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Symmetry in Stitches – Exploring tessellations in quilted coasters

  • - (ACST)
    30 Dequetteville Tce, Kent Town SA 5067, Australia

The key features of tessellations are that there are no gaps or overlaps. The same figure (or group of figures) come together to completely cover a wall or floor or some other plane. This requires the vertices to fit together. This can be done in two ways. Either the corners of the basic shape all fit together to make 360°. Or the corners of some basic shapes fit together along the side of another to again make 360°.

Our aim is to bring the vital role of mathematics in tessellation textile arts to your attention. By demonstrating a range of techniques from which a symmetrical, tessellated quilted coaster can be produced. While many people will be competent and confident sewists. We expect almost everyone who currently does crafting and quilting, mainly women and girls, would say they can’t do maths. This lack of confidence goes someway to accounting for the underrepresentation of females in STEMM activities, careers or study. We hope this workshop can show them that they already use mathematics regularly in various craft activities and may serve to boost their confidence to try something new.

The various ways in which tessellated patterns can be created from geometric shapes such as triangles, diamonds and hexagons will also be demonstrated. You will have an opportunity to practice these methods using graph paper and pencils.