Quilt Lit

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Saturday, April 15, 2006

Quilter's Math

I've struggled with math all my life. Its abstract nature, rigid rules, and mysterious formulas were a foreign language. It wasn't until I began to quilt that I had an epiphany, of sorts. Math requires a logical mind; mine tended more to whimsy. But as I discovered the world of quilting, with its triangles, widths, seam allowances, arcs, congruence and symmetry, math took a gentler hand with me. There was a connection between my mind and my hands, and that connection clicked.

Math and quilting share a common attribute of incremental growth. Just as math builds concept upon concept, quilting does the same with fabric-taking little pieces and building an entire quilt. I discovered this on my own, how many others never do? How would our children's comprehension and facility with math improve, if they were taught this subject in a way that had meaning?

I've become an advocate of teaching in context- what the gurus today are calling "Real World Applications." Perhaps we would be less concerned with testing our children by means of paper and pencil, if we could see the actual demonstrated knowledge of their accomplishments in something of tangible, lasting value.

I remember watching a girl of ten, bent over her fabric, measuring with a ruler, carefully marking off 6 inch segments, connecting the lines, drawing a mark on the bias to create triangles. Her personal goal was her first nine patch quilt. Math was simply the means to that end. There was a natural harmony there. There is also a lesson. Perhaps we should strongly consider the benefits of going "back to the future." There is knowledge there, knowledge that we are overlooking today.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Patchwork Pieces of Life

Bachelor’s Puzzle
Farmer’s Daughter
Hearts in Motion
Love in a Mist

Hopes and Wishes
Lover’s Knot
Center Diamond
Wedding Ring

Broken Sawblades
Broken Dishes
Lover’s Quarrel
Contrary Wife

Rocky Road to Kansas
Road to Tennessee
Road to California
Wild Goose Chase

Prairie Sunrise
Bright Hopes
Baby Bunting
Homeward Bound

Hole in the Barn Door
Jacob’s Ladder
Log Cabin
House on the Hill

Goose in the Pond
Hovering Hawks
Corn and Beans
Melon Patch

Autumn Splendor
Northern Lights
Country Hearts
Sands of Time (copyright 2006)

Quote of the Day

Acts 16:14 One of those who listened to us was a woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a dealer in fabrics dyed in purple. She was [already] a worshiper of God, and the Lord opened her heart to pay attention to what was said by Paul.

Advice to a New Quilter

Stock up on bandaids first; you will need them.
You can remove blood from a quilt with spit.
Reproduction prints are available for those of you in love with the 30s.
You can never have too much fabric.
Rotary cutters like to make swooping curves; keep them on a tight rein.
Don't ever, ever leave your cutting mat in the car on a hot day.
Learn to handpiece; it builds character.
The fluffier the bat; the more difficult the quilting.
Cheap cotton is not worth the price.
Stitch in the ditch whenever you can.
Welcome to the Sisterhood. You will have friends for life.