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 Beverly Mackie BellaOnline's Math Editor

Quilting - Math

Whenever I hear the word, quilting, I automatically think of my childhood and a group of women sitting in a living room of an orange-red brick house in a southwest rural town with one blinking yellow light. Then, I think of being warmed by the weight of several of Big Mama’s, my other grandmother, quilts on a cold winter night. I doubt very seriously if math was on the forefront of any of those women’s mind. Yet, it’s obvious that math is part of this beautiful art. So, I wondered where Quilters go to get their math answers, and my search began. I saw websites, software, and books. The book that caught my attention was a cover with a quilted print on it entitled, The Quilting Answer Book: Solutions to Every Problem You’ll Ever Face; Answers to Every Question You’ll Ever Ask, by Barbara Weiland Talbert, Storey Publishing, 2009.

It’s written in a question and answer format with the following contents.
Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Getting Started
Chapter 2: Choosing Fabric
Chapter 3: Batting and Thread
Chapter 4: Essential Tools
Chapter 5: Rotary Cutting and Strip Piecing
Chapter 6: Templates, Pressing, and Piecing
Chapter 7: All About Appliqué
Chapter 8: Settings and Borders
Chapter 9: Quilting Choices
Chapter 10: Making the Quilt Sandwich
Chapter 11: Quilting the Quilt
Chapter 12: Finishing the Quilt
Chapter 13 Quilt Embellishments
Chapter 14: Quilter’s Math Made Easy
Resources
Index

Notice, there is a chapter dedicated to Math. However, I decided to freely flip through the pages to see if math would appear.
Page 78 – refers to a rotary cutter. They are available in diameters of 8mm to 60 mm, but a 45 mm diameter is good for most cutting jobs. Geometry

Page 94 – “How do I make sure rotary cut pieces are accurate?” The answer consists of several tips. For example, “Check to make sure the strip end is square and perpendicular to the long edges of the strip …”. I spotted Geometry again.

Page 310 - “Adjust machine for to 6 to 10 stitches per inch.” I think to myself, this would make for a great math question. For instance, how many stitches would be in 6 inches? However, the stitches per inch were referring to how to set up the sewing machine for machine guided quilting.

Then, I spotted improper fractions referring to needles, “75/11” or “80/12” needles. This was part of an answer to “How do I do free motion Quilting?”

In essence, math is all throughout the book. Yet, many people enjoy quilting. Hopefully, quilting is my next hobby in the near future. If so, The Quilting Answer Book would serve as a good reference for a beginner like me or even an experienced quilter.

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