Dear Jane and Fermi Lab

7 Aug

“What are two totally unrelated things?”  would be the answer to my Jeopardy topic above.  🙂  But that’s what this post is about!

First Fermi Lab…

We visited Fermi Lab yesterday afternoon.  My sister-in-law’s brother is a physicist there.  (Physicist is such a funny word to say.)  He gave us a tour.  Fermi Lab is located just outside Chicago.  They smash atoms there.  That’s it.  That’s what they do.  And there are thousands of people employed to do it.  Hmmmm….  We’ve been watching PBS shows for a couple of weeks in preparation for our visit.  It was VERY INTERESTING despite the fact that it was way over my head!  My 11yo son wants to be a cosmologist – not to be confused with a comoTOLogist.  He doesn’t want to cut hair but wants to study the universe.  Now, most 11yo boys want to play baseball and tease girls.  But my son reads Steven Hawkins and watches every universe/galaxy/space non-fiction show in existence and loves the subject.  He’s not really into the Star Trek things but he’s into the real thing.  Anyway… I digress… The trip was mainly for him to see what a research scientist can do for a living and he enjoyed it immensely.  Here are a few pictures of our visit.

A family picture outside Fermi Lab. How geeky are we?

The machine where they generate ions that will become anti-protons

Outside the front entrance

They smash atoms underground in large tunnels shaped in circles.  Therefore they own a lot of land that is just beautiful.  I really enjoyed the day.  Even though it’s open to the public, our physicist, Marty, was just awesome in his down-to-earth explanations and patience with our questions.

Next… Dear Jane.

This morning I got up and decided to piece a Dear Jane (DJ) block.  My DJ quilt is about 3 years in the making.  I have the DJ software and increased the size of the blocks to 6″ because I’m only 1/2-nuts and there’s no way I was going to piece 4.5″ blocks.  I have 78 blocks finished.  I’ll probably never finish all of them and have no desire to do the triangles along the outside but I do enjoy the challenge of piecing them.  Once I discovered the blog entitled “That Quilt” it got me back into DJ thinking mode.  So this morning I pieced a block.  Only took me 45 minutes!  Wow – what an accomplishment!


It’s not as wonky as the picture shows but that bottom edge does need to be repieced.  The inside red squares are about the size of a dime.  I can’t imagine this block at 4.5″.  It was difficult enough to paper piece the center at my size!

My Dear Jane Progress So Far

I was out of half-square triangles for my Ocean Waves quilt.  I made some more half-square triangles as leaders and enders.  I may make a few more Dear Jane blocks and build up my half-square triangles in the meantime.  We’ll see.  So many projects… so little time…


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