On wedding quilts

I seem to be feast or famine when it comes to quilting, and we’re definitely in a feast period. In addition to the Botanicals project and the baby quilt, Mom and I have two wedding quilts on the docket. Fortunately one wedding is in June and the other wedding is next year, so neither will be rushed. The first wedding quilt is for my cousin, a math professor in the University of Wisconsin system. Oh, it’s for her fiance as well, but I’m using her mathematical background as inspiration for the design. I looked around for ideas, starting with a riff on the Shakespeare in the Park pattern by Judy Martin. Have you seen this? It’s a combination of the Snail’s Trail block and a star block. I played with different stars and came up with this in EQ7:

Shakespeare in the Park Broken Star

While I love this quilt, I think the math connection is weak. However, I strongly encourage you to pop over to Judy Martin’s Pinterest board of quilts made by other people from her patterns. I hadn’t realized how many of my favorite quilts were designed by Judy Martin!

Next I moved on to the Rolling Waves pattern by Jane Koelker, first seen in the August/September 2008 issue of McCalls Quilting. Here’s my EQ illustration:

Rolling Waves

The math aspect is a little stronger and I think my cousin would get a kick out of the optical illusion of movement, plus it’s a pretty simple quilt to make. However, I wanted to see what else was out there, preferably something more strongly math related. I came across fractals and was intrigued. Now, the word was coined in 1975 so it didn’t make its way into schools until well after I graduated, but it’s taught in grade school now. I dug a little further and found some incredible images of fractal at the Fractal Science Kit website in the gallery pages. Specifically, I found this. It inspired me to draw it up in EQ and, with some modifications, got this:


I’m calling it “Fractalish” because it isn’t quite mathematically correct, but both my mom and my aunt like it, so that’s what we’re going with. It’s going to be big – 110″ square, but it isn’t actually all that difficult. The way I wrote it uses both half square triangles and flying geese, but it would be more fractal-like if it was constructed entirely of half square triangles. I can see a pattern in the future, and that’s another reason why I chose it – there’s just something about not following someone else’s design that makes it more fun for me.



  1. Thanks for introducing this grandma to fractals. I’ve actually bookmarked that images page. What amazing inspiration for all sorts of quillting applications. Your design is beautiful. I’m sure the bride and groom will love it/

  2. Gee, I like all three! But I’m no math whiz, so there’s that. I love the optical illusion quilt. Looks nothing like the quilt in the link. You have a great eye for design (but we already knew that)! I remember reading on a quilt blog about something called a Fibonacci sequence in quilting. Very mathematical. Google Fibonacci sequence in quilting and then images for some eye candy.

  3. I like all three quilts, but I think you should do “fractalish.”
    Thanks for sending your readers to my Pinterest board!
    Happy quilting! — Judy Martin

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