Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Geometry and Quiltmaking—A Dynamic Duo

Do you remember high school geometry? Some of the terms, formulas and applications are probably second nature to you if you are a quiltmaker. My niece, Dana, has a geometry class assignment to create a quilted pot holder (OK, a mini-quilt) that is due this week. On Sunday afternoon I got "the call."

The requirements of the project had to include: a sketch of the quilt top on graph paper, an example of at least six geometry terms, and 3 layers quilted (stitched) together bound with a double-fold binding. Dana and I designed her project so it also included a loop from which to hang it—a most desirable attribute for pot holder.

Here is the finished project. She chose the 4-patch Broken Dishes pattern found in Jinny Beyer's "The Quilter's Album of Blocks and Borders," and did an EXCELLENT job matching the points and nesting the seam allowances. This was also Dana's first time using a sewing machine.

We had the all-important safety lesson on how to use the rotary cutter.

The fabrics chosen were based on color and value to illustrate symmetry, rotation and other terms.

In addition to being a functional element to the quilt, the machine quilting served as a design tool to illustrate acute angles, parallel and perpendicular lines.

At one point in the evening, I asked Dana if she wanted to make the geometry assignment a 2-day project and finish it the following evening. In the spirit of a true quilter (and the incentive of extra points), she was determined to forge ahead and finish that evening. So, we auditioned binding fabric, cut strips, and created the double-fold binding. She finished the binding and the hanging loop with hand stitching.

Below is Dana with her Grandma, taking a picture with the cell phone of the finished project. It deserves an A+. Very well done, Dana!
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