Finished Puzzle

I’ve just finished the Puzzle Block Quilt I’ve been making for my brother’s birthday. It’s not until August, so I’m very pleased to have completed it this far in advance! The weather here has been pretty rubbish lately, so I haven’t taken many photos.

The finished quilt is 42″x50″ and is pieced out of Kona Coal, Snow, Copen, Navy, Wine and Daffodil. The back is a pieced strip and more Kona Daffodil and the binding is 2.5″ strips of each of the six colours. The free-motion quilting is in yellow thread to match the Daffodil fabric.

These are the two most recent blocks for the quilt I’m making for my parents. For these two, I’ve tried to line up the patterns so it’s like the concentric square rings are hovering over the patterned fabric. This may make life difficult in the future. The match between the solid green fabric (Kona Spring) and the stripey fabric is much better in real life.

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Crunchy cheese muffins

I made these these crunchy cheese muffins again this evening. The recipe is available here; I used an extra 280ml of milk and another 50g of melted butter in place of the buttermilk (I didn’t have any) and wholemeal self-raising flour.

Apart from the buttermilk, the other ingredients are pretty much store cupboard staples so it’s a good recipe for using up polenta. They are delicious with soup – or just eaten warm straight out of the oven.

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Log cabin quilt

I’ve had a change of plan with the quilt I’ve been planning for my parents. I had originally thought that I’d use solids from the Kona Poseidon FQ pack, but when I started putting them together I wasn’t completely happy with the overall effect, so instead I’ve decided to go for solid and single print blocks.

I’m much happier with how they look now. I also decided to add yellow to the colour palette.

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Puzzle Progress

I’ve been working on my Puzzle Block quilt for my brother. I’ve now finished and assembled the blocks, and I’ve begun quilting it together. Because the quilt only has solid colours and straight lines perpendicular to each other, I decided that free motion quilting would give a good contrast. The backing is yellow (with a central pieced panel) so I chose yellow thread to quilt in.

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Latin squares

I often spend a long time trying to work out the ‘optimal’ placement of my quilt blocks when I’m at the assembling stage. While I was trying to assemble the blocks for my brother’s birthday quilt, I began to wonder if I could apply some maths. Usually, I have an n x n arrangement with n blocks of each of n colours (where n is any integer). I then aim to have each colour only once in each row and each colour, for example, as in the first quilt I ever made. I’ve overlaid numbers on each colour to make the arrangement clearer.

It turns out that this requirement is that of a Latin square, as studied by the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler.

Another example is my Eschereque cushion, which I didn’t end up quilting, but it’s still arranged using a Latin Square arrangement of four colours.

These two examples are quite simple in that there is only one variable, the colour of the block. Things could be made more complicated by having four colours and four designs of block, for example. In this case, I’d want to have each colour once and only once in each row and column, and each design once and only once in each row and column. I haven’t yet made a quilt that follows these requirements, but I think that’ll be another one for the list! Squares where there are two (or more) classes of variable, where the elements in each class are arranged in Latin squares (i.e. every row and every column contains each element only once) and each cell is unique are known as Graeco-Latin squares.

Euler spent some time on this problem, and worked out that it was impossible to create a 6×6 Graeco-Latin square. You might remember I was planning to make a 6×6 block quilt top for my brother’s quilt, and I wanted to arrange the blocks so that the outer colours were in a Latin square and the inner colours were in an orthogonal Latin square of their own – but as this is impossible, I’ve revised my plan and have gone for a 5×6 arrangement. This means that in each column, there is one instance of each of the six outer colours. I also relaxed the requirement on the inner colours to be in a Latin square of their own, so my brother’s quilt isn’t a Graeco-Latin square, let alone a Latin square – it’s not even a square, after all!

However, I’m pleased to have discovered the existence of Graeco-Latin squares. I won’t try to design any 6×6 Graeco-Latin quilt tops in the future either, but I’m really pleased to discover that a 5×5 Graeco-Latin square for four classes exists.

How else do other people arrange their quilt blocks? Would anyone be interested in a pdf download of Latin and Graeco-Latin squares for quilt arrangements?

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Puzzle Block Quilt I

I started work today on the quilt I want to make for my brother. I wanted a simple block pattern so I’m using the puzzle block quilt along pattern by Brigitte Heitland.

I want the finished quilt to be a six-by-six grid using seven different colours. I’ve chosen a fairly muted palette of colours so far – blues, grey, red and cream. I think the last two colours will be yellow and orange, but I still haven’t completely decided. I’ve done the first fifteen blocks, three in each of five of the seven fabrics.

The blocks are quick to piece so I hope it won’t be too long before I have a completed quilt top!

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I’m featured in 100 Days of Modern Quilting!

I’m so pleased and proud to have one of my quilts featured in 100 Days of Modern Quilting, run by The Modern Quilt Guild.

You can read about it here, and can find my brief tutorial on concentric quilting here.

If you’ve used concentric quilting, please consider adding some images of your quilt to the Concentric Circle Quilting Flickr group!

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