We had the most wonderful weekend imaginable a couple of weekends ago. We went to Duluth, Minnesota to a First Robotics Competition that our grandson was participating in. Each team built a single robot that could stack plastic crates. On top of the crates they were to place a garbage can with a pool noodle in it. Points were given for the number of crates stacked. The "stack" total was doubled or even tripled depending upon the number of crates in the stack and if a garbage can with a pool noodle was successfully placed on top. In previous years, Crimson Robotics had never placed higher that 30th out of 60 teams. This year they started out rather poorly. Their robot fell over and just lay there during the entire match. Bad way to start off. All competition was done at the team level. That is, 3 teams combined forces to compete against 3 other teams. Crimson Robotics of Maple Grove, MN was in 3rd place after the first 9 rounds. That got them into the quarter-finals. For the first 9 rounds, they had no say in which teams they played with. For the quarter-finals, semi-finals and finals rounds each of the top 8 teams got to choose the other teams they wanted to play with. Crimson's first pick was fairly predictable. They chose a team that had a robot that stacked crates very well. Their second pick drew gasps from the crowd. There were 63 teams in competition. Crimson selected the team that was in 62nd place. These kids were prepared to head home with (as the expression goes) "their tail between their legs." They couldn't believe their good fortune. They would get to play in the finals. Oh, and by the way, this team from Fargo, ND had built a robot that did one thing extremely well. Their robot had very long arms that could lift a garbage can with a pool noodle up onto a stack of 5 crates. Crimson's team placed 4th after the 6 rounds in the quarter-finals. That got them into the semi-finals. Yes, they qualified for the finals coming in second place behind a team that had won the competition for the last 4 years. For the finals, the team that won 2 out of 3 matches would walk away with the title. The teams were very evenly matched. Crimson won the first match. 101 to 100. Yes, they won that match by just 1 point. After each match was played, there was always a pause in scoring while the judges reviewed the scores to be sure no errors were made. The second match was played. Did we or did we not win? The wait for the final score was agonizing. Then it was posted. We won the second match 121 to 119. Our three teams including one that had placed 62nd out of 63 after the first 9 rounds were headed to nationals in St. Louis, MO. Our grandson, Alex, is the tall, skinny kid throwing noodles in the bottom right of the viewing screen. Way to go team. See you in St. Louis.
Our son, Derek, posted a video on uTube of the finals. You can view it here. It was edge of the seat excitement.
I have to apologize to Joan. I didn't discover her e-mail with the photo of her finished quilt until I was cleaning out my e-mail this week. I should have had this in my newsletter back in January. Joan and I have been in a little club that meets once a month. Three of the original members of the club are still in it. We have been meeting for about 20-25 years. Joan and I have been quilting together even longer than that. You have seen Joan's quilt in various stages as she worked on it. This photo shows the finished quilt.
This month I received photos of three blocks from my readers.
Madeleine Leclerc, Quebec, Canada
Celine Chabot, Quebec, Canada
Celine Chabot, Quebec, Canada
Free BOM: Linda's Flutters and Flowers
This month's block consists of two tulips with a single butterfly. I embroidered the lines on the upper butterfly wings. You can learn this method from my DVD Volume 2: Let the Fun Begin. Click here to get this DVD.