Geometry and Quilts

I work with a really wonderful geometry teacher, who is trying a new project with her students. Now those of us who quilt are well aware that quilting is just lots and lots of geometry. I wish when I was struggling many years ago (Ms. Foglio….I do not have fond thoughts of you….) that I had been able to do something beyond proofs to see all the cool things that shapes do – and how you can work with them. This is what Lisette brings to her students.

This project is to make a quilt block, but there are a whole bunch of steps needed before the blocks get assembled. First, students had to design a 4-inch block with squares, triangles, rectangles, and trapezoids. Then, with a trip to the computer lab and the help of a wonderful piece of software called Geometer’s Sketchpad, students recreated their block and then had to rotate it and reflect it to look at additional designs. Once they saw how the design would look in its new forms, they were to choose one they liked and print out their now-8-inch block.

This is where color selection now comes in. Lisette  bought red, white, and black fabrics, plus some muslin for the base. Our school colors are red and white, and students could now look at color placement for their block. They had to carefully (which with teenagers means a lot of things…) cut out all their pieces and use a glue stick to adhere them to the muslin sheet. At which point several of us with sewing machines would then begin to satin stitch everything into place.

I completed three blocks this evening, and I think the students will be pleased. There are a lot of secondary patterns that show up once everything is stitched into place. Now I discovered, as I fixed my bobbin, that I had absolutely no regular white thread in the house, so I did all the blocks with red. Kinda like them!

And forthwith – here they are…

Dontcha just love all those trapezoids? One of life’s truly unappreciated shapes…..

One Response to “Geometry and Quilts”

  • Anne Huskey-Lockard:

    Okay, admitting my life time….I darn near FLUNKED geometery, don't remember the teacher–successfully blocked THAT memory!–and then when I started quilting…WOW!!! This is *just* geometery!!!
    I still do not understand it from the mathematical aspects, but after a class with Paula Nadelstren, well, lets say I used a LOT of geometery and had a ball!!
    I think creatives have a harder time grasping *concepts* as opposed to *hands on*. How I wish I could have learned this back when my brain was fresh!
    I need to post that one block I did from Paula's class…..I think you would like it.
    GREAT POST!!!!


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