Sunday, 12 February 2012

"Maths rulz" or "From the mouth of babes"

Weekend, house needs cleaning, mother needs recovering from 4 days at work with all of one half day of teaching (...), mother wants to quilt. Two DS off to another birthday party (that is a story in itself, the invite was for one of them but they decided they came in a double pack - no, they're not twins either!), oldest DS, speaking Legoese for about 90% of the day and expecting mother to understand, stayed home (...). So mother makes it to sewing machine (with DS in tow, he is doing his English homework - the fact that his ESOL mother needs to help him somehow doesn't go with the fact he was third best in his year level last year) and continues on the DD9s - fourth set out of approx. eight. DS asks how I am doing this, I explain about 9 patches and D9 and then DD9 and he says "could you make a triple or quadruple disappearing nine patch?" Ooh, aah, I guess I could, don't know if anyone else has done it before, quite likely. He calculated in his head for a while what sizes you would end up with (he lost me there somewhere - Rona, I am sure there's a simple rule about the ratios in here?!?!). I thought about it and gave it a try, and now I am very intrigued by it!
Following A few Scraps' post, I had started with 5 batik charm squares (never quite 5" square, no idea why they're called charming!!!) plus 4 white 5" squares, made 9 patch, cut the result into quarters - 7" each. Added one 7" batik square plus four 7" white squares, made 9 patch, cut the results into quarters - 10" each. Added one 10" batik square plus four 10" white squares, made 9 patch, cut the results into quarters - 14 1/2" each. Taadaa, a Triple Disappearing Nine Patch (TD9?). I stopped there for the moment, need to think about how far I want to take this :-) Also, my next batik and white squares need to be 14 1/2" - that limits my choice a little bit (but just a little lol). If I got my maths right, I think that would make 21 1/4" squares in a Quadruple Disappearing Nine Patch (QD9??). Where to end????

What intrigues me and at the same time annoys me that the two biggest batik squares in my current TD9 are both 4 3/4". After using all these different sizes, it's back to square 1 literally! But what annoys me is that now both outside batik squares are the same size which requires matching seems, something I can do but don't enjoy therefore avoid it. I just think I might try that QD9 some time very soon...

The original DD9

TD9 before cutting

One possible setting, but note the matching seams?

Another possible setting, still some seams to match...
DS's comment to the TD9 - "Maths rulz - and English sucks!" oh from the mouths of babes...


  1. You could always add a narrow white sashing between the individual blocks - that way the colours sort of float and don't touch each other.

  2. I love your DS! Very interesting problem. I'm going to have a think about it...

  3. Ok, I've thought about it. One easy solution is to turn the blocks after the first cut so that the little block is on the outside instead of the middle. Then the two 4.5" (finished size) blocks wouldn't be at either end of the diagonal.
    Then I figured out some algebra and then used that to see what different sizes you could make.
    Starting with a 5" block, as you found, you end up with 4.5",2",3" and 4.5" finished size coloured blocks. If you did another cut, the next coloured block is 6 3/4".
    If you start with a 4" blocks, coloured blocks are 3 1/2", 1 1/2", 2 1/4" 3 3/8", 5 1/16". The last block added would be 11 1/8" which is bit awkward to measure.
    Starting with a 3" block, coloured blocks are 2 1/2", 1", 1 1/2", 2 1/4" and 3 3/8". Starting with odd numbers is better. The last block added is 7 3/4".
    I'm sure that you could play around with the placement of these blocks to make some really interesting patterns, or perhaps something a bit more random looking, depending on the way you put the blocks together before cutting.
    Have fun and thanks for the maths problem. Unfortunately I think it's too difficult for my students!

    1. That is VERY cool, thx for sharing! I like little maths puzzles, and you have given me the tools to make it into different sizes now (I like knowing what I end up with beforehand :-)). Now I need to decide how I turn sixteen 21 1/4" blocks into a single size quilt...

    2. Thanks for the pictures I finished a DD9 last weekend and was thinking I wonder what a TD9 would look like. Since I work full time I had not had a chance to try it yet. I was also thinking of doing a smaller block so you math REALLY helps too!


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