Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Old Fashioned Math

I swear, I am not planning all this math.  My plan is actually to just see what comes up.  And what comes up is...math.  Everywhere.  All the time.

The current math-ish project was inspired by a message from my father.  He and my mother went in on a hand-cranked sewing machine for the girl. 

(Here's a picture of what it could look like, although I think we'll probably get something a little less old fashioned.)

When we go out that way in a few weeks my dad says he'll give the girl a full quilting lesson from start to finish: practice with the sewing machine, pick her design, choose fabric, cut it, piece it, etc.  I'm not sure if they'll have enough time, but one thing's for certain -- we'll be coming home with a cool little old-fashioned sewing machine!

The girl heard the news and immediately started designing her quilt pattern with pattern blocks.  She often sees grand projects fully developed in her head, but doesn't realize how complicated and time consuming they are. (I get exhausted just listening to her tell me about them.) So I decided to go on-line to find a 'simple' quilt block pattern that we could make using paper.  I wanted to give her a clear sense of the kind of effort and time it takes to measure, cut, and piece together a seemingly simple multi-piece pattern.  Just for the record, it takes a looong time. 

I did the measuring and cutting for this project, the girl picked the
paper and positioned and glued the pieces.  There were three pattern
pieces but we needed five colors which near about gave me fits.  I
suggested we start with the center and built out from there.  

"Look Mama!  Here's a rectangle made up of triangles!"

We both loved the way it looked here, about half way through. If
we try again, I will suggest we use solid colors to fill out the square,
to set off this star design.  Also, it was REALLY hard to figure out
how to get those outer triangles properly positioned.  We decided
that we'd call them 'kitty ears' so we could remember what they were
supposed to look like.

This would have been a pretty cool place to stop, too.  She noticed
that it made an X of sorts.
In the end, I think this turned out to be much more about the process
and experience of planning and piecing than the final product.  This is
simply the end of the first chapter.  I wonder what comes next? 

1 comment:

  1. There are so many great ideas to share with my class on your blog, Malke!


Thanks for reading. I would love to hear your thoughts and comments!


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