Tag Archives: Observing Sketchbook

The Ultimate Observing Sketchbook: Part 3

In the previous post in this series, we selected our ugly denim fabric, and stitched the frame that will hold the tablet computer inside the sketchbook.  In this post, we’ll complete the sketchbook cover and take it for a test drive.

Outside Cover

I started work on the outside first.  I drew some chalk lines to delineate the back, front and spine.

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The Ultimate Observing Sketchbook: Part 2

In our previous post in this series, I explained the inspiration and design of the observing sketchbook and provided some concept sketches. This time we actually start making the sketchbook.

I started with 1/2 yard of  hot strawberry pink bull denim I got from the Red Tag shelf at Jo-Ann Fabrics.  I waited until the 50% off Red Tag sale before I pounced on an entire bolt of this stuff.  I serged it on the edges and ran it through the washer before cutting.

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The Ultimate Observing Sketchbook: Part 1

It’s time for me to seriously tackle the project that got me into sewing in the first place: the Ultimate Observing Sketchbook.

Amateur astronomy is another hobby I enjoy.  I like to go into the middle of nowhere (or right in front of my house, depending on what I’m looking for), set up a telescope, and share the view with others. These views include the Moon, Sun, planets, comets, star systems, star clusters, galaxies, nebulae – all the wonders of the universe, in short.

Like sewists with computer-driven sewing and embroidery machines, most astronomers nowadays use computer-driven telescopes. They automatically locate any celestial object via commands from a laptop, tablet, or keypad.  And many astronomers now have sophisticated digital cameras that photograph objects much fainter than the eye can see.

I’m a little bit of an oddball in my hobby. My telescope has no computer; I navigate by hand using paper star charts.  One compares star patterns in the eyepiece versus those on the map, then gradually nudges the telescope towards the desired location. When I find the object of interest, I typically draw what I see through the telescope with pencils and a sketchpad.

To give you an idea, here’s a sketch I made of the planet Jupiter, after it was impacted by the remains of comet.

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