Monday, December 1, 2008

Exponential Exploration

OK, the Aussies may be a day ahead of California but we're dragging our heels on this reveal. I don't know about Kirsten but my excuse is that I couldn't work out what quilt to submit for this challenge. Of course, if I was still in England, I could have borrowed a penny from Helen's quilt and tossed a coin...

I was travelling when this theme was first announced and had plenty of time to simply think about ideas and design concepts. Some that came to mind early on include:
  • a blackboard with the 12x tables;
  • asking my fellow twelves for their palm and finger prints - the hand being known as the "human abacus" and, as Terry highlights in her piece, so integral to our artmaking; and
  • voluptuous, colourful abacus beads.
When I got back to my sewing machine, I tried some tally marks for size and then explored different variations of string theory - classic string theory; shibori string theory and finally Simple String Theory. I liked the lines so much that this design morphed into an abstract abacus (see below) but I wanted to try to inject some more vibrant colours into my latest quilt for the 12x12 project.

So what did I do next? I followed some advice from the workshop I did with Nancy Crow and trialled a composition in black and white fabrics. Binary notation was my inspiration source but when I showed my zeroes and ones to my husband, he thought I was referencing binary code and asked what I had spelled out?!Somewhere along the line, I also tried some other shibori and resist dyeing with dud results. So I took this turquoise fabric and teamed it with a sunshine yellow to make Binary Note #2. Building on my experience with the first binary piece, this composition better utilises the 12x12in quilt estate. Furthermore, if you add a zero to the front of the rows with only 7 digits and consult this handy binary alphabet translator, there is a theme-appropriate word in there. Thank you to Nikki for providing such a rich theme. I'm looking forward to finding out what theme Deborah sets for challenge #8.
Binary Note #2

16 comments:

Helen Conway said...

Good grief what were you thinking - you could have stopped at quilt 1. Or 2. Or 3.... they are all great! We also have scarily similar thoughts - I abandoned my abacus idea when you told me you had thought of using it. Then two days ago I came up with a non 12 x 12 quilt idea for which I was considering asking for palm prints from you all....we really are quilting sisters!

Nikki said...

Wow! You certainly have been busy exploring the theme. They are all great! Love the strong graphics and hidden message. I have a feeling this might be one of our more colorful mosaics.

Nikki said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nikki said...

Sorry about all the deleted comments throughout the reveal. For some reason my mouse must be over active and I keep getting double posts.

Gerrie said...

I think any one of the pieces would have been wonderful for this challenge and they are all beautiful. I think you joined the members who went for a more intellectual take on the theme. I really like the one you have chosen to be part of the challenge.

Karen said...

Brenda, this is so wonderful, the shapes are great, and I'm talking about all of them!

Kristin L said...

I like them all as well, although I think you made the right choice -- this one is so obviously about Maths (even without the translator), plus it's just fun to look at!

BTW, my husband went through a phase of sending me emails in binary that I had to go translate here: http://nickciske.com/tools/binary.php

Yes, he's a geek. He'd LOVE your quilt!

Deborah Boschert said...

I'll have to get my daughter to translate. She loves cracking codes!

kirsty said...

*cough* over-achiever *cough*

:D Brenda, these are incredible. YOU are incredible. And I so wish I had thought to do something about binary. At our house we are very fond of that old chestnut - There are only 10 kinds of people in the world. Those who understand binary and those who don't.

All of these quilts are great. My favourites are the abacus quilt and your chosen one.

StegArt said...

Wow, what a great group of quilts you created. But I really love the turquoise one. The shapes and colors together create a fabulous design.

Terry said...

I love this one especially. The binary code achieves the randomness that Kirsten was talking about! I used the translator to decipher the code and was reminded of the curious fact that I noted during this theme period, which is that Americans shorten the word mathematics to "math". The rest of you shorten it to "maths".

Diane said...

Wow... you really went all out. Seven quilts! (You could have made TWELVE, you know...heehee). But I love them all. For some reason, the hash marks one just thrills me ... I guess because it's one of the simplest concepts and is so visually direct. But all of your pieces are wonderful and striking ... You could do quite a series here, you know?! Your ultimate choice (which I adore in black and white as well) is expecially interesting -- I love the irregular lines and the great boxy shapes.

Françoise said...

Wow! Brenda, you've been busy... I even didn't finish my second quilt.
I like your abstract abacus, but this one is my favorite.
Great idea, great colours. It's perfect. And I love the secret word.

Deborah Boschert said...

I've also been intrigued by how some of our members use the term "maths." We're so global!

I love this quilt. The colors are so dynamic and the pattern has a wonderful random yet specific order. The rounded corners are also quite nice. I'd like to see a close up of the quilting. It looks like an excellent complement.

I also love the Tally Marks! Are all those test pieces actually finished? I've got several rejects from our various themes, but I never take them all the way to completion.

corryna said...

Can't believe what you did! Where can one buy the time to quilt as much as you do? What is your secret? It's a lovely series.

Judy said...

I have just seen the finished math creations and they are most impressive and creative. I have sent a photo of your quilt along with the binary code to my 9 year old grandson so he can figure out the word.