Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Twisted Distractions: Tesselations

I love quilts that have patterns that repeat and are intertwined with one-another. . . like this jig-saw quilt I made for J & C (finished in 2007). It was really tricky. I had some help, and we had to make one row at a time, making sure the colors intertwined in the right way to create the jigsaw pattern.

Then I saw a tessellating pinwheel pattern by Karla Menaugh at Fancy Work that didn't take all the thinking. You can see her blog post here. You just put squares together, re-cut, twist the new pieces and you get intertwined pinwheels. She also tells where you can buy a cool ruler that assists you in doing this trick. You can see the ruler here.

Being a Math teacher - and loving Geometry especially, I was confident I could 'do the math' and create a way to cut out these tessellated pieces. I got out my graph paper, and drew a scale model of the quilt I would make - with 5 inch finished squares. Here is my sketch.

I superimposed the quilt on a Cartesian Plane, with the Origin in the center of one of the squares up in the left hand corner. I tried to find some whole-number (well, integer) coordinate pairs that would create a square - kind of on its side. Notice the calculations of the slopes of the sides of the cocked squares - and that the slopes are negative reciprocals of each other meaning they are perpendicular... Ok. Maybe everybody does not like Geometry.

So I started with these flannel squares.

At every corner of every square, I centered my template and cut an angled square. There is a small square in the center of each square that I had to remove (baby doll quilt material!) then I merely rotated these new squares and lined them up to make pinwheels.

I have completed two rows

and have the next two cut, positioned and ready to stitch,

This has been SO FUN!!! I kept THINKING it would work, but I waited to actually cut the first row at our Seams Like Sisters Quilting Bee today. My friends got to watch the magic happen right before their eyes.

I like to quilt.
I AM going to try to finish this project.....


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