Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Now that I've got 'em, what do I do with 'em??

Design tiles, right??

The original idea was to devise a low-tech method for generating infinite patchwork blocks from a single tile. I had a tile with lines drawn through it, and a mirror-image of the same tile. I numbered the rotations, 1 through 4, and 1M through 4M, for the mirror-image tiles.

I started arranging groups of four tiles.

All four tiles can be identical . . .

Three tiles can be identical, and one tile can be different (easily accomplished by rotating one of the tiles) . . .

The four tiles can be two pairs of identical tiles (the two tiles in the pair can be identical to each other, the two pairs can be different from each other) . . . These two pairs can be beside each other, on top of each other, or diagonally from each other.

The four tiles can be one pair of identical tiles and one pair of different tiles. Again, these two pairs can be beside each other, on top of each other, or diagonally from each other.

The four tiles can be four randomly-selected tiles (my favorite) . . .

There are 4096 possible 4-patch combinations.

The same concepts work for 9-patch, 16-patch, 25-patch (and beyond) blocks . . . yes, an infinite number of patchwork blocks.


  1. I think I'll start making the 4096 4-patch blocks, just for grins and giggles.. Even if I made the 4-patch a 4 inch finished block, that'd be a BIG quilt. You've got a long-arm right???

  2. My left arm is the same length as my right arm . . . I think they're both long enough, but I'll measure 'em when I get home. LOL!!

    (Ya gotta love a straight straight man . . .)

  3. To make it square it would be a 64 x 64 layout.. at inches per block thats 256 inches both length and width. That quilt would be just over 21 feet square minus borders etc. That would fit a full size bed right?

    FYI my right arm is an inch and a half shorter than my left!

  4. Wow, Raymond, checked out your new website and it is definitely eye-catching! I like the look, can't wait til I have time to cruise through and check out your new work.

  5. Greg, the quilt you're contemplating would cover four king-size beds placed two by two (like a 4-patch bed) . . . the mind boggles and reels (with a do-si-do and a alleman left)!!

    Beverly, thank you for the compliment . . . take your time cruising the site (it's good for my stats, LOL!!)

  6. hmmm can you imagine trying to find a single backing in that size?

    "Hello Moda?"


    "I need a backing fabric thats 7 yards wide by 7 yards long"


    "7 yards wide by 7 yards wide"


    "Hello Moda? Hello? Hello?"

    I'd better get to weaving I guess!!!

  7. Greg, who says quilt backing must be one piece??