Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Kissing Number




12, it's a number. What can I say, I headed to Mathematics and then threw in some Passion for spice. (Hum, and I did find illumination while sitting in a chair and looking out the window. Hehe.) It turns out that 12 is the "kissing number" in the third dimension. What? The kissing number is the number of spheres of the same diameter that can touch or "kiss" a center sphere at the same time. Basically, if you have 1 ball, twelve other balls of the same size can touch it at the same time without crowding anyone out. A rather interesting concept when compared with all the other "12's" in history, religion and society we've uncovered throughout the last two months.


I took the geometric approach to depicting the "kissing number" and used 12 colored circles surrounding a single white circle. I used fabric paper, created with muslin, scrapbook paper, tissue and paint, for the colored circles and wool felt for the white. The three back circles can be hard to find peaking out from the others, but trust me -- my sewing machine could feel all those layers. I then added the XO with embroidery floss -- 12 sets of 12 in 12 different colors. I wasn't sure which actually stands for the kiss, X or O, and doubted a single X or O would come across as a kiss, so I decided to use the recognizable set.



Once again, I didn't budget my time well with the hand stitching. I finished all the XOs with time to spare. I then thought I would add the backing and do a little hand quilting to tie it all together. Well a little hand quilting quickly turned into a lot of little stitches. Add to that, the fact that I used a heavily painted fabric for the backing and I now have very sore fingers. Thankfully, they can now take a little break to recover before they get to work on the next 12 quilts.

11 comments:

Karen said...

Twelve is the kissing number! Who knew! This is so cute and fun to look at Nikki.I really like the binding, it's perfect for this piece.

Diane said...

Oh, how charming! I didn't know about the kissing number, but I love the concept as a mathematical idea. Who knew math involved kissing?! The colors are happy and I really love the x's and o's. Your hand-stitching was well worth the effort!

Gerrie said...

You are a genius for coming up with this interpretation. Who knew? Your hand stitching puts mine to shame!! I think it was a wonderful way to finish off the kissing spheres.

Kristin L said...

Like everyone else, I had never heard about kissing spheres. How fun! I bet this looks great in real life where all your fanciful papers can been seen in their full glory.

Terry said...

Light, airy, cheery! I do love the idea of "kissing" spheres and to think that 12 is the number.

Terri Stegmiller said...

Oh this is wonderful. I didn't know that about 12 balls the same size. I love how I learn things from this group. I hope your fingers heal fast and are ready for the next round.

kirsty said...

Kissing!!! One of my favourite activities! Maths is NOT one of my favourite activities but I now have a new interest in it :D
What a fascinating concept this "kissing number" is!
The lovely little hugs and kisses are a most delightful background and the binding is a perfect choice!

Brenda said...

This looks like a prequel to Kirsten's Passion piece - Oh!

Nikki said...

I did think of Kirsten and all the little colonial knots. You did post the research that one should kiss twelve frogs to have the best success at finding a prince.

Françoise said...

Nice quilt. I love the idea. The colours are beautiful and your hand stitching looks great. Hope your fingers recover quickly... a few kisses will help maybe?

marcia.conway said...

a rather complex theory for my simple mind but very effective display