Saturday, 22 December 2012

Thirty Six Officers Quilt Top Tutorial

Another idea taken from the mathematics fact book (of which I should really find the actual name so that I can link to it), is the "Thirty-Six Officers Problem". My last one was the Penrose Tile post.

Wikipedia states:

"The thirty-six officers problem is a mathematical puzzle proposed by Leonhard Euler in 1782.
The problem asks if it is possible to arrange 6 regiments consisting of 6 officers each of different ranks in a 6 × 6 square so that no rank or regiment will be repeated in any row or column. Such an arrangement would form a Graeco-Latin square."

Can't you see how this would be an ideal pattern for a quilt? 
I just love the mathematics of quilting!

So I started playing around with the idea as a basis for a larger project. In the original problem, you would have 6 squares of each colour displayed in a way that looks random, but isn't really.

Using a jelly Roll, you would need 15 inches (plus slack) for each colour for a block finish size of 12 inches x 12 inches (plus 1/2 inch each side seam allowance).

Nine blocks would make a good cot quilt, 35 squares a good single bed, 80 a good double or queen size, then add sashing and surrounds.

Using a Charm Pack you would need 6 squares (5 inches x 5 inches) for each colour for finished block of 27 inches x 27 inches + seam. 36 charm pieces are needed for the entire pattern (most charm packs are 42 squares worth, with two squares the same).  So buying a few packs of the same design would work wonderfully.

Using a layer cake, you would need 6 squares at (10 inches x 10 inches) for each colour. Each block would be 57 inches plus seam allowance.

It would look quite effective as an Autumn Colour Scheme.

And equally as nice as a monochromatic version.

Assembling the blocks:

What type of patchworker are you? If you are precise I would sew this quilt row by row. If not, sew four squares together to make a small block, measure and trim. Then sew another 4 together, and so on.  

But if you are not a quilter, this pattern could work equally well as a crochet blanket.

If you end up making one of these quilts based on these ideas, please leave a comment and let me know!



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