Hello my fellow quilting friends! This is Jo’s first favorite (I am her oldest) daughter Kelli. When I was in high school and college, I dreaded math. It wasn’t that I was that bad at it, I just didn’t really enjoy it, but recently, I have found that it really isn’t that bad! (Just don’t tell any of my teachers that!)
A while back, mom and I took a trip to our family favorite thrift store, The Depot. When we got there, mom made a beeline to the old magazines. Slightly puzzled, I followed her. When we got to the magazine area, she quickly let out a little squeal and grabbed a bin. At first, I couldn’t quite figure out what she was so excited about, but soon realized that we had just hid a goldmine. As it turns out, a very kind and generous quilter had cleaned out their sewing room and given away MANY old quilt magazines, some dating from the early 90’s. After spending a few dollars on $.25 quilt magazines, we paid for our treasures and climbed in the suburban.
Once we got home, we began sifting through the magazines. Immediately, my eyes were drawn to many of the beautiful quilts. Upon further investigation, I found that many of the patterns were written quite differently than what I am used to and often didn’t include directions using a rotary cutter and other “modern technology” like easy angles and the like. Lots of the quilts that I discovered also didn’t include directions at all.
One in particularly that I fell in love with is called “Birds and Bears” and was featured in a QNM magazine from their January/February 2000 magazine.
Normally, I’m not one for Bear Paw blocks or appliqué, but this quilt really drew me in. After doing a bit of quick math, I realized that even if I didn’t put the appliquéd borders on, it wouldn’t be quite big enough to be a snuggly quilt.
I then grabbed some grid paper and a pencil and set to work. I decided that I really wanted to make this quilt. I first began by drawing out the block. After a little bit of creative thinking in numbers (math), I had a diagram that I believed would yield a 7” finished block. The next step was making a “mock block” to make sure that my creative thinking in numbers was correct. A while later after I finally finished the block and counted the individual pieces in the block (45) I decided that this was a quilt that may take a while. None the less, I set to figuring out how I would be able to change the quilt a bit to make it big enough to snuggle in, and came up with the following…
I think that this is a quilt that will definitely challenge me, but it may be a while in the making. Just creating the single block took me just over a half an hour. I also realized that making this quilt will also help me improve on proper seam allowances, something that I can always use a bit of practice with.
While I was working on this quilt, I also would like to show you another quilt that I have been working on, again using creative numerical thinking. Originally, my mom had made this quilt in two different color ways and I love them both! Being the copycat that I am, I decided to make a similar quilt using greens, browns, and blacks. Recently, I have started trying to challenge myself in each quilt that I make. Growing up, I was always informed that black and brown DID NOT go together, but after seeing a few quilts defying that rule, I was excited to make an attempt. This quilt also required a little bit of creative numerical thinking as the original pattern only called for 23 blocks. I currently have 55 of the blocks done and will be working on finishing the other 5 this weekend. The next time you see these blocks, they will be showcased as a finished quilt! (with the Puppycat and Gracie accompanying it)
And there is only a small problem with my new found love for creative numerical thinking….it’s a lot quicker to get a quilt drawn out and yardage figured than to actually get the quilt made. But don’t worry, I will get them all done one day…
And that my friends is how a Kramer kid has come to love creative….errr….numerical…ummm…thinking. Okay I’ll just say it! I LOVE MATH!!!