Monday, May 7, 2012

Quilter's Choice

Buck-a-block for April was introduced as "quilter's choice".  Sure, there was a pattern, and cutting directions, and an illustration showing what the finished project might look like.  But the component pieces could be put together so many different ways.
This is what the picture on this month's pattern sheet looks like (and you can see which fabric got the nod for the lighter-colored flying geese rectangles).  But I was hoping to see more of a star shape from the placement of the turquoise.
Now that's more like it!  All I did was rotate the four outer corners, and suddenly those turquoise triangles form a star that stands out.  What other combinations might I make?

Still cute (on left).  And not-so-cute.

I kinda like the right hand one of these two better.  Like the square-within-a-square effect in the center.

This is just like the first two arrangements, with the rows of flying geese swapped, turquoise for tan.  I still like the version where the star-effect shows up better.

At some point I stopped to ask myself: how many different combinations would be possible?

The mathematician within me has a solution...  (It's based on combinatorics, but don't let the name scare you.  I had a college professor describe it as "counting without using your fingers and toes", so it can't be too awful.)

Take the number of choices at each location and multiply them.

***Non-quilt example: I have 5 possible shirts [times] 3 possible pants [times] 2 possible shoes (assuming everything goes together) [equals] 30 potential outfits.

***This quilt block: 2 positions for the corner pieces [times] 2 colors for the inner flying geese [times] 2 positions for the inner flying geese [times] 2 colors for the outer flying geese [times] 2 positions for the outer flying geese [equals] 2-to-the-fifth-power, or 32 possible combinations!!!  Glad I didn't stick around to photograph them all. 

But which one will I choose?

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