Maybe quilting is a hobby people tend to take up in their middle years, as they settle into homes that have room for all the stuff, and as they age out of caring about fashion and clothes-sewing. Plus, a lot of young people exhibit their quilts on blogs and message boards (looking at you, r/quilting!) and Facebook, rather than in shows.
I wonder by what rubric we could actually evaluate whether an art is "dying"?
I'm not the type to jump on a bandwagon... usually. But if that bandwagon is driven by a hobbyist mathematician and loaded with nerdy quilters from Reddit, I could make an exception. I am pretty interested in tessellations, after all! So today I'll introduce the "hat" einstein tile, and try to figure out how to most efficiently piece it for quilting.
Fair warning, for those whose interest in einstein tiles is deep and mathematical... mine is not. I'm not a fan of math; I'm a fan of the aesthetics of math! Just as most as most of us can distinguish between fluency and awkwardness when we hear unknown languages, so most people differentiate between elegant and awkward design, without being able to explain the mathematical concepts. For example, given several different rectangles to choose from, most people instinctively like the Golden Rectangle best, even without measuring it. And most people are repelled by ugliness in design, without being able to tell you which mathematical law was broken!
It is in this inchoate, instinctual way that I appreciate math. I see something beautiful and get excited, but I don't truly understand. I can't teach it because I don't "speak" that language. Today's post will be laden with links to people who understand this much better than I do. My goal is just to draw it myself, leaving the proofs to someone else!
A quick update. As I mentioned last time, I have been following the tutorial put out by Donna of Jordan Fabrics. I have made one improvement on Donna's method, which I'll explain briefly. And I've learned a little more about myself, which will inform my future quilting choices.
Ambivalence is a fruitful inspiration: when I sorta-like and sorta-hate something, the incongruity fidgets in my mind, and won't settle until I make something with it. Tula Pink fabric is such an inspiration for me. What I love is the creativity of the prints, the hidden critters and swirling flowers and whimsy of them. What I hate is the busy-ness. According to her website, "Tula comes from the 'more is more' school of design where there is never enough space and always room for that one last thing," while I firmly believe that detail without focus is clutter, and clutter stresses me out. Finally, there are her colors, which are bright and fun and neon... and like minor notes, just slightly off from what you might find satisfying. It's hard to match or co-ordinate with her prints, unless you work with other prints from the same collection.
I wonder if I can design my own Foundation Paper Piecing (FPP)? (Of course I can.) I wonder if the cracked ice research I did may help? (Why the heck not!)
When my mom and I left East Africa, we went to Liberia, in West Africa, to visit the family of our stateside Liberian friend. We took a lot of pictures of people there, to bring back to our friend who hadn't seen his family in years. This photo, of Grandma with her grandson Shadrach, is lovely. I decide to use my compass method to see if I can cracked-ice it into FFP slices.
Quilting, dressmaking, and history plied with the needle...
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