Monday, April 25, 2011

Quilting and the Pythagorean Theorem

I had to dig very deep to remember how to figure out the correct measurements for this block.  I am sure there is a pattern out there somewhere, but I don't know the name of the block so don't know where to look.  I was just doodling around, and decided I liked this configuration for a star.  I wanted to make it into a 12" finished block.  So, I had to figure out what size to make the triangles for the square within a square center part so it would be 6.5" unfinished.  Who knew that high school math would be so important.  The only problem is that the square root of way too many numbers does not end in 1/4 or 1/2.  If you have forgotten the formula, it is a squared + b squared = c squared on a right angle triangle.  Aren't you glad I reminded you?

I needed to know the dimensions for the practice block above so I could start my tutorial on making that block using my newly made fabric.  This piece is 14" x 16 inches.  I think it is big enough for what I need.  I have so many scraps in these colors, I think I will make much more fabric and alternate the star blocks with made fabric blocks to create a very colorful quilt.  As I make more fabric, I am getting faster at it.  I really like what happens when I pull fabrics out of this group and put it together.  As someone mentioned about my intuition quilt, it is something only a mother could love.

Another project I started today is a mariner's compass.  I am doing it as my entry in the challenge block contest for my guild's annual quilt show.  I have chosen three different shades of blue from light to dark to simulate the night sky radiating around the star.  The star points are in various shades of yellow/gold.  I am calling it Hokule'a.  This is the Hawaiian name for Arcturus, the brightest star in the northern hemisphere.  The ancient Hawaiians used the stars for navigation instead of a compass.  I thought the name appropriate.  I will set it on a dark blue background that has spots that make it look like the Milky Way at night.  The photo above shows the first paper pieced section.  I have seven more to go.  I have wanted to make one of these for a long time, so today, I got out my pencil and graph paper, drew one out, colored it with the colored pencils I wanted, then made the foundation piecing templates.  I know there are patterns out there I could have used, but I love the challenge of trying to make my own.
I hope you all have been doing great things.  I will be out of the studio for the next two days.
Joyful quilting, everyone.


Willa said...

Thanks for more inspiring thoughts!

Impera_Magna said...

I love the math of quilting... congrats on remembering your high school math!

Rachaeldaisy said...

I often thought they should teach quilt making in maths. I often get my partner to help remind me of the formulas. Your compass is going to look stunning!!