25 February 2010

Quilt Thursday: Hexagons

Barbara Brackman has a terrific post today about hexagon quilts (e.g. the Grandmother's Flower Garden pattern). She describes how unexpectedly fascinating it is to make a large work with a simple, repeating, single-shape element. Hexagons fit and nest in ways that mathematicians can explain via tiling theory far better than I can. They crop up in the natural world again and again (honeycombs, snowflakes, basalt, etc.). They can be tiled indefinitely, infinitely.

In her post, she notes the astonishing hexagon quilts made by Albert Small of Ottawa, Illinois. This is found at the Illinois State Museum Society site. Mr. Small apparently was out to create a quilt with the largest number of individual pieces. I'm dedicating today's blog to him. That's only because I will NOT be following in his footsteps; I can practically guarantee this.

Here are the ISMS pictures of Mr. Small and two of his amazing hand-pieced quilts. As they note, in the second quilt below, the individual pieces are so tiny that six of them fit under a dime.

There are over 123,000 hexagon pieces in this quilt. I am now officially an amateur. For life.  

Happy Thursday. The weekend is almost here.


Judith said...

I am always intrigued at how men find the technical challenge in a craft. A few years ago in the local needlecrafters' booth at a textiles fair I saw a needle point picture of an image from the Hubble telescope done in absolute micro-petitpoint. One of the ladies at the table actually sniffed when I said something compimentary about the piece, that it had been done by a MAN, which seemed to imply I had no idea what Good Needlework looked like.

Sally said...

In his day job, he managed dynamite. What a guy!