do that...and, it is VERY helpful. I ~LoVe~ it.
My stress tick is chewing my lips and then they are a mess and those who love me have to remind me to put carmex on to heal the chapped raw mess. My tick is NOT useful. )-:
That fashion show also gives you the opportunity to tell her how beautiful she is and how graceful and what color makes her just glow. If there must be a negative, give her 7 positives to make up for it...COUNT them~


Natalie said...

I've been reading your lovely blog on and off for a six or so months now but this is the first time I've felt brave enough to comment! My stress tick is handwork. I put the machine away and work by hand. I once went through a really terrible period of stress at work and, to de-stress when got home, would hand piece an hexagonal quilt - the old fashioned English way using paper pieces. It just got me through.