Thursday, 30 December 2010

Penrose Tiles

A while back I photocopied some pages from a book one of my fellow teachers had on mathematical "facts". There was a lot of yummy illustrations that just cried out "QUILT" and given my thirst for factoids, I spent the time photocopying 10 pages of mathematical illustrations that might inspire me at some point.

Image via Makezine

While tidying up today, I found these pages again and spent some time today pasting these pages into my "Quilt Inspirations" book. One such page was the one on Penrose Tiles. Two simple geometric shapes that when put side by side, can cover a plane in a pattern with no gaps or overlaps.

I love hex quilts and the discipline involved in making one, but this idea takes paper piecing to a new level. If you are going to work on this quilt, it is probably best done using the english paper piecing method using some templates. So it isn't a quick quilt to make. I have found a few blog entries on quilters that have attempted this type of quilt and they look best when done in monochromatic colours so that you can clearly see the pattern.

There are lots of web sites on Aperiodic Tiling. An interesting fact about the Penrose Tiles and Roger Penrose, is that in 1997 he filed a copyright lawsuit against a company that had used "his tiles" on Kleenex quilted toilet paper. Since then the concept of Aperiodic tiling has been found in medieval Islamic art. It is a facinating topic if you are interested in mathematical quilts like I am.

I think that if I attempt something like this, I would do it in an indigo and cream like the tiles on a floor. I'll add this to my nice long list of quilting ideas!


sharon said...

Wow. I love this type of quilts.

I'm usually mad for hexagons but these triangles have got me thinking.

Thanks for a great post.

Almighty Tallest Purple said...

Thanks for linking to my quilt! It continues to grow, haphazardly, and at some point I'll have to decide what to do with it, or at least how to finish it--I sort of like the irregular edge, but I don't know how I'd put the binding on.