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Friday, February 23, 2007


Inspiration from strange places.

Fractal edge.
Originally uploaded by Christina.
I've come to the conclusion that what I really like is not as much the actual piecing together of a quilt (although I like that a lot) so much as the designing. At least, I usually have several quilts in some stage of design but not yet realized in fabric.

Let's see. Right now there's:
1. the godzilla quilt for my husband who loves B movies,
2. the bunny quilt (for the baby - fabric bought but not cut),
3. the rubber ducky paper pieced quilt (for the baby),
4. the panda bear / bamboo quilt (this one I cut all the fabric for over a year ago but have done no sewing),
5. the sudoku quilt, which will be a functional sudoku grid.

And of course, I'm currently working on a quilt, but it's from a pattern I bought, so it's not even on that list. The baby may be in high school before she gets her other quilts.

The problem is, it's so much easier to come up with a cool idea than it is to implement it. Inspiration is all around.

... Okay, so maybe that's not so much a "problem," but it does tend to lead to dusty piles of unfinished projects.

Take the first, and so far the only, baby quilt I made for Elizabeth (picture of the finished quilt here - look under the baby). That started from boredom in a meeting. When I'm bored, I doodle. Since I'm a math nerd, I sometimes doodle nerdy things. In this case, a fractal edge:

Draw a straight line: ______

Put a square in the middle of that: __[ ]__

And then put a square in the middle of every straight line in that, and so on and on. You end up with a line that fills space. If you start with a square, you end up filling a larger square, in which the original square is centered, on point.

So I'm sitting there, drawing smaller and smaller squares. I've long since stopped listening to the substance of the meeting, although the beauty of intense doodling is that it looks very much like intense note-taking. Then I realize that the pattern is basically a set of nested nine-patch blocks, set on point. And I had a quilt design.

Now, I realize I'm a little strange. Not everyone finds inspiration for quilts in math. But that's the thing; inspiration is everywhere. It might be the first spring flower, a beloved t-shirt you can't bring yourself to throw out, or just a cool fabric spotted by chance.

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