Friday, January 19, 2018

Neutrals and reds and math


Oh my heavens, y'all, I do not know a bit of math. Nothing. Nada. Puh. How do I know? Because I needed math all day. Know what I got? Puh!



I've continued working on the neutrals scrap quilt top. Thanks to your encouragement, I decided to keep going with the red scraps because, I wanted to make it work. I'm hard-headed that way. Besides, I had sewn some of the scraps into fabric blocks. 



I have a 15" square ruler and cut the beige pieces into uniform blocks to match the ruler. That was easy and helped me with the math. I'd made about nine of the blocks before beginning with the red. As I added red chunks to the beige blocks, I re-cut the blocks so that they were back to 15". But I have more creativity than good sense, meaning I abandoned the one thing that made the math easy.



I started adding red to the beige blocks and didn't make the extra cuts. Instead, I made bigger blocks and tried to match them up. That didn't work. I rearranged the crazy big blocks. No. 



I rearranged and made strips. Then I rearranged those strips, adding more beige in places, thinking there was now too much red. No! 



Then finally. Finally! I arranged the pieces on point. Yes. That somehow did the trick. I liked the angles of the individual pieces and small strips. 

So what's the problem? Well, math. As long as I had uniform blocks, I could do the multiplication and division. But now things were happening on an angle and in an unsystematic manner. The biggest blocks were all about the same 15 x 20, so I made one strip of those. Sewing them on the 15" edges? No. That would make the strip match the others. 



So I have one strip that is 20" wide; none of the strips are equal in length; and everything is on an angle. Yes, there's a chance that this quilt will unravel me! 

When I decided to phone a friend, I considered calling my sister Lee. She teaches high school math. The hard math. But I figured that I should ask Richard first. I called him and tried to tell him what I needed to know. Turns out I couldn't really explain it to him. Regardless, he was stumped. Okay? So then, I'll call Lee. He laughed at me! How dare he? 



Then he told me why he was laughing. I didn't know what to ask. Honestly, at the time I couldn't even think of the words equation or formula. How do you tell a math teacher what you need if you don't know any of her math words? 




In the end I decided to keep adding pieces and triangles until the 15" strips match the 20" strip. But they have to match on an angle. 
Check out this last picture. I have two sides with straight edges! And know what? That crazy 20" strip is in there! It IS the upper left corner and matches up with the other strips. If you look on the bottom right corner, I have another corner. Whew! Math is stressful!

Link Ups!

27 comments:

somethingrosemade14@blogspot.com said...

I hear you about Math but this quilt should be fun, it looks fun. I think you just need to make long blocks and trim at the edges, I think that's what I would do. When things go at an angle, it makes me dizzy.

Sylvia said...

This is turning out to be very interesting! Thanks for letting us watch your progress.
Cheers,
Sylvia@Treadlestitches

Karen S said...

I am worried your head is going to explode! Looks like your way of just keep going is working quite well in the end.
Good luck.

Mary at Fleur de Lis Quilts said...

I was really worried about that explosion yesterday when I realized that cutting a rectangle on the diagonal didn't match those squares cut on the diagonal. It got a little dicey and I may have cried for a moment. (I didn't tell my math people about that!) I'm still not certain it's fixed.

Kaja said...

Sounds like a headache, but it looks really good. I never do math - I just sew extra bits on if there's a gap and chop bits off when something's too big!

The Joyful Quilter said...

It's looking GOOD!!! Keep working at it and you will have a completed top before you know it. It is going to be SEW striking!!

The Joyful Quilter said...

I'm not a big fan of red, but I absolutely LOVE where you are headed with this Improv quilt!!!

Kaja said...

Thanks for linking this up with AHIQ - great quilt and a great blog post too.

Ann said...

It’s a lovely quilt in beautiful shades of red and beige. I am a math person and I don’t understand your problem. Assuming you’re on a 45 degree diagonal, the side along the edge (the hypotenuse) should be about 1.4 times the side on the diagonal (the leg). Does that help. Don’t forget seam allowances.

Ann said...

And thanks for linking with AHIQ.

Janie said...

Great work! Thanks for sharing your process, everybody is a little different in how they get things done.
I think it's fascinating.
That's a beauty of a quilt top.

audrey said...

Yep. Side setting pieces are a doozy when they are going to be pieced! Good luck! It's looking pretty amazing already!

Kathleen Scott said...

It looks so interesting.... I am a big fan of Kaja's approach - add or subtract bits till it fits. Love the way the colors interact with each other.
Don't forget this is play!

Preeti said...

When you have blocks that are so gorgeous, whatever layout you choose, it will be beautiful. I am so looking forward to the next step on this one.

Mary at Fleur de Lis Quilts said...

The quilt is becoming more fun now that I can get to it. I had to put it aside for a few days.
Thanks for visiting Rose.

Mary at Fleur de Lis Quilts said...

Thanks Sylvia! The process is easy but the progress slow. How does that happen?

Mary at Fleur de Lis Quilts said...

I've definitely taken your approach, Kaja. And its working much better!

Mary at Fleur de Lis Quilts said...

Thanks Joy! I have a bit of work left to do. There's a little section that I can't handle. It has to go, but otherwise it's faster than I expected .

Mary at Fleur de Lis Quilts said...

I think having more of the neutrals sort of balances out the red. I'm really digging into the bucket of scraps with this one.

Mary at Fleur de Lis Quilts said...

Kaja,it's always fun to see how others handle improv and scraps. It's more fun to add to the conversation.

Mary at Fleur de Lis Quilts said...

Can I say "no" and it be okay? I have a vague sense of what you're saying, but it's complicated. I'm a word person without formula for math.
But I can quote Shakespeare, so I'll be alright. :)

Mary at Fleur de Lis Quilts said...

Welcome mam. It's my favorite party!

Mary at Fleur de Lis Quilts said...

Thank you, Janie! I have a quirky way of doing things, so I appreciate your encouragement.

Mary at Fleur de Lis Quilts said...

Thanks Audrey. The first corner was a doozy: a wrong calculation and a wrong cut. But we're heading in the right direction now.

Mary at Fleur de Lis Quilts said...

Kathleen, I have a Mary technique: start out driving in the median, then switch gears and ignore traffic signs. I can't drive like that, but it's fun to quilt that way.

Mary at Fleur de Lis Quilts said...

Thanks Preeti! I'm looking forward to seeing the next step, too. And quilting it will be a blast

June D said...

Really beautiful. Great idea to do the neutrals and reds too!

I just finished an on point top - didn't do any math. I just made things larger than they were needed. But I was using denim for that top. Will have to work up my confidence to sandwich and quilt it!

: )