Sunday, January 31, 2016
Two years ago we had our floors sanded, and when I put the boxes back on the shelves in the sewing room, I was unhappy. Too many odds and ends were simply being collected, and the boxes weren't beautiful to look at. So I made large and small quilt tops out of all the three inch strips and everything in the box labeled "large squares and triangles." This is one of the latter. I had saved all the triangles from the mitered corners of the borders of many quilts, and I had some other large triangles left over from bias bindings.
The layout of this quilt was insanely complicated. It's not hard to find ways to fit five squares into a rectangle when the two smaller ones are the same size. It's just a matter of arithmetic. There is always a gap in the middle that is filled with another rectangle or a square. There are four such rectangles in this layout. The difficulty is in fitting 20 pinwheels into four rectangles so that the four rectangles fill a larger rectangle with no space along the sides. I had to use a spreadsheet and run through all the possibilities by hand to figure out which combination of smaller rectangles would fit into a large rectangle. There were only two or three ways to do this, and this is the way that looked the best.
I broke a few rules with this quilt. First of all, because triangles trimmed from borders come in eights, I have pairs of same pinwheels. This is a compositional faux pas! You are supposed to have odd numbers of same things. So sorry. Next, I don't normally use a fabric for the binding that is as striking as this. My old teacher Kathleen Weinheimer taught us that we don't want the viewer staring at the binding. But I liked this, it matched the colors, and it was from a piece of fabric that I used to make the binding for my dad's quilt. Also it was easy to cut and prepare. So, win win win. And it looks great. I already know what I'm doing in February, and there's no chance of breaking rules. So you can all rest easy.