Monday, March 26, 2012

Quilt Equation

Everyone knows that in order to be a quilter, you must be able to do at least a little math.  If you are one of the many who thought your high school geometry class fit into the "foreign language" category, don't worry.  There are many quilt-y tools out there that can help with the figuring.  And, the best part -- no tests!

So, get out your pencil and scratch pad, your handy-dandy calculator, (or just take off your shoes and socks) and follow along with me on a Quilt Equation journey.  Oh, what fun!  (Yeah, I used to be a math teacher.  I really do think this is fun.)

Start with a Moda Layer Cake--42 pieces of 10-inch square fabric.  I used Sandhill Plums from Kansas Troubles Quilters.
Add a Moda Charm Pack--42 pieces of 5-inch squares.  These should be from the same fabric collection.
With me so far?  42 + 42 = 84 fabric squares.  And, so far, we haven't cut one piece or stumbled upon a single fraction!

Add a Five & Dime specialty ruler.  This ruler is used to precisely center (here comes the geometry) the charm squares onto the layer cake squares.  Pin and stitch in raw-edge applique style.  Easy-peasy!
So, check your math--84 squares sewn in pairs equals 42 squares.  Not so bad, huh?  Wonder where your high school math teacher is now?  ;)

Now we DIVIDE and thereby MULTIPLY at the same time!  (Cue the scary music!)  Flip that Five & Dime ruler around and cut each set down the middle twice--like a plus sign.  Check your work.  42 x 4 = 164 pieces!

Mix and match and stitch your pieces back into 4-piece squares in a random-y kind of way.  This will bring your total back to:  164 / 4 = 42
Use your awesome randomness to sew the patchwork squares into rows of 5.  Continue your quilt-y calculations by stitching together 7 rows.  Add two borders, and what do you get for your final answer???

Ya gotta wonder if the great mathematicians of yesteryear had wives who were quilters.

OK, Bonus Question!  Extra Credit to anyone who figured out there are EXTRA blocks laying around somewhere!  Remember, we started with 42 patchwork blocks, and made 7 rows of 5 blocks each.  So, there are 7 leftovers!  The Five & Dime pattern includes instructions to make a tablerunner out of the extras.  Guess what my next project will be?

Thank you for following along our Quilt Equation journey.  Not even a smidgeon of math anxiety!  And, thank you to Lynne and the gang at KTQ for such a fun pattern!

As I finished this quilt top, I kept wondering what it would look like in a different color palette.  The Berenstain Bears have a new line.  That would make a cute quilt for a kids' room.  I am particularly fond of the Vintage Modern collection from Moda, with its bright, springtime colors.  Has anyone else out there tried this pattern with other fabrics?  I'd love to see pictures!


RHome410 said...

Love this! What a great, easy idea.

I found you via the Creative Itch Sew Cute Tuesday party.

Mrs.Hearts said...

How fun! Visiting from QuiltStory!


Jill said...

Gorgeous quilt! and nice to see some school maths being put to some real use!
Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
Hope you have a fabulous week!
Jill @ Creating my way to Success

Jenn at The Little Shop of Stitches said...

Hooray for math! ;)

Nicole said...

I had no idea when I started quilting that there was so much math involved! You make it look so easy!