Last night I started making fabric templates. Of course, I could have bought them online, but after poking around the internet thought, “Heck no, I’m not spending $20 for a glorified ruler!” I already have the basics of quilting paraphernalia as far as rulers and mats go with angles marked and such, so I shouldn’t need to buy another just to make shapes that aren’t squares or rectangles. I definitely refuse to buy a compass or a protractor.
I went to a Quaker school for high school, and have very distinct memories of my 9th grade geometry teacher, Kaye. (In my experience, Quaker schools don’t go for the whole “Mr.” or “Mrs.” or “Ms.” Last Name for teachers/administrators–first names, all the way. It was such a transition from a very proper English-modeled primary school. I think I spent months trying to avoid addressing teachers directly.) I really liked the math problems that had these seemingly abstract piles of shapes with only some of the angles filled in, and you had to figure out the rest of them based on all the rules about “side angle side,” the Pythagorean theorem, and so forth.
You’d think that drawing a hexagon–on graph paper, no less–to use as a fabric-cutting template would be easy. Well, apparently I forgot stuff. Because I did end up with a hexagon. It just wasn’t symmetrical in all directions–which is problematic, when you want to cut a million of them and sew them together like a honeycomb.
So I tried again this morning, this time actually using the rulers marked with angles that I have and being a bit more meticulous about hypotenuses. Turns out, when I thought I was being clever about adding a seam allowance, I was also messing up the proportions of the shape on some sides. This time around, I went old school: One equilateral triangle, traced six times next to itself. Success! I wonder if some Mod Podge would help thicken the paper and make it easier to trace on fabric?