Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric... Welcome to the Patriotic Quilter where I like to share all things quilty as well as red, white, and blue! Please feel free to look around and enjoy yourself! I would love to hear from you.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

One Small Step for Quilters....

Hi Everyone!

I survived my experiment at NASA.  Coincidentally, did any of  you see this news story:  First Quilter in Space that was online yesterday?  I wish I could say that I was at NASA to experiment on how to quilt in space, but of course, I wasn't.  First of all, I loved the story, but they got it wrong--there was another astronaut who quilted--I remember Alex Anderson had Jan Davis, a three-time shuttle veteran on Simply Quilts years ago--however, I don't think she actually quilted in space.

I needed to be at the gate by 9am to get my visitor's badge.  Once I had it, I was all "officially official!"

Next I proceeded to the building I needed.  Maybe some of you didn't know, but NASA has a large research facility adjacent to Langley AFB here in Hampton Roads.  Also, out on the Eastern Shore of Virginia is Wallops Island--a rocket launch facility.  They recently blasted off a rather large rocket out there and I would have loved to go to see it, but it actually launched on the third attempt, and by then I lost track of when it was to be launched.

Anyway, I found the building just fine as I had already been there.  I was going to the Acoustics Research Lab.  Once I arrived, I had to have a hearing test.  The experiment was on the Large Civil Tilt Rotor study and four of us were there to listen to sounds of aircraft and rate what we heard.  After a bunch of paperwork, safety briefs, and instructions, we finally got down to it.  Essentially we were to listen to a sound of an aircraft (specifically a helicopter) flying over, pretend we were out in our yard at home, and rate the sound on a scale of 12-14 different criteria.  Some of them were "annoying to not annoying,"  "smooth to rumbly," "squeaky to not squeaky," "threatening to harmless," etc.  In all, we listened to 20 different aircraft.  I believe the purpose is to find a sound that is less offensive to people who have to hear it.  Before yesterday I never would have dreamed that there could be so many different sounds of helicopters that could be so different.

Once the experiment was over, we had to have another hearing test.  I should say that the sounds we heard were not that loud--they weren't any louder than a vacuum cleaner, so there was no danger to our hearing, but I suppose they want to make sure that everyone can hear just fine.  I was back on my way home before 11 AM, so I still had plenty of quilting time yesterday.  For my "trouble," I was paid $50 plus mileage, so it is a nice little bit of "pin money" to spend on a future fabric purchase.

It was fun, but not as exciting as this:

If you've been following this blog for awhile, you have seen this photo before.  It is my husband and Neil Armstrong.  My husband had the opportunity to meet Neil, as well as Gene Cernan (the last man to ever walk on the moon) and Jim Lovell (from Apollo 13 fame) back in 2011 when he was in Afghanistan.  The USO brought the astronauts over to visit the troops.  It was a really cool experience for my husband.

Have a great day!


  1. Great picture of your husband and Mr Armstrong. It sounds like you had fun. I once got paid to take part in an experiment. It involved getting paid to at chocolate mousse! The best days work of my life.

  2. OMG, I wish I could've rated those aircraft sounds!! I have military jets SCREAMING over my house from time to time and occasionally it's SO bad I have to stop whatever I'm doing and plug my ears! AWFUL!!! But I am grateful our military is there to protect us from our country so it makes it a little easier to take. LOL

    1. We're a military family and have always lived near bases, and we like to say, "That's the sound of FREEDOM!" :o)

  3. Well that must have been an interesting day indeed! Easy $50.00 and not too many quilters can put listening to military aircraft on their resume! Great pic of the Mr. and Neil Armstrong!

  4. What an interesting adventure! I wish someone would ask me my opinion on the Nat. Guard helicopters and cargo planes that fly over our house occasionally--they are extremely obnoxious!