One of the biggest hardships I find with quilting - particularly the kind that requires geometrical designs is I am mathematically challenged. If I was tested I suspect they'd discover I have some kind of number dyslexia. It is probably linked to the fact that despite being a 'grown up', I still have to look at my hands and write in the air to work out my left from my right; and why I have never managed to fully learn my times tables.
Once undergoing various tests in hospital I was asking to count back from 200 whilst subtracting 10, then 9, then 8...I failed miserably. I told them not read too much into this because even when I was well, I struggled to hold numbers in my head. I wasn't happy with my grade in GCSE maths so resat it and managed to get a worse grade. It's kind of ironic given that I work in a heavily financed based job. But that's money. Some how that's different. I get to use a calculator. Nobody ever expected me to work out the VAT on inclusive amounts without a calculator.
It probably explains why I bought myself a sewing ruler that is way longer than my sewing mat. Or the amount of times I've lined up my fabric on my mat - started cutting then thought - hmmm these are smaller than I thought they'd be - only to realise I'd been cutting an inch smaller than I wanted. You have no idea the stress I get into when I see a block I want to make and then have to work out how big each piece needs to be with seam allowances in order to recreate it. I've put many sewing books back on the shelves because they start talking in a foreign mathematical language; when I just want to be told I need 4 pieces 4 x 3 and 2 7x8 etc and have that include seam allowances. It also means when I see a quilt I want to make I struggle to work out how much fabric it will require - especially if the design is complicated. I admire those of you out there that work with maths in order to create pattern repeats of complicated design and measure.
For DQS I wanted to set some small and different sized blocks within a larger square and not have them line up. I started thinking about how I'd calculate the sashing areas horizontally, to create the back around the mini blocks and all was fine until I had to work out the bits vertically too; and then the order I'd need to sew everything to get it to have the look I wanted. I started drawing it out on squared paper and everything. But it started to make my head all swirl, I'm sure it's not meant to be this challenging. So I'm working the way I work best - visually. I've cut lengths of linen and am measuring them against the blocks and assembling them in an 'order'. This may horrify some of you. But it's working for me.
No maths is required for the little giveaway I promised. In fact nothing more challenging than popping a comment below. If you want to comment about how I can make sewing projects easier maths wise that would be helpful, but not essential.
What might you win? I have a whole stack of fabric squares roughly 2.5"ish square that are ideal if you're making 1" hexies and seeing as it's this hexie quilt of mine that's got me back into blogging it seems an appropriate giveaway. In fact I was hoping to do it to celebrate finishing my hexie quilt, but that's back on hold while I sort out mug rugs and doll quilts ;-) Of course you may want to do something else entirely with the scraps, that's your choice. I did count how many I'd got so far. But since then I've not been very well and have been all dizzy and generally blurgh and I've forgotten how many there are. I will also be adding to the pile before it goes in the mail. I reckon there will be over 100. Of course after what I said about my bad maths you are allowed to not believe me ;-)
You don't have to become a follower to enter - although it will make me smile if you do. The giveaway is open to anyone, anywhere and will run until 12 pm 5 Feb 2011 (GMT). I'll use the ole random number generator to do it stuff. Just please, please, please make sure there is a way I will be able to get hold of you if you win. Otherwise I'll have to draw another winner. *****GIVEAWAY CLOSED*****